DFW Music News

The Roomsounds Are Recording a Coming-of-Age Record

The Roomsounds Are Recording a Coming-of-Age Record
Will von Bolton
Even since before their 2012 self-titled debut album, The Roomsounds have gone through many rebirths. Ahead of their junior album release, the modern-take-on-classic-rock outfit is working with a relatively new lineup. But listening to The Roomsounds’ most recent single, “Take Me As I Am,” it’s clear nearly nothing can slow the band down.

The newest members are Matthew Vasquez — who hopped on board to play keys about three years ago — and Nick Snyder, replacing Sam Janik on guitar and backup vocals. Everything's coming together with the new lineup, Ryan Michael, lead vocalist and guitarist, says. “It feels like we’re becoming a real fuckin’ band."

The Roomsounds just put out “Take Me As I Am” with some help from producer John Pedigo and are getting ready to release a music video for the single. The band is recording their junior album at Audio Dallas and Michael says he hopes to continue working with Pedigo on the production.

“We’re having a blast with the guy,” Michael says. “He moves very quickly and he’s in tune with what we want to get.”

While the recording of the album is about halfway finished, and they’re aiming for a spring release, the band plans to keep putting out singles and music videos in the meantime to “feed the proverbial meter,” Michael says. The band wants to take their time, but they also want to stay relevant.

“That’s how I look at social media — you’ve got to feed the meter,” Michael says. “To stay relevant you’ve got to keep putting shit out there.”

“A lot of the first record was about chasing women, which was fun at the time because I was like 25 years old. It’s not so heavy on those themes.” — Ryan Michael

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Relevancy is a hard thing to maintain for a rock act these days, Michael says. “The kids these days, there’s not a lot of rock 'n' rollers. That’s OK because as long as it’s well-executed it’ll always find a fan base and some ears, but it’s not the most hip thing. It’s not EDM or hip-hop or other forms of SoundCloud hipness that I don’t necessarily get.”

However, this hasn’t proved to be a significant problem for the band, which is still getting nominated for things like Best Rock Act in the Dallas Observer Music Awards and playing shows at places like Toyota Music Factory.

Although the band wasn’t founded until 2009, this musical journey is one the lead singer has been on since he was 13. Between his work with the band, bartending at music venues like The Free Man and now producing for other artists, Michael’s life has become all about music.

“I had this talk with my dad the other day,” Michael says. “He said, ‘You’ve always been on this one path ever since you were 13 years old, and it was just all music.’ I never really thought about it, but I’ve sort of created a life for myself where it is all music.”

There’s not a whole lot Michael would change about his life, he says, except maybe The Roomsounds would have a million-dollar contract.

Over the years, the band has been growing and getting better and aiming to get closer and closer to the truth lyrically and musically. The result is The Roomsounds you hear today, but it isn’t too far from where the band started.

“I started The Roomsounds on the idea that it could go anywhere, not putting a limit on it,” he says. “I wasn’t gonna call it Americana or roots rock. We just sort of called it rock ‘n’ roll not wanting to call it anything else because we wanted to leave it wide open. … I think over time, the vision will be realized.”

Lyrically, the band’s material has matured and become more reflective than previous releases.

“A lot of this stuff is more coming of age, because as you gain experience in life you reflect upon certain things,” Michael says. “A lot of the first record was about chasing women, which was fun at the time because I was like 25 years old. It’s not so heavy on those themes.”

When the record is released, Michael wants to take the band on tour. There’s nothing like hopping in a van for a few weeks and losing your mind, he says. Some of the songwriter's best work has come out of being tired and looking out the car window for the next venue.

In the future, Michael says he wants to record the band at different studios and open up for some of their heroes. The latter is the more out of reach because Tom Petty is dead, so, he jokes, there aren’t a whole lot of their music heroes left.
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Jacob Vaughn, a former Brookhaven College journalism student, has written for the Observer since 2018, first as clubs editor. More recently, he's been in the news section as a staff writer covering City Hall, the Dallas Police Department and whatever else editors throw his way.
Contact: Jacob Vaughn