Strawberry Rocket [Seattle] has Chuck (C. Will 'Blaze') on drums; Michael, guitar; Derek (D. Forest) lead vocals and guitar; and M. Nakagawa .
Talking to Chuck (drums) and Michael (guitar) was like a mind-blowing “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride” at “Disneyland” when you were six.
They are perfect for Seattle Hempfest 2014. They tried out at the 88 Keys in Seattle. They are waiting for the votes to be cast.
It was an intangible mix of groovy glue and “Scooby-Doo”.
Honest and poetic verse with Michael on “standby” mode and Chuck primarily answering the questions without a pause, or thought beforehand. A fun couple of guys that know what they are about and require little questioning as they know what and who they are all about.
They are the kind of guys you want to kick back and eat pizza with. Have a game on and plenty of chips and dip. Lots of laughter as well.
Jenn: “You have a unique quality to your music. When did you know you nailed the sound?”
Chuck: “It really didn’t probably come together until about two years ago when Michael joined the band, he really brought a lot of flavor to it; that’s probably when it really came together.”
Jenn: “When you guys are writing music, do you jam, or write it on the way, or is there a plan…?”
Chuck: “This is where our bass player should be here.”
Michael: “So far how it’s worked out is Derek comes up with a great baselines and vocals, and chuck pretty much adds some groovy beat to it. Then, I just put a bunch of junk over the top and try not to gunk it up too much. Chuck and Derek pretty much have all of the songs all worked out.”
Jenn: “Tell me about the songwriting process for you.”
Chuck: “The songwriting for us is very organic, again, Derek, the lead vocalist pretty much does all of the songwriting, he writes most of the lyrics.
Everybody just jumps in when he has the baseline in his head, and he’s playing, and we all kinda figure it out from there. Nobody dictates towards each other. So it’s very organic and freeing as an artist.”
Jenn: “That’s very huge on collaboration.”
Chuck: “We write for ourselves first. But also we are trying to make things people will enjoy along the way. I don’t’ think musically we try to step on toes. I think some musicians show up on stage to show how great they are. Collectively, I don’t think it comes across musically.”
Jenn: “The sound is so influenced by different things and not something one can say they can put their finger on.”
Chuck: “I feel like we are, not in sounding, but in music, more like Collective Soul. Where you don’t know where one song is coming out then the next one sounds completely different. Michael is like the 70’s bit, and I’m like the 80’s part of it. The other guys are a little bit of the 90’s grunge thing.“
Michael: “The main guitar lick ever made and rehash it out there at some point.”
Jenn: “So who thought of the name? [Of the band].”
Chuck: “My wife has this purple hair and I called her ‘Strawberry Rocket’ because it just kinda sounded cool to me. It sounded 80’s, sounded kinda phallic, it made other people thinks of more psychedelic.”
Jenn: “I hear that a lot in your music…this psychedelic vibe. The undertones are later 60’s to me. Tell me about your recording.”
Chuck: “We are working on a full-length one right now. We are trying to get the base tracks laid down first. We’ve been doing a lot of shows, so it’s a bit harder to judge when. Around Christmas time is when you can expect the 14 song CD.”
Jenn: “Have you been compared to anyone musically?”
Chuck: “We’ve been compared to everyone. We’ve been compared to ‘The Cars’, ‘Heart’, R.E.M’., ‘Steve Windwood’, I guess it’s all over the place.”
They certainly are all over the place, in a great way. “Strawberry Rocket” is a band that’s here to explode across the scene like a splatted strawberries against a white picket fence.
Vote for them for Hempfest 2014. They deserve it, and their unique sound will only contribute to the festivities in a rock and roll psychedelic way. And that's what Hempfest, now, a celebration, is all about.
To vote for them for Seattle Hempfest, as I know I will, follow this link at:
For more information on this not-to-miss Hempfest please visit:
On Reverb, listen to their music at:
Facebook keeps you updated with their next show in Seattle and surrounding areas. Their page is at: