A.C. – drummer for Valley bands Grass and the recently reunited Road Sodas – is a natural story-teller; there’s a sexy rasp to his voice, and a swagger to his delivery. He’s a wildcard, but in a lovable, cinematic way. I asked him a few questions about the return of the Sodas. His answers are presented here minimally edited, in his own excited, run-on style.
For the uninitiated, lay down the legend of The Road Sodas.
AC: The Road Sodas all started about six years ago when three of us who used to play in Organized Kaos together decided we wanted to start something new. At this point in time, we had all taken up different instruments and were assuming different roles in the band than we had in younger years. We started writing music and playing shows mainly at parties and small venues. With no social media pages out there or music released, we quickly became this cool word of mouth band that began drawing interest from people outside of our local scene and friend groups, and we just decided to run with it. After headlining Pottsville Punk Fest and doing a few shows with the infamous Pork Dukes from London, we decided it was time to make a record and really put the band out there for the first time. Well – just as soon as that idea came about, our bass player, Brandon Pierzga, made the sudden decision to pack up all of his shit and move to Killington, VT. This brought us to a screeching halt in November of 2014.
What prompted the Road Soda Revival?
AC: As you know, shortly after The Road Sodas came to an abrupt end, me and Salty started another band, ‘Gras,s’ but no matter how different the music was that we were putting out, we always seemed to be getting booked with punk bands. This led to us doing the whole “this is way more of a Road Sodas-style gig” thing. So after playing with bigger name bands like The Flatliners, we realized that we love playing punk rock and that we wanted to do that again. We grabbed a new bass player, Tyler Kern, who played with our pals in FM Waves during their entire existence, and started writing new material and playing shows, and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome thus far.
How have these recent shows gone, so far?
AC: Yeah, we’ve done a handful of fun little test gigs recently. We had to get back out there and see if, for one, people still wanted to see us play punk rock music, and secondly to see what the crowd reaction would be to our brand new material. So far, everyone that has come out and seen us has been super supportive and stoked on our return. Recently, we did a show that I actually threw at my place of work. I work at a speed shop and my boss was cool with us throwing a show, so we invited all of our friends out and the place got packed in pretty nicely. I think it was after that moment that we knew we had to jump in the studio and put something out there, instead of missing our opportunity like last time.
What’s good with the new material? What are you doing the same/what are you doing different?
AC: I think I can speak on behalf of the band when I say that this is the beginning of a new era for us. We always had some fast and heavy songs, but we also had some jammy blues stuff that we left behind once we picked back up with this new lineup. We’re really excited about the new songs we’ve written – and I think the listener will pick up on that when they hear the EP. Something really cool is that, for the first time in our history, people will hear us hit the ska side of things – which is something that we’ve kind of always wanted to do, but have never really been able to produce and make work before. We also very recently added Nick Wilson as our second guitar player, and he’s just an amazing songwriter and musician in general. He’s definitely an awesome addition to the band because, besides his raw talent he brings to the table, he also is someone who just feels right, and the chemistry was there right away.
Does the new release have a title yet? If so do you want to share, or tease it out a little bit?
AC: We haven’t officially picked a name for the EP yet, but we’re narrowing it down as of right now. As for some insight on the songs themselves – I can say they’re very lyrically intense. Every song tells a story and the whole release somewhat revolves around a general topic. There’s just a lot of evil and negativity in the world, and that’s something that you can either let bother you or you can let it inspire you and make something good out of it. We take all that evil shit that comes into our heads and try to bring it to life through music.
Where can people catch y’all drinkin’, jammin’, and screwin’ around next?
AC: In March, we’re going to be doing another show at the speed shop I work at. Maybe that will even end up being some sort of EP release party, but we don’t have an exact date set up for that yet. Hopefully, we’ll have some buddies of ours from Jersey playing that night as well. I think we’re finally going to do the whole social media thing real soon once we’re done tracking this EP, so there will be updates on all that stuff as it gets closer. As for now, we’re just grinding through this recording process and trying to make an EP that will let the people know that we’re fucking back.
Anything else you want to say to the unwashed masses, huddled waiting to be converted into Road Soda fans?
AC: First, I want to thank everyone who has supported us throughout the years. It’s been so rad to exist purely as a word of mouth band for so long and still have people give a shit about us playing music. As for everyone else, keep an eye out for a single to drop real soon and we hope to catch you at a show!