In celebration for this year’s Rock on the Range, EMURG is bringing you exclusive interviews with a few of the up and coming bands that will be performing this year. First up, is an alternative rock duo that hails from Sacramento, California, Middle Class Rut. Middle Class Rut is making a huge splash in the music industry with their music that can only be described as sounding nothing short of colossal, but what is the band really all about? In an exclusive interview, EMURG was able to speak with drummer/vocalist Sean Stockham about his band and what fans can expect from their music.
EMURG: What artist(s)/band(s)/song(s)/album(s) influenced you as a band?
Stockham: Growing up it was all the good 90’s rock music that was on the radio like Nirvana, Tool, Rage, AIC, Pearl Jam, etc. Some of the lesser known bands like Quicksand, Failure, and Far and Carrion. These days I think we’re less inspired by other music and more by just personal experiences and feelings, and by the desire to hear an idea come to life in the form of a song.
EMURG: What are the members of Middle Class Rut listening to right now?
Stockham: About the only “new” thing I’ve heard that made me feel something is the new NK record, “Nothing to Be Gained Here”. Other than that, I listen to a lot of talk radio, NPR, classical, that sorta thing.
EMURG; What has been your favorite show/performance so far in your career as musicians?
Stockham: Oh man, I don’t think a single show jumps out at me. We’ve had a lot of great shows in strange places like Poughkeepsie, NY. Every time we’re in Tuscon, AZ, we have a great time! We won a battle of the bands in Chico once, that was pretty defining.
EMURG: What made you both decide to form Middle Class Rut?
Stockham; I don’t think it was even a conscious decision, more like a really quick evolution. We started jamming and after a while we started compiling a bunch of songs. We needed to call ourselves something….Jesus Christ was already taken, so we stole a lyric from a song, M-C RUT.
EMURG: After listening to your music, Middle Class Rut’s sound is nothing short of a colossal giant that is hell bent on delivering amazing music to the masses. Tell us, what makes Middle Class Rut an upcoming juggernaut in the music industry of today?
Stockham: I think the only thing we’re hell bent on is reserving our spot at the campground of life and just continuing to exist – keeping the flame alive. Things that explode, tend to hurt people and disappear pretty quickly, so in that sense I’m thankful that we never really “blew up”. We just want to keep doing our thing for as long as we can, and as long as it feels worthwhile.
EMURG: On your album, “Pick Up Your Head”, you claim that the entire album was recorded in one room. Can you describe what the experience was like recording this album and what your mindset was with recording this album?
Stockham: Maybe “one room” was some kind of metaphor. The writing/recording was sort of split into two phases. The first being a very prolific period, creatively, a purging of ideas. The second phase was a more systematic approach, just finishing things up and organizing, and getting ready to hand it all over to someone else to put the finishing touches on it.
EMURG: Middle Class Rut is set to take the stage at Rock on the Range in Columbus, OH. What can the audience expect to see from your live performance?
Stockham: Five dudes playing music. Hopefully, the same songs at the same time. A good amount of energy…almost like a live workout video! Possibly a technical difficulty or two. A little banter and a lot of volume!
EMURG: What bands are you most excited to see at this year’s Rock on the Range?
Stockham: I’m pretty excited to see Soundgarden for the first time since Lollapalooza in 1996. We also toured with Alice In Chains a couple of years ago. They are an awesome band and we are pretty excited to see their new stuff live. Beware of Darkness are badass, and are also our label mates. There should be plenty of great loud music to check out this year!
EMURG: What do you want fans to take away from your live performance at Rock on the Range? Is there anything else you’d like to add to finish out this interview?
Stockham: Nah, we just want to have fun and give everyone, including ourselves, a chance to let go for a few minutes.