INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Heavy metal outfit EastDear Park can best be summed up like this: ambitious but humble.
As with the majority of up-and-coming bands out there, the Maryland five-piece are aiming for global success, but most of all want to dedicate themselves to playing music with personal lyrics that many can identify with.
They are already making the first big steps towards achieving their goals, earning rave reviews for their recent album “M” and live shows which focus on having a good time and involving the crowd as much as possible.
I spoke to bassist Ben Rockwood about the band’s journey so far, and what the future holds for them.
How did the band get together?
After weeks of getting stoned and air banding to Lamb of God, Shields and I decided we wanted to start a metal band and play shows!
We met Kevin at a party and started playing as a three piece. We eventually met Ryan and Colin and wrote a song our very first day of practice!!
We started jamming every day since then and have grown into what we are now!!
How did the name EastDear Park come about?
We wanted something that represented where we came from, but wouldn’t define our sound at all.
We wanted a neutral name that would allow us to come into every show with a clean slate to kill that first impression every time!
To somebody discovering your music for the first time, how would you describe it to them?
If August Burns Red and The Contortionist had a baby, that would be our band.
We make serious music but are all about having a good time on stage! We want our lyrics to represent both the good and the bad in everything.
What are your musical influences?
Our biggest influences are August Burns Red, The Contortionist, Fallujah, Balance and Composure, BTBAM, Snarky Puppy, and the list really goes on and on.
What is the band’s approach to songwriting?
Ryan or Colin always start the song off by composing riffs together, but overall it’s definitely a team effort.
After Ryan or Colin put together some riffs, Kevin and I start to add the bass and drums and then we add the lyrics on top of the finished song!
Where does the inspiration come from for your lyrics?
The lyrics are everything I feel, see and hear. They represent what I go through on a personal level, what the band goes through together, and/or what we observe other people go through.
You had an album come out recently. How’s the reaction been so far?
Nothing but positive! The release show was absolutely insane too!
We definitely have a lot more work to do so that we can keep pushing it globally, but everything we have heard back so far have done nothing but lift our spirits!
What’s the experience of playing live?
We try to bring the room together and throw one big party. We want everybody in that room watching us to be able to escape their earthly problems the way bands did for us growing up.
What have you got lined up in the near future?
We’ll be filming a music video for our song “Malice” at the end of this month and then we hope to start hitting the road in October!!
Then, we start sending out our press kits and ideally will hear back from a label asap! We just want to tour!!!
What is the band’s long-term aim?
To travel the world playing shows and meet as many of our fans as possible.
We want to get to know them personally, and we want to know how our music affected them.
Hopefully, that will broaden our perception on everything and keep us humble.
DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THE BAND’S MUSIC AT http://www.eastdearpark.bandcamp.com