Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Middle Class Rut

Middle Class Rut
Photo by Emily Ibarra

One of our favourite alternative bands would have to be Sacramento-duo Middle Class Rut. Their forthcoming album Pick Up Your Head will be released late June, and Middle Class Rut are set to be on the Uproar tour this summer with Alice In Chains and Jane’s Addiction! So, with a busy summer ahead of them, AMBY caught up with the band’s vocalist/drummer Sean Stockham to chat about traveling the world, falling off stage, energy and passion, and originally wanting to call themselves “Jesus Christ”!

AMBY: Hello Middle Class Rut, thank you for taking the time to chat with AMBY! What’s has the band been up to?

SS: Hey o.  We’ve been in Sacramento getting ready for the tour that starts this Friday in Arizona.  Stoked to finally get back to work.

AMBY: We’re looking forward to hearing your upcoming album Pick Up Your Head, what should fans expect to hear?

SS: Best not to expect anything and just be open-minded.  I almost think this record is more “industrial” than our first.  It sounds less like two guys jamming in a room, and more like machines in a factory.

AMBY: Has hailing from Sacramento, California had an influence on your music? If so, how?

SS: For sure.  Not necessarily the Sacramento of today, but Sacramento 15 years ago.  We were kids, just starting out,  getting dropped off at shows by our moms.  You had bands like Far, Deftones, and Will Haven playing at the Cattle Club every other week and that’s just where everyone gathered.  The “scene” was very much alive, musically and socially.  I think everybody, whether or not they realized it at the time, felt really lucky to be a part of it.  We were younger than everyone else so we just kinda quietly took it all in.  But being so impressionable, and getting to see these bands live all the time definitely shaped who were and who we are today.

AMBY: Your song USA has an immense amount of energy and passion, where does this liveliness come from?

SS: I think that aggressive energy just comes really natural to us.  We don’t really even listen to heavy music much anymore but it seems like whenever we get together in a room to make music it just comes out that way.  Especially playing live in front of people, which a song like “USA” was definitely written for.

AMBY: What’s the funniest thing to happen to you at a gig?

SS: So many shows have been comical for totally different reasons.  Sometimes the combination of awkward venue and the lack of attendance is funny/sad.  Playing a state fair/rodeo in Arkansas was funny/awesome.  Having the power go out mid-set at a small club in Albuquerque, falling off the stage in the dark and spraining my ankle was funny/painful.

AMBY: What’s the best part about being in Middle Class Rut?

SS: Getting to travel the world with friends, playing music every night, and getting great exercise without having to go to the gym.  The worst part being having to spend months away from home, stuck in a van for 8 hours a day with a bunch of grumpy dudes, and playing a set every night that feels like running a half-marathon.

AMBY: The lyrics in New Low are great, what’s the song about?

SS: I suppose it’s about feeling stranded.  Being somewhere you’re not totally comfortable with and just wondering how you got there, and if you’ll be able to leave.

AMBY: Which artists have you been listening to lately?

SS: The new NK record is awesome.  I rarely make an effort to listen to anything anymore though, usually just throw on a college radio station or some classical just for background music.

AMBY: If you could tour anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

SS: Australia is a place we’ve never been that I’d really like to experience.  Seems so far away and disconnected from everything.  Think they still dig alternative rock music over there, too, which would be refreshing.

AMBY: What has you excited for 2013?

SS: Just getting back into the swing of things generally.  We’re doing the Uproar tour later this summer which should be great.  Hopefully we’ll get back to Europe and maybe even to some places we haven’t been yet.

AMBY: And last but never least, what’s something about Middle Class Rut that nobody knows?

SS: Originally we wanted to call ourselves Jesus Christ but Zack’s dad talked us out of it.


Thank you Middle Class Rut, for giving us your answers!

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Alicia Atout

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