The Rassle
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The Rassle


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"The Rassle Featured on Channel One News' "Hear it Now""

About a year ago, four guys got together in a Brooklyn apartment to record some songs. Two of them were Reed and Blair Van Nort, brothers from Austin, Texas. The other two, Mark Solamich and Erik Ratensperger are the bassist and drummer, respectively. The result was a four-song EP which got a little buzz when they put it up on their website -- you can preview it here.

It makes sense that the EP is out there on the internet, for everyone to grab, since a lot of what's on the internet influenced what made it onto the EP, Reed explained in an interview. He and his brother, who take care of the songwriting for the band, are constantly comparing notes about ideas they get after listening to stuff they both find interesting or that can provide an answer for something they're trying to work out in a song. It works both ways, of course. The band is happy to be able to connect with fans -- or potiential fans -- in a way that wasn't really possible a few years ago.

"It breaks down the barrier and makes you so much more available," Van Nort explained. People can check them out, download songs "even find out that we ate Mexican food the night before, if that's what they want to do." Giving "visibility to artists that your wouldn't have heard of otherwise," of course, is the best part. Some of the bands he's listening to right now, including The Vaccines, The Black Lips, even Arcade Fire, have gained popularity doing just that.

And will the same thing work for The Rassle? Since recording that EP, they've been touring locally and building on that intial buzz -- and following their own advice to young musicians. "Listening to music is always helpful, write as much as you can and keep your head down and do what you do." - Channel One News/Alloy Media

"The Rassle"

Once upon a time, they were members of the Virgins & Young Lords. They teamed up a couple months ago & recorded a couple of songs in their apartment with a 50 dollar mic & an old computer. They think they turned out pretty good & will be releasing their debut Secret EP soon. Here’s the 1st fruit. - We Like it Indie

"JITG @ Pianos"

The third act of the evening was The Rassle, featuring members of one-time NYC buzz act The Virgins. Much like their former project, the The Rassle have been getting quite a bit of love around the area, and had quite a crowd. There was plenty of dancing going on, which was no surprise. Their sound is a very trendy and accessible blend of electronic and indie rock, with just enough kick to set it apart. - Beyond Race

"The Rassle"

For all their frigid post-punk stylings, we reckon The Rassle have pulled a fast one. Fooling a blog-fed mob is can be pretty easy, so maybe it’s only after meeting the boys in person that you get to the grain on The Rassle – a Texan wholeheartedness dressed for the weather in Williamsburg.

The band’s two biggest songs, Born Free and Wild Ones reveal an unchecked American Spirit © that is infectious through its own lack of ostensible irony – there is none of The Drums’ ersatz Americana – more of a sense of unalloyed spirit in Born Free, which references the red white and blue dream, and then Wild Ones displays a cockiness which is half artistic conceit and half gol’ darn true.

The band are made up of brothers Reed Van Nort and Blair Van Nort from Texas and Erik Ratensperger and Marc Solomich. All the members were in previous bands which enjoyed good levels of success. Erik was The Virgins, who supported Patty Smith and Sonic Youth and were in The Rolling Stone Top 100 Best Songs of 2008 with their song ‘Rich Girl’.

The band came straight – like Little Dragon – from SXSW when they speak to us over a couple of Becks in the March afternoon, but are in high spirits.

They talked us through being at the forefront of the DIY studio revolution – when they miked up their pokey Brooklyn flat to record their very first demos. “It was more through the circumstances we were in. We had come from other bands, and time had gone by since we had set foot in front of an instrument. We started rehearsing and recording in a way that we hadn’t done before – typically you go into a recording space, and play some songs acoustically, but we started out in our apartment” says Erik.

Blair adds: “Also we weren’t even sure what we wanted to go musically yet – so it was a lot easier just to stay at our house to record, without having the time crunch of – ‘We’ve got to get this track done today’, and not to be able to fully realise what you want to do with it.”

Watch out for The Rassle, the All-American supergroup. Just don’t tell them we said that. - State of the Arts

"The Rassle"

Go ahead and try to pin a tag on The Rassle. Finding themselves in one of the busiest cities in the world, this obscure group of gentlemen has found the perfect melting pot in New York City. Their sound is as big as Arcade Fire—minus the gasoline sizzle of Régine Chassagne. Their egos could be as big as an old Zeppelin, careening through the air and barreling through clouds. Their lyrics have to be fueled by Red Bull or the same purple drink the hip-hoppers are on. This is feel-good, grandiose music.

No matter what, The Rassle are going to knock you on your tune-guzzling skulls.

Only here on Brite, take a nosedive with us into this fantastic four. Download "Wild Ones" and "Full Speed Ahead.” For you, for free, today. - Brite Revolution

"What You May Have Missed: The Rassle at Pianos"

Last Wednesday, I was over at Pianos. As I was walking through to the back room, I walked past a guy and thought, hm, he looks familiar. As I'm waiting for things to get started, that same guy hops up on stage to prep for the show. It was then that it hit me I'd seen him play before with another band, The Takeover UK. Okay, I liked them so I figured there was a good chance I'd like this band, The Rassle, as well. Plus, I had it on good authority that they were really good.

The Rassle took the Pianos stage effectively making the room a party. The good authority was right, they are really good. At some point they played a song that reminded me of T-Rex, what?! Yeah, they went there. I might have heard a little taste of early U2; maybe I was reminded of that based on the singer doing the Bono bounce every so often. They were funky, they were punky, they were pop rock yumminess and they were full of old school vibe with a nice coating of freshness. Their old school sound remind you of... but they add their own thing thus avoiding sounding dated and redundant. Keep an eye these guys and check them out if you haven't already.

- Quirky NYC

"The Rassle"

The Virgins, Takeover UK and Young Lords…do you remember them? Former members of these great bands got together in 2010 and named this new band after the Texas pronunciation of the word “Wrestle” – The Rassle.

The best thing about this is that they offer their EP as a free download at their official website. Their EP with 4 songs includes their single “Wild ones”.

Definitely a band we will keep following in 2011. - IN-D Scene

"The Dears played Music Hall of Williamsburg (pics)"

Back on 3/29, The Dears made a post-SXSW stop in Brooklyn to play a show at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Rewards and the Rassle. A belated set of pictures from that show, continues below... - Brooklyn Vegan

"The Rassle @ Brooklyn Bowl: May 26, 2011"

Photographer Maverick Inman was at the Brooklyn Bowl last night for the Rassle‘s show as part of Deli Mag’s Best Of Emerging Artists Fest. - CMJ

"Keep an Eye on New York's The Rassle"

Who: The Rassle is made up of four guys who were at one time or another members of an assortment of local bands like The Virgins, Young Lords and the Takeover UK.

What: They are a no-frills rock-and-roll band. The Rassle seamlessly channels the sound of both the glory days of New York and the reinterpretation of those salad days that occurred around the turn of the millenium. Listening is easy since the band has been kind enough to offer a trade of their self-titled EP for some mailing list information.

When: The band has been playing out all over New York for the past year sharing the stage with artists like Fences, The Dears and the Sam Roberts Band. Catch them on June 22 when they stop by the LES institution Pianos for a gig with fellow local outfit Jump Into the Gospel.

Where: The four gentlemen who make up The Rassle call New York home so don’t be surprised if you see them guzzling cheap PBRs at Welcome to the Johnsons or grabbing a bite at Vanessa’s Dumpling House.

Why: Their catchy brand of rock music is so easy to digest and it begs for a night on the town and the requisite hangover. There is no reason to enjoy The Rassle in moderation; it goes down way to smooth and sometimes a little excess can be a good thing. - NBC

"The Rassle"

Let's take a moment to give it up for a band that still knows how to have a good time when they play. That band is The Rassle. This new-ish NYC crew was created from the ashes of three other bands; The Virgins, The Takeover UK and The Young Lords. Did you like those bands? If so, you weren't alone. Anyway, we'll talk more about the past in a line or two.

The Rassle rocks jubilance. Their jams are peppy, catchy, punk-y, garage-y, and blues-y too. Don't all of those things strung together spell out jubilance to you? The Rassle sure do seem to get compared an awful lot to the power-pop bands from the distant past. These bands include Big Star, T. Rex, Cheap Trick, and even The Stones. Who knows why retro references follows them around so. Maybe it's just that the bands back then seemed to have more fun? Maybe it's that The Rassle joy that makes people want to go back in time. Who knows. I sure don't.

But I do know that this is rock out music that celebrates life, rather than rolls around in its despair. Give it up for The Rassle for bringing the fun back into punk, which turns punk into funk.
Published 06/23/11 - Oh My Rockness

"New Music Tuesdays: The Rassle"

What happens when you mix former band members of The Virgins, Young Lords and the Takeover UK? You get The Rassle: a post punk, New York City based band, whose chemistry could burn a hole right through the Big Apple. With their EP Introducing (2010) under their belts, The Rassle’s fresh yet still relatively classic rock n roll style is poised to take over the indie rock scene.

The Introducing EP is 14 minutes full of life, charisma and some great lo-fi punk rock. You can download it for free here!

Full Disclosure: The Rassle is a great band but we don’t work for them. We just dig their tunes. - Feeling Anxious

"You Should be Listening to… The Rassle"

It is all too fitting that I’m hearing The Rassle’s finished songs on a beautiful sunny day after what seems like endless rain. The four tracks the band has up their Myspace are exploding at the seams optimism, a spirit of perseverance and all around good vibes.

The music has classic rock leanings without being “revivalist” or trying to fit into whatever genre of indie rock has the masses all worked up, simply put these three play Rock ‘N’ Roll that I have as much fun listening to as they have playing it. Although The Rassle is new on the NYC music scene the members certainly are not featuring former members of The Virgins and Young Lords.

The Rassle is looking to have some shows lined somewhere around the end of April or the beginning of May which makes me pretty happy considering I have a feeling that The Rassle’s nostalgic Americana soaked indie is going to have a pretty prominent place in the soundtrack to my Summer.

No releases just yet but head over to the bands Myspace page to check out a couple tracks then tell everyone you know and hell just people passing on the street to do the same.
- Banana Wintour - Mishka NYC

"Kids From My Travels: NYC's Reed & The Rassle"

WHO: Reed Van Nort (pictured) and his band The Rassle, featuring members Blair Van Nort, Erik Ratensperger and Mark Solomich
AGE: 23
HOMETOWN: New York City
SHOT IN: Brooklyn
Barrio Chino: You know the Pringles slogan "Once you pop - the fun don't stop?" That's pretty much how I feel about this place. It's almost what I imagine Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville to be like. Minus the sloppy 40-year-old transients searching for their lost shaker of salt. Any place that infuses tequilla in-house is alright by me. Look for our bud Charles (a/k/a the guy with the Wyatt Earp mustache, he makes one hell of a margarita. He's a what you might consider a real-life "mixologist"... of sorts.

Dumont Burger: Until recently, I had only been to this place once. But then we moved into a practice space down the street. Now I frequent Dumont Burger quite regularly, as they offer one of my favorite veggie burgers. Technically it's a "chickpea burger," which Blair swears is essentially falalfel on a bun. But to be honest, homeboy doesn't know shit about buns.

Citi Field: RIP Shea. Nevertheless Citi is young and clean and still a pretty electric place to go when we're on a winning streak. But when we aren't, there's a shake shack, taco stand, and reasonably priced beers (reasonable* for a sporting event). Make sure to go with good friends or someone you can actually carry a conversation with.

Home Sweet Home: I suppose I'm partial to Home Sweet Home because Blair and I throw a massive party there every Saturday. It's always a good time. Just don't sit on the couches. - Paper Magazine

"Crank Up That Downtown Rock n' Roll."

What do you get when ex-members of downtown New York bands decide to join forces? In the case of local foursome The Rassle, the results are pretty sweet. And although the group includes veterans of The Virgins, The Young Lords, and Pittsburgh's The Takeover UK, this quartet is set to make a danceable rock sound all their own.

We talked with guitarist Reed Van Nort about the band's beginnings, rocking out in J.Crew suits, and their favorite local spots.

You guys were in different bands before The Rassle- how did you meet up?
My brother Blair and I wanted to start doing something new. We had talked around the idea for some time and got Erik in on the mix with some songs we'd been working on. Mark was in a Pittsburgh band, and we elbowed him enough to come join us. It was just the right time and everyone was into what we were doing.

Did you set out to make a different type of music than what you'd played before?
There was no real aim or direction originally. We actually recorded our EP before we set foot in a practice space. If someone had an idea and it worked, then great. It was all about trying everything.

How did you get involved in the fashion video for J.Crew?
Well, our other bands were heavy into fashion, and we kind of stray away from it. Not because we didn't like clothes, but because we wanted people to focus on our music. But the J.Crew thing was great because we basically got to perform wearing their suits, which was cool.

On a typical New York City weekend, where can we find you?
When we first started off in May, we had a residency at Pianos on the Lower East side. Barrio Chino is our favorite food spot. Home Sweet Home is another place where we frequent quite often. And then five days of the week, you can find us in our rehearsal space.
-- LIZA DARWIN - Nylon

"Some people call them a supergroup. We just call it good rock n' roll."

What do you get when ex-members of downtown New York bands decide to join forces? In the case of local foursome The Rassle, the results are pretty sweet. And although the group includes veterans of The Virgins, The Young Lords, and Pittsburgh's The Takeover UK, this quartet is set to make a danceable rock sound all their own.

We talked with guitarist Reed Van Nort about the band's beginnings, rocking out in J.Crew suits, and their favorite local spots.

You guys were in different bands before The Rassle- how did you meet up?
My brother Blair and I wanted to start doing something new. We had talked around the idea for some time and got Erik in on the mix with some songs we'd been working on. Mark was in a Pittsburgh band, and we elbowed him enough to come join us. It was just the right time and everyone was into what we were doing.

Did you set out to make a different type of music than what you'd played before?
There was no real aim or direction originally. We actually recorded our EP before we set foot in a practice space. If someone had an idea and it worked, then great. It was all about trying everything.

How did you get involved in the fashion video for J.Crew?
Well, our other bands were heavy into fashion, and we kind of stray away from it. Not because we didn't like clothes, but because we wanted people to focus on our music. But the J.Crew thing was great because we basically got to perform wearing their suits, which was cool.

On a typical New York City weekend, where can we find you?
When we first started off in May, we had a residency at Pianos on the Lower East side. Barrio Chino is our favorite food spot. Home Sweet Home is another place where we frequent quite often. And then five days of the week, you can find us in our rehearsal space.
- Nylon Magazine

"10 Artists to Watch Out for in 2011"

Here, in alphabetical order, are 10 bands that you can expect to hear about in 2011. We’ve included something obsession-worthy for everyone—whether your bag is country, rock, hip-hop or indie pop—so have at ’em. It’s still early in the game for these folks, so you’ll be able to say you knew them when...

- Gibson

"The Rassle -- Crazed Hits" - Crazed Hits

"Rassle Up a Buzz Band"

Google “THE RASSLE” and you might get the wrong idea. More than one website says the band sounds like the Big Star revivalists Free Energy; or that its danceable rock makes the band post punk. If you toggle over to an image search and look at the pictures of these four young, handsome guys—who’ve managed to record a series of J. Crew promotional videos before recording a full album—you might assume The Rassle is an indie boyband, fresh-faced and well-connected, that will succeed whether you like it or not. The Rassle’s own Mark Solomich describes that phenomenon as “groups you’ll see in all kinds of magazines over and over that just never catch on with any kind of wide audience,” bands that “can play the game; they can lobby; they can email; they know the right people—but if you don’t have songs that people respond to, then it’s all kind of for naught, you know?” So, does The Rassle have songs people like or are these inveterate industry insiders here to test our patience?
The answers to those questions are connected. The Rassle is a quartet of longtime friends: Blair Van Nort (vocals), Reed Van Nort (guitar), Erik Ratensperger (drums) and Mark Solomich (bass). The members had all been in their own bands (including The Virgins and Young Lords), which had all broken up. They were at loose ends, getting older and with no immediate excuse for not filling out those grad school applications. “Do we be mature adults and get nine-to-fives and lose that ambition we had to be musicians and give up,” Blair opines, “or do we keep going? I think all of us [felt]... this is all we really wanted to do. It was kind of a no-brainer.”
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Still, starting a new band isn’t easy.
“Once you’ve done a band, doing another one is an undertaking,” explains Solomich. “You’re not just playing every Friday with your buddies at a bar—we have more ambition than that. We’ve taken on a lot more than that. We’ve quit our jobs. It takes over your life, so you weigh that decision more carefully.”
Still, the guys committed themselves to the grind all over again. This time, though, they promised themselves it would be different. They’d work with people who shared their ideas (as Solomich puts it, “It’s not like Erik comes in with a rap-rock song, and is like, ‘Yo, check this out’”). The guys wouldn’t limit themselves to one sound or another: “We want those midtempo songs,” says Blair Van Nort. “We want the bangers. We all have so many different influences that we bring to each song that we’re like, let’s try this or that. I think that helps.” One can’t help but hear veiled indictments in those words. The Virgins never strayed from the sorta-edgy synth rock, coining the phrase “cocaine brunch” (an actual lyric!). The Young Lords, too, were unable to play a song that didn’t sound like The Animals had met The Strokes.
The Rassle sounds more like its members have taken a deep breath, relaxed and (mostly) stopped trying to prove how cool they are. The band’s music is infectious and easygoing, a relaxed and confident take on big-sound rock. A foursong debut EP, titled Introducing (available for free on the band’s website), mixes xylophone, searching keyboard notes, crashing cymbals, thundering horse hoof percussion and guitar chords that shoot out and reverberate until they don’t. These sonic genies materialize and await your command for a sound somewhere between vintage MGMT and big-time-era Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
And things have started happening.
Like that J. Crew gig. As Reed Van Nort explains it, “The photographer who was on the job asked his agent if they knew of anyone who might be good for this project. His agent mentioned us and shortly after, the casting director wrote us a message, and then the ball rolled from there.” Now, various industry types are lining up to get a piece of these guys before they make it, whatever that means.
The Rassle is quickly shaping up to be one of those bands you see everywhere— from secret shows with notable headliners to coy mentions in Page Six—but never actually hear. And that’s a mistake. Take a listen, because whether you’re a show promoter, gossip editor, alt-weekly writer (ahem) or any other industry type, The Rassle is a sure bet.
>> THE RASSLE Dec. 17, Mercury Lounge, 217 E. Houston St. (betw. Essex & Ludlow Sts.), 212- 260-4700; 8, $10. - NY Press

"The Rassle -- Making Waves"

“These days it’s not so much about releasing the music as it is about being heard above the noise.”
For the latest edition of Making Waves, our series focusing on how artists are drumming up support and success by themselves, we speak to hotly tipped New York indie rock group The Rassle who appear to be pushing all the right buttons in terms of generating fan excitement and label interest.
Drummer Erik Ratensperger talks to
HitQuarters about the potential unleashed by having a song licensed in a video game, the marketing value of free
music, and recording their debut EP on a creaky old computer in their apartment.
photo credit: Jimmy Fontaine
How did the band first get together?
It was strange how it all came together. I had known Reed [Van Nort] and Blair [Van Nort] from when they played in a band called The Young Lords. My former band [The Virgins] had gigged a bunch with them in New York and we became friends and kept in touch. One night I came across Blair at random and he was telling me about how his band was probably going to break up, and then just casually said, “Maybe we should jam and see what happens.”
We got together and started messing around, nothing serious. They had some demos they were working on, just him and Reed, and I really liked
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them. I liked the way they sounded and the direction they were going, and at that point we talked seriously about making something happen.
So last winter, Reed, Blair and myself started writing and recording and came up with four songs. Those four songs became the EP that we’ve been giving away as a free digital download online. Our bass player Mark [Solomich] was living in Pittsburgh at the time, had a band called The Takeover UK. Blair and Mark have been friends at least 10 years. When Blair played him what we were working on, he really liked it and shortly after came out and joined the band officially, and we started rehearsing probably early spring.
The funny thing is we actually recorded these songs before we got to a real rehearsal space. We recorded them in Blair and Reed’s apartment and did all the writing and recording before we brought them to a live context. So once Mark got here, we started getting really heavy into rehearsals and ended up playing our first live show in May.
So recording and then presenting the music live is a new experience for you?
This approach was nothing I’ve ever done before. We had a plan and goal but they were reversed. We weren’t really expecting the songs to come together the way they did - especially not having rehearsed them officially until they were done - but it happened to work out all right.
I read that you used some $50 mics and recorded the EP at your apartment, is that true?
It is true and that computer is soooo slow! So in terms of basic editing and all that, the stuff that you would think would take only an hour would take a lot longer. It’s true that we used shitty equipment that we’ve had forever and just made the most of it.
One of the songs was picked up by Playstation – how did that come about?
We’ve been reaching out to people that we know and some people we don’t, and saw this trend of the music spreading. People were passing it on to other people and other people were passing it on to other people. It ended up in Alex [Hackford]’s (HQ interview) hands, and he pitched the song for us, and it made it on.
We found out not too long ago and we’re really excited about it. It’s a really great opportunity to reach people that we otherwise wouldn’t hear us. Plus it’s for the game MLB 2011, so we’re pretty stoked on that. Go Mets! Ha-ha.
What do you think this exposure will actually do for the band?
We hope that by having our song exposed through a platform like PlayStation there might be someone who gets the game, hears something they don’t expect, digs it, and then checks out the band. That’s how things happen these days, right?
I feel like music is being pushed through so many different platforms just because of how much has changed over the past few years. We can all hope it stirs up a little bit of interest.
What are some of the platforms you find are the most influential, and which online tools have created the most success for you?
First and foremost, the recording methods have made it so much easier for people to track music and release it on their own, and I feel like the DIY approach has also become a major key role in how music is promoted.
The fact that people can record decent sounding demos - and even record
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From the archives:
"We did little posters, trying to be mysterious, saying ‘Gnarls Barkley is crazy’. No one knew what Gnarls Page 2 of 6
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one knew what Gnarls
in their bedrooms or apartments - with minimal equipment, and be able to release it themselves, and promote it through media like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace, is awesome. You can even build websites for free! It’s all pretty much at your fingertips, you just gotta know what to do.
These days it’s not so much about releasing the music as it is about being heard above the noise.
What are some of the ways to get heard above the noise?
I don’t know if there’s a method to the madness. The kind of approach we are taking, of putting these four songs online and hoping that people like them and spread the word, so far seems to be working. We have been getting a lot of attention for the past few months since we released these songs, and I think that’s great for a band that’s just starting.
The fact that you can just put it out online by yourself is a really valuable thing if you have songs you want to be heard.
How important is live performance to a band’s success?
A band who can perform live is obviously a very important thing. Bands I’ve liked on record have come up short live and it can be a major let down. More so now than ever, I definitely think it’s important to bring it to the live context. Now almost anyone can do a decent recording and so a live performance is a whole other thing.
What are the main sources of revenue for a band these days?
It can come from anywhere. It probably depends on the artist too, but publishing and licensing can be key for many artists. Obviously records are just not selling the way they used to and so both bands and labels are trying to figure out new ways to generate revenue.
But I don’t think anyone knows really how to go about it. The record labels are now in the business of selling merch and ringtones and all this other shit. It’s no longer just about the physical record anymore.
What are your thoughts behind giving your music away for free?
I really believe that if a band records a full-length record and puts it out officially, and it’s for sale, then I obviously encourage people to buy it and not rip it off. Obviously that’s wishful thinking, because most people are stealing music. But if anything, they’ll go to the show and pay for a ticket and buy a t-shirt or a hoodie,
Giving the EP away for free is a promotional tool for us at this point. We’re not looking to make money off the sale of the 4 songs as an EP. We decided from the beginning that giving away the music is probably more beneficial than trying to sell it for five bucks.
Getting back to your question about the live performance, I really think that’s why it’s a very important aspect of being a musician or being a band, because these days, people who are going to be paying money to experience your music live so you’ve got to play your show like it’s your last show and make it count. If they pay the $15, $25 $35, $75 tickets and you don’t bring it then that’s a problem and it reflects pretty badly on you.
What are some of the shows that have offered the most exposure?
We did our first CMJ this past October and though the shows were smaller, the response was completely unexpected. A lot more people were giving us more attention after the three shows we played, whether it was blogs, other publications, labels, etc.
I know CMJ is very industry-heavy, but we honestly weren’t expecting
Barkley or even the song was." Josh Deutsch, A&R for Gnarls Barkley
"You have to be open and not think that your opinion is the law. A lot of A&R people think they make the artist, but it ain’t like that." Kawan ‘KP’ Prather, A&R for P!nk, Usher, Outkast
"On ‘Take Me Back’ we were looking for a feature. Taio [Cruz] came along, wrote the hook and sang it so brilliantly that we thought there could be no one else that could do it justice." Fraser T Smith, songwriter/producer for Taio Cruz, Cee-Lo Green, Tinchy Stryder Page 3 of 6
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anything, and in terms of the response it was very, very good, and so I would say CMJ gave us the most exposure, or at least the most attention.
Do you have a booking agent?
We don’t have a booking agent. We just recently paired up with our manager, and have been working with Ian [Ginsberg] for almost four months. We got to a point where we thought that we could really use someone to help steer the ship and give a little bit more structure to what’s going to happen, and I feel like he came in at the right time. He’s been really integral to the trajectory that we’re set on at this point.
As a band, what do you look for in a manager?
Someone who is straight-up. Someone who is no frills, no bullshit. Someone who tells you how it is, and doesn’t puff any smoke. Someone who we can hang with, ask questions and not feel like we’re annoying them, and someone who knows what they’re talking about and who gets it. I think from the get-go we really got that impression from Ian and we’re very lucky to have found him.
Is a booking agent something that you are looking for?
Yeah, absolutely. Because we’re so new, it is obviously a process. To have management in place is a very good thing for us. And right now we’re just keeping our heads down, going about doing what we’re doing. We’re in the middle of writing and recording and doing shows, etc. Hopefully the further we go the more people will come our way, and we just take it as it comes.
You were talking about the DIY perspective of the music industry. Who do you think are some of the key players that you still need to have part of your team while maintaining that DIY ethic?
The four of us are rooted in a DIY culture - we all come from punk and hardcore backgrounds. I’ve always been a real advocate for DIY, and doing it to the best of your abilities.
I feel like, as a band, you get to a point where you need outside help and expertise, and I definitely think we’re now ready to put a team together. We’re very lucky to have Ian, and now we’re in the process of assembling the rest of a really strong team that gets us as musicians, gets what we’re trying to do and where we’re looking to go.
When it comes to building fanbases, what are some of the ways you do that?
For one, it’s really important to be inclusive. You have your tunes, and people might like your tunes, but it’s gotta go beyond that.
When you play a show, after your set you shouldn’t disappear into the green room and not talk to anybody. It should be an interactive thing where you try to meet people that have come to see you.
It’s also important to return an email. If someone takes the time to hit you up about playing a show, or just ask a random question, it’s important to make an effort to communicate and have a certain amount of accessibility.
So you communicate with your fans online?
We do, absolutely. If someone writes us a really nice comment on our Facebook wall, we’ll write back a thank you or whatever. Whatever time allows we’ll definitely holler back at whomever shouts at us.
Does that mean you’re the moderators or webmasters of all your online sites? Page 4 of 6
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Yeah. We actually designed our own website, and we all handle our Twitter and Facebook and all that. We’re all very much involved in those communications.
With your current background and the experience that you’ve accumulated, what are some of the things bands should not do and should do to be successful?
I think practice is number one - practice, practice, practice ... Get to know your instrument, get to know your songs. As redundant and repetitious as it is, I feel like there’s nothing more effective than rehearsing your songs. Over time the songs are always changing - even for us. We’ve been playing the same set for almost a year now and it’s always changing.
What not to do? Don’t burn any bridges. Just be nice because you never know who is listening, you never know who could help you in the end. I’ve learned that in this industry there’s a six degrees of separation type of thing. It’s small enough that when people talk to other people and those people talk to other people, you never know where things could lead you, good or bad.
What’s next?
Hopefully tons of touring and writing, recording - lots of recording. We have a lot more songs that we’ve been dying to get tracked so this past week we’ve actually made a pretty big dent in some new songs.
The overall goal is to keep writing, keep recording and to eventually get on the road and stay there for a very long time.
Are the next songs going to be recorded the same way as the first one?
The initial tracking we’ve been doing that way, but I’m finding that because we’re actually becoming a real band versus just us in our apartment with no rehearsal space, and I’m behind my drum-kit almost everyday, I just really want to get into a real studio.
At this point, we’re just scratching theses demos in the hope that eventually that we can get into a studio put some real meat on them.
Has it all been trial and error then?
Always is I think. There’s been a lot of things that we experimented with in terms of sound and techniques or whatever. Reed actually took some production classes at school and he implemented a lot of that in how we did these tracks. Also from our own personal experience of recording before, we put on our own spin on what we thought would work.
We tried a lot of stuff before we ended up with those four songs. But we did go to a friend’s studio and had them cleaned up, mixed and mastered. Doing a proper mix and a decent mastering job really tied them up nice. We saw at that point that they were good to release and give out to people.
Would you say your old bands have directly affected the speed in which this band has been gaining such popularity?
I’m sure it plays a role in terms of people being familiar with the old bands, and maybe that being the gateway. If anything the associations have helped with people making a little extra effort to just hear what it’s about.
I think the great thing about this is that The Rassle is much different from our previous bands, and I think people are really seeing that. People are refreshed by the fact that it’s not something that they might expect based on the association with the past groups. The Rassle is definitely its own thing. - HitQuarters

"The Rassle at Bowery Electric"

The post-punk rock band, made up by Blair Van Nort, Reed Van Nort, Erik Ratensperger and Mark Solomich, gave a powerful performance. Whether you walked in unintentionally or were there to see them, everyone walked away wanting more. - Paper Spaceship

"The Rassle EP"

The Rassle is from New York City and some adjectives you will not see associated with its music is “lo-fi,” “ambient,” “shoegazy,” “chill,” “challenging,” “towering,” “immersive,” “African,” “harmonious,” and “tribal.” The Rassle is not bedroom pop, chillwave, shitgaze, synth-pop, psychedelic, folk-rock or post-punk. - Muzzle of Bees

"SONG OF THE DAY: The Rassle; "Celebrate the Days""

Youngsters may not remember MICK JONES‘ post-Clash ’80’s outfit, BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE, but today a tune popped into our lap that I thought was off some lost BAD sessions when we heard “Celebrate The Days” by New York’s THE RASSLE... - Future Sounds

"NYC Rockers The Rassle Are a Band on the Verge"

New York’s new supergroup, The Rassle, made up of ex- members of The Young Lords, The Virgins, and the Takeover UK, are certifiably blowing up. They released their debut four-song EP only a few months ago (available as a free download on their website), instantly earning a following on the Lower East Side music scene - and beyond... - Blackbook Magazine

"The Young and The Rassless"

I’ve known – and loved - the various members of The Rassle for almost a decade now. I shared a writing workshop with lead singer Blair Van Nort and instantly recognized him as the most talented author in the class. No wonder the lyrics for The Rassle are both familiar and penetrating... - The Deli Magazine

"Discovery: The Rassle"

After cleaning up nicely for a J. Crew video campaign last month, the unsigned New York band got back to their rock-and-roller roots wrapping filming on their next music video for wild-young-and-hopeful anthem "Born Free." Here, they invite us into their dinner party for a little back-and-forth...
- Interview Magazine


The Rassle ( Coming off two killer shows at CMJ, this Brooklyn-based band made up of former members of The Virgins, Young Lords and The Takeover UK is starting to create some real momentum and buzz throughout the industry... - Hits Daily Double

"J Crew's latest film; Starring The Rassle"

J. Crew is the latest fashion brand to become afflicted by this season's exceedingly ubiquitous film bug. (Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang and Dolce & Gabbana are among the first-timers currently flocking to the field.) Yesterday, the men's wear side of the brand wrapped up a video shoot featuring fledgling rock band The Rassle, which will debut on the clothier's namesake site September 30. Comprised of former members of The Young Lords and the Virgins, the Rassle showcased their post-punk, American rock-infused sound to the lunchtime Tribeca crowd yesterday in a shoot outside J. Crew's Liquor Store that, self-admittedly, drew references from the Beatles' 'Hard Days Night.' Also on view: J. Crew's two signature suits--the Ludlow and the Aldrige--in Loro Piana wool that's meant to be worn all year round (it's been dubbed the 365 suit). For the Rassle, who consider themselves "jeans and a t-shirt, not fussy" rockers and by no means "a prissy New York band that wears designer labels," the suits were an easy look to adopt.

The main takeaways from the shoot were tips on how guys can put personal touches on a suit (which J. Crew men’s head stylist Jack O’Connor says is an increasingly popular purchase among male shoppers). Given the heat, most of the band ended up literally rolling up their suit sleeves, while pocket squares were prevalent. “More guys are wearing pocket squares these days,” O’Connor says, adding, “and I think it also comes down to the shoes. You don’t always have to just wear a wing-tip. One of the guys [in the Rassle] is wearing a pair of Sperry’s, another is in taller Alden boot. I don’t have anyone here today in sneakers but you’ll definitely be seeing a lot more of that. That’s definitely a way to help a guy who doesn’t have to wear a suit every day want to wear a suit. I think that’s starting to happen a lot more.” As for what to expect come September, the Rassle’s Erik Ratensperger summed up the video as: “essentially it’s us, paired with a song, wearing the suits, having a great time… and also sweating our asses off.”

Photo courtesy of Johanna Langford - Black Book Mag

"NYC Band to Keep and Eye On: The Rassle"

The Rassle were born of the ribs of The Virgins and The Young Lords. This NYC psych-noise-pop band has the potential to attract the interest of a mixed audience of hipsters and "civilians" thanks to their droney guitar sound, combined with pristine and beautiful pop-folk melodies and dancey beats. Sit patiently through the 30 second intro of this video to meet a song that's equal parts Jesus and Mary Chain, Happy Mondays and The Pogues (those Irish genes stuck in your system are always ready to pop up and be acknowledged, huh?) Thumbs up also for "Celebrate The Days", reminiscent of J&MC and Spiritualized, which you can find on their myspace page. Check out this noisy psycho-poppiness live at Union Hall on July 14. - The Deli Magazine

"Video: "Wild Ones" by The Rassle"

Don’t know about you, but we [Ed. some of we] really liked that Virgins record. “Rich Girls” is a certified jam. So when our favorite member, drummer and ex CT hardcore dude Erik Ratensperger, left the group, it gave us a bit of a heart headache. Until we learned of The Rassle, our Advil. Comprised of Ratensperger and two dudes with the Gossip Girly last name of Van Nort, The Rassle recalls “Straight to Hell”-era Clash rock-pop. Where I’m from you don’t give up is a lyric in “Wild Ones,” also a certifiable jam, fully choral vocals with a video of baseball and astronautical triumphs to match (yo, is that Hank Aaron?). Rassle songs fully fist-pumpable, soccer chant, working-for-the-weekend all-star self-assurance jams of the goodness gracious variety.

- The Fader

"IRC Band to Watch: New York's The Rassle"

The Rassle is a recently-formed New York City rock/post-punk band composed of former band members from two other great NYC rock bands, The Virgins and the The Young Lords.

So naturally, when The Rassle's Erik Ratensperger (and ex-Virgins member) sent us a couple of songs, we had hightened expectations, and what we heard in those two songs, and a couple of other tracks via the band's MySpace page, were enough to make it clear to us that we were hearing a terrific new band.

Ratensperger joined with Mark Solomich and two brothers, Blair and Reed Van Nort, of the now-defunct band The Young Lords in January to form The Rassle. The guys must have had some idea that their new band would be something special, after all they had pretty much known each other for a couple of years from playing shows at various New York rock clubs.

The band's disciplined, yet adventurous, rock sound is edgy and catchy at the same time, and has somewhat of a post punk-pop rock revivalist charm heard clearly on songs like "Celebrate The Days" and "Wild Ones," conjuring up comparisons to legendary bands like Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzy and Big Star. But more people are likely to compare The Rassle with one of the biggest "indie" bands of the past year, Philadelphia's Free Energy.

Since we've been playing these songs from The Rassle over and over again, it wasn't a stretch to put them near the top of the Bands to Watch in 2010 list. It wouldn't be a surprise to us one bit if you're reading about The Rassle on Pitchfork, and even The New York Times, in the next few weeks. The band's unofficial EP has summer time written all over it.

Ratensperger told IRC that the band have been offered residency at New York's Pianos next month, are talking to some labels, planning to tour and working on material for a debut LP that is expected to drop later this year. We say that if they're ready to do Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, or any other big best fest this summer, organizers might just want to give the band a call. That's a bit ballsy with only four songs to go on, but we just have a good feeling about this band.
- Indie Rock Cafe

"Interview with The Rassle"

As our pleased ears have told us, bands that form with members from other influential bands are usually victorious. In regard to these sometimes-called “supergroups”, one reputable name is Jonathon Donahue, whose short but praised presence in both the Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev make him a rare example of a musician treading between two of the most acclaimed acts in a given genre and time period. The Rassle contains four members that can relate somewhat to Donahue, at least in his juggling of work between two bands that some consider chronologically suitable rivals. The Rassle, which focuses on reviving the post-punk sound, has extreme chemistry despite the members’ mixed backgrounds. It is probable that this instant chemistry was a result of The Rassle’s make-up and experience, which includes former Virgins affiliate Erik Ratensperger, Marc Solomich of The Takeover UK, and Reed and Blair Van Nort of Young Lords.

The Rassle formed after a long acquaintance and a short history of playing shows together, mostly at random venues in New York City, soon forming the name The Rassle. “It’s a slang word,” Blair Van Nort says on the name. “Reed and I are brothers and we come from a small state in the south called Texas and we used to joke about rassling when we moved to New York many years ago. Things like: “Rassle me up a 40 when you’re at the bodega.” Or, “If you don’t clean up your room I’m gonna rassle your ass.” We just thought it was a funny word but also loaded with enough context to make it a good band name,” he explains. “And we also liked that people might not be familiar with the word, so they could apply their own contextual imagery without the words defining the band first. Kinda like when we were kids and heard about Oasis. We didn’t think about what a stupid band name it was, ’cause we had no idea what an Oasis was.”

With the age of technology at its prime, we are frequently seeing bands take advantage of it by setting up extensive MySpace pages, twitters, blogs and websites. Characteristically, The Rassle’s Myspace page is vague and has a sense of humor to it. With Biggie Smalls and Little Richard listed as their musical influences, and a minuscule amount of friends, first-time viewers might question the band’s legitimacy. “We’re still so new,” Erik Ratensperger says on their lack of Internet partake. “We only launched these songs a few months ago, but it’s nice to see such a positive response so early. This is definitely not a side project; when we started this, we didn’t know exactly how it was gonna go, but we quickly realized that something was there. It was pretty magical, it just sparked and we decided go full steam,” Ratensperger finishes, before Reed Van Nort quickly pipes in, “Who’s on MySpace anymore anyways? I think as Seth Meyers put it: MySpace: The Abandoned Amusement Park of the Internet.”

So with Young Lords and Virgins influences present, should we expect a similar type of listening experience from The Rassle? “This is an entirely different band,” Ratensperger boldly states. “I think the music we are making now is a lot better than what we did with Young Lords,” Blair Van Nort adds. “But we are older now and have learned a lot more about making music and we have a clearer vision of what we want to see when we reach the light at the end of the tunnel.” Though they aim for a fresh style, the band incorporates a cumulatively equal style in the songwriting process. Ratensperger sees the process as mutually beneficial. “It’s a collective effort. It’s really nice when we’re working on something and everyone’s just bouncing off each other with different ideas on what might make a song move,” he said. “But because this is still so new, I think we’re also still learning the process as we write and record more songs. It also usually also involves a few cold ones and Doritos.”

Being an unsigned band fairly new to the music scene, The Rassle decided to take the initiative and recorded a few demo songs on a cheap microphone in their apartment. “From the beginning we decided to throw the kitchen sink at these songs,” Blair Van Nort says on his band’s loose recording process. “We had all been in bands that got pigeon-holed into these genres and styles and we were super reluctant to allow this new project to be defined by his or her dogma. So we tried adding and subtracting lots of different sounds and instruments until we found the parts we felt added up to the highest degree of sonic purity. But ultimately you know we were super limited by our tools since we made these songs at our apartment using Garage Band and Pro Tools Lite, but I think it turned out great. We stumbled into something so much more honest and true to ourselves being cramped in our tiny apartment but dreaming big.”

With a few rough songs, some upcoming shows in the New York/ New Jersey area, and an optimistic attitude, The Rassle have already began their journey of taking over the indie rock world. “We just really wanna make music that inspires other people,” Blair Van Nort says on his band’s goal. When asked for a few last words, the guys summarize in a few of their own lyrics. “Celebrate the days!” Blair exclaims, as Reed pipes in, “If it’s all you got!” - Obscure Sound


"Introducing" The Rassle EP.

All songs on "Introducing" have received airplay on both college and Internet radio.

Additionally all songs from "Introducing" have been broadcast in commercial campaigns for brands including HTC, Sony Playstation, Clarks, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, J. Crew, AllSaints, Bear Naked Granola, and Gant Rugger.



The Rassle is currently on the rise as one of the most exciting new bands to come out of the downtown New York music scene with their brand of no-frills rock-and-roll. Made up of ex-members of The Virgins, Young Lords, and The Takeover UK, band mates Erik Ratensperger (drums), Mark Solomich (bass) and Reed and Blair Van Nort (guitar and vocals, respectively) teamed up a little over a year ago to record a couple of songs in a cramped NYC apartment with a $50 microphone and an old computer.

The resulting 4-song EP, which the band gave away for free on their website, earned them a considerable amount of buzz and acclaim from the likes of Interview Magazine, NYLON, Blackbook, The Fader, New York Press and more. The Deli Magazine praises their “droney guitar sound, combined with pristine and beautiful pop-folk melodies and dancey beats.” Likewise, The Fader claims they create the “fully fist-pumpable, soccer chant, working-for-the-weekend all star self-assurance jams of that goodness gracious variety” while the guitar brand, Gibson, named the foursome one of their “10 Artists to Watch.”

Over the last several months, The Rassle has shared the stage with Florence and the Machine, Wavves, Mystery Jets, The Dears, Civil Twilight and more, consistently playing to packed rooms throughout downtown New York and the east coast. Similarly, their music has been featured everywhere from commercial spots with Bear Naked Granola to video game syncs with Playstation's MLB '11: The Show. Last year, the band shot a multimedia campaign for J.Crew’s “The Suit Shop” (viewable at and have been equally embraced by British fashion house AllSaints. And their newest song, "21," is available as a free download via an exclusive campaign with Clarks Originals.

It is clear that The Rassle has quickly positioned themselves as bright industry frontrunners with powerful and timeless anthems, whirring guitar licks, and inspiringly cool melodies.