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Good Afternoon

Kidsday interviews A Rocket to the Moon

We met the amazing band A Rocket to the Moon at their Atlantic Records in Manhattan earlier this summer. The band formed in 2006 and they are from Massachusetts.

When we met the band, found out about their hobbies, the groups they like to listen to and who they would love to tour with. They told us that they like performing in front of big audiences. They haven't toured on a world tour yet but they are planning to. They love listening to all different kinds of music. This helps them get ideas to write really great songs.

Their favorite artists were all the famous people including Taylor Swift and especially Tom Petty. Even though their music has been called punk and pop, they really like country and rock and mostly everything else. As you can see A Rocket to the Moon is truly a fan-tab-ulous band.
How did you come up with the name of your band?

Nick: When I first started making music it was like electronic pop music, and I wanted like a clever funny name that went with that sound. So I started thinking of like space related things. And for some reason I remember being in third grade, always being fascinated by aliens and space and UFOs and weird things. I don’t know then the music, it kind of like futuristic sounding. So what if we do something space-like so A Rocket to the Moon kind of popped into my head and it kind of stuck so we can’t really go changing it now.
What was your favorite song to record?

Justin: Mine was probably “Like We Used To.” There was a lot of different instruments we got to play. It was kind of just an on-the-spot thing we flew in just to record the song and then flew out right after we were done. I think I had the most fun with that one.
Nick: We usually get "What’s your favorite song on the record?" We haven’t really gotten the question to record. For me there’s a song called “The Life of the Party,” on there and I think I hit the highest note that I’ve ever sang in my life on that one song.
Where were the first places that you played?

Eric: I guess it would have been Bamboozle, in New Jersey with us three. Like May of 2008 was really ….the three of us -- we had a different drummer at the time, but the three of us all played at this big festival, called Bamboozle together. And that was like the first time I ever played at a show like that. These two did already.
My first show was in Connecticut at a teen center when I was in the ninth grade.
Do you plan on touring outside of the US?

Eric: We’ve talked about like going to the UK, Australia, Japan and all that stuff.
Nick: The furthest we’ve been is Canada. Canada is always cool to go.
Andrew: We’re hoping next year will be the year of international touring. We get to go everywhere.
Being in a band is fun, but is there ever disagreeing between the band members?

Eric: It’s always about the dumbest things, where you want to eat, what should we listen to. Stuff like that. It’s never anything too serious.
Justin: We’re lucky . . . we won’t usually disagree on anything huge. So it is the little nitpicking stuff that gets it.
Nick: We’re our own people and we usually like to do different things. Like I’m the youngest one in the band, but I’m the oldest when it comes to going to bed early and all that. Like they’ll go hang out with people until the wee hours of the morning and I’ll be fast asleep by 8:30 at night.
When you first started your band in 2006 did you think it would become world famous?
Nick: No. I thought I would be going to school within a year, going to college and then music has always been my first love. So that kind of took off and it’s an awesome feeling to go online and see people actually reacting to our songs and stuff. Here we are being interviewed by you guys. I guess we kind of made it.
What is your inspiration in writing your music?
Andrew: Life in general.
Justin: Everything. Friends and family, relationships.
Justin: Everything. You kind of pile everything into one big thing and you just have infinite amount of things to write about.
Music inspiration came from my dog for one of these songs that we wrote. You can write about anything as long as you make it sound cool or clever.
Do you like being on the road performing or do you like being home?
Nick: They’re both pretty sweet. When you’re on tour you miss home and then when you’re home you miss being on tour. So it’s like you can never have enough of a good thing.
Justin: Once your start doing like two- or three-month tours all the time, you’re so use to like go, go, go, and when you get home after a couple of days you just kind of like freaking out with nothing to do. I like being on tour more than home I would say, but I do miss friends and family.
Andrew: Home can be boring sometimes.
Were you friends with your band members before the band got created?
Nick: Actually, you can say we were. I met Eric first and we - he joined and then we played a show. I guess we hung out a couple of days before.
Nick: Then Andrew came after we finished recording our CD, Andrew came into the picture because we met him through the guy who recorded our CD, our producer Matt Squire. Because he did Andrew’s old band, he recorded his old band CDs. So Andrew is probably the one that came in after the band. The crazy thing about it I always use to go see Andrew’s band play shows and I never met him before. I saw his old band play like 100 times just because we’re from similar areas in Massachusetts. I’d always go see his band and I was a huge fan of the band. Then the day when it came time for us to find a drummer and he coincidentally joined the band I was like I use to go see you guys all the time. This is crazy.
What are some of your favorite artists and do they inspire you for writing your music?
Nick: Pretty much everything. From people like the Beatles to Johnny Cash for me.
Andrew: Tom Petty from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Nick: You know modern stuff that’s around now we can take influence from people like the Jonas Brothers, just like the way they write songs.
Justin: We’ll listen to Justin Timberlake all day long and turn on some country like Brad Paisley or Tim Morrison. What you listen to and what you put into your life definitely helps with writing and influencing your own stuff.
Nick: Keeps you kind of grounded. If you listen to one style of music you kind of like - one track pony - have a bunch of different things. If you’re feeling like sad, you listen to this kind of music; like mad, you listen to this. If you’re kind of in a good mood there’s different types of music to listen to. I like to listen to everything.
Andrew: A lot of people often times, especially in bands, listen to music you never expect them to listen to. In a band you listen to like hip hop and rap music when you’re driving and stuff. While you never hear A Rocket to the Moon song and hear like a rap verse or something; everything influences you in ways whether it’s lyrically or stylistically or in your general attitude and the way you look on life so you could draw influence from anything. So we listen to a lot of serious radio in the van to just like kind of bounce from channel to channel because you can hear literally anything at any time. It’s good to be open-minded like that.
What do you think your next album will be called?
Nick: Don’t really know. We usually think of album titles from the songs that we write like this past one is called "On Your Side." There’s a song on the CD called “On Your Side.” So we thought that name kind of fit and it sounded cool as a title. So I bet when we start writing for the new record we’ll think of something cool.
Justin: We have a few songs written and a few songs -- few ideas down, but I don’t think we nailed down a certain vibe of the record yet. Once we figure out.
Nick: What we want it to sound like, and what we want the songs to be like. We’ll try to think of something cool, hopefully cool.
What is your favorite song that you didn’t create?
There are so many songs that I said, man I wish I wrote that.
Nick: There’s a country artist called Brad Paisley, pretty much every song that he has ever written I wish that I could write his songs. That’s one of my favorite songwriters.
Eric: I’ve been way into this guy named Ryan Adams lately and that’s how I feel about him. I could have written any of his songs I’d be Ryan Adams.
Nick: If you guys want to go corny. I wish I could have written “Party in the USA,” Miley Cyrus. That song is a really good song.
Andrew: I wish I could have written “Free Fallin" by Tom Petty. It’s generally a pretty played out song, but when you actually listen to it, it’s just such an incredible song. Maybe "The Dance," not really a Garth Brooks song. Another dude wrote it.
If you could take a day off from being famous, what would you do and why?
Justin: We don’t consider ourselves famous.
Andrew: I’d like to take a day of being famous.
Nick: Hang out in LA with all these people. Justin and I got to go to Nashville the other day and we got to hang out with a lot of like bands, country artists and stuff that we were big fans of. We just felt like the smallest people in these rooms
What group would you like to tour with?
I would really like to tour with Lady Antebellum.
Andrew: I would like to tour with Jimmy Eat World - one of my favorite bands of all time.
I would like to go with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers or Bruce Springsteen. I think would be amazing.
Andrew: It would be cool to go out with bands we like to watch like Coldplay would be unbelievable, or Kings of Leon.
Do you have butterflies in your stomach when you perform?
Justin: I feel it’s usually more excitement than actually being nervous.
Andrew: If the show is really big sometimes or you know the people are watching you, like worried about impressing, whenever you play in New York or LA there’s always a lot of people like from a record label or your management or your booking agent or press people. Oh man, we got to play good tonight.
Nick: I think I get nervous more in front of smaller crowds. Like when the shows don’t have that many people at them because it’s more intimate that way and I feel like if there’s only a 100 people rather than like 3,000 people in a room, those 100 people are more likely to hear like the little mistakes. It goes away as soon as you walk off the stage. You’re not nervous anymore at all.
Andrew: Yeah, there’s less energy, so less things go undetected. You feel more exposed in front of a small room, you’re more self-conscious I think. It’s because you have to stir people up a little more.
Are there any other hobbies that you like to do beside being in a band?
Eric: I like to skateboard from time to time I guess. I don’t know if hanging out with friends is a hobby. I like to do that.
Justin: I like food a lot. I cook a lot at home. I’m not amazing by any means, but I like what I cook.
Andrew: I like to read a lot of books. I like to make art and stuff too. Paintings, drawings and things like that. I just started taking Kung Fu classes. That’s my new hobby actually. That’s kind of fun. I’m very inexperienced. I bet you know some moves that I do not know. I’m trying to get there.
Nick: I like to take pictures. Pretend that I’m a photographer. I do a lot of stuff on my computer.
What inspired you to start a band?
I’ve always loved music.
Nick: Music and my parents. My parents definitely pushed me to and friends too.
Justin: I use to like play just rock out to music on this little ukulele, which was huge on me, playing violin when I was about 7 and started playing guitar when I was about 10.
Nick: I was just growing up listening to music, parents' music whatever they were listening to. I became attached to what they were listening to. Then my dad was like, hey you should try the guitar out. I started playing guitar when I was 11. I’m going to be 22 next month so it’s a good amount of time.
What was your favorite band growing up?
Nick: There’s this band called May Day Parade. They’re like from Florida and we’ve done a couple of tours with them and they’re very, very funny awesome guys to hang around with. They just became some our best friends from touring with them. It’s very, very cool.
Justin: Every band we’ve toured with has been really, really cool. It’s hard to pick ones. But those are some of our best bands.

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