River City Extension have been on a roll since 2010's The Unmistakable Man and haven't stopped just yet with last year's release Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Your Anger. The Toms River act have been all over the country touring with bands such as Manchester Orchestra, Alkaline Trio & The Get Up Kids. Vocalist Joe Michelini spoke to us about the band's recent music video, new music and their upcoming tour with The Hush Sound & Hockey.
1) What was it like filming the music video for "If You Need Me Back In Brooklyn"?
It's been a dream of mine to film a music video, ever since I was little. It's one of those things where you say to yourself "I know this doesn't come first, but oh man I can't wait till it does," and it did. The team that worked on that video was mostly volunteer, and it's incredible what they were able to accomplish in 2 days. Shooting a video is a lot of work, not so much for us but for them. It was exciting. We shot it in Philly, and I've always been a Philly guy, so even though the song is about Brooklyn it makes me secretly proud to tell my friends "yeah, but we shot it in Philly."
2) RCE recently posted a sound collage with clips of some new material thrown in. What can fans expect to hear from the new music?
Such an exciting question. The band recently came out of a huge transition. A lot of this had to do with some personnel changes but it wasn't just that, I'm changing as a songwriter. I don't want to give away too much too soon but I'm very excited to share what we have been working on with the world. It all feels very natural right now. I don't know how to classify it or what to call it but it's a very organic sound. Many of these newer songs are a product of what the band went through over the past year, as well as my own artistic "coming of age," if you believe in that sort of thing. I guess this is pretty vague but really what I want to do is just play it for you and say, "See? This."
3) The band is set to go on tour with The Hush Sound and Hockey. What are you most looking forward to about the tour? Will you possibly play a new song or two?
We haven't been out on the road in over 6 months, and that's a big change from last year's 7 months of tour, so yeah we're excited. We will be playing one new song, which is special because it will be our first time playing it live, and it also deals a lot with what went on inside the band over the past year, with a healthy dose of ass-shaking piano riffs. We're excited.
4) This summer, RCE will be one of the headliners for the Jersey Shore Music Festival. How does it feel to be able to headline a festival in your hometown?
Wonderful. We can't wait. Nothing better than getting to play so close to home this summer. We will likely debut even more new material at that show, as well as some standards from across the catalogue. All of our friends will be there. It's going to be a great time.
5) The band have been performing at festivals across the country. Do you have any wild stories from any of these performances?
All of our festival experiences have been pretty wild. Some good, some bad. It's a difficult thing to describe, walking onstage in front of that many people, and outdoor sound and the whole rush on rush off. We got to play a couple of festivals touring Australia this past year and that was certainly a trip. Getting on a plane with your band mates is a surreal experience, not to mention the 21 hr flight from JFK. We had a good time though. I feel like we're still learning how to play festivals, if that makes sense. But I'm excited to give it a run this summer.
6) What artists are you currently listening to?
Right now? We're all listening to a lot of Dirty Projectors, and that new Jonny Fritz record "Dad Country". That and everything local that's going on.
7) Aside from some new music being released, what other things are being planned for the remainder of 2013?
I don't know that anything will officially be released this year, but we'll be in the studio working on demos, figuring out the plan for another record, and possibly doing some touring in the fall. We'll see what happens, but right now it looks like we'll be hitting the studio to work on a 3rd full-length around Christmas.