Rumor Has It Interview with Sean Stroh

By Sean Stroh

By the summer of 2009, Rumor Has It seemed to be on the cusp of something big. After releasing their debut self-titled album earlier that year, the band graced the stage with a number of national acts such as Escape the Fate, Story of the Year and Circa Survive.

Then tragedy stuck.

On the night of October 17, 2009, lead vocalist Adam Garcia and bassist Steven Valadez were attacked by a group of skinheads in front of their home. While Adam managed to recover from his stab wounds, Steven’s proved to be fatal.

Although the band temporarily disbanded following the attack, Rumor Has It reformed in 2013 and headed straight back to the one place where they knew they could find peace–the recording studio. The result of a nearly 3 month long recording process was Steven, a 7 song EP named after their fallen bandmate.

Rumor Has It is currently in the midst of a 14 show tour that will take them across several different states.

The name of the tour?

Don’t Freeze Your Balls Off.

Coming Up Magazine talked to lead vocalist Adam Garcia about his love of music, overcoming tragedy and the story behind the name of the band’s current tour.

Was there ever a moment when you thought you would never play music again and how did you manage to overcome such a disturbing and life altering event?

Not once did that thought run through my mind because music is my passion. As far as Rumor Has It,  I wasn’t too sure if there was going to be a future because I knew performing without Steven Valadez by my side would be one of the toughest situations of my whole musical career.

While I stay strong for him, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of that horrible day. But I won’t give up until I achieve what Steven wanted and that’s for Rumor Has It to be heard. We still haven’t overcome 100 percent from that awful tragic night, but together we managed to stay strong because of family and friends.

I’m sure replacing Steven must have been extremely difficult. Why did you guys ultimately decide to bring in Aaron as the new bassist?

Steven will always remain in Rumor Has It.  Aaron, who is also my little brother, was really good friends with Steven as well. We all grew up together and watched each other grow. We were a group of friends that would chill and hang out every single day. Aaron was the perfect fit for the band because he has the same passion and love for music that we do.

What was that first live show like as a band following the attack on you and Steven?

Our first live show back was at the Glass House in Pomona in 2010. We headlined and performed that night in memory of Steven. It was hard.. not just for me but for all our fans, friends and family as well. I still felt as if he was there with me performing on stage though.

Through all the ups and downs the band has experienced, what would you say has been the highest point for you guys as a band?

I would say the highest and proudest moment for us as a band was finally getting to hit the road and tour. We can show people that no matter how far and how hard you fall down, you can always get back up and still give it your all.

You guys recently released a 6 song EP I’ll Stand My Ground. What was the recording process like for that EP and did you do anything different with it than any of your previous studio releases?

We were approaching this EP at a whole different level. We wanted to really step up our game for this one and to be honest and we feel like we accomplished that. We went into the studio with three songs that we had written in the past and with three other songs we were writing at that moment. We tried to scream less and sing a lot more for this EP. We wanted to make something that the fans can relate to. The lyrics written in this EP were based on actual events we have lived through and emotions and feelings that we’ve had.

Do you guys maintain regular jobs during the day or are you full time musicians?

To be honest we switch jobs a lot because of the band. We work for a couple of weeks or sometimes a couple months just to save up the money we need to tour. As soon as we get back from tour we look for a job and do it all over again.. so we do not ever really maintain a steady job. The band is our first priority no matter what.

As a young kid, did you always envision yourself as the frontman of a rock band? Or was music something you became passionate later in life?

Music actually runs in my family. My grandpa was a bass player for a touring band as well. All my male cousins are in bands too. When I was about 10 years old, I got really into the MTV scene and all the old school original punk and pop punk bands like New Found Glory, Simple Plan, Blink182, Good Charlotte and so many more. So I was always fascinated with this style of music. I started to try and sing when I was about 14 years old. That was when I met my step dad Myke Brown. He showed me how to play an acoustic guitar. My first song I ever learned was “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple. And from that moment on, I knew I could do this.

And I got to ask about the name of the upcoming tour–Don’t Freeze Your Balls Off. Whose idea was it and why did you give the tour this name?

I actually came up with the name myself. One day we were just sitting there as a group trying to think of a tour name and out of nowhere I shouted out ‘Don’t Freeze Your Balls Off Winter Tour!’ and we laughed and thought about it. Our van doesn’t have a heater and we are doing a winter tour and we are going through a bunch of states that will be freezing! So we said fuck it, we’ll name it that.

Are there any upcoming or relatively unknown bands you are currently listening to that you would like to give a little shout out to?

Definitely. I would like to give a huge shout out to all my boys from several bands because they are working their asses off just like we are in order to be heard!  Assuming We Survive, Horror In The Moonlight, In Her Own Words, The New Varsity, Tonight We Fight and Green Light Theory. The list can keep going on and on! We work hard for what we love and we love what we work hard for!

 

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