Rain City Rockers is the amalgamation of all things nerdy. The band is the brainchild of Andrew Conroy and contains members of Sum 41, Gob, Goldfinger and Die Mannequin. The Anime EP is a follow up to their debut album, Mayday. We picked Andrew's brain about how the project came together.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
I’m Andrew, I play guitar and I sing. Tom Thacker plays guitar, Anthony Bleed plays bass, and Darrin Pfeiffer plays drums.
How did you convince them to do this project?
It came down to a Mario Kart grand prix. The stakes were high; I went all in, asking them to be a part of this ridiculous EP. Luckily, I’m the champion on Rainbow Road, and the rest is history.
For anyone who isn't familiar with your music and who you are, give us a rundown.
Rain City Rockers is a rock band with members of Sum 41, Goldfinger, Gob, and Die Mannequin. We put out our first album in September, and it was recorded entirely live off the floor. And now we’re putting out an EP of anime theme song covers.
What was the motivation behind the EP?
I want to impress girls that cosplay as Misty. And I also wanted to combine my love of music and all things geeky.
Did the band Powerglove inspire you to do this?
For sure. The only difference is, they’re ten times more talented! So I stuck with some easy songs that I could actually play.
Did you guys listen to any other video game/cartoon-themed bands like Van Gough, the Minibosses, or The Black Mages?
I definitely do. There’s a band called Anchorhead that put out epic metal songs detailing Star Wars movies. They include motifs from the soundtrack, and then the lyrics are often quotes from the movies. There’s also this jazz band that plays video game music, but I can’t remember their name right now.
Did you watch every show start to finish in preparation for recording?
Of course! I was so stoked when I found out Netflix had Pokemon: Indigo League and Digimon Adventure 01. Needless to say, I get some odd children’s shows recommended to me on Netflix.
Tell us your favorite episode of each show and why it resonates with you
Pokemon – I want to pick three episodes, because they all kind of mesh together. The three where Ash goes to Saffron City, loses to Sabrina, then goes to Lavender Town to get a ghost Pokemon, and then returns to Saffron City to battle Sabrina again. I remember when I first saw those episodes, I thought Psychic Pokemon were unbeatable. So naturally, I then spent a week playing Pokemon Blue, trying to get Mew from under the truck next to the SS Anne.
Digimon – The Legend of the Digidestined. Such a great episode. You finally learn more about the Digital World, the Digidestined, and Patamon finally digivoles into a champion. It really pushed the series forward and got me really into the show.
Dragon Ball Z – Transformed At Last. I loved the Frieza saga, I thought Frieza was a great character. And when he performed his crazy move to kill Krillin, it blew my mind. Dragon Ball was always good at creating a villain the viewers could rally against. Frieza just seemed extra evil to me.
Sailor Moon – I forget the name of the episode, but the one where the Guardians make it seem like Sailor Moon has left the group so she can save Endymion. The fights between Sailor Moon and Sailor Mars are pretty funny.
What other series would you like to cover?
I would love to cover all the music from Pokemon Red/Blue. I sometimes listen to those soundtracks late at night. They’re really relaxing, probably because of the nostalgia effect. I’d also like to take a stab at a rock version of an entire Star Wars soundtrack. I’ve tried charting out a few songs, but there’s so many parts to it. That project will take a lot of time for sure.
Name your favorite games.
Rogue Squadron, Shadows of the Empire, Pokemon Red/Blue and Gold/Silver, Grand Theft Auto V, The Last of Us, Conker’s Bad Fur Day.
Do you have any specific video game composers or studios that you consider favorites?
Gustavo Santaolalla, the composer for The Last of Us. That soundtrack is some of the best music I’ve ever heard. It was fairly minimalist, but it added so much depth to the game. I want to do another playthrough of the game, but I’m not sure I can handle the emotional rollercoaster yet again. I heard the soundtrack was going to be released on vinyl this year. I’m really looking forward to that.
What's your console of choice in the console wars?
Playstation. But to be fair, I play my N64 at least twice a month with a group of friends. It’s still the best console when you have a bunch of people. Mario Kart, Goldeneye, Super Smash… Those are classic games that bring people together in a room.
Is this a one-off thing or will there be more songs? Is there a song you’re dying to record?
There will be more songs for sure. I don’t have any songs in particular that I want to record, but I would love the opportunity to write material specifically for a game. I would love to play a demo of the game, read the script, get a feel for it, and create something that gamers would remember.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I want to be the very best, like no one ever was.