So Whatâs the Spark?: Getting Answers From Sparks the Rescue
by Natasha Perez (Political Science), published October 17th 2010
Sparks the Rescue is an alternative band fresh out of Maine, set on making a name for themselves in this world. Last year they toured with The All-American Rejects while promoting their first CD Eyes to the Sun under their new label Fearless Records. This band has really worked themselves up an impressive following in Maine and New Hampshire and are undoubtedly spreading themselves further as more and more listeners witness their epic concerts. They really do know how to put on a show, often alternating their audience between a full-on mosh pit and symbolically waving cell phones in the air. At one such concert recently in Auburn, Maine (a sentimental return to their home state between tours), Tastemakers caught up with Alex Roy (vocals) and Toby McAllister (guitar). Between the two of them there was little downtime between songs as both love to offer a witty banter of side comments to fill in time. Being so friendly on stage, they were more than willing to set aside some time to answer questions for Tastemakers.
Tastemakers (TMM): So to start, how and where did you guys all end up meeting?
Alex Roy (AR): We all met in high school playing around in different bands. I was in a band called Two Girls Later, Toby was in a band called Pozer, we were all friends in the music scene and then after high school we decided to form a super-group of all the super-artists from around southern Maine.
Toby McAllister (TM): Yea, it was crazy we grew up playing Battle of the Bands against each other and then we just sort of combined.
TMM: Who would you say is your muse/inspiration for music?
AR: It’s usually, for me, relationships.
AR: Life, friends, working
TM: When we all sit down and write together it’s cool to write something that maybe hasn’t happened to us but could, or happened to someone else.
TMM: What’s one of your favorite songs to play for a good crowd?
AR: I like playing a song called ‘Skeleton”, I think that gets the crowd really pumped. And ‘We Love Like Vampires’ gets the crowd pumped up as well.
TM: I feel like once we put out this new CD we’ll be having some new favorites in here.
TMM: What’s the deal with this new CD?
AR: We’re working on it right now, we start recording pretty much tomorrow [10/04/10].
TM: It’s written.
AR: Yea it’s written but we’re looking to write a couple more songs here and there, but we’re jamming it and we’re so excited to release it to the world. It’s going to be out next year.
TM: Next spring.
TMM: Who got you your first instrument?
AR: Probably both of our fathers.
TM: My dad gave me his acoustic when I was a kid that he had when he was a teenager, and we still write on it. And I got my first guitar in 7th grade as a birthday present.
AR: For me it’s pretty much the same story, my dad gave me his guitar.
TM: Alex’s dad plays out in bands to this day, he’s really amazing. We have good fatherly support.
TMM: What are your rehearsals like?
AR: They’re kinda crazy, we have our jamspot. We practice in a big living room and we all live in the same house so we just all wake up every day and jam out and sometimes we’ll have jam sessions late at night. But it’s fun, we blacked out all the windows’¦
TM: Hung foam, Christmas lights, we’re really inspired in that room.
AR: It’s all about getting the mood right to write.
TM: Yea, Alex likes writing in the dark. It’s like pitch black.
TMM: Where’s your favorite place to play?
AR: Probably Maine, Portland. As far as venue The Station was really fun, it was like our home. But there’s awesome venues everywhere.
TM: London. London was cool.
AR: Oh yea London was great, the Roundhouse Theater.
TM: All across the US was fun, even the shitty dive bars that are holes in the wall, I still love playing those too.
AR: It’s great, everything has its own characteristics.
TM: Sometimes you really don’t know what you’re walking into.
AR: Sometimes you walk into a place and it’s like a closet with a stage and sometimes you’re in a theater, it’s crazy.
TM: Keeps it fresh.
TMM: What’s your biggest challenge as a band? And how do you overcome it, if you do?
AR: Making money is our biggest challenge
TM: Yea and we haven’t overcome that.
AR: But we’re always trying everyday. We just want to keep going, we want to make this our career, we love playing music. That’s the challenge, how do you turn your passion and what you love to do in life into your career that actually makes money.
TM: While living in a van with six dudes’¦
AR: But we’re so close, we’ve almost made it and we’ve been touring around and I think we’re very lucky.
TM: We’ve been working really hard for eight years.
AR: Touring for two or three.
TMM: Anything else you want Tastemakers to know?
AR: Yea we have our new music video out for ‘Hello Mexico’, it’s online.
TM: And we’ll be playing the Middle East in Boston in December.
Catch Sparks the Rescue in Cambridge, MA December 18 at the Middle East. Also look out for the new CD being released next spring.