EastDear Park – RichardThinks Band Of The Week (10/29/13)

There’s something about the Maryland music scene that produces a lot of great bands. EastDear Park is one of those bands, and we’re honored to have them featured as this week’s RichardThinks Band Of The Week. Forming in 2011, they have self-released an EP, as well as a full-length in the two years being together, as well as sharing the stage with the likes of August Burns Red, Rings of Saturn and many more. We sat down with Ben Rockwood and Kevin Petley for this week’s edition of RTBOTW and discussed a variety of topics about the band. Check out the complete chat below, be sure to tune in every Tuesday for new editions of RichardThinks Band Of The Week!

For more information on EastDear Park, be sure to check them out on Facebook and Twitter!

First, can you please introduce yourself & tell us your role in the band.

B: “My name’s Ben Rockwood and I play bass.”
K: “I’m Kevin Petley, I play drums and sing clean vocals”

• With so many bands emerging in today’s scene, how do you believe EastDear Park stands out?

B:”I feel our music is easy on the ears and has a lot of melodic tendencies without it necessarily being boring or easy to play. Our lyrics are very relatable to everyday life.”

K: “We really like to just go out and have fun. We don’t worry about making it big or getting a ton of money, just making records and playing for random people is an achievement in itself for us.”

• Can you give us a brief history on EastDear Park ?

K: “Ben, Shields, Colin and myself all became friends when we were attending Gaithersburg High School. We all started jamming in Ben’s basement but we didn’t really start writing until we met Ryan in our Senior year. The band officially started in March 2011.”

B: “I met Ryan randomly and saw he had a Metallica shirt. I went up to him and we started talking about music, found out he played guitar and told him to come hang out and jam with us. We had chemistry from the get-go and wrote our first song within our first two practices.”

• How did you pick the name for the band?

B: “We started out in my basement at my house, which is right off of EastDear Park Road in Gaithersburg. I felt we could all relate since we all lived close to the area and had a lot of good times as kids.”

K: “We changed up the spelling to avoid any kind of copyright infringement or anything like that. I don’t really remember how we came up with that specific spelling, but it stuck and we all liked it.”

• If you could pick three words to describe your band, what words would you pick?

B: “Committed, humble, fun.”

K: “Awesome, friendly, idiots.”

• What has been the biggest accomplishment for the band to date?

K: “We’ve recorded two cd’s that we’re really proud of. We’ve also opened up for larger bands such as August Burns Red, Rings of Saturn, This or the Apocalypse…”

B: “Also our buddies in From Atlantis and In Dying Arms, who are both on the rise. The list goes on and on. We started out playing on the crappiest amps, drums were a mess…We all got jobs early on and started working to get better equipment, and that’s definitely an accomplishment for guys like us.”

• EastDear Park released “Reflections” earlier this year, can you tell me a little bit about that?

K: “We recorded with Imad El-Amine at Indigo Studios in Bethesda, MD and released it on April 2nd. I felt on this record we all got to know each other and hang out as friends, not just bandmates. It’s definitely a step up from our first EP in every way.”

B: “We wrote a lot of it based off of personal experiences and stuff that we went through during the writing and recording process. We definitely put a lot more effort into it.”

• How was writing for “Reflections” compared when EastDear Park wrote the self-titled EP?

B: “Everyone in the band improved at their respective instrument and the lyrics got a little more in-depth. Just overall chemistry and the way we went about songwriting was way more mature than the EP”

K: “When we wrote the EP, we literally wrote that whole thing within a month and a half I believe. We really just wanted to start strong and play some shows to get the name out there, no matter what the music sounded like. We knew if we were digging it, we’d start writing better stuff later on.”

• The band went on a short three stop mini tour earlier this year, how was the touring experience like?

K: “We had so much fun on that mini tour with our friends in The Enigma Code and Hydra Kyll. We played our first show in North Carolina, as well as a new venue in Virginia and a hometown show in Frederick, MD.”

B: ” It was a great bonding and learning experience for all of us. That was the first time we got to travel for several days to play shows on consecutive nights, and was the first time the five of us lived within feet of each other for five days.”

What advice would you give to new bands starting out?

B: “Kind of funny that we’re being asked this, I still think of us as somewhat of a new band. But i would definitely say don’t expect everything to come easy or just happen out of nowhere. There’s a lot of work to be done, but it’s all worth it when you’re up on a stage doing what you love.”

K: “Just keep practicing and don’t give up. Find people you feel comfortable spending a lot of time with, because you will be doing just that. You’re gonna go through good and bad days, it’s a roller coaster experience to say the least.”

• What’s next for EastDear Park in 2013 and beyond?

K: “Well, even though we just released “Reflections” back in April, we’re starting to write new music again going into this cold weather season. We’ve got a lot of good ideas that we want to get down as soon as possible.”

B: “We’re taking a little break from playing shows strictly to focus on writing music and working. We feel like this time around we’ll be way more prepared for what to expect in the studio after going through two records, and we have more chemistry than ever as friends and musicians. Our next confirmed show is February 14th, 2014 as a guest appearance for Battle of the Bands at Gaithersburg High School, and we are so stoked after last year’s show turned out.”

Is there anything you’d like to add?

“We just wanna say thanks to anyone who’s caught our set at a show, or listened to a CD we’ve given out or even clicked a like button for us. Your support is what has driven us this far and we really appreciate it. We’re gonna keep pursuing this dream because the sky’s the limit at this point. If we can be like the Rolling Stones and play when we’re like 80 years old, we’re in.”

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