Southern Perspective

A change of scenery helps Rock Paper Dynamite form the sound of their new EP

Rock Paper Dynamite are ready to rip through a new chapter, as they unveil RPD, their fifth EP in as many years.

The EP is a product of new perspective, some of it thanks to the band's decision to relocate to Charleston, South Carolina during the late spring and early summer of 2012.

Singer Joseph Janousek says the decision to relocate for a couple of months was a mutual band decision, as they all felt the urge to get out of Nebraska for awhile.

"We were all in Omaha for so long," he says.

Charleston became the obvious destination, since the band's good friend and somewhat unofficial fifth member Matt Doughty resides in the city. So in early April the band headed out of town for three months of writing and living together as a band.

"We bunked up with him," Joseph Janousek says.

Guitarist Andrew Janousek, Joseph's brother, says the move allowed the band to look at new ways of approaching their music, instead of falling back on old habits.

"The main thing that helped out was doing something different," Andrew Janousek says.

Andrew says the band would have made an new EP regardless of their surroundings, but the change of scenery was appreciated.

The band wrote four of the five songs on RPD while in South Carolina. The other song predates the move.

The EP's lead song, "Drinkin' Boots", is a Southern-fried loose-limbed rocker, as the band continues to perfect its brand of no-frills guitar rock that slices somewhere between early, pre-arena rock Kings of Leon and the Strokes.

"It wouldn't have been the same if we hadn't made that jump," Andrew Janousek says.

Joseph Janousek says he sees the influence that the change in locale had on the songs too. They were written differently than they would have been if the band had stayed around Omaha.

"I don't think we could have gotten the same songs out of it," Joe Janousek says.

Bassist Trey Abel says it was a big jump for the band, but it was great to just get to play music for awhile. It also gave the band time away from playing a constant load of local shows. Being able to go to the ocean nearby also served as an advantage, Abel says.

"It was nice to get down there and focus," Abel says.

During the middle of their Charleston stay, the band did tour and ended up playing in Omaha once before returning. Andrew Janousek says the South Carolina stay plus the band's touring helped give them both the necessary time and space away from the comforts of being home in Nebraska.

"The whole year has been a trip because we've been traveling so much," Andrew Janousek says.

Once the band got back into town, Andrew Janousek started hosting an open mic night at the Trackside Lounge, 1506 South 60th St. Andrew says he worked at a bar in South Carolina that hosted one and he wanted to be involved with one when he came back.

But it seemed most music venues in Omaha had already established their own take on open mic, so Andrew Janousek approached his friend who managed the Trackside.

The Sunday night events are starting to pick up steam and it's helped Andrew Janousek reconnect with his own solo work, which he plans to release an album of later in 2013.

Andrew and Joseph Janousek have also teamed up at several open mic events at the Trackside, playing covers, Andrew's solo material and stripped down Rock Paper Dynamite material.

"It definitely opens the creative doors for what i can do," Andrew Janousek says.

Meanwhile, the band went to back to Curtis Grubb at Grubb Inc. Recording and Production to track the new songs that they had wrote while in South Carolina.

"It's become a little ritual for us," Joseph Janousek says.

All of the Rock Paper Dynamite recordings have been recorded roughly around the end of summer and all with Grubb at the helm.

The good working relationship between Grubb and the band has grown just as the band's skill and Grubb's recording craftmanship have increased. Grubb Inc. was just adapting to new studio space when Rock Paper Dynamite first recorded there.

"(Now) we've become really great friends with him," Joseph Janousek says.

To help pay for some of the final production costs on the EP and to buy new band merchandise, the band then turned to Kickstarter.com, the crowd-funding website that's helped countless projects get funded.

The band even exceeded its goal and plan to donate the excess to a children's cancer charity.

In addition to the usual round-up of signed items, personalized songs and advance downloads of new material, the band offered up some exciting extras to fans that donated to their cause.

All of the band members offered some personalized service as a reward to high donors, drummer Scott Zrust says.

And Zrust even offered up his other skill -- culinary arts. For a $300 donation, Zrust, who is a line and prep chef at Lot 2 in Benson, would prepare a meal for six people. Local musicians Jessica Errett and Tara Vaughan were the lucky donors to get that prize.

Kickstarter made sense for Rock Paper Dynamite, helping close the gap between what a bunch of working guys in a band can afford and the necessary costs to produce a high-quality CD release.

"None of us have money by any means," Zrust says.

Zrust will also be donating his chef skills for the band's release show, preparing a mass of BBQ pulled pork so fans can enjoy some sandwiches at the show.

"Anybody that  comes can get a free sandwich or two or three," Zrust says.

Rock Paper Dynamite w/ Voodoo Method, The Decatures and The Big Deep play Saturday, January 19th at the Waiting Room Lounge, 6212 Maple St. Tickets are $7 at the door. For more information, visit onepercentproductions.com

posted at 10:28 am
on Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

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