Even Aliens Go Through Funks - An Interview with Rinse and Repeat
Taking the term ‘experimental’ to a whole new level, Rinse and Repeat’s Aaron Bones and Riley Greer continue to push existing boundaries and genre definitions with their new wave music from outer space.
Luke: So would you guys mind introducing yourselves and describing what role you play in your band?
Aaron: I'm Aaron Bones and I play bass primarily in Rinse and Repeat.
Riley: I'm Riley, I play guitar half the time.
Aaron: That's pretty much it, I mean we both play synthesizer and program drums, and we both play guitar and bass and that's like our primary thing, but as far as recording it’s kinda whatever.
So I noticed before it was just you two in Rinse and Repeat but there are two other guys now, right? Someone that plays the synth and then there's someone who's on the drums as well?
Aaron: Yeah, so the guy on the synthesizer is Ian and he's like an old friend of mine from high school. We kinda like lost connection and then, just through music, got to know each other again. So we've always been buds and he's always been a fan of our project, we were kind of thinking, ‘well we brought a drummer on so we should have someone to play those parts too’. We had him just come on recently and that's been fun! We just got Rodney (who's our drummer), which is tight ‘cause we just did the backing track thing for a while with drum machines, and that's cool in its own way, but it's a lot more stressful because depending on where you play it’s like, you could show up and they’re like, "yeah the PA system here is super bad," you know?
Riley: We had to plug in our backing tracks to like two bass amps and a guitar amp and it sounded like shiiiiiit.
How did you guys originally start Rinse and Repeat?
Riley: So I met Aaron when I was seventeen and he was nineteen.
Aaron: You came into my work, right?
Riley: Yeah, I came into his work ‘cause I had a friend who was working at the ice cream shop he was working at. and then… uh, he looked like a dingus. I thought he was gonna be a dork at first. A long time went by and I saw him again at this park with this huge group of friends we would always hang and do like, buster shit with and we just kinda hit it off.
I had a really bad high school band and we didn't have a bass player so I asked Aaron to play bass with us. I wasn't really having fun with it though, so I quit. Aaron had his own little band, he was the only one doing work in the whole thing, all the other guys didn't know how to play an instrument.
Aaron: Yeah it was just like three guys, one of them played one of those xylophone things, it was just kinda nonsense.
Riley: And then… yeah, I was just like ,"dude we should start a band".
Aaron: It just coincided at the same time, we had both just dropped our bands and we were becoming better friends.
Riley: Yeah, it was never at a point where we were like, “yeah we're doing a band'“, it just happened.
So you guys seem to embrace this futuristic space type look, how did you come up with that?
Riley: We both just like sci-fi.
Aaron: I think we both came together on the sci-fi thing, I think from the beginning we thought it would just be funny to just, like, show up at house shows while everybody's just super punked out and we just look like total fuckin’ dorks, you know? (laughs). We never wanna be like one of those cool guy bands that's all frowny and that takes themselves super seriously, ‘cause although we take our music seriously, we also are doing it to have fun in the first place.
Riley: Yeah, we're not super serious (both laugh).
So what are your thoughts on extraterrestrial life?
Aaron: I definitely think there are aliens, I mean there are just so many planets! I don't think they’re little green guys you know? And like as far as being visited by them, I don't really know man, I kinda doubt… well…. now you're making me think Luke (all laugh). I think it's possible for sure.
Riley: It seems so out of this world to believe that like -
Aaron: Nice pun dude (all laugh).
Riley: It just seems too crazy to think we've already made contact with aliens or that we've already seen extraterrestrial life, but I feel like there's a chance that it's possible and a chance that it's not.
So you guys released an EP last year titled ‘Fig. 3’, do you guys have any new music or tours planned for 2019?
Aaron: Yeah, we just finished our next EP and that's coming out probably on the 31st of this month, it's just getting mastered right now but as soon as we get it back well put it up. We haven't really planned out a tour yet, we were gonna go in January but our drummer is in Seattle right now so we are just gonna try to do that in the next month or two.
Who is Suddley Suds and what is a cyclite?
Aaron: Ok so Suddley is a companion that we found...I'll leave his true identity a secret but he's basically from another planet that fell victim to the cyclites...he's on hiatus right now though.
Riley: Yeah he's got some family problems, he's going through some things with his wife so he kinda just took off from earth and we haven't heard from him since.
Aaron: And he won't give me back my drum machine
Riley: Yeah (all laugh), but he'll be back soon though, everyone goes through funks, even aliens.
Aaron: And then a cyclite is basically like a microscopic organism that has invaded certain planets, and what they do is get in your ear and they latch themselves to your brain. They pretty much give you dopamine rushes and endorphin rushes from doing the same thing and living in repetition and not challenging yourself. So you get into this cycle, that's the cycle we talk about, were you get dopamine rushes from doing the familiar and the comfortable which stops the artistic progression that most people have. What our vision is is that they travel from planet to planet and take over, and by the time they have controlled everybody there's nothing left, it's just a bunch of subhumans that just do the same thing over and over.
Is there any specific equipment you guys use that you think helps to define your sound?
Aaron: There's this pedal we use that we call the worble-wobble, because in our lore basically it’s sound or frequency that we use in our music that kills the cyclites that attach themselves to people. The way you cure yourself is by hearing those sound waves. I feel like, not to be like that guy, but I don't wanna get to in depth on that pedal because they are surprisingly common (laughs), I don't wanna blow it.
Riley: Yeah, I feel like it's the secret ingredient to mama's spicy meatballs.
Aaron: Basically it's a multi-FX and it has a bunch of different things and we kinda mix stuff on it.
Riley: When I was younger and I was trying to figure out what gear people were using, some people wouldn't say what they used. You would just have to experiment and figure out like, "oh this is how they do it, oh that makes sense". I always had a lot of fun figuring out that puzzle so I don't wanna spill the beans.
Well thanks so much for taking the time to do this!
Aaron: Yeah, this was super fun!
Riley: Yeah, this is tight!
Do you guys have anything to plug or anyone to shoutout?
Riley: We got a new EP coming out on January 31st!
Aaron: It's gonna be on Spotify, Apple music...
Riley: Where ever you can find music it will be there!
Aaron: Shout out to my boy Luke (All laugh)!
Be sure to check out Rinse & Repeat’s latest EP, “Stone Unturned“, coming soon to a planet near you!