Photo: Kevin McGuinn
Emerging onto San Diego’s rock scene in mid 2016, Ready Set Survive has proven to be on the rise here in the local music scene. With their edgy, full of energy, rock sound and lyrics based upon survival stories, Ready Set Survive has set a name for themselves. The talented trio released a self-titled EP in the beginning of 2017 and is already receiving airplay on local radio stations like 91x. Talks of a second album is in the works but in the mean time, the band released two, brand new singles in early August 2017. Along with new music and upcoming gigs, Ready Set Survive is on to something big.
Take a look at what Ready Set Survive had to say about becoming a band, song writing, funny wine stories and future works.
1. Being from San Diego, how long did you know one another and how did you all come together to form Ready Set Survive?
Troy Cook (vocals, guitar) connected with Sean Drake (bass, vocals) in 2010 through Myspace (of all places) and played together in a punk rock band until 2012. Reconnecting again in 2016 after Troy DJ’d Sean’s wedding, Troy and Sean began developing songs and practicing with drummers but did not find the right fit. Morgan Guest (drums) moved to Pacific Beach and posted an ad on Craigslist to join a band in San Diego. Troy replied to Morgan’s ad, set up a practice, and after the first rehearsal we knew we had our three-piece.
2. Your name, Ready Set Survive, can be considered a called to action, what was the process like in selecting your name and why did you choose it?
The process was a little silly actually. We’re all a bunch of goofballs so we were tossing around names like “GFY” and “Jesus and the Aliens”. There were some worse ones in there too but we’ll save you from those. Ultimately, when we got a little serious about it we knew we wanted a name with action, meaning, and uniqueness to it. We also really liked the term “Survive”. Every living thing on the planet from the cockroach to the king and everything in between, share one thing in common: the urge to SURVIVE. Thus we finally came to the name “Ready Set Survive”, which is as much of a call-to-arms as it is a way of life, in some respect. We are also big horror fans, so Ready Set Survive is a bit of an homage to that genre.
3. Our name, REVOLT, stands for going against anything that is holding you back, what advice would you give to fans who are passionate about pursuing a career in music but are hesitant?
Never hesitate with ANYTHING that involves your passion, and only YOU can MAKE your own success if you want it bad enough. We’ve played in dozens of bands over the years and had much less success in those projects due to excuses, hesitations, fears, or “waiting for that big break”. So far this band has only been truly formed since mid-2016 and we’re proud to have three music releases on worldwide digital media consisting of eight songs total, with several new songs currently being written and ready to record in Fall 2017, and a couple amazing gigs under our belt, and more on the horizon. We have also been getting regular airplay on local radio station 91x. We’re proud to be in this position, because we worked our tails off to get here. We MADE it all happen, and we didn’t hesitate. That being said, a little bit of luck and “right place at the right time” sure doesn’t hurt anything either.
4. We encourage our followers to “move forward in the direction of your dreams”, was there ever a time in your career where you felt like throwing in the towel but kept moving forward to your dream?
I think all of us have considered hanging up the towel at one point in our musical careers. It’s not always an easy thing, being a musician. Playing to empty bars, lugging around equipment, late hours, little to no pay. Following your dreams is hard. If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it and the social-economic landscape would look quite different. Passion and love for the things that are most difficult but most rewarding is what is needed to drive you to excel! For us, that’s music, and that’s what keeps us going.
5. Your first album “Ready Set Survive” debuted in early March 2017, what was the writing process like and any talks of a second album in future?
The first album was a five-song self-titled EP of which four of the songs were Troy’s original music and lyrics which were adapted, arranged, and developed with the help of Sean and Morgan in an open rehearsal studio. The fifth song “We Are the Ones (R.S.S.)”, was started only as a riff and a beat that Morgan heard in his head. After a structure was developed by the band, Sean wrote lyrics to it. Boom! A song! It was truly a collaborative creation by the 3 of us. A sixth acoustic song “Everyday is Halloween” was added to the EP after the band recorded and tracked all the other songs. This one was Troy’s brain-child alone and featured his 4 year old daughter’s voice in the opening seconds of the track. As you can maybe guess, the writing process is flexible, and either way we do it we try to make good songs.
You ask about a second album…well actually, in August we released two new singles “First Time” on August 1 and “Find Our Way” on August 13. Releasing singles (instead of albums only) has advantages (eg: time, cost, and length of time between releases). Ready Set Survive wants to stay new and relevant, so expect a few singles released between albums. We have one more single planned for now, and it’s a very unique collaboration with a local rapper (yes, rapper). We will hopefully turn some heads with this different direction we are headed in for our next single. That’s expected to begin production in late September and be released in October/November.
6. Similar to music, everyone has their preference in wine, what are your go to wines?
Troy – I like to eat liver with a nice Chianti with some fava beans.
Sean – Reds. Love the reds. Reds reds reds. Pinot Noir, Merlot, Sangiovese, Malbec, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon. You name it. If it’s red, I’ll like it.
Morgan – Reds!! Super dry reds. The best have a little spice to them.
7. If you could pair your music with a style of a wine, which style of wine would you choose?
REVOLT 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon!!!!
8. Your music is edgy, full of energy with a dose of punk rock, who would say are you musical influences?
We pull a lot of influence from 90’s punk rock (Green Day, Unwritten Law, Jimmy Eat World, Rise Against, and so on), but also get creative energy from Four Year Strong, The Used, Muse, Bad Religion, The Offspring, Thrice, Foo Fighters, Incubus, A Day to Remember, Fair to Midland, Disney music, and so on. Troy started playing piano at the age of 6, and was hugely influenced by “The Killer” Jerry Lee Lewis
9. Any funny stories you can share involving wine?
My cousin wanted to show off how he could open a bottle of wine with only his shoe when we were checking out my parents brand new home… with a bottle of red wine. There are now permanent red wine stains on the walls, kitchen cabinets and, somehow, it even reached the high vaulted ceilings.
10. Your lyrics can be described as raw with a sense of truthfulness. For example, in the song “Into the Unknown”, the lyrics are; “Why must we face it / why can’t we erase it and try something new / never have I known what the future holds / all I have known is that the past is gone.” What message do you hope your fans discover from your music?
All of our music in one way or another is a “survival story” (see how the band name fits in…), going back to that basic urge to SURVIVE. As an example, “Black and Blue” is about surviving domestic violence and an abusive relationship, and “First Time” is about Sean becoming a father and realizing that he would need to adapt to a better lifestyle to be the type of dad he wants to be. “Into The Unknown” is about surviving one’s own battles within. This song was originally written for Troy’s acoustic album “Destination: NOW”. It addresses the effects that a person’s past can have on the present, and that as soon as they can move forward and truly confront their past, the clearer they can see the beauty that surrounds them. We try to bring most of our songs to some sort of resolution, with some sort of positive message. I hope fans understand from our lyrics that regardless of what you’re struggling with, always remember that “this too shall pass”, “the only way out is through”, and to quote Will Ferrell from Old School “keep on keepin’ on.”