By Alexa Solis
Six months ago, the members of Rigorous Proof sat around their living room bantering and laughing as they discussed their upcoming debut album. A white board of working song titles sat upon their rehearsal space’s wall. Today, the Reno indie rockers are in the final stages of releasing the record, titled “Perspectives.”
Johnny Bailey, Rigorous Proof’s guitarist and vocalist, said that as they finalize the copy writing, artwork and publishing, the album is approaching its push towards release.
While the business end of music is unavoidable, the band members haven’t lost any of the passion that they had when they first began. Since they recorded their first EP in 2011 at Dogwater Studios, the band has seen a remarkable growth in both maturity and skill, according to Dogwater Studios owner Rick Spagnola.
“They [Rigorous Proof] got so drunk they could hardly play at a show I had at my house,” Spagnola said. “I had a spectacular recording of them playing terrible. When you’re young, I guess you do crazy things. Now, you look at how professional they are and how reliable they are. They’ve really got their shit together now.”
The band has been living and working together for most of their time as Rigorous Proof. All four members consider this to be an essential part of their growing success and skill as musicians.
“We’ve all lived together for so long, and everyone told me that it was going to destroy the band, but it didn’t do anything except make us stronger,” Bailey said. “It put us on a telepathic level which, in turn, is where I feel like this record has developed into the Rigorous Proof sound.”
The men pride themselves on their close personal connection to each other, and others have taken notice of that bond. Spagnola noted that they are one of the few bands in his experience that makes the conscious effort to let every member shine.
“The really great thing that they do, that not a lot can, is that they take turns,” Spagnola said. “If you watch most bands, they don’t do that, and really gives them a different dynamic. I really dig their stuff, and it really takes a lot of maturity that most young men their age don’t have.”
“Perspectives” was recorded at Dogwater Studios in the span of eight, five-hour days. They recorded the album without a metronome and almost completely live according to Rigorous Proof drummer Wes Forster. The recording was done quickly, and the songs themselves needed minimal production. According to Spagnola it maintains its live feeling while still sounding polished.
With Rigorous Proof’s first EP having been released in 2011, the band members feel that their debut full-length record has been a long time coming. Bailey mentioned that the album has roots from when they were just starting their careers at 19 years-old.
“This album, in its own origin, is the first long-playing record that we’ve gotten to do, and there’s a lot of living inside of the songs because some of them go back to when our mentor and producer Brandon [Brooksher] was still in the band,” Bailey said. “It’s our coming of age album.”
Though Brooksher left the band to move to L.A. and later passed away in what Bailey described as a freak occurrence, the band has taken much of his advice to heart. “All Time is Now,” the album’s intro track, is somewhat of a tribute to their late mentor, according to Bailey.
“Something he [Brooksher] used to say to us was, ‘you got to flip your patch man,’” Bailey said. “Meaning flip your patch from left to right, which is something pirates used to do so they could go down into the bowels of the ship and be able to see when it was dark.”
The foursome took those words and have lived by them ever since. Remembering that sometimes, a change is needed in order to face challenges. Working full time jobs in addition to getting their band off the ground has been exhausting, according to Forster.
Though the road has been difficult, their friends and family that come out consistently to their shows are the main drive behind finishing the record, according to Bailey. Live performances are most of what the band uses to build their fan base.
As they sat around their living room, surrounded by instruments, the band members contemplated their future. It became clear that completing each other’s thoughts is second nature to the quartet.
“Well [we hope], one: that we wake up tomorrow,” Bailey said.
“And two: to just moving towards something that we’re doing full time,” Forster said as he continued Bailey’s train of thought.
With a new record on the horizon and touring plans in the works, Forster is hopeful about what lies ahead. Whatever may come, Landis explained that there is nothing more satisfying then the physical release of their album.
“It’s just great to hold a CD or a vinyl in your hand,” Landis said. “Digital music is intangible, you can click play and listen to it, but there’s still a little caveman mentality that exists in everyone where there’s that haptic need for something there. I don’t think that’s ever going to go away.”
Alexa Solis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @alexacsolis.