Rescue Party sets high goals for its music
By Dan Armonaitis
Arts & Entertainment Writer
Landon Rojas can still hardly believe the scene at Wild Wing Café the last time his modern rock band, Rescue Party, performed at the Spartanburg venue in January.
“The place was packed and everyone was going crazy,” Rojas said. “We even had someone crowd surf, which is something I didn’t expect ever to see in a bar in Spartanburg. It was awesome.”
Rescue Party will return to Wild Wing Café for a performance at 9:30 p.m. Friday that will serve as a bit of a teaser for the band’s upcoming debut album.
The band, composed of five Spartanburg teenagers, recently recorded at Blackbird Studio in Nashville, Tenn.
If that doesn’t sound impressive enough, consider that Blackbird was founded in 2002 by country music superstar Martina McBride and her husband, sound engineer John McBride, and that its client list includes Taylor Swift, Darius Rucker, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Killers and Evanescence, to name just a few.
Want to go?
Who: Rescue Party
When: 9:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Wild Wing Café, 111 W. Main St., Spartanburg
Info: 864-585-4646 or www.wildwingcafe.com/locations/spartanburg-sc
“I’d never been in a place like that,” said Rojas, who plays guitar and is the lead vocalist for Rescue Party. “To go from recording in my basement (using) tiny $50 software to being in one of the greatest studios in the world and being able to use all these crazy instruments and crazy programs was insane. It was wonderful.”
Lucas Morand, the band’s bassist, was equally impressed.
“You go through their client list, and you see all of our favorite artists that we look up to and respect,” he said. “The next thing you know, I’m standing in the same room where Kings of Leon recorded their album, and I’m in the same room that Snoop Dogg recorded in.
“I wouldn’t say it was intimidating, per se, but I was just in awe. It was inspiring more than anything.”
The album is being produced by Bryan Clark, whose previous credits include working with artists ranging from Bonnie Raitt to Kelsea Ballerini.
“I guess what I’m most proud of is how well we worked together under pressure,” Rojas said. “We had to do it in four days, and we just went at it.
“Everything went smoothly. I expected a bunch of arguing in the recording room, but we just went in there and had fun.”
Rescue Party, whose brand of contemporary alternative rock draws from such influences as Kings of Leon and Arctic Monkeys, has amazingly only been together as a group for less than two years.
“When we started out, we barely knew anything about instruments,” Rojas said with a laugh. “All of us liked music and we just said, ‘let’s play some music,’ and it turned into something pretty cool.”
Rescue Party is rounded out by Colton Weathersby on keyboards, Cameron Smith on guitar and Rojas’ younger brother Cade on drums.
The latter recently won an individual state championship in wrestling and was a member of the Boiling Springs High School football team that made it to the state finals last season.
Noting Cade Rojas’ athleticism, Morand said with a laugh, “He’s our bouncer as well.”
Rescue Party has gotten the attention of Kenny Hogan, a Spartanburg musician who had a degree of national success in the 1990s and early 2000s with such bands as Albert Hill and Dezeray’s Hammer. He’s been serving as a mentor for the group of aspiring rock stars, two of which are still in high school.
“It’s exciting to have someone who knows the business like he does on our side,” Landon Rojas said of Hogan.
With its Nashville-recorded debut album due out soon, the sky could be the limit for Rescue Party.
“From where we started to where we are now is already something I never would have imagined, so the possibilities are definitely endless,” Morand said. “I think if we just keep enjoying what we’re doing and just be ourselves, there really is no limit to what we can do.”