Retro pop indie rockers, Romance and Rebellion, have just released their self-titled debut EP, that should showcase the fun yet catchy songs you will go nuts over. That said, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist David LaViola discusses this EP and some further insight on the band as a whole.
1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
So, let me preface this interview by saying this is David speaking. To explain the origins of the band I'll take you back to just before the band formed...It was the summer of 2015 and I had just released my debut EP titled "Keep The Fire". The EP had garnered some attention from investors who encouraged me to write and record more material. In late summer I demoed 6 new tracks which would serve as the foundations for what would be the first Romance & Rebellion EP. I knew that I was going to have to perform the songs I was writing and arranging in the studio and so, I set out to find musical companions to help me. I started perusing craigslist and it wasn't long before I came across Aaron Medina and Kyle Jordan Mueller.
I'll keep it brief because there's a lot of ground to cover...Aaron Medina is a 26 year old Major in Classical Guitar Performance and is originally from Denver. Kyle Jordan Mueller went to school where he grew up in St. Louis Missouri, has a degree in Music Performance, and is 29 years old. Both were seasoned professional touring musicians before the band even formed.
The three of us started playing together in late September and by October the first track for the debut EP was already being recorded. By November we were auditioning bass players and having no luck so, I went into my Rolodex and contacted my long time friends Brandon Davis. Brandon was working in New York at the time, but agreed to take some time off to come and audition for the band in early December.
It was already pretty much decided through a series of Skype rehearsals that Bran would be our new bassist so, his visit was basically a formality and we used it as an excuse to schedule our first gig as a four piece, two rehearsals, and a photo shoot. All went well with Brandon's visit and so he left to go back to New York and one month later was a permanent fixture in the group here in Los Angeles.
Aleks was the last piece of the puzzle. He and Aaron had played in a band together when Aaron first arrived on the LA scene. Once Aaron joined the group Aleks started frequenting our shows more and more. Although we were making great strides as a four piece, I started to feel like there was just one more little missing component to the equation...you know how when you could a steak you add a touch of finishing salt at the end? Aleks is the finishing salt. Aleks has a great musical pedigree having spent quite a bit of at Berklee School of Music in Boston. He was already a fan of the music having been to a ton of our shows, and so the obvious conclusion I arrived at was to propose the addition of Aleks to the group, which happened in June of this year (2016). That's it...those are the logistics of how the band was formed.
2. What's the origin of the band's name?
When the band was formed it was more or less an outlet for my music. I had been badly burned by the band scenario in the past and was pretty against the idea. However, slowly but surely, the cunning persuasion of Aaron Medina won out. He and Kyle had both expressed a desire to be more than just a backing band. I started to think about it from their POV. Who wants to be in some guys backing band? There's more personal pride in being somebody's equal. When people have pride in what they do they tend to work harder. It was a logical conclusion to arrive at. The only issue was...what to call ourselves???
I don't remember a lot of debating on the name. I don't even recall any of the other options. The Motherfuckers was one. HA!!! Eventually I threw out the name Romance & Rebellion as an option. Everyone really liked it. I came up with it because it sounded like it could be a rad clothing line, plus it had a duality to it which I liked.
3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
The band hails from the Los Angeles, California indie music scene! There are tons of extremely talented musicians and performers in our city. After all, it is the entertainment capital of the world!!! We one of a few great band coming up all at the same time here in Los Angeles. Anyone who likes our bands sound should check out our friends in The Wrecks, Braeves, and Wasi. Just a few bands we really dig. If the singer songwriter scene is more your speed you should check out Aleksandr James, Dylan Dunlap, and Maxwell Joseph.
4. How would you describe your style?
Hmmmm...I guess pop rock is the closest already existing genre that comes close to describing or sound, although that's a pretty poor description. I think we have a really fantastic vintage influence combined with a very modern pop sensibility. The lyrics are very matter-of-fact, raw, and emotionally charged.
5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?
We just independently released our self titled debut EP. Someone looking to get to know the band should expect fun catchy songs with occasionally gritty lyrics, crunchy guitar licks and groovy drums, and dreamy vocals layered with 2/3/and 4 part harmonies! Thematic content will range from the light hearted to the heavy hearted. I've always been under the personal belief that even the most painful experiences have beautiful qualities to them.
6. Why should someone go and pick up this release?
To be quite honest with you, I think there are more than enough ways to check out the music without actually going and buying it. You can go on our website www.romanceandrebellion.com and stream the tunes from our spotify player or our soundcloud links and get to know the music for free. That way the only people that end up with our music are the ones who really are our fans. I do believe that this music is very hard to dislike though.
7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?
Absolutely! On average we play twice a month in the Los Angeles area. Any other shows will be in the surrounding areas just outside of Los Angeles. We are currently working on the tour plans for later on this year...stay tuned to our website and our official Facebook page - www.facebook.com/romanceandrebellion to keep up to date.
8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?
In the not so distant future, we have plans to tour. At the moment it's looking like a late 2016 early 2017 tour is definitely going to happen. We actually have more than enough material to do a full length album, but we really want to tour this EP before we go back into the studio for that. I think what we may do is to record a cover and a video for the cover for fun before hitting the road in the winter. Also, we are just finishing up our second music video which will be premiering later on in September. There's lots on the horizon!
9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
We're on all the major spots for listening to music Spotify, iTunes, YouTube...You can buy our music online on iTunes, or in physical form by going to our website and using the online store! We'll even sign a copy and ship it to you.
10. What is it you'd like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?
If I had one thing to say to our listeners it would be this...Even though this is pop music...it's art to us. Every single detail is plotted out and executed with precision. Every lyric is deliberate. What we are saying is exactly how we feel...these things happened to us!