Concert Crap: Who is EastDear Park?
Ben Rockwood: We are five dudes that just want to travel the world doing what we love. We want to spread the same joy and hope that our favorite bands did for us growing up. We want to spread the message that it’s ok to not be ok, but never ok to give up. No matter how shitty things seem, you always gotta keep fighting. That is the EDP motto.
CC: What inspired your name?
BR: We first started practicing at Ben’s (bassist, guitarist) parents house back in 2011, which is located off the street East Deer Park. We wanted a name that represented where we came from, but would remain neutral in regards to what kind of music we are. When people see that name they have no idea what to expect out of us which, in a sense, gives us a clean slate to blow whoever is watching away with a solid first impression. We went through a lot of ups and downs growing up in that neighborhood and we plan on reppin EDP until the day we die.
CC: You guys are a metal band. What metal bands inspired EastDear Park and sound?
BR: The list of bands and artists that inspire and influence us goes on and on. We try to take the best aspects of every band we see and add our own spin to it. For me personally my biggest influences are definitely August Burns Red, The Contortionist, Rage Against The Machine, Slipknot, and Whitechapel.
I know Shields’ (vocalist) biggest influence vocal wise is Randy Blythe from Lamb of God. Colin (guitarist) is really into Fallujah, BTBAM and technical stuff like that while Ryan listens to a bunch of Balance and Composure and post rock stuff. Kevin, our drummer, is really into Architects and Letlive, but also loves all them classic metalcore bands that Shields and I grew up with. We all love jammin to rap though, no doubt about that and are really into every type of music possible.
CC: What success have you garnered in your home state of Maryland?
BR: The music scene in Maryland has gone through its ups and downs but has definitely really come together over the last couple of years. Every band is in it to help one another out because we all know we’re in the same struggle together. Local shows always feel like a family reunion when all the bands see each other, and the support has been pretty incredible from the people attending the shows.
I feel like we’ve earned respect from the Maryland scene for sure. If we aren’t somebody’s cup of tea music wise, they still tend to be able to appreciate what we’re trying to get across musically or lyric wise. Our greatest success has definitely come from the Baltimore and Mt. Airy scene’s for sure though. The Sonar and the Mt. Airy Firehall were like second homes to us.
CC: What are your short term and long term plans
BR: For right now our short term plans are to film two more music videos and then start hitting the road to promote the M EP that we just released. We hope to expand out of the DMV area and ideally start touring consistently by next summer. Then maybe a sick label like Stay Sick Records, Artery, or something like that will sign us! Long term we just want to tour the world and see all that it has to offer while getting the opportunity to connect with fans on a global level and hear how or why our music helped them through whatever it was they needed to overcome.
CC: Besides your band name, what would EastDear Park be in a hashtag?
BR: Well there’s the obvious #EDP which represents the the entire EDP family. #MarylandMetal would definitely be my second choice though.
CC: Is there anything else you would like to say to your fans or anyone that may be reading this interview?
BR: We want everybody to be able to relate to our music on a personal level and would be more than happy to discuss our lyrics and what they mean to us in order to make a clearer picture for you to relate to. If you ever come to an EDP show we want you to know that no matter what race, gender, sexuality, or whatever it is that makes you who you are, you will always be welcomed with open arms into the EDP family. The metal community is the only place that made us five feel like a part of something, and we want to make sure that everybody else feels just as included. It’s ok to not be ok, but never ok to give up.
All questions answered by bassist Ben Rockwood.
Post and interview by Corey Kleinsasser
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