Interview: Remo Drive

Photo Credit: Connor Siedow Photography
Photo Credit: Connor Siedow Photography

If you’re from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, and part of the growing DIY scene there, you’ve probably heard the name Remo Drive.  Formed by brothers Erik and Stephen Paulson and drummer Austin Voigt, their passionate, emo-punk style of music has been helping them grow to be one of the frontrunners of the house show scene.  They’re young and full of energy, both on and off the stage, and some of the coolest people out there.  I got to sit down with them before their set at Brickfest 2015 in Foley, MN.  Here’s what they had to say…

How long has Remo Drive been a band?
Erik Paulson: 
I think our first show was December 6th of 2013 with me and Stephen, and then Austin kinda came in last year after kinda figuring out our lineup and I guess we kinda came along because the dudes from Pierre went to Stephen and I’s high school and the guys from Molly’s Worst Enemy went to Austin’s high school, and so we all kinda had an interest in music from an early age.  And then through me playing in a band called closer to Yellow with Austin we all got together and I guess started jamming.  We wrote our first few songs with Austin and then recorded them this last December and… yeah.

Photo Credit: Riley Downs Photo
Photo Credit: Riley Downs Photo

You guys have a lot of passion behind your music and lyrics. What or who influences your style and writing?
Erik: Probably when we first started, Title Fight was a big one and Basement.  A lot of those Run For Cover bands.
Stephen Paulson: Yeah, a lot of those emo/post-hardcore bands that were like, kind of like, blowing up in 2012-2013.
Erik: But then I guess now we just listen to whatever we’re feeling at the time.  I feel like that’s a more natural way to get influence rather than sort of ripping off other bands and things that have already been done.

You guys are arguably one of the biggest bands in the DIY scene in Minnesota.  What makes DIY music and the house show scene different from “real” venues, in your opinion?  What’s the draw to it?
Austin Voigt: You’re close to everybody.
Erik: Yeah it’s kind of like more of a community thing as opposed to when you’re on a stage you’re kinda seperated from the people.  And also whenever I try to book real venue shows, nothing ever really happens.  The DIY scene is a place where people already kinda know what we’re about and are interested in seeing what we can do and they’re kind of willing to grow with us.

So you guys recently went on a midwest tour.  Want to tell us about that?
Erik: I guess Stephen can talk about that because he booked it.
Stephen:  So it was 12 days and we played 10 shows.  It was super cool.  Our friends in Goodnight Gorillas went on tour with us and Unturned played for the last couple of days.  It was just awesome getting to be together and tour the midwest and see everything.
Austin: You just get to bond and just get really tight as a band.
Erik:  Playing together and just like, hanging together, you get closer as people.
Stephen: We got to stay with our friends in Anzio in Rockford, IL for like, four nights.  Three nights? Whatever.  We just drove there and then played Chicago and came back and then played there and just hung out.  It was super cool getting to hang out with Bobcat, well and get to know them better and Paul and Sam.

If you had a dream show, who would you play with and where would it be?

Photo Credit: Riley Downs Photo
Photo Credit: Riley Downs Photo

Stephen: Title Fight, Triple Rock.  At least for me it would be cool to play with Title Fight.
Erik: I think we all have like, our favorite bands, but for me it would be cool to play with Title Fight.
Stephen:  For me it would be Title Fight because like, if it wasn’t for them, I probably wouldn’t even be in Remo Drives, I probably wouldn’t even have wanted to start it.  So to be able to play with them and be like “you guys inspired me to… create my life and what I wanted to do.

Finally, do you guys have any ideas for what can make the MN scene better?
Erik: I think there are a lot of things that’s what kind of made the older DIY scenes successful.
Austin: I would say bring your friends to come to shows.  Like, bring someone who doesn’t usually go to shows to a show.  Just bring people there to see what’s going on.
Erik:  Live music is just exciting in general.  Even if people wouldn’t listen to like, punk or hardcore or emo normally, I feel like just seeing that much energy in just one place is exciting to people.  I mean there are a lot of little things that could make the scene more successful.  Its as easy as like, sharing a band you like on Facebook.  It makes a lot more visibility.  Social media is good as a tool to help you like, grow, but it isn’t good as a crutch like a lot of bands use it.

Any last words you would like to add?
Erik: Shouts out to Pets With People Names, shouts out to Unturned….

Photo Credit: Riley Downs Photo
Photo Credit: Riley Downs Photo

Stephen: Shouts out to Wanderer.
Erik: Shouts out to Anzio, shouts out to Goodnight Gorillas, shouts out to our moms…
Stephen: Shouts out to the Triple Threat!  Shouts out to JoJo from Backside Records.
Erik: I guess shout out to everyone who ever came to a show or bought a t-shirt, because you helped our little rockstar dreams feel real, so Thank you guys!
Austin: Wait one last shout out…. Shout out to BasedGod!

Check out Remo Drive’s Artist of the Week Artist Profile and download their latest album Wait for the Sun.

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