Seeing what’s going on the East Coast due to Hurricane Sandy isn’t something I can wrap my mind around. My imagination just isn’t that strong, and I know that if this had been the one time in my life I’d saved up enough money to visit New York, I’d be dead. I get frantic pretty easily. You should see how tense I get in the car on a freeway. So even though my heart can be as cold as Cruella De Vil most times, I sincerely feel for everyone over there right now. I have friends there, but there are also a lot of great people who make Golden Mixtape thrive over there as well, PR lovelies and awesome bands, including Soapbox Army.
Soapbox Army is a through and through rock band from NYC who released their second album, Reactor, back in April earlier this year. And while Sandy may have shaken up their normal routine as of late, they’re not ready to slow down and have their eyes set on big things like next year’s SXSW down in Austin, TX. So read on to find out more about how Soapbox Army survived Sandy, their thing with April and what grinds their gears.
Kendra Beltran: You guys are amidst Hurricane Sandy (hopefully all safe and sound)…Do you even worry about band stuff when Mother Nature is being that insane?
Dan Tucker: It has definitely been pretty insane – I personally have been without power for almost a week. And for some people it’s been a lot worse. For the most part I’ve been getting updates on the aftermath of the storm, but there’s a whole lot of down time where I’ve thought about the band. We had rehearsals and a video shoot scheduled for this week, and we’ve been working on a bunch of new material. Music is my life so no matter what happens it’s on my mind. It just moved down on the priority list for a minute.
Kendra: What’s up with the April fascination? First your debut album dropped in April 2009, and then you released Reactor in April earlier this year.
Dan: It’s funny because I was just thinking this the other day and wondering whether our next recording will be released in April as well. I have no idea why but for some reason both albums came out that month. It wasn’t intentional. We’re an indie band so it’s just the date that iTunes decides as the official release date. It’s the spring though, so a good time to release an album. And it offsets the sort of darker material on the albums.
Kendra: Soapbox Army obviously likes to take their time creating new music. So would it be safe to assume we won’t get some new music in April 2013, or do you guys have something in store to release?
Dan: The last two were full albums and we wanted to take the time to craft them and pick the absolute best songs. We’re working on new material now and hoping to release an EP in spring/summer 2013. Shooting for April! We’d like to start having a steady stream of new material coming out; at least one new batch of songs per year. People have zero attention spans these days and in order to keep top of mind this is pretty essential for any band.
Kendra: One review I read compared you to The Gaslight Anthem. It’s of course awesome but at the same time I have to ask…When you hear that does it make you think, if we’re at that level, when’s our big break?
Dan: The thought definitely crosses your mind when you read a comparison to a more established band. Even though I don’t think we sound like them, I was happy to be compared to them because I respect them as musicians. The Gaslight Anthem are at a good point in their career now, but they’ve been trudging it out for awhile. I think it’s only fair that a band pays their dues; it usually equates to longevity if you’re good. We haven’t been around for that long and we’re still working to build this thing, but I’m confident that we’ll get there.
Kendra: Maybe it’ll be at one of the festivals you have in the works to play. Share a little more about what’s coming up for you guys in the show department…
Dan: Right now we have some local NYC shows planned but we’re also dealing with changes to our current lineup so the focus has shifted to writing new songs as well as creating videos for songs from our latest album, Reactor. We’re hoping to do a regional tour soon and play some festivals this coming spring and summer. Would be great to be part of SXSW.
Kendra: It had to come up sooner or later, but what’s one issue you have to get on your personal soapbox for?
Dan: I’ll keep the more earnest opinions to the songs and just say I’m anti-Broccoli. Mistakenly ate some the other day; terrible.
Kendra: Now to make you a part of the Golden Mixtape family, it’s time to make one. I want your top 5 songs that helped you get through Hurricane Sandy, go!
The Joy Formidable “The Everchanging Spectrum of a Lie”
City & Colour “Weightless”
Jeff Buckley “Grace”
Radiohead “Let Down”
Donovan “Season of the Witch” (it was playing in the only shop open in my area after the hurricane – plus I always dug this tune)