2012 has been quite a year for The Rocketboys – a lot of changes, a lot of “firsts,” and a lot of triumphs and failures both! Fortunately for us, we look back on nearly all of it quite fondly and are inspired to next year build on what we’ve accomplished in 2012. We whittled down a list of our 12 most memorable moments from the year for you here:
12. TOURING WITH AMAZING BANDS
We were quite fortunate in our 112 shows this year to both reacquaint with our old buddies England in 1819 for some shows back in May, and also meet and travel with some bands with whom we were previously unfamiliar: Vanaprasta (June), From Indian Lakes (July), Twenty One Pilots (November). All have recently released albums or are releasing soon – check ‘em out!
11. TACO BELL’S “FEED THE BEAT”
Taco Bell was gracious to include us in their Feed The Beat program where they gave many touring bands $500 in Taco Bell gift cards. It was quite the blessing and money saver…. and we haven’t taken a home-cooked meal forgranted since!
10. SURVIVING AND CAPTURING A LIGHTNING STRIKE
(Photo by Chris Phelps)
On our way to Denver while making a pit stop, we were only seconds away from getting fried by this lightning strike. A couple of us were outside when it happened and were shocked and/or showered by all the pebbles it stirred up (look carefully at the bottom of the flagpole), but thankfully we weren’t hurt at all. Unbelievably, the moment was captured by our gopro camera which was mounted on our dashboard, taking a picture only every 5 seconds!
9. 10 FOR 10 AT SXSW
(Photo by David Ruiz)
While it’s not out of the ordinary to play every day for multiple days in a row, if you’ve ever participated in SXSW as a band, it is a different animal altogether. On top of the madness we endured during the 10 shows we played in that 10 day period, one was an afternoon festival in McAllen, TX (after which we promptly left and hightailed it back for our 1am official SXSW showcase). It was probably the most exhausting but simultaneously fun and rewarding 10 days of our band!
8. TOURING IN SUPPORT OF INVISIBLE CHILDREN
It was our priviledge to be able to tour in support of Invisible Children for 6 weeks in September and October. We’ve always been fans of Invisible Children and when we got to meet some of their music crew and go out on the road in support of their mission, it was awesome! One of the highlights for us was being able to shoot a video on a rooftop at night in NYC!
7. OUR DEBUT MUSIC VIDEO
The amazingly talented Chris Phelps joined us on the first leg of our “Build Anyway” tour, shooting video everywhere we went. The result is our first music video ever. We shot in so many amazing places from Discovery Park in Seattle to a salt flat near the Great Salt Lake to mountain tops in Tucson to venues all across the country and everywhere inbetween!
6. LAST MINUTE SHOW IN DETROIT BOWLING ALLEY
(Photos by Dave Ruiz)
There’s little else more frustrating for a band than a last-minute cancellation by a venue – especially when over a thousand miles from home in a new city. However when our show in Pontiac, MI was canceled, we managed to put together an eleventh hour show at Garden Bowl (bowling alley) in Detroit, and it ended up being one of the most fun shows of the tour. We’re truly grateful to all the awesome fans who came out despite the last minute change of plans. And as you can see, we took full advantage of the free bowling!
5. OUR FIRST “DRIVE SHAFT” MOMENT
Somehow in the many years of us being a band, despite many radio stations across the country generously playing our music, we had never actually heard a song of ours played live on-air in our hometown. Fortunately for us Andy Langer (KGSR, 101x) and Laurie Gallardo (KUT) in particular really got behind our music this year, spun our music more than a few times here in Austin, and we all finally got to have that “Charlie Pace” / “Drive Shaft” moment (LOST, anyone? If not, see the episode “Greatest Hits” from Season 3)!
4. NEW MEMBERS
(Photos by Dave Ruiz)
Since we weren’t entirely positive that our band was going to even make it through 2011 at the beginning of the year, we were blessed to be able to add to the fold Josh Rodgers and Kyle Samuel, two fine musicians (drums and guitar, respectively) and people in general, who as you probably know now fill those previously vacant roles!
3. RELEASE OF “BUILD ANYWAY” – 6.5.12
Again, despite having the framework for “Build Anyway” in the works at the beginning of 2012, it was not entirely clear that we’d end up finishing and releasing the album. So its completion was a true triumph for us! And we were humbly surprised and honored by all of the great feedback we’ve gotten especially being mentioned by the following publications and blogs in their best of 2012 lists:
We unanimously agreed that recording an Audiotree session may have been our most fun, rewarding experience of 2012. We love playing live, so getting to play live in an insanely cool studio with some of the kindest, most talented folks we’ve ever come across was pretty freakin awesome. The product turned out really nice – in fact, if you haven’t seen it, you should probably go ahead and do that here!
(Photo by Darian Gaffney)
It’s not every day you get an email from a fan saying that he wants to ask his girlfriend to marry him during one of our shows because of how much our band has been a part of our relationship. Needless to say, we were immediately on board and flattered to be involved, and she ended up saying yes. Congrats again Mark and Darian!
Our singer, the one and only Brandon Kinder, and his lovely girlfriend Claire also got engaged back in August! We’re excited for their future to have a new member of the Rocketfamily!
Lastly, we owe a huge thanks to all the following who helped make 2012 one for the ages – our managers Antony Bland and John Mathiason and also Claire Ramsdell at Candyshop, Keith Richards and Brett Pierce at Elite Talent Agency, Jeffrey Hasson at Paradigm and Ryan Soroka at the Soroka Agecy, our publicist Austin Griswold, our amazing friends and photographers Dave Ruiz and Chris Phelps, our amazing artist Ryan Feerer, Lauren and Alex at Invisible Children, all the gang at Audiotree, all the gang at AltarTV, and to all of you who came and saw a show and/or let us crash on your floor and eat your food, we couldn’t have done it without you – thank you and have a blessed 2013!