Back in 2001, two guys came together in order to create a band. It took five years in order for that band and their unique musical style to fully come together but when it did, right in the city of East Lansing, Michigan, fans were thankful that they discovered what would come to be known as Frontier Ruckus, right in the heart of Lansing.
Coming up in the Michigan music scene, Frontier Ruckus, found the scene to be a comfortable place to grow both as a band and as artists individually. “It’s an incredibly supportive environment that offers a great sense of psychological stability when you’re away or in the depths of making new art,” described members of Frontier Ruckus.
Now, with the release of Eternity of Dimming, Frontier Ruckus has found both fame and artistic success. The band describes their new record as an all over the place experiment that results in a hit with fans. “Musically, the new record is all over the place, but has a lot of pulsating organs and little 80s Casio keyboards, and shimmery electric guitars on top of our usual sonic field of wood and reeds and strings and percussive resonance. It combines sounds of everything from 90s alternative radio rock to 70s pop rock like Big Star or Paul Simon’s solo records on top of 60s folk rock and country rock like Neil Young and the Band.”
Only time will tell what eternity has in store for Frontier Ruckus, but if the past is any indication of their future, eternity will be something to look forward to.
The following is my entire interview with Frontier Ruckus.
C: When did Frontier Ruckus come together?
FR: Matthew and David began playing songs together in 2001, started writing more involved songs and taking things more seriously around 2004, and formed the full band in East Lansing, Michigan in 2006.
C: Frontier Ruckus, in a few words, how would you describe the band’s musical sound?
FR: Lyrically, the songs are always verbally intense and self-mythologizing, creating an enormous poetic landscape of intertexual imagery and themes. Musically, the new record is all over the place, but has a lot of pulsating organs and little 80s Casio keyboards, and shimmery electric guitars on top of our usual sonic field of wood and reeds and strings and percussive resonance. It combines sounds of everything from 90s alternative radio rock to 70s pop rock like Big Star or Paul Simon’s solo records on top of 60s folk rock and country rock like Neil Young and the Band. Along the way though, there are countless little strange sonic vignettes and tangents that mix different sound fidelities and moods almost erratically.
C: What musical influences do you pull from when you are performing or writing music?
FR: Our new record is artistically reflective of a lot of 90s culture, nostalgia, and pastiche. Clunky obsolete technology serving as weighty metaphoric souvenirs for time’s bittersweet passage. The music’s ethos is mostly just influenced by the infinitude of memory. Lots of vestigial golden childhood imagery. Local infrastructure and physical layout of memorized personal surroundings inextricably bound to memorial gravity.
Frontier Ruckus has gained quite a large following in Michigan and beyond, what was the process of coming up in the industry like?
FR: It’s still an ongoing process of daily triumphs and frustrations. We’ve learned that the best way to progress is to keep a kind of tunnel vision view of your creative world as a band, and focus on the band’s personal, idiosyncratic vision as much as possible. It’s the only way to remain healthy and gratified in an outrageously competitive environment. And it’s more fun and successful to really create from a firstly self-gratifying perspective. It benefits everybody in the end, really.
C: How would you guys as a band describe the Michigan music scene?
FR: Increasingly tight-knit. I can only sense a growing amount of postive energy and solidarity. It’s an incredibly supportive environment that offers a great sense of psychological stability when you’re away or in the depths of making new art.
C: How do you all as a band feel social media has helped and will continue to help your career?
FR: We are very fortunate to have a very devoted and connected base of supporters and appreciators. We feel lucky to have channels to interact with them on a regular basis to let them know what we’re up to and we do receive much encouragement to proceed with our creations through the feedback and excitement that they’re able to send back our way.
C: What does the future of the band hold?
FR: We’re currently getting everything ready to release our biggest project as of yet later this year—a double record of 20 songs called Eternity of Dimming. We’ve never been more proud of anything and are crippled with anticipation for the world to hear it. We’ll be touring throughout the spring and summer, playing many new songs.