Rumspringa
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Rumspringa

| INDIE

| INDIE
Band Americana Rock

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Dec
21
Rumspringa @ Echoplex W/ Daedalous, Busdriver, Mae Shi, Fools Gold, and Haim

los Angeles, California, USA

los Angeles, California, USA

Nov
24
Rumspringa @ Viper Room (Day of the Dead at w/Saint Motel & David Lynch

los Angeles, California, USA

los Angeles, California, USA

Oct
31
Rumspringa @ BOX 8 Factory (Halloween Costume Party)

los Angeles, California, USA

los Angeles, California, USA

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This band has not uploaded any videos

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I’m not quite sure about the “Swim Team” part, but Halloween Swim Team—I shit you not—actually sound like Halloween. With eerie guitar melodies and pleasantly abrasive organ sounds, theirs is the kind of blissfully drone-y set that warrants a cigarette whether you want one or not. I was pretty concerned with my post-HST cigarette until I heard what sounded like some kind of 1960s-Harlem R&B-meets-acid-washed-Sunset-Strip dance-off from outside. It takes a lot to get me to put out a cigarette prematurely, and they are called Rumspringa. I could say that for a minute, I thought I was hearing Howlin’ Wolf’s guitar pushed up against some electronic delays, and that the next song reminded me of Orangutan, this 70s “prog” band with sick riffs… Or I could say that the next song was like some 1940s African Lingala rumba which (holy shit) runs into Ratatat? But even with all the wordy comparisons, I’d be missing tons, and more importantly, I’d be missing the point. While my imagination may have run wild trying to figure out “what” or “who” they “sound like,” it didn’t stop me from just kind of standing back and going, “Wow. This guitar kicks so much ass right now.” “Wait. What’s that second drum set over there for? Yes! Double drum sesh!” And most importantly: “Since when does the ‘Jimi Hendrix’-brand wah pedal actually sound that good?”
- LA RECORD -Heather Dean


On December 20th, 2007, The Echo presented Rumspringa, the larger-than-life two-man band of Joey Stevens(guitar/vocals) and Itaru de la Vega (drums). I was asked if I could attend and do a brief write up. "Holy crap Batman! I get to see a kick-ass show AND write about it?" I quickly grabbed my brother, girlfriend, her brother, and headed for the venue.

I've seen Rumspringa play both in studio (for their much anticipated debut CD) and in concert, and as phenomenal as it was to see them pump out an incredible album, there is a transporting and uplifting effect to their live shows. An effect that I think can only be attributed to the synergy Rumspringa shares with the crowd.

Invariably, listening to Rumspringa causes me to tap my feet, if not shake and bounce with the eagerness and abandon of a good bedroom dance session. But inevitably the song ends, my feet tap to a stop, and the air hangs empty save the echoing track trailing my thoughts; "Damn, that was a good song".

In concert however, this changes dramatically. Despite the band's performances being near perfect translations of the tracks you'll find on CD, their concerts include so much more than the music. The difference is the crowd. Rumspringa seems to have taken the term "in concert" to heart and made sure that for every live show they play, the audience gets to play too.

As early on as the microphone check, front man Joey Stevens received coos and cheers from the audience. In reply, Joey answered a heated sighing into the microphone in place of the expected "check 1,2,3". In turn the fans cooed and crowed louder. This exchange elevated to near climactic levels until the soundman gave the thumbs up. Time for the show to start.

Fans crowded the stage in taught anticipation, claiming spots beside perfect strangers, and making friends and conversation out of the combustible excitement in the air. The first notes of the guitar and kicks of the drum sounded "Catfish Blues" and the crowd exploded, the temperature and people both jumped, and the air became full to the brim with tumult, sweat, shouts, laughs, smiles, smoke, booze, and well...rock n' roll.

It was at this point that something very peculiar, very incredible happened. Most likely if I tell you, you will wave it off as editorial aggrandizement, fabulous fanatics, or otherwise twisted reporting. But it's my word against your eyes (we're dealing laterally here in the present), and if you were there, you'll agree that everything that follows is (pretty much) the unequivocal truth.

Roundabout the third song into the set, the crowd was soused with the histories of the previous dance mapped across their t-shirts, and Joey, in signature style, sock footed on stage, began to rise. At first only up to his toes, but then gradually, his entire body began to float off the stage floor. People in the crowd, too, were rising and falling like coke bubbles in rum. Some of these people wafted on stage and started dancing around Itaru. The once coolly blue lighting lining the walls glowed red with the heat of the crowd. The crowd became so densely packed we began to rise together, like a loaf of bread in a brick oven.

Rumspringa were cookin' with gas.

Itaru threw the crowd holiday treats, while Joey handed the people in front a box of shakers, tambourines, and maracas. As "In the Jungle" began I heard a steady rhythmic shaker hitting the 8ths in the pocket. I looked to Itaru, but saw that he was busy tapping the 16ths on the hi-hat. Turns out the expert percussion was coming from an egg-shaker in the hands of the girl next to me. The crowd had likewise devoured and dispersed the percussion and the song was now a quilt, woven from the stage to the entrance and back.

Damn it was a good time.

My girlfriend and I were now exchanging smiles and dance moves on the ceiling. The whole crowd was off the floor, the floor itself undulating in a mirage of heat. Itaru was upside down thudding base kicks from ceiling to floor. His snare had slipped into the crowd and expanded to trampoline proportions. Some people were somersaulting and flipping on it, while others were content to simply float above it all. It was synchronized mayhem. It was everyone in concert.

After several new songs (whispers of a second album before the release of the first?) Joey broke into "I Wanna Make You Mine", and everyone grabbed someone, and floated gently back down to earth.

I was intoxicated. This doesn't happen everyday you know, people becoming clouds inside of venues. But just when I was getting used to gravity, the crowd cooed, and cheered, and applauded and chorused "Encore! Encore! Encore!", and Rumspringa came out, and let fall a never before heard tune, hot off the press, fresh out of the oven, bob's your uncle, a slammin’ , shakin' swingin' song. What ever room remained in the air exploded with applause and the song finished leaving the crowd smitten, searing, elated and exhausted.

I walked out tha - Catalog records -Rory Vallis


Recently I had the fortune of being assigned to do an interview with Rumspringa. If this name doesn't cause your heart to pace in a steady, thumping, corn shucking rhythm then you've yet to experience the best kept secret in Los Angeles. Dont worry though, from what I hear, people are having trouble keeping the secret. The two-man band consists of drummer Itaru de la Vega and singer/guitarist Joey Stevens. The following interview is adapted from 10 questions and answers I scrawled down in five minutes in a brief interview with Joey after their show at the Unknown Theatre last Friday, June 22nd:
______________________________________


The concert starts at 10:30 pm, and I'm at the door by 10:45 pm. The bouncer at the door gives my I.D. A cursory glance and counts the cover I hand him. But at $9, it's a steal to see Rumspringa, and considering the band's footed the bill for free beer inside, the cover charge slips out of my hand like water.

Inside the crowd is milling about, some parts making efforts to mingle, other parts waiting in quiet, but nearly tangible anticipation. The tiered seats of the Unknown Theatre are full of cataracts of people coming and going, claiming seats in drones, and then abandoning them for standing room closer to the stage. I find my way to a corner close to the stage where they're distributing Pabst by the can, and, after sipping the tried and tested champion of 1893, I lean against a wall to watch an opening film that's being projected on to the drawn curtains in front of the stage.

The video montage blasts images of urban beauty and decay alongside a barrage of processed sounds. "Isadora?," I ask myself. The sounds amplify with the frequency of the image cuts, climaxing in aural/visual mosaic that demands attention, and by the end of the video everyone in the house has turned to watch the film. The video closes and leaves the air electric, rippling with waves of processed sounds and earnest applause. The crowd sits still, waiting for the curtains to be drawn, waiting for the concert to start.

But the curtains don't move. The silence falls thick around the stage like a fog, and the crowd, growing antsy, begins to talk again. And then, quietly at first, but creeping out from behind the still drawn curtains like a speech amongst babble, the soulfully syncopated bass and lead lines of a guitar intone the signature sound of Rumspringa front man Joey Stevens.

And the crowd erupts. The people in the tiered seats claim their spots with resolution. The crowds in the back push the front forward, but still the curtains stay drawn. Searching blindly for a face to put to the sound, the crowd peers into the thick red wool in front of them, unable to perform visually the same slice the music is performing aurally. It's a one way door, the crowd being given the music, but unable to give anything back. It's a brief moment of live musical altruism. And then, with the rumbling thump of Itaru de la Vega's kick, the curtains are shattered and sent flying left and right. The concert has begun.

The crowd moves in close to the stage, with the unified urge to be as close to the band as possible. Rumspringa obliges, and have in fact left half of the stage open out of the same desire to be as close to the fans as possible. The crowd circles round, washing up like the tide in front of the band, swelling in waves that crest atop bleachers hidden on stage left, dancing in eddies behind the band, and drowning in the pulsing rhythm that inundates the theatre. "At first there were so many people, I was sort of nervous," remarked Joey, "But then I just saw everyone smiling and it was like this cosmic zoom. I just wanted to pull the essence out of my body and become part of the crowd."

Indeed the concert feels somewhat astral, what with the solar glare of Itaru's drum lighting at center stage, and the nebulous crowd in shifting orbit around the band. In the middle of the concert Itaru stands up and begins knocking glowing globes out of a strung net hanging above the band. The globes float down gently, revealing themselves to be white balloons filled with white glow sticks. The crowd devours them, regurgitates puncturing explosions, and soon after constellations of bright white light appear throughout the theatre.

As the band brakes into "Catfish", and the beads of sweat begin to fall from Joey's chin like some displaced southern storm, the venue becomes an oven, the crowd rising with the swelling energy of the set, the Unknown Theatre shining in its capacity to marry the crowd with the band.

"The Theatre was recently fined for an alcohol infringement that cost them $5,000," Joey later explained. "The owner sold his car to cover this month's rent, but they were still in serious trouble, so we decided to hold a concert and have all the proceeds go to the Unknown Theatre. This is actually our sixth show at the venue. It's a blast to play here, just wonderful."

Joey's enthusiasm is co - Catablog


[…] As drummer Itaru de la Vega and guitarist/vocalist Joe Stevens take the stage where a million hopefuls have previously set foot, it’s as if I was in some sort of mystical ceremony. Fans were dancing in this sort of sacrificial trance-like state and it wasn’t a surprise. Something about this band’s music is hypnotizing. As the show progressed, Rumspringa include their fans in their music by handing out tambourines and maracas—this sort of union speaks to the down-to-earth quality of the band and proves that (more or less) they are one with their crowd, as well as humble people. The crowd definitely took full advantage and it was absolutely a beautiful sight to see. Looking around, it was inevitable that between the first song and the third or fourth, everyone in the room had succumbed and were dancing or—to say the least—bobbing their heads. - LA Record […]

- L.A. Record


Heaven and Hell set battle to one another for the last set of Fuck Yeah Fest. Indian Jewelry were upstairs in the dark damp Echo, a perfect environment for demons sent from below, and Rumspringa were the sweet cherubs in the glowing halls of the Echoplex. Satan is appealing, sexy, and voracious; he is the master of fable and not of explanation. And watching “Indian Jewelry” is the same: it’s an experience. You meet them, and then you leave, and you are forever changed. Rumspringa have the tunes that keep you humming days after you’ve heard them, but lack the visual spectacle of strobe lights, crowd surfing, and moving pictures courtesy of Ira Cohen. It was unfair that the two were paired off against one another, for who is going to sit and hear good music while there is an orgy going on upstairs? Do you listen to the serpent’s charm and eat the forbidden fruit of Eden, or do you stay forever innocent and boundless? Indian Jewelry is not for those of you feeling mentally unfit—they will score your nightmares, and if you are not ready, they will push you into darkest realms of your imagination. Rumspringa, on the other hand, are safe—you have nothing to fear. Take both pleasures, and eat the forbidden fruit and never forget your innocence. This was the charm of walking between both group’s sets—seeing the distinction between the kingdom above and the kingdom below. (DR)

- L.A. Record


As drummer Itaru de la Vega and guitarist/vocalist Joe Stevens take the stage where a million hopefuls have previously set foot, it’s as if I was in some sort of mystical ceremony. Fans were dancing in this sort of sacrificial trance-like state and it wasn’t a surprise. Something about this band’s music is hypnotizing. As the show progressed, Rumspringa inclued their fans in their music by handing out tambourines and maracas—this sort of union speaks to the down-to-earth quality of the band and proves that (more or less) they are one with their crowd, as well as humble people. The crowd definitely took full advantage and it was absolutely a beautiful sight to see. Looking around, it was inevitable that between the first song and the third or fourth, everyone in the room had succumbed and were dancing or—to say the least—bobbing their heads. (JB) - LA RECORD


As drummer Itaru de la Vega and guitarist/vocalist Joe Stevens take the stage where a million hopefuls have previously set foot, it’s as if I was in some sort of mystical ceremony. Fans were dancing in this sort of sacrificial trance-like state and it wasn’t a surprise. Something about this band’s music is hypnotizing. As the show progressed, Rumspringa include their fans in their music by handing out tambourines and maracas—this sort of union speaks to the down-to-earth quality of the band and proves that (more or less) they are one with their crowd, as well as humble people. The crowd definitely took full advantage and it was absolutely a beautiful sight to see. Looking around, it was inevitable that between the first song and the third or fourth, everyone in the room had succumbed and were dancing or—to say the least—bobbing their heads. - LA Record - L.A. Record


With just two members, Rumspringa combine a mix of genres to create what I can only describe as blues-inspired indie rock. The show included a couple of impromptu rap performances, an energy-filled stage and what looked to me like a very solid fanbase. Count me in.

Rumspringa have a residency at the Echo every Monday in June, and unfortunately there is only one left. Judging from the full venue last night, I’m guessing the band’s final Monday will not only be packed but the band will delivery an amazing final show, so I urge anyone in L.A. to check them out. - Mtv news Blobg


It's rare that we refer to the Amish world here on RCRD LBL. But this new band Rumspringa is running feverish, fast-paced rock-n-roll trails in our head and so I'm gonna have to give you a run-down about these cats - and their loose Amish affiliations. It all goes back to their name. The term "Rumspringa" refers to a time in a young amish kid's life between the age of 16 to their baptism when they either join to the church or actually leave. Evidently, this time of "running around" inspired this LA-based American/Jungle/Crunk band. Whatever it is, it's good. "Goldmine's" got old school rock appeal- ala Led Zep and The Doors. Think a lighter version of Black Angels psychedelic jams mixed with Gringo Star's energetic perk. - RCRD LBL


Not since the Farrelly brothers’ Kingpin has an Amish rite of passage been so filled with sexed-up beats and multi-instrumental debauchery.

Rumspringa – long known as slang for “running around” to the Pennsylvania Dutch – is the period of time in adolescence during which youths rebel against family. Outlets are of the usual variety: sex, drugs and, in the case of Los Angeles-based Rumspringa, a healthy dose of funk and soul.

Counterbalancing equal parts lounge act warbling with Om-eliciting séance reverb, album openers “I Run Amiss” and “Shake ‘em Loose Tonight” ease listeners in, recanting dialogue between children and parents before the inevitable Rumspringa.
Frontman Joey Stevens’ whinnied delivery drops into deeper registers with “Goldmine,” a faster-paced musing on the finer points of enjoying cannabis sativa in a semi-feverish state. As the EP centerpiece, “Goldmine” not only becomes the obvious record highlight, but also embodies the height of frivolity that a so-called Rumspringa is said to have.

After reaching such a height, there isn’t much room to go anywhere but down – in tempo and pitch, that is. Stevens’ brassy voice goes guttural on “In the Jungle,” wavering back and forth between percussionist Itaru de la Vega’s steady hi-hats and the thick-frosted layers of raw bass.

A Rumspringa can end in one of two ways: an Amish youth chooses to be baptized and remain in the good graces of the church, or leave the community and tradition behind. It’s only with “Skulls ‘n Phones,” an organ-heavy chug-a-long through Stevens’ version of a Nick Cave ballad, does the pace on the EP truly slow down. This is followed by a final goodbye to hustle and bustle in “Minds Alive,” a tom-driven caravan chant if there ever was one.

With this more subdued ending, it could be assumed that Stevens and de la Vega opt in favor of the traditional – but from the looks of it, it’s still fairly obvious these two ain’t altar boys. (Cantora Records) - Performer


Discography

Sef Titled E.P (Rumspringa)

Photos

Bio

Rumspringa is the Amish rite of passage for the adolescent. (Pennsylvania Dutch- "To run around") Leaving the community to experience the "English" world often evoked the devil in the young Amish teenager. Throwing thousand people barn storms, selling and abusing different drugs, engaging in dubious activity are all of the many games when running in the "devil's playground."

When Rock"N"Roll first hit America nationally, and the wave of paranoia spread throughout the minds of parents that their children were listening to the devil's jungle music; the music had never been more alive.

In a modern age when image, shock appeal and technology invades every nook and cranny, it's hard and rare to find that good ol' rock n roll sound. "That's why we declared ourselves to be on our own version of Rumspringa; to step away from all the self-serving surface of the mainstream music culture and to get back to the heart of discovering the soul of rock through the roots of its creation."

"Our inspirations range greatly; from Mississippi Fred Mcdowell, John Lee Hooker, Johnny Cash, Link wray, Canned Heat, Cream, Dylan, John Fahey and underground psychedelic pioneer Michael Yonkers." Despite focusing mainly on blues and rock from the past, Rumspringa has a tender spot for old school hip hop and early gangster rap, such as Bone Thugs N Harmony, Eric B and Rakim, and Grandmaster Flash. Twisting the twelve bar blues construct with hip hop flavor is an example of how Rumspringa dives into creating a sound that is both familiar, yet unique and hard to describe.

Hailing from Los Angeles, Rumspringa takes the opportunity to travel as much as they can to spread their sound. In the two years of the band's career two different east coast tours have been undertaken. With great response from all folk alike, Rumspringa performed in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Pittsburgh, Philly, Providence, New haven, Red Hook, etc. Besides working the club circuit, Rumspringa loves to play University shows, where the atmosphere is fun, easy going, and sometimes very chaotic. A show at Cal Arts and a show at Bard evoked such a response from the kids, that the venue afterwards resembled a combination between hurricane katrina and a grade scool cafateria food fight.

Those magical moments when all is one and one is all with the band and the audience is what Rumspringa absolutely lives for. "We only look forward to the future with a hungry smile and a keen curiosity as to how the evolutions gonna go down."