Hi. Give a brief history of REAR NAKED CHOKE, music style, and the members.
We started up around the end of 2009. There have been a few member changes along the way. Chris started out as the Tech and moved onto rhythm guitar when one of the guitarists just stopped coming to practice. Josh joined on Lead Guitar when Mike, who is still a huge part of the heart and soul of the band, passed away after a battle with cancer. But since the beginning Chris and Josh were both part of the band family, helping with tech stuff, gear, and just jamming around, so along with Mick they’ve pretty much been there from the start. We’ve had several changes in bass and drums, but things have really solidified with Don and Paul on Bass and Drums respectively.
As far as classifying our music style we prefer to say that we’re Heavy Music. We tend to ride the line between Hard Rock and Metal so it’s hard to say we’re exactly “this” or “that” but we’re firmly planted in the Heavy Music Genre.
Give in more detail, some information about “Rear Naked Choke” and how well it sells?
The album seems to be doing well overall. We haven’t received any official numbers from the label yet but as far as what we have seen it’s doing good. Things like the streaming reports from places like Spotify show that it’s growing daily and the lead single, Suicide Betsy, has been in the top 50 of the AirPlay charts in the US for 6+ weeks now. So overall we’ve be pleased with the sales and plays so far.
REAR NAKED CHOKE has signed with Sliptrick Records, tell more about that?
It’s been really good so far. Carlo, Ryu and everyone there seems to really care and they have been great to work with. We had initially released the album ourselves, just through an online service and selling CD’s at our shows. We got connected with Sliptrick through Metal Coffee PR. After a few conversations we decided it would be great to work with them and we pulled the self-released version and started working on what would be the Sliptrick release. While the main part of the album is the same it’s been remastered by Ari M (who’s worked with Otep and many more) and we also have some bonus tracks that include a live version of a song that will be on the next album.
What is the difference between your latest and the very first records?
Previously we had released a 5 song EP of our “demos” called ‘The Prelims’. That was recorded either by us or with some smaller studios over a period of a couple of years, just as we had time or were happy with what we had recorded. For this Self-Titled album we worked with CJ Pierce, from the band Drowning Pool, and he recorded and produced the album. So this was a more thought out album with much higher production value than anything we had previously done.
What inspires REAR NAKED CHOKE music and lyric writing? What does REAR NAKED CHOKE lyrics talk about?
Musically we’re all inspired by many things, it could be something that’s going on in our lives, another song or just happening upon a cool riff. So there’s probably not just one thing we could point at that would be a catalyst for a song. As far as lyrically generally those seem to come from things that are interesting to us or that may be going on in our lives or around us. There’s not really a single theme to our lyrics, some songs are more serious than others. Songs like ‘Nothing to Me & I Will Rise’ deal with some personal struggle, while ‘Mike’s Song & BetterMan’ have a little more personal meaning to them. ‘Suicide Betsy’ is a song about a motorcycle and it stems from our love of them and ‘A Toast to Dime’ is really about just having fun in life, and “WarDrum’ is us trying to put ourselves in the boots of those that have fought and died for what they believe in and for their country, and ‘Red, White & Texas’ is us just saying that we love our home. We try not to be judgmental or political with our music, it’s more about just expressing our feelings.
Do you play live often? Do you like abroad gigs?
We play live as much as we can. Right now we’re working on setting up some touring for the first few months of 2019, After that we’re going to be doing some spring/summer touring trying to hit new places that we haven’t been able to get to yet. So far all our touring has been in the U.S. but we would love to do some touring aborad. Eventually we would love to be able to hit Europe as well as some place like Japan and more. So while we haven’t had the chance to yet, those are some plans we are definitely working on!!!
How often does the band practice and work on new material?
We have set rehearsal days, especially when we aren’t our playing every week. So we usually have 2-3 rehearsals a week. Now those can vary on what we’re doing during that time. If we have shows coming up then we’re usually formulating a set list and then rehearsing those songs to make sure we’re tight and ready for the shows.
Sometimes we will set aside time to work on new material but usually ideas kinda form whenever. So one of us may come up with a riff or a part of a song and we bring that into our rehearsals and we start tinkering with it. Then when we have some downtime, between show runs, we will start working on those ideas and polishing them and turning them into full songs.
How did the band come up with the name REAR NAKED CHOKE and tell what does it means for you?
We get asked that a lot, especially with some raised eyebrows because it sound like it could be a lot of things. But the truth is we’re all big MMA (mixed martial arts) fans and in the early days of the band we would get together at our original lead guitarist who passed away, Mike’s, house and watch the UFC fights. In between fights we’d go back and jam in the room he had set up. So we were sitting there watching a fight and Joe Rogan was commentating the fight and said “Oh he’s going for a Uma Plata (which is a submission in MMA)” and Mike and Mick were like “Oh that’s kinda of a cool name” and the Joe Rogan said “Oh he’s transitioning to a Rear Naked Choke, that’s the number one submission move in MMA” and they looked at each other and said “That’s it, Rear Naked Choke!!” and so that’s where the name came from
What does the band plan on doing in near time?
We are currently taking a little time off from live shows for the holidays. That doesn’t mean that we’re not staying buys though, we’re at our rehearsal studio at least 2-3 times a week working on new music for our follow up album. So as these songs start to solidify you’ll probably be hearing them at some of our shows. The crowd reaction is always a good test of how a new song is sitting. So that’s what we are planned right now.
Any message to Sick and Destroy readers?
We’d just like to say thank you to everyone who took the time to read all this and we hope that you will check out the album, if you haven’t already. Be sure to follow us on Social Media and stay up to date on what’s going on in the RNC world by visiting www.RNCtheBand.com.