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Rookie of the Year

May 25, 2007 by  
Filed under Spotlight Bands


You just played at Bamboozle 2007 in NJ…how’d that go for you guys? The pictures I’ve seen were amazing–you had a great crowd!

The only word I can use to describe this festival is “grateful.” It was a pure blessing what happened both days.

Rookie of the Year was originally a solo project… When you decided to transition to the current group lineup, what growth between albums did that contribute to?

Better writing…even though there are six old songs on “The Goodnight Moon” that I wrote by myself.

Describe your writing process. Do you do the majority of the writing now or is it pretty balanced between the group?

Well for the first record I wrote half of the record on my own, and then Mike and I wrote the rest. With the new songs we’re writing it seems like it’s me and Mike and the rest of the guys put in their two cents.

How did you come to be signed to One Eleven Records? Did they find you or vice-versa, and how much has being signed to a label affected things

Well Jeff from This Day And Age told me one day Brad liked my demos, so I kinda just went with it. I was a poor kid that wanted a label and Brad and One Eleven just happen to be the ones to give me hope.


Speaking of One Eleven, you recently toured with your labelmate Brendon Thomas (Foreverinmotion) and the indie band Making April; how was that experience? You all seemed to hit it off pretty well.

Brendon was a solid, perfect human. The kid is gold… Thats all I have to say. Pure gold.

Who has been your favorite act to share a stage with so far? Who would you love to tour with that you haven’t yet?

My fave act would probably be Mute Math. We toured with them last year and they’re pretty much perfect, and they’re solid people.

Rookie Of The Year was part of the contest to play at this year’s Warped Tour. You were doing pretty well towards the end of voting; do you know if you won yet/when will you find out?

They annouce it on Saturday and I’m super nervous!

(Ryan can relax, Rookie Of The Year killed at the ballot box only being beat out by three other bands:  – Warped Tour, here they come!)

Who are you most excited to see on Warped if you go?

Anberlin are old friends of mine, so I’m pumped for that, and also our good friends Cute Is What We Aim For! So happy for those guys!

Share with us some of your biggest musical influences…

Wheat is the best band ever! “Don’t I Hold You” – Wheat. Change your life.

Do other people’s expectations of your music affect the way you create it?

Well, when you’re writing you want it to be friendly to every soul out there so its very hard to keep up on that. With the new songs we’re writing we’re thinking about the live show while writing it. We’ll see how it comes out… I’m really nervous!!!

“The Goodnight Moon” has been out for just over a year now. Is there a new album in the works already, and how much pressure do you feel to create something as good or better than TGM?

We’re demoing like crazy… Just get ready for the new stuff–it’s catchier than crackerjacks!


A lot of your lyrics deal with personal heartbreak…how does it make you feel when someone comes up to you after a show and shares their own story and how your music has affected them?

It makes me feel good that I’m not alone… I had an ex-girlfriend for four years tell me I wouldn’t make it in anything… Then I had a love tell me I would make it and fly with it… Just shows the differnece in love.

How important is it to you to make that personal connection with people?

Personal effect is amazing. I would love to do that with everybody, but it’s hard to do that…having a shy problem like me…

The band runs/updates it’s own website and MySpace page…a lot of artists are beginning to shy away from that again these days. What are your thoughts on that?

I think it keeps our friends and fans at a personal level. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

A deep-thought question before we move onto the fun stuff: What do you feel the future of music is? Will it be an enforcement of cultural and ethnic traditions or a continual mixing and rearranging of styles, blurring all lines?

All I can say is wait for the new Just Surrender record…it’s insanely amazing!

You recently shot a video for the song “Liars and Battlelines.” What can you tell us about that whole experience? (And how did the guys from Carawae wind up in it?)

Carawae is a solid band and we’re super-good friends with the cuties… We did some shows with them in Michigan and asked them to be a part of it with us. Check out the new video! It’s about a relationship going bad during a party, and getting jealous.


Any plans or concepts for other videos yet, or is it still too soon to be looking into the future?

“The Blue Roses” and “Pop Destroyed The Scene” will come soon…maybe.

If you had 30 seconds to convince someone to buy your album or come to a show, what would you say?

If you want to hear about my life…buy this record!

Time to praise or pick on people! Describe each of your bandmates in three words or less…

Mike – honest and a good solid kid
Pat – my long lost brother
David – Whitney
Brandon – The kid has a heart and a mouth for talking
TJ- (old drummer) miss you brother

Fill in the blanks:
“I’ll never forget the first time I _____.”

Fell in love. 2002 in FL.

“I’ll never forget the first time (choose one of your bandmates) _____.”

Mike tried to hook up with a girl.

What is one item you absolutely could not go on tour without?

My Mac computer!!!

Opposite side of the same coin: What one item inevitably gets left behind in the hotel/venue/wherever you happen to be?

Sidekick charger!!! So much!! It’s insane.

Famous last words. (Anything goes!)

Summer Ata I love you and thank you for having faith in my music.



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