Bottom Of The Hill in San Francisco was alive with energy on Thursday, April 7th. Indie-rock fans young and old alike gathered for the “On Your Side Tour”, featuring the bands Runner Runner, A Rocket To The Moon, Valencia, and Anarbor. Go Radio is also a part of the tour, but this particular night was an off night for them.
First up was Runner Runner, bringing their tried and true formula of power-pop. The band had great energy on stage, performing their recent hits such as “Hey Alli” and “So Obvious”, along with an intimate acoustic performance of their brand new song “I Can’t Wait (Be My Wife)”. Thrillcall had a chance to catch up with lead singer Ryan Ogren after the their set, here’s what he had to say:
THRILLCALL: How did you come to be associated with David Letterman’s “Worldwide Pants Inc.”, and the joint venture that ensued?
OGREN: Worldwide Pants actually found us. We were playing a show at the Roxy in hollywood and our mangers daughter saw us perform. She then told her dad she needed to check us out. Obviously when you get a call from worldwide pants you listen (laughs).
We signed with WWP to manage the band as they were building a record label behind the scenes. We went to capitol to get distribution for the album. They heard what we had going on and wanted to be involved. The rest is history.
THRILLCALL: What was your intention with “A Call To Arms”, the manifesto posted on your site shortly before the release of your new record?
OGREN: To get people excited about the album. To let people know its still important to buy records. To make a statement.
THRILLCALL: What has been your favorite moment thus far on the “On Your Side Tour”?
OGREN: For me it would be beating Andrew Cook (A Rocket To The Moon’s drummer) in an epic ping pong battle at the KISSfm studios in Seattle. But everyday has been amazing. Getting to connect with our fans on a daily basis is incredible.
THRILLCALL: You recently toured with The Pretty Reckless. How was that experience?
OGREN: It was a great expierence touring with The Pretty Wreckless. They are a phenomanal rock band. Their fan base was different then ours so it was cool to get to play in front of a new crowd.
THRILLCALL: What does the future hold for Runner Runner?
OGREN: Hopefully making music that moves people. Perfecting our live show and connecting with the people that care about us.
After speaking with Ogren, Anarbor hit the stage with their signature mix of pop-punk hits mixed with the soulful stylings of vocalist Slade Echeverria. The band played a blisternig, yet short and sweet set, including a couple of tunes from their latest mixtape they’ve released on the web. That’s available for free download at http://anarbour.net/mixtape.
Next up was Valencia, who are renowned for their high-energy stage show, and they didn’t disappoint. Their passion for the music they play shown through to all those in the audience, playing several tracks from their new record. After enduring many trials and tribulations over the last couple years (lead singer Shane Henderson’s girlfriend died in a car accident, the band decided to leave Columbia records to return to their original label I Surrender Records), the band is back and better than ever with their new record, “Dancing With A Ghost.” We had a chance to sit down with Shane Henderson before Valencia’s set…
THRILLCALL: This band has gone through a lot, including personal tragedies. What was the inspiration for “Dancing With A Ghost”, and how did the title of the album come about?
HENDERSON: The album is a metaphor for finding yourself and what you’re all about, the title specifically is about fighting old tendencies.
THRILLCALL: This one’s for Brendan (bass player)- You were recently involved in a lawsuit involving the RIAA and illegally downloading music. How did that case end?
HENDERSON: Brendan got out of it, he settled, it’s all good.
THRILLCALL: What triggered the move from Columbia Records back to your original label, I Surrender?
HENDERSON: We wanted a transition, we didn’t want to stick with a major label. Mostly Rob wanted to move so that we could make the music how we want.
Finishing out the night were headliners A Rocket To The Moon. An interesting amalgamation of power-pop and singer-songwriter style folk, these guys definitely delivered high marks for originality this evening. Frontman Nick Santino was draped in garb reminiscent of David Bowie, and the rest of the band seemed to be his “merry men”. All in all it was a great show, with it’s fair share of teen girls populating the audience.