Having only emerged as a band just over one year ago, Pop/Rock band Roseburg have already defined themselves as a powerful rising force to be reckoned with. Named after the small city in Oregon where they first met, the young band prides themselves on not conforming to any specific demographic or genre, but rather on harnessing all of their varying influences and allowing their music to grow and change alongside them as they prepare to release their debut record, Righteous Punk.
“When we first started making Righteous Punk, we were really into the darker, mid-tempo pop stuff,” vocalist Zach Knell tells heirwaves, adding that the band’s latest single “9 to Midnight” originated that vibe from which the rest of the album stemmed. The track captures a seemingly happy and upbeat air on the surface, but never fully lets you reach that high due to a moody and melancholy undertone – a contrast that the band grew to love.
“We’re approaching some heavier topics a lot of the time,” Zach continues, “and talking about anxiety and talking about loneliness, but at the same time there’s always hope and redemption. So, I just like blending the two together.” Zach recognizes that ultimately, they are still developing that diverse blend of sounds as the upcoming record has been their first chance to dive in and truly test the limits of who they are and what they’re good at – something they hadn’t delved quite as far into with their debut EP.
The band quickly gained recognition last year from their widely circulated introduction video, along with the music video for their debut single “Stay Golden” featuring YouTubers & Snapchat’s Endless Summer stars, Summer McKeen and Dylan Jordan. That debut was truly just the beginning for the band who’s sound since highly evolved. “We were a brand new band,” Zach says, “We’ve only been a band for about a year. We got together, and we wrote those songs kind of on the fly… and we’re like ‘alright, we need to get something out there. Let’s start and let’s have something to build upon.’”
And with that, they have definitely built something big – that’s only going to get bigger. Amidst preparation and releasing singles from the upcoming record, Zach reached out to Sleeping With Sirens vocalist Kellin Quinn on instagram, letting him know that he had been a major musical inspiration for him. “I went to bed, didn’t think anything of it,” he says, adding that to his surprise, he woke up the next morning to find that Kellin not only responded, but also shared their music to all of his followers.
Roseburg went on to join Kellin in his new venture, Dreamer Development Group, aiming to help connect new artists to industry opportunities, and also featured him on their July 2019 single, “RIP.” “It’s been awesome having a mentor in the music industry, but also just a friend in the music industry that understands kind of where I’m at and what I’m trying to do and cares,” Zach says.
With a sound far too dynamic to be grouped into any one specific genre – that is exactly what the band is going for: something for everyone. Catering to the new age streaming style of versatile new music playlists, Roseburg is allowing their music to touch a widespread audience by pulling from their own widespread influences.
“I love these playlists and stuff and how that’s working in the streaming age now,” he says, “You could have some 14 year old girl that loves One Direction, and they find our song ‘Stay Golden’ on some happy summer pop playlist, and then you have somebody who listens to I Prevail and Pierce The Veil and these post hardcore metal bands listening to this other song by us. I think that’s sick.”
“Being a young band, we feel like this album we’re working on, we want to be really careful about what music we’re making,” Zach says, explaining that they don’t even want to be pigeonholed into any specific sound that people will expect from them. From an almost metal track, to a beachy indie song, the record allows to band to beat multiple hats in a way that’s cohesive.
In an age where the sheer amount of music being but out into the world is so vast, the band has a collective goal of staying true to their voices and saying something that matters. “I don’t love that people can put something really mindless out into the world so easily and promote it,” Zach admits, “Because what I think it does, is it adds to the noise in the world.” He reveals that that is a continually significant conversation for the band, in asking themselves: “If we’re gonna do this, and we’re gonna add to the noise in the world, what are we gonna say? and we need to be careful about it.”
Laced with complexly catchy melodies that carry real, honest themes and emotions, Roseburg has managed to create a unique and powerful blend of sounds that offer something for everyone to resonate with through every high and every low. Though it’s truly only the beginning for the band, they are determined to never lose sight of the stories that matter to them, the music that inspires them, and the magic of the place where it all began: Roseburg.
“9 to Midnight” is available for streaming and download on all platforms now.