Editors Note: Hot on the heels of their debut 7", "Cannibal Island", Rookie, Ricky and Ray Jay sat down with Critical Mass to discuss everything from songwriting, to their musical influences to recording their debut full length. I hope you enjoy, and help spread the word on this amazing new band.
Critical Mass: Thanks for taking the time to talking with Critical Mass guys. For anyone who doesn't know who The Young Rochelles are, can you give us a little info on the band and a who's who as far as personnel?
Ricky Rochelle: I’m Ricky. I sing and play drums in the Young Rochelles. We began in January 2013 and we were born from the New Rochelles.
Rookie Rochelle: I’m Rookie Rochelle and I play bass.
Ray Jay Rochelle: I’m Ray Jay and take care of the six-stringing and backup singing.
CM: What separates The Young Rochelles from The New Rochelles? And what has the response been to the new band as opposed to the old band?
Ricky Rochelle: Different voices and songwriting separate the two bands. There’s a healthy interest in the Rochelles music. I’m happy with the positive attention the Young Rochelles have received so far.
Rookie Rochelle: The New Rochelles were Ricky, Rookie, and Ronnie Rochelle. The Young Rochelles are Ricky, Rookie and Ray Jay Rochelle.
Ray Jay Rochelle: In regards to the sound, Ricky, Rookie, and I have put what little minds we have together to write a catalog of originals that cover a lot of ground, but still stay exciting.
CM: The bands songs are very catchy and melodic. And you can hear a lot of different influences in your songs and sound. In your own words, who are some of your personal musical influences?
Rookie Rochelle: The Ramones.
Ricky Rochelle: Thanks!! I can’t get too specific because my influences are everything I hear.
Ray Jay Rochelle: The Ramones, Green Day, The Methadones, The Descendents, Teenage Bottle Rocket, and Anthrax.
CM: The band’s first ever released recording was a cover of "Less Than Zero" by The Methadones for the "Sorry to Keep You Waiting: A Tribute to the Methadones". Was that the first song the band recorded up till that point? Or were you already working on the "Cannibal Island" tracks?
Rookie Rochelle: We recorded “Less Than Zero” the same time we recorded the “Cannibal Island” EP.
CM: Speaking of "Cannibal Island", I have to admit that I was blown away at how amazing those tracks were even before you put ‘em out. Have you guys been picking up new fans since the release of this EP?
Ricky Rochelle: All right. Yes. Even my girlfriend says, “There had to be someone who’s heard a song since and become a fan. No?”
Rookie Rochelle: Hope so.
Ray Jay Rochelle: The response has been great and our merch is moving, so I would say so!
CM: The video for the first single, "I Need My Mommy to Do My Laundry", is so fun and great to watch. Any plans for a second video?
Rookie Rochelle: We’ve had some cool ideas for more videos, but we will probably wait until we record the next batch of songs before we film another.
Ray Jay Rochelle: There is a lot going on in regards to the EP already, so it will likely be for something off of our next release.
CM: When can we expect a debut full length from the band?
Rookie Rochelle: Hopefully soon, we’ve been writing for it.
Ricky Rochelle: Our focus right now is writing for a full length.
Ray Jay Rochelle: We want to deliver a record with nothing but winners, so when all the tracks are golden, we are going to hit the studio.
CM: Are there any plans for the band to hit the road in 2014? We would love to have you guys in Chicago in the coming months.
Rookie Rochelle: I’d love to get on the road a little more with this band. Hopefully 2014 brings us the opportunity to do so.
Ray Jay Rochelle: We have been offered a couple of opportunities, but it has to be just right. I could use a couple of weeks sleeping in a van with my LJ.
CM: What else can we expect from The Young Rochelles this year? Another EP? Possibly a split or another comp?
Rookie Rochelle: We have a whole crop of new songs. We are deciding now how exactly they’ll be released. Possibly a full length, maybe another EP and a split 7inch. But in 2014 we definitely have our version of The Ramones “Animal Boy” album coming soon.
CM: Are there any websites/is there a websites you guys would like to plug? Anyplace where fans can get a copy of Cannibal Island, get up to date news on further releases, merch and tour dates?
Ricky Rochelle: If you buy a t-shirt, we’ll consider a tour. Hey, at least we’re not asking for donations!
CM: Guys, it’s an honor to pick your brains for a little while. I wanna wish you guys nothing but the very BEST in 2014. Thanks again for talking with Critical Mass!
Rookie Rochelle: Thanks bud!
Ricky Rochelle: Right on. Thank you.
Ray Jay Rochelle: Cheers!