The R Train Band Interview with Muzique Magazine
How did you come by your stage/band name?
Formed in early 2019 by members Black and Annese, the band’s name came about while traveling on the New York Subway, the R Train. They were taking the train from Bay Ridge Brooklyn to Manhattan, to master a couple of tracks at Battery Studios, also known as the legendary “Record Plant” at 321 44th St.
The Plant, as it is known today, is home to some of the greatest recordings of all time – from the likes of John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Aerosmith, Kiss, and countless other greats. As the train swayed back and forth, the two thought, “we are in the greatest city in the world, traveling on the ride of a lifetime,” it was at that moment “The R Train Band” was born.
When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?
Well, I never really knew that I was in love with music in every way, but when confronted with the option of doing something else at any given moment, I always chose music. I do so because it is the only thing I really always enjoy doing. Therefore I just love it. I want to spend all my time with it. A career in it is only natural for me because I can’t really do anything else for very long. It all bores me. So the path is clear.
To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
In appearance, I have always been into performers who were unquestionably great but who also saw the need to wear flashy clothes and hairstyles. Elvis and Hendrix and Stephen Tyler with their shirts and scarfs.
From a guitar playing point of view, I have always admired those players that have a melody and story
On your current project, how did you come up with the concept?
The pandemic has greatly shaped our musical writing path. With all the restraints of Covid, we long for the return to freedom and happiness. “Rock On” speaks to that by urging self-honesty. Be yourself whoever that might be. Don’t fight it. Embrace it. Take the trip into the Matrix and down the rabbit hole. Go for the Big Brass Ring. Chase your dreams… It was written actually describing the trip that our band is on.
What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
Our greatest challenge is that Rock itself is no longer the main genre of modern music. Even though all of our original songs are brand new and freshly recorded, they keep getting viewed as Classic Rock. This is because we use actual instruments like acoustic drums and Bass Guitar and actually sing live without computer effects. This points us at a vintage sound. We feel that our songs put a new spin on it with a fresher musical style. We consider it Modern Hard Rock Music.
Are you the best at what you do in your opinion?
Definitely not the best as myself or compared to others. I’m really just a self-taught street hack. I write and play and sing from my heart with message and melody in mind. Each song has a story to it. Each solo tells a part of that story. I’m into melodic clear storylines in the verse and instrumentally. Obviously, there are those far better than me at it, but I do aspire to them and strive for more perfection.
What are your plans for the near future?
In October we plan to play at Arlene’s Grocery on the lower east side of Manhattan. We will be celebrating John Lennon’s birthday on October the 9th. Saturday night we will have 4 bands in his honor and a cake. He would have been 82.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shout-outs?
Scott Hull of masterdisk_nyc has polished our sound in his Mastering facility. Ace Annese of Space Ace Radio Valencia has really become a mentor to us. Arlene’s Grocery has given us the opportunity to have our party for John.
How can fans find you?
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?