I’m no stranger to Joey Stevens’ music, I used to work with his cousin Arlene and she was always happily passing along burned CD-Rs full of his stuff to me. Not really easy to describe what he was doing then (or is doing now with Rumspringa) but it’s sort of a mix of roots rock and freak folk with maybe some hip-hop tossed in. The band’s debut self-titled EP can be purchased physically through Amazon or digitally through iTunes and eMusic (among many others).
You’re not playing an official SXSW showcase this year. Did you apply to play?
We did not apply; we were very, very busy planning Europe and the new (full length) record. It actually passed over our heads but we knew we still had to play so we called some people and made it happen, we are playing 4 parties/events.
How did the two of you meet? Have you been working together for a while? Joey’s cousin and I used to work together and she gave me a few CD-Rs of Joey’s stuff over the years. Does Itaru play on the CD-R she gave me that I think is called “Shake ’em Down”?
We met the first day of high school at a vending machine. Joey started writing his own songs early in high school but pretty much every song in Rumspringa started when we started playing together. The EP is self-titled and yes Itaru did play on that CD.
You’re getting some press now because Shia Labeouf directed your first video. How did that come about? Has the attention led to anything – requests for interviews? Shows? Label interest?
Yes, making that video was very fun. It’s funny what a short little road trip led to. To answer your question, Itaru grew up with Shia. They met in pre-school in fact and, yes, it has led to some decent press, a couple show offerings, and many, many new fans…mostly Shia fans, ha ha ha.
What are the plans for 2009? Seems like you’re going to be touring a lot and because there is just two of you, I assume it’s easier and cheaper to travel that way.
Yes, lots in the works. We are about to record the full length and tour Europe and the West Coast. It’s really exciting. The U.K. is a dream for us and it’s happening so early in our careers. It is easy to travel with only two people and a pickup truck. We get along great and we tend to celebrate our birthdays on the road since its the 3rd year now – Joey’s b-day is on the 19th and Itaru’s is on the 20th of March.
Thursday, March 19th – Little Radio Party [Red Eyed Fly – 3:50pm]
Thursday, March 19th – HiLo Family Show [301 W.6th St. – 10pm]
Saturday, March 21st – The Deli Mag party [Venue/Time unknown – leave a comment if you have any info about this party]