ROCKY LOVES EMILY: THEY’RE MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY FACE, THEY’RE A MELODIC BREATH OF MUSICAL AIR
It’s the early 90’s, and five young boys are about to begin on a journey that will inspire the future. On the screen sits, a young boy named Rocky who is being teased about being in love with a girl named Emily. As if by pure chance, a flame would launch in the form of a cinematic revelation in 2009 and their passion for music would find itself in the hearts of fans everywhere. It is now 2012, and these same boys have now evolved into men, walking onto the stage in synchronization to the thunderous chants of the crowd…“Rocky Loves Emily! Rocky Loves Emily!” It seems that Rocky and Emily have finally found their justice in the eyes of these five brilliant men, and what once was a chant of ridicule, is now a mantra of admiration. Hailing from a suburb of Detroit, Michigan, Rocky Loves Emily has proven that wearing your heart on your sleeve and being true to yourselves can indeed captivate the true essence of a music-loving audience. Today in Mission, Texas it’s no exception. Awaiting their upcoming release of “Secrets Don’t Make Friends” on April 24th, Rocky Loves Emily took the stage and rocked it out hotter than the mid-day sun, leaving their fans at the Never Say Never Art Festival in melodic wonder. In an exclusive interview for Ouch, My Ego! Magazine, I had the pleasure of speaking to these artistic individuals about tour stories, the importance of videos and the sentiment behind their upcoming album in a candid and fascinating interview.
Cynthia: Hey everyone! This is Cynthia with Ouch, My Ego! Magazine and I am currently in the presence of Rocky Loves Emily. Okay guys, first let’s get some introductions.
Steve: Hi, I’m Steve and I play the bass and keyboard.
Brandon: (in a fake British accent) I’m Brandon Ellis and I play singing.
Sean: I’m Sean and I play guitar.
Pete: I’m Pete and I play drums.
Cynthia: What inspired the name “Rocky Loves Emily” and how did you guys start?
Pete: 3 Ninjas…
Brandon: It’s from the movie 3 Ninjas. There’s a character named Rocky and a character named Emily and they love each other.
Pete: The brothers in the movie make fun of him, so they have this chant, “Rocky loves Emily! Rocky loves Emily!” It was one of our favorite movies growing up, so we took it seriously.
Cynthia: It’s a good thing I’m not in a band, because our name would probably be “Sleepaway Camp” or something.
Cynthia: In comparison to the album American Dream, what differences will we see or hear musically when Secrets Don’t Make Friends drops on April 24th?
Brandon: Well, American Dream was a pop/rock album we wrote pretty quickly, and for Secrets Don’t Make Friends, it’s also pop/rock but we took a lot more time. We put more thought into it, and with thought hopefully comes good things. The records delves a little bit more into who were are as people and has a lot to do with relationships…in a more darker sense of it. Sometimes relationships don’t work out, and I hope people can relate to the feeling of getting your heart broken but still staying strong and being alive. I hope it also encourages people to…you know…I always get lost in my words.
Cynthia: To be stronger in a sense that it’s okay to be alone at times. That independence is never a bad thing and love will find you when you’re not looking for it.
Brandon: Yes, exactly. (pauses) Qui a coupé le fromage? You know?
Sean: Who cut the cheese?
We all laugh. The laughter stemmed from an earlier joke about the fact that I knew French and that sentence was all that Brandon knew.
Pete: Musically, I think we tried to write a song for everyone.
Cynthia: How did you hear about the Never Say Never Arts Festival and what do you like about South Texas so far?
Andrew: I really enjoy it. Well, our booking agent hooked us up with the festival…
Pete: I don’t think we’d ever heard of it before…
Andrew (cont.): …yeah. I don’t think we’d ever heard of this festival before…
Brandon: I’d heard of it. (pause) I’d heard of it.
Andrew (cont.): We had heard about the whole South By Southwest festival.
Brandon (cont.): I’m the kid who’s always on the Internet hearing about stuff like this.
Andrew: Brandon apparently knows about it.
We all laugh.
Brandon: I know last year All Time Low played, and I was like, “Dude, I wanna do that.”
Cynthia: Now you’re here! That’s awesome.
Steve: It’s really cool though. It’s our first time playing here and I think it’s the most southern place we’ve ever played. So, when I woke up today and we were in the van pulling in, I thought we were literally in Mexico. I looked around and thought about how awesome it was to be almost playing in another country. We’ve been so well received here and it’s awesome.
Pete: We love that it’s in a “different country”…
We all laugh and the guys agree.
Steve: It’s great! We love it here, honestly.
Cynthia: It sure does take a long time to get here though.
Steve: That’s okay; it’s something totally different.
Pete: The weather is beautiful.
Brandon: So are the señoritas…
Brandon and I laugh.
Cynthia: Yes, señoritas.
Sean: Si, muy bien!
Brandon: Muy bien!
Pete (in a Spanish movie accent): Hola, como estas? (pause) I have no idea what I just said.
Cynthia: You said, “Hello, how are you?”
Pete: Oh, okay.
We all start laughing.
Cynthia: You’re welcome. (pause) The video for the title track of Secrets Don’t Make Friends will be revealed tomorrow March 14th along with a free download of the audio track. How important do you think videos are for reaching your fan base?
Pete: I think it’s just another outlet. Another way that people can see it, you know. I love watching movies and stuff like that, but I also watch music videos. There are some people that are more “visual” when it comes to songs and I think that videos are pretty important.
Cynthia: What about the music video treatments? Do you think that they convey what you are trying to get across in your lyrics? Upon studying film, I took it upon myself to study music video treatments from a director and musicians point of view. I found it disheartening when a director tried to take over what he/she didn’t really know was the concept. Do you guys come up with your own?
Pete: Well, the treatment of the video was these guys…
Pete points to Brandon and Steve.
Cynthia: That’s rad. So you guys get to write your own treatments. That’s pretty legit.
Brandon: Half of the time while we are putting something like that together, we try not to take it to seriously…lyric wise. We try to find the comedy in it and portray that side of it. I mean, I’m never gonna be Russell Crowe or be in the moves probably, so when I get the chance to be on camera…we just try to make it fun.
Cynthia: Hey, you don’t know that!
Brandon: Well, Pete looks like Russell Crowe.
Brandon: Yeah, I’ve already been told that I’m too tall to be an actor.
Cynthia: No way!
Brandon: Yeah! It’s true, it really is! For real!
Andrew: Yeah, you’re supposed to be like 5’10” or something.
Cynthia: Wow. I’d heard about that, but I guess it is true.
Brandon: Well I guess that’s good…in the sense that I’m not a good actor.
Brandon and I laugh.
Pete: I don’t think we’ve ever taken a video seriously.
Cynthia: What is it like to tour for you guys?
Pete: What is it like to tour?
Brandon: Yeah, like for us individually, in our band.
Pete: Oh, okay. Are you going around?
Cynthia: Yeah. I’m going to start on this side with Steve.
Steve: I enjoy it. I mean, I definitely have a lot of family back in Michigan. It is pretty tough to be away from them for so long, but at the same time it’s cool to go across the country and see people that I grew up with who moved to other states, you know? Old friends, friends that keep coming to shows and some that have come since the very beginning. It’s kinda surreal. We’re really blessed to see different part of the country and visit places like Washington, D.C., almost Mexico. It’s really great.
Steve and I laugh.
Cynthia: Yeah, when you pulled in here I bet it looked so different with a field and all these horses. It’s a miracle you didn’t see a burro because they have some up the street. This guy has a zebra two streets down.
Brandon: No way!
Cynthia: Yeah, I used to pass him on the way to school.
Brandon: I love animals. Meeting new animals…
Brandon and I laugh.
Cynthia: I think he has a zebra, buffalo, and an antelope type animal.
Brandon: I just love seeing new animals across the country.
Cynthia: I think the animals are happy that you gave them credit.
Brandon: It’s all for the animals.
Sean: I think it’s fun for us, personally, because we get along really well. I know it’s not the same for every band, because some bands will get in their van and everyone separates. There’s a band we just got off tour with and they said that when they get into the van everyone puts their headphones on and no one talks. When we get into the van it’s like “comedy hour” for like a few hours…
Cynthia: I can definitely see it…starting with this one.
I point to Brandon and everyone laughs.
Sean: Our tour manager gets so mad at us sometimes. Like last night, because we were playing this game where you gotta put your headphones on to where you can’t hear yourself. You’ve gotta sing this song as loud as you can with the noise cancelling headphones on. Pete was singing “Attila” and he’s screaming at the top of his lungs…
Pete: Hey, I thought I sounded pretty good in my head. I was screaming…
Sean (cont.): Yeah, screaming at the top of his lungs. So our tour manager, who was trying to get some sleep turned and said, “Will you shut up. I’ll give you one more chance to shut up.” It was hilarious. None of us can really scream. Pete, remember when you were screaming Fourth of Day?
Pete: Oh, God. This has to deal with touring, so go ahead.
Sean: Okay. The best time was when Pete, he’s a sweetheart and he was singing to Fourth of Day. They’re a metal band.
Pete: My favorite band.
Sean (cont.): He had his headphones in and this is how the game started out before it was even invented. He was screaming and he didn’t realize that we could all hear it. So, he takes the headphones off and says, “Oh, can you guys hear me?” We all look at each other and say things like, “Yeah, you sound really good.”
Pete: Funny thing was that I didn’t apparently.
Cynthia: Aww, you guys.
Sean (cont.): He didn’t at all. So he got really confident, and we’re like, “Dude! Do it again, put the headphones back on.”
Steve and Brandon: We started filming him.
Sean (cont.): So we pulled out our cameras and started filming him. He was getting into like…
Sean mimics Pete screaming along with the song
Pete: Like I said, in my head I sounded awesome.
Cynthia: Yeah, I bet you did.
Everyone is laughing.
Sean (cont.): Then he’s like, “Yo, can I hear that back?” So we plug it into the speakers in the van and everyone busted out laughing. It was hilarious.
We all keep laughing for a few minutes at Pete who is a great sport through all of it.
Pete: Touring for me is…kinda like this. You are with your family, you wake up and you say, “Hey, what’s up guys? You smell really bad.” We get in stupid fights once in a while and then there’s silence for a few minutes. Then someone will go, “Dude, I’m sorry,” and things get back to normal.
The band agrees and we all laugh.
Pete: We get in stupid nothing fights, like fights that don’t mean a thing.
Steve: Like the way I back up a trailer.
Pete: Yeah. You see, it’s stupid. Then we start yelling at each other, there’s pure silence, apologies and we’re done.
Brandon: Sometimes you whip out a knife.
Sean: What? Like a butter knife?
Pete looks over at Brandon, laughs and continues with his story, as Brandon and Sean talk.
Pete (cont.): It’s awesome. You’re traveling the country with your best friends, we’re a big family and you get to meet new people. I mean, it’s definitely hard because I have a girlfriend at home, you know?
Cynthia: Yeah, I can definitely understand that.
Pete: We all have people at home, but we have a blast when we’re out and playing shows is what we love to do. So, it’s perfect and it helps that I like to travel. It’s a great way to do it.
Cynthia: Traveling is hard. I used to sing in a band and I traveled up the furthest north to Michigan. Lansing and Frankenmuth.
The band and I discuss the above-mentioned cities.
Cynthia: So what about you Andrew?
Cynthia: Ditto to what?
Andrew: Ditto to what Pete and everyone said.
Cynthia: So, you like what everyone said.
Andrew: Yeah, I’ve got nothing.
Andrew and I laugh. Sean begins to tease Pete about how he answered the question in the form of a proper explanation.
Sean: I like the way you answered that Pete. “Touring is like this. It’s like when you order a box of six chicken nuggets and you get seven. Yeah…that and a switchblade.”
Brandon: That should be the quote of the day!
Pete: Okay, quote of the day…
Sean: Quote of the day: “Touring is like this for us. It’s kinda like when you order six chicken nuggets, and then they give you seven. Yeah…that and a switchblade.”
Everyone laughs at the quote of the day.
Sean (cont.): It’s like something from that old show on MTV called Wonder Showzen. (laughs) Yeah, that and a switchblade…a rusty switchblade.
Brandon: That’s what I have.
Brandon pulls out what looks like a Swiss Army Knife.
Cynthia (laughing): Honestly. That’s hilarious.
Cynthia: Okay, what is the craziest thing that you’ve witnessed a fan do, and if the tables were turned, would you do the same?
Brandon: Craziest thing we’ve witnessed?
Pete: Oh, like somebody else doing?
Cynthia: Pretty much. Something a fan has done that has been hilarious, impacting, weird, etcetera.
Andrew: It’s probably “no” to the last part of the question.
Pete: Something weird…
Brandon: Go ahead Pete, say it…
Pete: Oh! Steve blowing a tire on some train tracks.
Sean: “Dude, I totally got this first turn,” and nailed the tire.
Brandon: That was a good one!
Cynthia: Sorry Steve…
Pete: If the tables were turned I definitely would not have done that.
Brandon: Okay, so something a fan has done…
Cynthia: Yeah, something that has impacted you in any way.
Steve: Well, we’ve got a friend that comes out to our shows, and the last time we played in Nashville she drove from Orlando, Florida in one night just to give us hugs and say “Hi.” She even missed our set. If the tables were turned, I feel that something like that takes a lot of passion and love for somebody to go out and do that. I think I would do it.
Brandon: It reminds me of that song…
Cynthia: “I Drove All Night To Get To You” by Celine Dion?
Brandon (laughs): No, not that one..umm…
Everyone laughs and throws out song suggestions.
Brandon (cont.): That Vanessa Carlton song…
Cynthia: Oh! “A Thousand Miles,” that song…
Brandon and I start singing a couple lines from the chorus “A Thousand Miles.”
Sean: How about The Proclaimers, “(I’m Gonna Be) 500 Miles?”
Sean begins to sing and everyone joins in. Suddenly, Brandon breaks out into “A Thousand Miles.” We laugh and continue.
Brandon: Cynthia, you were right. So, we’d sing “A Thousand Miles,” and then say…”Thanks for coming all this way, but we’ve gotta go.”
Pete: I guess we can’t say we’ve experienced anything weird.
Cynthia: Not yet. Be Prepared.
The guys laugh.
Cynthia: What is your favorite theme park and theme park ride?
Everyone (at the top of their lungs): CEDAR POINT!
Brandon: Have you ever heard of Cedar Point?
Steve: It’s the best rollercoaster place in the world, and my favorite ride is The Millennium Force.
Brandon: Magnum XL-200. Definitely.
Sean: I can’t do roller-coasters.
Cynthia: No worries, I can’t either.
Sean: Nice. So, I can say that my favorite ride is the Elephant Earline.
Sean and I laugh.
Pete: The Raptor.
Andrew: Man, I gotta say something else now guys!
Pete: The Mantis.
Andrew: I don’t like that one.
Brandon: The Maverick!
Andrew: The Maverick is good. Okay, The Maverick.
Brandon: Wait! No, I meant to say The Maverick earlier, put it back!
Andrew: Nope! I got it!
We begin to talk about roller-coasters located at Cedar Point, including The Blue Streak and Ohio itself.
Andrew: We went to Six Flags Arlington and that Titan was pretty good too.
Cynthia: Yeah, I wish I was brave enough to go on rollercoasters, but I can’t after an incident at a carnival when I was young. I basically was strapped on according to a kid that was a bit larger than me and my side was loose. So, when the roller-coaster turned the bend it was so sharp that I was projected out the side of the seat. I hit the fence and slid down.
Brandon: No way! No way had you fallen out of a roller-coaster!
Cynthia: Yes, I did and that’s why I am afraid of roller-coasters. It may not have been so high, but it was traumatic. I was with my friend so not many people know.
Brandon: No you didn’t! Wow.
Pete: You shouldn’t have told me that! Now, I’m gonna freak out.
Sean: At least you’re okay.
Cynthia: You’re right. (pause) I guess you guys are super stokes about the “Secrets Don’t Make Friends” Tour?
Pete: We’re doing that with Phone Calls From Home and Taylor Thrush. It’s going to be pretty awesome.
Cynthia: Is there anything else you’d like to say to your fans? Words of wisdom, shout outs, etc.?
Steve: I would say thank you. I mean, we were blown away today that it was our first time playing here, and we had so many people show up to come see us play. It means the world to us…it really does. I know a lot of bands say that and whatever, but at the end of the day we all come together as a band, and we talk about how lucky we are to have people like our music. Thank you.
Brandon: Play Never Say Never, there’s free pizza!
Sean: Don’t quit following your dreams, even if it takes a long time, just experience and live what your dream is. Don’t quit.
Pete: I’d don’t have any advice, but I’m just thankful for every single person that gives us a chance. Without you guys, we’re nothing.
Andrew: Red hair, don’t care.
Everyone starts laughing
Cynthia: Thank you guys so much and I hope to see you at a show soon!
Brandon: That’d be awesome.
Sean: Thanks. We’ll definitely see you soon.
Steve: Thanks so much.
Pete: Yes, thank you so much for everything.
Andrew: That was awesome and thanks!
Wondering where you can catch up with the latest news from Rocky Loves Emily? I’ve got you covered! Check out these sites below for their upcoming SECRETS DON’T MAKE FRIENDS tour dates, bios, music, videos and everything RLE. Don’t forget to check out some of their heart-pumping tracks on iTunes and purchase their albums for an absolute rocking time. Remember: “Secrets Don’t Make Friends” is out April 24th! This is Cynthia for Ouch, My Ego! Magazine and until next time, rock uniqueness!
Tooth & Nail Records: http://www.toothandnail.com/artists/292/Rocky_Loves_Emily/
Special Thanks To: Mike Cubillos (EarShotMedia), Tooth and Nail Records, Nicholas Trentacost, Zack (for helping me out at the venue), Dontgetemo Concerts and the Never Say Never Music Arts Festival for their support.