For the last few years Brisbane band, The Rockefeller Frequency have been creating energetic indie-rock music fuelled by anxiety, and an unhealthy fascination with conspiracy theories. Fusing influences such as Refused, The Strokes and George Orwell, The Rockefeller Frequency have recorded their new single, 'The Rift'; a song about reckoning with inner demons in the face of our own mortality.
The song was written in parts, over a couple of years, with the global political climate having a substantial impact on the finished sounds. Lead singer Joshua Eckersley states, "writing the song against the backdrop of the ongoing Trump media circus really contributed to the sense of helplessness, loss, and feeling way off course personally, and that really comes across in the lyrics."
With a true punk rock ethos, the single has been a full DIY journey from inception through to its release. The recording process took place in the band's own Basement Studios in Brisbane, and was engineered and produced by the band also along with the bulk of their yet to be released debut album. "The beauty of doing it yourself", says Joshua Eckersley, "is you can take your time, and try some really weird shit, and you don't have to answer to anyone or worry about money. You just create art, go about your day, then do it again."
The Rockefeller Frequency are - Joshua Eckersley (Vocals), Jacob Mann (Drums), Tim Corcoran (Guitar), and Michael Russell (Bass).
Question: How would you describe your music?
Joshua Eckersley: It's a mix of hard rock influences and more pop-orientated melodic ideas. We listen to a wide array of music and it all filters through us like a hearty soup. I love low-key acoustic stuff, like Jason Molina or Father John Misty. I also love hardcore stuff like Refused and At the Drive In. It's all in our music. Everything is right there in the pocket.
Question: What inspired The Rift?
Joshua Eckersley: The Rift was something we put together over a number of years. My family fell apart a few years back and it really knocked out my sense of what is normal and what is abnormal. It made me see the rift in everything. Reality, or someone's perception of reality is going to fuck you over in one way or another. There is a rift in almost everything!
Question: What message do you hope to spread with The Rift?
Joshua Eckersley: The message is – please have a listen. It's hard enough to get traction as an independent band but still we persist with this. So yes, please check out our new single and let it wash over you like heavy gravy.
Question: What motivates you most when writing music?
Joshua Eckersley: That's a difficult question to answer. I tend to focus on modern day political issues, as well as more personal issues impacting my existence and my mental state. I like to mix it all together too, with metaphor and imagery so it's not entirely obvious what I'm even singing about.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Joshua Eckersley: Recording can be very repetitive and tedious but it has a huge payoff at the end. Performing live is more of an instant payoff, so that's my preference but they are both good fun.
Question: What is the story behind the band name?
Joshua Eckersley: I was interested in conspiracy theories for a long time and for a while there I was convinced there was a sinister force pushing humanity down the wrong path. The Rockefeller Frequency is a reference to that concept; to that invisible influence. I don't know if I really believe in that stuff anymore. I think humanity is quite capable of stumbling down the wrong path without any assistance required, but still I think the name sounds cool so it stuck.
Question: How did the band come together?
Joshua Eckersley: We come from the small NSW town Lismore and have played together in different bands forever. We all have a similar notion of what sounds good and I guess we hear those qualities in what each of us do. I think the guys in the band are all geniuses at what they do, and luckily they seem to like what I do, so it works well.
Question: Which music/artists are you currently listening to?
Joshua Eckersley: I've been listening to a wide mix of artists recently, such as Kevin Morby, Ezra Furman, Nico Yaryan, Frightened Rabbit, and Violent Soho. Kevin Morby is like a modern day Bob Dylan, and Ezra furman is like a punk rock David Bowie. They are like a fresh take on a classic sound. Also with all of the recording we've been doing recently, working on our new album, I've been listening to a lot of The Rockefeller Frequency.
Question: What or who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Joshua Eckersley: I had lots of inspiration. I listened to a lot of Nirvana when I was young. I think I romanticized the whole music industry thing a little too much, based on a guy who blew his head off with a shotgun. But I guess we all make those kind of choices when we're young.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Joshua Eckersley: Ringo Starr.
Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success?
Joshua Eckersley: Fatigue, and a sore throat.
Question: What's a typical day like?
Joshua Eckersley: We've been doing a lot of recording recently so the day might involve screaming into a microphone for three or four hours, drinking tea and hoping that it all works out okay.
Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?
Joshua Eckersley: The camaraderie of being in a band. Its great fun to work together on a project, all pushing for the same thing. And when it all comes together, it's very rewarding.
Question: Can you share your socials?
Joshua Eckersley: Facebook
Interview by Brooke Hunter