UTG Interview: Rescuer

Rescuer

UTG caught up with JP Marra, the vocalist of Rescuer last week. The hardcore five-piece released their debut full length, With Time Comes The Comfort, through Rise Records just over three weeks ago. Just recently, the group embarked on their biggest tour to date: letlive.’s  headlining tour alongside bands like Hrvrd, Conditions, and This Is Hell. Throughout the interview we discussed the current tour, how the band is reacting to their album’s reception, and their new home at Rise Records.

As of right now, you’re two nights into your tour with letlive. How’s it been so far?

I don’t know man, it’s been pretty awesome. Being realistic, seeing the lineup of the tour, we don’t necessarily fit in (sound-wise), you know, with Conditions on the tour, and Hrvrd. All of them, they’re great bands. We just watched Hrvrd, like thoroughly last night because the first night I was busy, I took a seat last night and watched the whole set, and it was incredible. Like, it made me [feel] to the point that I was embarrassed to share the stage with them. They’re so fucking talented, it was just unreal… They should be on tour with Coldplay and Radiohead, not Rescuer. To that end, we’re completely honored to be on the tour. Having bands with such a diverse lineup, and then seeing how before we got on, we were nervous, and then seeing how it all came together, especially this second day, it just makes so much sense now that it’s all been laid out. We’ve talked about our influences and all of that, and [we’ve got] pretty similar influences and interests. It’s been awesome so far. Like I said, it just started, so we’re pretty stoked to keep it going, but at the same time it’s been humbling to know that we come from the same place, but have gone in such different directions and still, we’re all out for the same goal. So, it’s been cool.

What was the story behind getting onto the tour anyways?

Being real, our friend Brad who books a lot of our shows is friends with the dudes in letlive., and I suppose… I didn’t know until yesterday where the offer had come from, but Brad, being our homie, I talked to him about us and showed him our record. [letlive.’s] tour manager was talking to us last night, had said that he’s seen the name of our band before — he heard the band, and they had a list of bands that they had planned to bring out or to look into, and they heard our new record and really liked it, so they asked us to come on the tour. It’s super honoring to know that a band that’s been together for so long with such a rich history and unique presence in music today has any interest whatsoever in bringing us out. So I guess it came from Brad bringing us up, and we’re stoked to have the opportunity.

It’s now been two weeks since you guys have released your debut album, With Time Comes The Comfort.  How do you feel about it?

It’s really cool. I love the fact that it’s finally out. We recorded it almost a year ago. It’s cool that it’s been out and people are now listening to it. The reception we’ve gotten has been incredible, and it’s super-overwhelming, to be honest.

On the other hand, it’s kind of strange for me, because most of that record — I wrote most of those things down before I had intentions of using them for songs. They were mostly just things that I had written down for me to kind of wrap my head around certain thoughts. Like, writing it down just kind of just helped me sort out what I had going on in my head, so when I put it into songs, I wasn’t necessarily thinking that people were going to hear it. It was just kind of a way of furthering that understanding of what I was going through (personally), and I just kind of used it as a device to help myself understand my own life, and it wasn’t necessarily meant, at first, for other people.

But, now that it’s out and people are hearing it and I’ve gotten a few responses about it, it’s cool. It was a little bit uncomfortable at first, but I’m finally understanding that it’s all personal things for me, but they’re not so different from everybody else’s struggles. It’s cool to see that people are relating to them, and it makes me feel like I’m not so alone on the things that go on in my life, and it’s cool to see that other people feel that way. So, at first I was nervous of the record coming out, but as it’s been out — like you said, it’s been two-weeks — I’m growing more and more comfortable with the fact that these kinds of things are on display, and I’m stoked that people are accepting them.

What does the album title mean to you?

Those words were written before I had ever come up with ever using them for a song. I wrote it down when my grandfather had passed away a few years ago. I guess now it’s been two years.

When my grandfather passed away… My family is super-Italian and super-Catholic, so they kind of cope with death and cope with loss a lot differently than I do, as I don’t subscribe to religion at all. Let alone, as devoutly as they do. There’s never really a set way to deal with that. When people pass away, you don’t know what to feel, because everyone is saying these things, like “they’re happy now” or you know, “they’re finally with this person or this person”, “they’re in a much better place than they were here”.

Growing up, that never made sense to me in my head. It was just something that made me feel alienated towards my family. I guess that line, simply in the record title, is just me aging and gaining a little bit more footing on the fact that we have a definite time. There’s not some “immortal soul” in me, at least I don’t feel personally, that passes on. I feel like I need to make my mark while I’m here, and I think that the line “with time comes the comfort” means with time comes the comfort of losing somebody, but knowing that they weren’t here for nothing. Do you know what I mean? Like when I wrote it down, it was just something to make myself feel a little better about losing my grandfather who I loved. It was just something that I had been thinking. If this was five years ago, I really would’ve lost my mind, but now it’s something that I see has had an impact on my life and everybody else’s life as a positive thing. It’s just the time in my life that has passed has made me more comfortable with losing somebody.

I feel you, man. Many people can relate, through being in similar shoes of losing a family member.

Being somebody who doesn’t prescribe to religion, it’s such a grey area. Nobody really likes to talk about it, because it’s that feeling of being nonexistent, and it’s hard to talk about. That’s one of the reasons I had to write it down, because I needed to figure out what my thoughts were on it. So, that’s kind of where it came from.

Many people would say that Rise Records is sort of an odd fit for you guys. If you had to compare your sound to that of one of your label-mates, who would it be?

That might be what I love about being on Rise. In the past couple of years, they’ve made their lineup so diverse and so widespread that I’m not sure that I can pinpoint something to come from something like that. I don’t know if we do sound anybody else on Rise, and I think of that as good thing, because there’s quite a few bands that don’t sound like any other bands on Rise. At first, it’s a little alienating in the way that “is this going to be good for us?” or “does this make sense?”, or “you know, they’re a huge label and it’s awesome that they’re interested in us, but do we have a place there?” As it turns out, we definitely do. They definitely get what we’re going for. They’ve been 100% supportive, and it’s just awesome to be in an environment where artistic expression is widely accepted. Because everyone has these fears of these labels kind of inputting on what their favorite band’s going to do on their next record. But it’s just not like that.

The environment that Rise offers is just so free-thinking and it is awesome. I was so stoked seeing that bands like Cheap Girls are on Rise, Hot Water Music is on Rise. Being from Florida, Hot Water Music is one of my favorite bands. Knowing that we share that side of things is just awesome.

Going back to the question, I don’t really know that there is a band that sounds like us. I keep hearing (I don’t listen to the bands or anything) Saints Never Surrender or even Counterparts.

You quoted Allen Ginsberg’s “Song” on “Faded Youth”, do you read often?

I do. Especially writers like Allen Ginsberg, they have a lot of social commentary, and that kind of helps me, like I said, deal with myself and deal with what I think. Allen Ginsberg is somebody that I’ve read and albeit sometimes is a little downtrodden, it’s something that I connect with, and his writing is comforting to me. So yeah, I do tend to read a little bit.

But for that song, specifically, I think it was just something about how that song itself is about growing apart from your friends, moving forward with your life without some of the people you’ve never thought of living without, and I think that poem just speaks for itself.

I heard from a mutual friend that your favorite band, Turning Point, is straight edge, but you’re not. So what’s up with that?

I guess I can touch on that. I love Turning Point. I fucking love Turning Point. They’re my favorite hardcore band of all time. Straight edge to me, I connect with a lot of it. I don’t drink. I’ve never drank, I’ve never done any drugs. I still live a very sober lifestyle. I’ve never strayed from that side of it. I don’t know, the reason I’m not straight edge is because the connection of the label just doesn’t make sense to me anymore. I still am the same person. I still have the same morals. It’s just something that I don’t… connect with so much anymore. Turning Point is the best band of all time, at least in the hardcore realm.

Aside from that, who else have you guys been listening to?

I know the one thing in the band, the one thing we can always agree on — because believe me, there’s always an argument — is The Smiths. That’s the band that we can always just shut up and listen to. Morrissey, The Smiths, The Cure… All of those bands. For me, that’s what I listen to.

It’s cool that my band, backtrack, they may not be [my band mate’s] favorite band, but they at least like them enough that they’ll stand it. Because with some of the things I put on, I’ll get yelled at [laughs]. But yeah, I’ll say The Smiths are a key point, but as far as modern music goes… There’s a band called Cold Cave that has a record out called Cherish the Lightyears that we really like.

Why do you do what you do?

I personally find comfort in leaving home. I know it’s kind of a weird thing to say, but I’m a little bit stir crazy when I’m stuck in one place, and I think I use this band as a vehicle to not only travel, but to just experience new things. I hate to say that music isn’t the most important thing to me, but the most important thing to me about being in this band is to have experiences with other people and to connect to different cultures, and see all of the places. That’s why I’m doing this. You know, it’s an added bonus to me that people connect with what I have to say, and it definitely is therapeutic to say the things that I’m saying on stage, I think that helps me find comfort in myself, and be able to say the things that were so personal: I get to say them out loud. I think the reason that I mostly do what I do is to just get out there and be away for a while, and lose myself in other places.

What are your future plans for 2013? Do you have anything else to add?

Uh, 2013: So, on this tour, we finish right in the middle of March, and that ends in California, so we drive home. On our way home, we’re going to drive through Texas, the SXSW scene is going to be great, and I’m very excited for that. Then we come home for a little while, and then we’re going to be out again with a band called Frameworks. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to say that, but they’re from Gainesville, and good friends of ours; we’re really stoked to do that. That’s going to be an east coast kind of thing, and then we get home, and we’re going to be writing a new record in May. In the summer, we’re going to be going out to California to play a fest, that’ll be fun.

Anything else to add… On a lighter note, if any of these people reading this catch wind of the person that is Nave, Evan’s alter-ego, I just suggest that you completely stay away from that human being. Because that will bring you into a black hole and he will take you down with him. So, Nave is somebody to stay away from. That’s really all I have.

Interview conducted by: Adrian Garza (Twitter)

Purchase With Time Comes The Comfort here (physical) or here (iTunes)

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