During a hellacious downpour at last year’s Welcome To Rockville we had our first chat with the founders of then up-and-coming rock band Red Sun Rising. Since that stormy afternoon, their career has been skyrocketing with back-to-back number 1 singles. We caught up with the band again this year at Rockville to see how things have changed.
Cretin: When I caught up with you guys last year, we were discussing your soon to be first single “The Otherside.” Since that time, things have taken off for you. So, how has having that first hit impacted the band?
Ryan Williams: It’s been amazing. You put everything you have into a release like that and you don’t know what to expect. It’s validating in a way, and it’s exciting because people are enjoying it. But the cool thing about moving on to the second one is that the crowd clicks when they hear “The Otherside” but now they still act like that, but they’re also still waiting for “Emotionless.”
Cretin: A decent number of bands have a hit, but you’ve released two songs, and they’ve both been number one singles. That’s kind of amazing.
Ryan Williams: It feels great. I think we’re either the only independent band to ever do it, or it’s us and Creed. It feels really good.
Cretin: In either case, that’s nice company.
Ryan Williams: Not that it even means anything, but it feels really good. It’s been a good year and everyone’s been great to us. Radio has been great to us, the crowds have been great,
Cretin: I saw you last week at Earthday Birthday, and the crowd response was great, and you seem to be tighter on stage than you were just last year. Dave, you weren’t with the band last year right?
Dave McGarry: Correct.
Cretin: So you stepped into a pretty good situation.
Ryan Williams: (laughing) And don’t forget it Dave.
Dave McGarry: I’ve been touring for years and years, even with Pat, our drummer now. We had a separate band and we were all over the map.
Ryan Williams: That’s how we met these guys.
Cretin: From Akron, too?
Ryan Williams: No, these guys were from the Carolinas.
Dave McGarry: I was happy to join and it’s a dream come true for me.
See our Red Sun Rising album from Earthday Birthday here: RARA’s Farm Facebook Page.
Ryan Williams: When we were in the studio, we tried to get him and Pat to join the band, but they couldn’t do it. Then Pat joined; we asked Dave again and he couldn’t do it; then we finally snagged him up in November when he was available. We had to have a number one hit first.
Cretin: He has high standards, there’s nothing wrong with that. But, now they’re looking for you to make it even better. Good luck with that.
Dave McGarry: I’m excited about that.
Ryan Williams: This is the group. We’ve always bonded with these guys and gotten along great, and they’re great musicians. The camaraderie of the band is at an all-time high right now.
Cretin: You’ve been playing on the Hard Drive Live Tour with Sick Puppies, but they’re in Orlando today, while you’re here.
Ryan Williams: We have to jump off once in awhile for festivals. But, I like that, it mixes it up a bit and makes the touring less monotonous. But that tour has been great. They’re a killer band, great guys and girl.
Cretin: So what do you like better those more intimate shows or huge festivals like this?
Ryan Williams: I like both. The intimate ones you get the sweaty, hot, up close and personal show; it’s fun. But I will say that nothing beats a large crowd singing back at you. That’s the best feeling in the world.
Dave McGarry: You can feel the audience. There’s no feeling like it.
Cretin: Ryan, last year when you came here, were you at all intimidated by the big stage, versus this year where it’s almost more normal.
Ryan Williams: Well we had been playing a long time. I think it was more that I wanted to know how we stacked up against this amazing lineup of bands? Can we hang with them? Can we play? Maybe a little bit of nerves, but I was more interested to get out there and show people what we had to offer.
Cretin: Well, you guys nailed it last week and this new lineup is obviously working. So, what’s next?
Ryan Williams: We’re pretty much touring the rest of the year.
Cretin: How about new music?
Ryan Williams: We’re always writing. We are still in the middle of this album cycle. We went into the first record with 70 songs, so we have music. I’m sure when we get to the second record, we’ll have the same issue.
Cretin: What’s going to be the third single off of the album?
Ryan Williams: We don’t know yet. What would you pick?
I choked under pressure and couldn’t think of the best choice. I do truly love the album, and there’s a crapload of good songs, #2, #4, #6, #7, #10, etc… But my choice for their next radio hit, #8, “Unnatural.” Your thoughts?
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