Interview With 'EastDear Park'
We had a chat with Metal band EastDear Park hailing from Gaithersburg, Maryland. Here is what they had to say.
Firstly, introduce yourself/yourselves and tell us a little bit about the band and how you came to be?
Ben: My name is Ben Rockwood and i play bass for EastDear Park! Shields and I met each other through the football team my freshman year and were always the ones headbanging to some metal before games! We decided we wanted to start a band after months of air banding to Lamb of God, killswitch and much more so we did just that. I went to middle school with Kevin but I was in orchestra and he played drums in band so we didnt meet till highschool when i was in like tenth grade and we started jamming with just bass, drums, and vocals. Then I met Colin in my weight training class and we killed it at Mr Gaithersburg. I met Ryan through some friends. He went to a different high school and didnt drive yet so kevin, who was the only one with a car or a license had to scoop him every day for practice. We wrote our first song ever “Bed of Roses” that first day. We just all loved metal!
Ryan: I'm Ryan and I play guitar. I joined the band back in 2011 when I met Ben I was 14, he was always a cool guy. The moment I met everyone else and had our first band practice we immediately clicked and actually wrote our first song Bed of Roses.
Kevin: My name is Kevin Petley and I play Drums for EDP. We started the band in March 2011 while we were in high school. Four of us went to the same school and were friends before music, then we met Ryan who was a few grades younger than us and we really got the ball rolling on making music.
Colin: Hi, my names Colin and I play guitar. We started in 2011. I knew Ben, Shields and Kevin from high school. They invited me to play a high school talent show and after that asked me if I wanted to be a part of a band. I said hell yeah and been here ever since.
Shields: What's up we're EastDear Park from Gaithersburg Maryland, we came together to make sweet music for everyone to vibe to.
What were you all up too prior to the band, was this always the chosen path or did you have other dreams and aspirations?
Ben: I always wanted to be an entertainer of some sort and always loved music. My Dad was always playing his CD’s for me and my friends parents and older siblings were all in bands. Then one day I watched School of Rock and when he told the chick to turn her cello on the side...my life was never the same again. Then once my buddy Charlie got a drumset and some instruments in his garage it was a wrap. We started a jam group called Soup of the Day and just jammed but never did anything serious. Then after my first couple metal shows I knew that being in a band was what i wanted to do. Our EDP crew does a little of everything though. We actually love to write skits and have some other things in the works. I also love cooking, because I love food.
Ryan: Before I joined the band I was still playing guitar just on my own or with some close friends but nothing too serious. I didn't begin writing original music until I joined the band. Ever since I picked up guitar at the age of 13 I've always wanted to perform and just travel as much as possible. I never want to stop playing music whether it's with the guys or on my own, I'll never stop.
Kevin: I was in Drumline in high school for all four years. Music's really been my thing my whole life, I also love to play sports and I'm into photography as well.
Colin: Just getting through high school trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life haha. I never thought about it until a month after I joined the band.
Shields: I never listened to Metal accept for the likes Iron Maiden or Metallica or stuff like that until i met Ben. We were playing football in high school when we really decided we wanted to do music for life
Tell us about your latest EP/Album and why our readers should check it out.
Ben: Well, it’s been about 2 ½ years since we released any music and those 2 ½ years were definitely a roller coaster for us. This EP’s lyrics are meant to be a summary of what we went through and then learned from it. They’re definitely some of the most personal lyrics I’ve ever written, but I tried to write them in a way so that anybody that happened to read them could hopefully relate to them in some way. We definitely had a lot of fun recording this EP.
Ryan: We took our sweet time but I can say without a doubt that these are the four best songs we have ever written. I am very proud of us as a band and as individuals we have grown so much. Sure you can listen to our older material and I still dig it but I think everyone honestly needs to listen to our new EP "M"
Kevin: We just released a new EP entitled "M" and it's by far our best work to date. Being in the band with the same guys for the last five years has really helped our music evolve because we've become brothers, and outside of being in a band we're all still here for each other through anything. It's definitely a new musical direction from the last two releases and I think it brings a new sound to our scene and we couldn't be happier with how the record turned out.
Colin: I feel like a lot of music especially in the metal scene, has been over saturated with bands who kind of sound the same or similar. So we tried to distance ourselves from that. With this EP we tried to kind of retain that melodic metal sound/progressive of our last album but also evolve. Each song is something different but it still has that EDP sound to it. We try to keep it fresh.
Shields: The "M" EP is something we are all very proud of, we've been through alot in the last few years and this EP tells a story about all of it. Also, we havent been very active regarding releasing new material in the last few years so this is pretty exciting!
Have you ever come face to face with someone within the music scene who has left you awestruck and why?
Ben: There’s a few actually. We played Ice Jam Fest a few years ago with August Burns Red and got to watch them soundcheck which was a surreal experience. We also had the opportunity to open for The Contortionist in Springfield, Virginia (one of my favorite bands) and got to hang with them after. We got kicked out of the top office for hitting bowls but then partied with them in our winnebago van out back. It’s always awesome getting to meet these bands I look up and always being blown away by how humble the majority of these guys are.
Ryan: When we opened for Emmure and The Acacia Strain in Baltimore I just remember wanting to talk to one of the guitarists in those bands and seeing how the tour life is for them. I thought to myself they're too big to want to talk to a local band like us. Sure enough after our set one of the guitarists for Emmure came up to me and complimenting my playing and our bands performance. I was definitely blown away by how humble he was and genuine to the point where I could ask him any question comfortably.
Kevin: Never anything like that, however I've been to many shows that have left me damn near awestruck. Lots of experiences and performances I'll never forget.
Colin: The Contortionist, because those guys are just monster musicians and cool dudes.
Shields: We played a show with The Contortionist at Empire in Virginia and afterwards we hung out with all those dudes they were cool as hell, they gave us alot of advice.
If we were to head out to one of your live shows what can ourselves and others expect?
Ben: We love to bring the party. We want everybody that’s there to lose their mind and have an unforgettable experience. We don’t want anybody to feel like they can’t come to our show. Our EDP family is wide open to whoever wants to join! We love meeting everybody that comes out so make sure to always say hi if ya ever come see us play at a venue near you!
Ryan: You can expect a very honest and humble performance. We always give it out all but we never stray from who we are. Don't expect any smoke machines or matching outfits but instead just expect to feel the energy and true emotion of our music. Definitely come out to one of our shows.
Kevin: I think you'd have a lot of fun. We love bringing positive energy to the stage and getting the crowd involved, we want everyone to have a good time, and we play loud. We love our craft and i think if you watch our set you can tell.
Colin: A great time some good vibes and good music. Also people can come hang out with us, we love meeting new people.
Shields: An explosive set of energy and everyone watching us having the time of our lives... no gimmicks we just love to have fun on stage.
If you had one artist/band that you could go on tour with tomorrow who would it be and why?
Ben: I hate this question because i could go on for days listing bands I wish I could tour with. My dream bill would be Architects, Born Of Osiris, The Contortionist, and August Burns Red. I would love to tour with Slipknot. Lamb Of God would be amazing to meet too. Honestly though I’m down to tour with anybody as long as they’re down for a good time!
Ryan: Circa Survive is the first band that comes to mind of many, but they are just so ridiculously tight that I would love to watch them every night and study their every move. The guitarists are big into pedals and effects and I'm a huge geek when it comes to that so it would be a real treat to talk to them every night about things like that.
Kevin: I'd go with Eminem because he's got mad stories to tell. I listened to him a lot growing up and it's great to see he's still active. One of the greatest of all time.
Colin: Fallujah, I love their music and I would love to party with them.
Shields: I would love to tour with Parkway Drive those dudes seem to be cool as hell.
You can spend an hour with a musical icon living or dead, who would you pick, why and what would you speak about?
Ben: So many people come to mind for this question. I’d love to meet the members of Rage Against The Machine. Their vocalist Zach is a huge inspiration for me. Sitting down with Bob Marley would be awesome. Johnny Cash, Corey Taylor from Slipknot, Eminem, Jake Lurhs (another huge inspiration for me), and the list goes on and on.
Ryan: Definitely Jimi Hendrix. I really don't have to say why, but I'm dying to know what truly made him play and perform the way he did. I'm not even talking about drugs, I'm talking about deep inside his soul and emotionally what pushed him to create the soundscapes he performed with such excellence.
Kevin: Kurt Cobain or Tupac. Two huge controversial artists that I'd love to just be in the same room with. Wish they were both still making music, they'd straighten up modern music real quickly.
Colin: Kanye West. The Illuminati.
Shields: Anthony Kiedis from The Red Hot Chili Peppers, hopefully a little of his coolness would rub off on me.
And finally and most importantly is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?
Ben: I'm not much of an action movie guy unless its sci-fi or some majestic shit like that. My favorite Christmas movie is Jim Carreys “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”. Dr. Seuss had some real dope rhymes back in the day!
Ryan: Die hard is most definitely a Christmas Eve movie!
Kevin: I hate to disappoint ya but I've never watched it, along with just about every other classic movie. I need to sit my ass down and watch some movies.
Colin: Absolutely 100% a Christmas Movie.
Shields: Just because a movie comes out on Christmas doesn't make it a christmas movie, Die Hard is an anthem of badassness.
We just want to say thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.
Check out their video for 'Metanoia'
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