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CHARGING UP WITH ROCKSTEAD


The feeling of love. The power of unity. The essence of happiness. The strength of togetherness and positive vibrations. The highs of living life and the lows of dealing with its obstacles. All of these things encapsulate the music of Cincinnati, OH-based Rockstead, a five-piece, passion driven rock/reggae group.


With roots leading as far back as middle school, Rockstead combines a lifetime full of influences ranging from rock, punk, reggae, jam and metal. In their early days Rockstead ruled the college party scene in Ohio with a schedule full of impromptu house shows that led to packed basements of DIY venues and later, massive crowds attending college fests such as Ohio University’s infamous spring festivals. This early success catalyzed the debut of their first album “Wake Up and Live” (2013) shortly followed by their popular self-recorded “Rise” EP (2014). These releases ignited their inner road warrior leading to a plethora of plays at music festivals and concert venues across the Midwest. Since then, Rockstead continues to widen their reach touring throughout the Eastern U.S. and down into Florida.


Though member changes have occurred over the years, front man singer/guitarist Jake Burns continues to drive the group forward as they have shared stages with international touring acts such as The Wailers (Jamaica), Sticky Fingers (Australia) and Big Mountain (U.S.A.) as well as many staple East coast reggae acts like Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Badfish, Tropidelic, Bumpin’ Uglies and Ballyhoo!. The band has now grown to include Nate Anuci (drums) and Jacob Riley (lead guitar). With a healthy gap since their last full release (Homegrown, 2016) Rockstead dropped their first studio album “You’re In Control” in September 2020 which scored them multiple features in blogs and podcasts across the scene making them “one of the most unique and special bands in [Cincinnati]” (CincyMusic, 2020).


By using their relentless high-energy performances and genre-bending setlists, while aligning their unwavering dedication to the do-it-yourself work ethic, Rockstead shows no sign of slowing down their mission of bringing people together through music.

How are you charging up with all you got going on right now with your music? Jake B: Charging up strong! We're two single releases into our latest album release cycle and we couldn't be more stoked about getting this music out there. Looking forward to the full release and all the touring that will come after!


Does your sound have to feel just right for you or your fans?


Jake B: For us. 100%. I've always said if you don't enjoy what you're playing then you shouldn't be playing it. The fans will find your music if it is quality but you have to please yourself first.


Forging on through obstacles in the process, is there a formula you follow if you feel like you're going in circles with something you want to resolve?


Jake B: Not necessarily. I really just feel like hard work and focus can get you through just about any obstacle. It just comes down to prioritizing what is the most important at that point in time and getting figuring it out. I like to set a large goal and list smaller goals below it so I know exactly what needs to be done to resolve said issue.


So much to do! So little time! How do you prioritize your time?


Jake B: Honestly, I wish I was better at doing this. I'm pretty good at staying focused on a task but a lot of the time I find that all of sudden I've spent all day doing this one thing. Granted, that one thing will get done and it will get done well but I'm then left with a few other tasks that didn't get any attention. For the most part I have a daily routine that I stay in tune with but sometimes I do have to set a timer on things.


Can you take us through from start to finish of how your latest single got done?


Jake B: Our latest single "Last Straw (feat. The Quasi Kings)" started with me and my acoustic guitar as do most songs. I will record super stripped down demos and send them over to the rest of the band to check out. In this case we wound up renting a cabin in the mountains of North Carolina and had a writing session in the basement. That's where a lot of these songs on the album came to be. From there we started booking studio days. "Last Straw" isn't the most complicated tune we've ever written (other than the drum part) so I think it only took about a half a day to get the song recorded. We knew we wanted a feature verse on the track so we hit up our buddies over in The Quasi Kings. They laid their vocals down at their studio and sent them over. We tracked everything at Blackmoon Recordings in Pataskala, OH but then had everything mixed and mastered over at Signal Flow Studios in Cleveland. They finished everything up and now it sounds badass.

Where are more and more ears listening to your sound?


Jake B: We've been touring a lot through the southeast and east coast over the past couple years. We're definitely getting some new ears in those regions. I've also noticed Brazil popping up on our stream counts lately. South America tour???


Gaining more and more fans, who do you fan out over?


Jake B: I have such a wide variety of music taste. Some of my top artists at the moment: Trevor Hall, Iya Terra and Beartooth.


What social media site are you MOST social on?


Jake B: Probably Instagram. If I'm being honest, I hate all social media. It's one of my least favorite things about being an artist but I get it done.


How are you going to continue to take charge of your music?


Jake B: We're gonna promote this new music like it's our job and then go tour our butts off! This is by far some of the best music we've all ever been apart of and we plan on letting the world know. Facebook: www.facebook.com/rocksteadmusic Instagram: www.instagram.com/rocksteadmusic YouTube: www.youtube.com/c/rockstead TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@rocksteadmusic Music: https://sptfy.com/egSY