Houston Music

Artist of the Week: Why You Should Care About Modern-Rockers Raging Apathy

Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to [email protected].

Thirty-eight simple rules govern our existence. Our father, who served as a sniper for the Marines in the early '90s before becoming a substitute teacher in 1996, passed them down to us. He said they kept him alive over the course of numerous killing missions, including one where he was teamed up with some rookie pretty-boy sniper that took him through the Panamanian jungle and ended with him getting his trigger finger cut off by a ruthless mercenary.

He said that we'd be wise to follow to them too. We have. A few of them:

9. You'll never be a big man, so you should always throw the first punch in a fight. Always. Even if you're not sure if the other guy really wants to fight you, just punch him first to be safe. You can sort out the details later.

14. Never play cards with a man named after a city. (This one might have come from the coach in Teen Wolf. We get the two confused.)

23. The ketchup bottle only looks empty; there's always more in there. First try the thing where you hold the bottle by its base and spin it round and round really fast. Newton's first law of motion will see to it that the ketchup stuck to the edges finds it way to the opening. If that doesn't work, put some water in there and shake it up. Watery ketchup is better than no ketchup. You just can't eat a french fry without ketchup. It's un-American.

31. Any band with enough gall to give themselves an oxymoronic name, you absolutely have to interview them.

Thus, in accordance with Rule No. 31, we bring you an interview with Raging Apathy, a talented modern-rock quintet that has never enjoyed Staind's music. Read on to see which names "Raging Apathy" beat out, four local albums Raging Apathy's EP is better than and why they might be going to prison.

Rocks Off: So, Raging Apathy, the name is just fabulous. As soon as we read it, we spent the next 20 or so minutes coming up with alternates that have that same effect. A few from the list: Lazy Excercise, Hateful Hugs, Pragmatic Racist, Tiny Elephant, Sane Clown Posse, Guilty Innocence, Timid Aggression. We could do this all day. Which names did "Raging Apathy" beat out?

Ronnie: I was making up the MySpace page and put "Raging Apathy" on there for the hell of it, just so there was something. It was the first name that popped into my head. We tossed around other names for a few months after that, but it stuck once we played our first show. Take your pick of generic rock names and we probably thought of it. We've never looked back on it, though. People are at least amused by it, if nothing else.

Raging Apathy, "One by One"

Raging Apathy, "One by One"

RO: We checked out your EP. It's pretty fly. Can you please name four local albums that The Nature of Things is better than? You should know ahead of time that if you guys try to duck this question, we're going to edit the interview in a manner that makes it look like you all hate minorities.

R: [laughs] We -as any band - think we're the greatest and next best thing. You have to be confident in what you do. Any Mike Jones album, Lil Flip - he's from Houston, right? - The Southern Kill's The Winding Way and Red November's upcoming album.

That was a difficult question. We are pretty tight with the local rock scene, whether hard rock, alternative, indie, metal or folk. We are a band of musicians and if it's good, we probably like it. We've played with all of these guys and respect what they do, but we're the greatest and next best thing. Duh [laughs].

RO: We want to say that we read somewhere that the ideal number for a rock band is four members. The formula is probably something like singer, guitarist, bass player and drummer; why do you all need the extra piece? We mean, Black Sabbath was always better than Judas Priest.

R: We believe that each one of us adds something to the music that, without it, wouldn't be "Raging Apathy." There are a lot of bands out there whose "formulas" work for them. To really capture the ideas we wanted to put out there, Raging Apathy needed to be a five-piece. Chemistry is one of those things. Having two guitar players helps to fill out the sound that we hear in our heads when we write our music. We like the layering that it produces.

Raging Apathy, "Beauty In Lies"

Raging Apathy, "Beauty In Lies"

RO: Let's say that Congress, after reading this here interview, agreed and decided to enact a law stating that you, in fact, could only have four members in your band. Defiance of this law results in a minimum of five years in prison. Who gets the boot from the band?

Patrick: I guess we'd be playing together in prison. But If we had to choose, I'd say me these days; drum machines are getting way too popular.

RO: [laughs] Anything you all want to make sure gets mentioned? Now would be the time to do it.

Ronnie: We will be expanding on our EP and releasing a full length album later this year. Also, we want to put out there that we are grateful for every fan we have [and] everyone we'll gain.

Purchase Raging Apathy's EP via www.myspace.com/ragingapathyband.

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Shea Serrano