THE RALLIES (clockwise, from upper left): Steve Davis (vocals/acoustic guitar), Lee Brown (drums), Rick Jones (bass), Jeff Weideman (electric guitar)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
From the north-west of the U.S., pop/rock quartet The Rallies have a sound that can best be described as rather melodic and upbeat, taken from a spectrum of retro and contemporary musical influences.
Having just released ‘Serve’, an album that is already getting much positive feedback, the outfit are now setting their sights on getting their music out to a wider audience, with American college students being next on their hit list.
I chatted to the band’s vocalist/guitarist Steve Davis about their current success and more.
How did the band get together initially?
I founded the group a number of years ago, and the band has gone through many membership changes since. Lee Brown came on board a few years ago drumming in the second version, Rallies 2.0, as he was a good friend of the guitarist at that time. Then, Rick Jones joined The Rallies 3.0 as a bassist who had played in another band with the guitarist at that time. And finally, Jeff Weideman joined the band’s current 4.0 version not even a year ago, answering a Craigslist ad in which he replied: “Trying to find a quality band, and you are IMHO that.”
How did the name The Rallies come about?
I am a big fan of the sport of tennis, I love to watch and play the game. And initially, I came up with the name for its reference to tennis, and that the word (rally) had so many other meanings and uses. Little did I know though back then, just how relevant a word it would become in the world today. 🙂
In your own words, how would you describe your sound?
I’ll leave describing our sound up to the listeners, like yourselves — would dig hearing your thoughts on that. I can tell you that when I’m writing songs, I try to write something that has a positive vibe, that feels true & honest, and hopefully it’s something that others can relate to and connect with from their own experiences.
What are the band’s musical influences?
I dig so many groups and artists that range all the way back to the 50’s through to today — pretty much any group or artist that writes melodic driven music, power pop rock. On our band site, we list some groups that I’ve heard people reference that they hear in our music. All-time favorite though would have to be The Beatles, for sure!
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
For me, it’s just something that comes out of noodling around on the guitar, a kind of bi-product that shows itself sometimes when I’m playing. I never know when it’ll happen, but when it does, it’s a very cool feeling.
You have recently released an album, ‘Serve’. How was the process of recording it?
We started recording the album in the springtime last year as just a three-piece. We didn’t have an electric guitar player at that time, just a Craigslist ad titled “Guitar Player Wanted”, and it had an important requirement: “No showboating solos, no metal, no covers.” Jeff joined the band about midway through the recording process, after we had tracked about half the songs, and because of that, it took us around half a year just to track the entire album. It definitely wasn’t the ideal way to do it, but in the end, we were all pleased with how it turned out.
How has the reaction been to the album so far?
We’ve really been pleasantly surprised by the positive responses, and people have reached out to us from all over the U.S., Canada, and Europe. We’ve been using the social networks to get some attention, and that’s helped us find an audience that we didn’t even know existed or was possible.
How is it for you playing live?
The band hasn’t had much time to play out recently because we’ve been busy working on the album. We hope to start playing out soon though and would really like to do a tour of some kind this year, so look for that coming. By the way, the next live performance will be a first for our new guitarist Jeff, who I know is really looking forward to it.
What are the band’s opinion concerning the current state of the American music industry?
There’s really good music out there, though sometimes it’s hard to find through the normal “industry” channels. I find college radio to be one of the best places to find good new and interesting music, that’s been my go-to source for music and it’s never let me down.
What have you got planned for the rest of this year?
Well, we definitely want to get out and start performing our new album, so that’s in the near term plan. As well as touring this year, we just need to figure out where and when. Also, we have a college radio campaign that’s starting right now, and we hope to get our music heard over the airwaves across the U.S. colleges in the next few months.
What is the band’s long-term aim?
We all want to keep making music, so more recording and new albums will definitely be in our future, and we all want to keep performing our music live, so look for us out and about playing somewhere sometime soon. Cheers!
‘SERVE’, THE NEW ALBUM FROM THE RALLIES, IS NOW AVAILABLE FROM ALL GOOD MUSICAL OUTLETS.
KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE BAND AT THESE SITES: