Interview With 'Race To Neptune'
Firstly, introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about the band and how you came to be?
Race To Neptune has been Brian's project for a few years now, since he lived in Gunnison, CO. Eventually he moved up to Fort Collins, the lineup got an overhaul, and he met Zach at a bar where they connected over Modest Mouse and The Pixies, among other bands. They played that week and haven't parted since. That line up was together for a couple years and that's when things really started to develop. We had a lot of fun, were playing some great shows in the area, recorded a full album, but a few things came up, or went down, however you want to look at it, and before we knew it we were out a drummer and a bassist. It was kind of stagnant there for a bit but when we started searching for musicians Matt Petersen was one of the first drummers to respond to a Craigslist ad we had posted. He came over to play and we knew Race would be breathing with new life soon enough. A few months later Matt McNear responded to a bass ad, also on CL, and sure enough he was the final piece. He learned all the songs we had been working on, gave it his flavor and we were in the studio a month later recording the EP. We've been making quick progress and are really tight together, musically, so we are very excited for whatever lies ahead for us.
What were you all up too prior to the band, was this always the chosen path or did you have other dreams and aspirations?
Matt Petersen: Before Race I had actually just moved to Fort Collins, Colorado from Arlington Heights which is a suburb of Chicago. I moved in August, went back for my kit in October, responded to Brian's CL ad by the end of the month, and we were jamming in November. There have been some other things I've explored along the way in my life, most of which fell through. Drums and music have been the only constant things in my life since I was a kid (along with my 20 year old tarantula) so I knew that if I was patient and kept working at it, the right things would happen at the right time.
Brian Maier: I honestly have always been playing and writing music while recording a lot at home. I think this has always been my chosen path since my dad started teaching me the guitar when I was about 12 years old. I taught myself how to play drums and bass so I can record full demos when I had no one else to play music with. Another avenue I have taken, without the same amount of passion as music but still up there, is art, such as painting and printmaking. If I could have a “dream job” that did not involve music it would be either as an artist or professional bass fisherman. If I was a pro fisherman I would wear a tuxedo every tournament instead of rockin the sponsor jumpsuits.
Matt McNear: I drifted around for a while trying to figure it all out. I played college football for a year at a division two school called CSU-Pueblo (a sister school of CSU) right out of high school which I ultimately ended up giving up and then moving back home where I worked at a lumberyard for quite some time. I finally at some point got wise enough to finish my schooling which was when I decided to make the move to Fort Collins and finish my degree. Music was always somewhere in the mix though for me. I played with some buddies back home for a while and I also met some guys up here in Fort Collins prior to playing with Race. Those experiences were never really ideal for me, but they taught me so many things about how to play and make music that I never would have discovered on my own. The guys I played with before Race were very talented musicians and exponentially made me a better musician. It just ultimately didn't quite work out. But I don't feel that way with these guys. This is the most excited I've ever been musically.
Tell us about your latest release and why our readers should check it out.
First of all, we're super stoked because this is our first release with Matt and Matt taking over our rhythm section. It's loud, it's melodic, it's poetic, and we really go for that "wall of sound" effect when we write. We want our music to feel full, without being over the top and having certain parts taking away from one another. There is a lot of energy and emotion in our music and we want our listeners to be able to feel that while they're listening. This was also all recorded live, minus vocals, which was such a cool experience for us. In the first three seconds of "Mortal Melody" you'll hear Zach's guitar making some echo noises before he starts playing that we opted not to cut out. I feel like that's our signature to the fact of it being a live recording. We recorded at Stout Studios in Fort Collins, CO with Darren Radach who really knows his stuff. We had all the amps lined up with the bass drum so everything projects in the same direction without interference or mic bleed. It worked because we all have a pretty solid sense of time and space when it comes to our music so we were able to hit all the songs in 3-5 takes.
Have you ever come face to face with someone within the music scene who has left you awestruck and why?
Matt Petersen: I got to see Brand New some years ago at Riot Fest in Chicago. I've been listening to them since I was in high school and Jesse Lacey has always been one of my favorite songwriters. It was just one of those shows that you left thinking "Damn, I don't know when I'll see a show like that again." Really powerful.
Brian Maier: I got to meet and talk to Deaner from Ween after one of his solo shows. It was amazing and he autographed my Mollusk record. He is one of my favorite guitarists and WEEN is one of my artists so that moment was pretty special.
Matt Mcnear: I was at SXSW a couple years ago and ended up on stage at a very intimate Wolfmother concert somehow while they were closing with "Joker And The Thief." Their energy, stage presence and just sheer intensity literally blew my mind. Hands down best concert I've been to. I went from liking to being obsessed with their music overnight.
If we were to head out to one of your live shows what can ourselves and others expect?
A lot of energy and a huge sound!! Possibly Matt playing drums in a sundress. I do think you can expect to be immersed in something genuine. I don't think any one of us is in this for external reasons. I think we all truly love beating the shit out of our instruments and making real noise that is full of passion and emotion. Our practices alone always feel so driven and we hope it carries over live and the audience can feel that.
If you had one artist/band that you could go on tour with tomorrow who would it be and why?
Matt Petersen: The Rolling Stones - because they're the fucking Stones and they're still touring!
Brian Maier: WEEN! I have seen them a couple times and love their sound and shows. They truly are keeping music an art form. I am always drawn to diversity in songwriting and sounds and they do it right while rocking out!
Matt McNear: I'd be pretty stoked if Dave Grohl called us up to play some shows with them. I kind of attribute the Foos to being one of the last remaining kind of "Classic Rock" bands. I'd love to be in that category as well.
You can spend an hour with a musical icon living or dead, who would you pick, why and what would you speak about?
Matt Petersen: I would for sure hang out with Keith Moon. Drink some Dom Perignon, trash a hotel room, and ask him how exactly he rigged his kit to explode back in '67. I'd love to pull something off like that!
Brian Maier: If I could jam with Billy Corgan for an hour I would be ecstatic!!
Matt McNear: Geddy Lee, so I could pick his brain about the wide, beautiful, wonderful, part of the world they call Canada eh.
And finally and most importantly is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?
Yippee Ki Aye Motherfucker! John McClane is the reason I celebrate Christmas.
Website - racetoneptune.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/RaceToNeptune/