The Rockford Mules release new EP and subsequently announce breakup
Photo by Serah Sauser
Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" is not a song that Minneapolis Southern-rock band The Rockford Mules will be covering anytime soon. The band will be releasing their fourth album, an EP titled O Tulip I Told You So, that has evolved in sound as much as the band has in itself. O Tulip includes tracks that while cleverly constructed, ebb-and-flow without a lack of pretention, all the while tell a heartbreaking story.
Soon after this interview was done, The Rockford Mules made an announcement concerning the band:
Fans, and anyone who has cared about us the past seven years,It is with an oddly satisfying sadness and an enormous amount of gratitude that we, The Rockford Mules, are calling it quits after 7 wonderful years.
We aren't stopping because we don't get along or even because we feel there aren't any more songs in us. No, we are stepping down for the simple reason that we feel this band, and its music, has run its course. I wish it were more complex than that and I could point to viscous, knockdown, drag out fights. Or that we were all sleeping with each other's wives or significant others, but I can't. The past 7 years have been great. This band has seen the birth of 5 children, helped get us through deaths, divorce, personal hardships, and at the end of it all we were, and still are, brothers that love and respect the hell out of each other. My guess is we'll remain that way long after people have forgotten about the music we've made.
The Rockford Mules have prided ourselves in making the most honest and heartfelt music we could. If the song wasn't perfect in our minds we kept writing until it was perfect or we scrapped the song all together. A lot of bands will claim the same thing but we meant it with every ounce of our rag tag soul. We put the music first and witnessed a lot of bands come and go who thought fashion and a gimmick would last. We always wanted to give our best, whether that meant playing in front of ten people or ten thousand. (which never happened except for that one time at Bratfest....both the ten and the ten thousand part).
When all is said and done we feel we did things the right way. We never "made it" (whatever that means...) but we did respect the music, the business, and were true to who we are as people and musicians. There was, and still is, no other way to do it in our minds.
Anyway, we always said when it wasn't fun anymore or if it started to feel like work then we would hang it up. That's where we stand today. We could probably keep going just for the sake of keeping going but it goes against the very foundation this band was built on.
We love this band too much to keep it going without our full hearts in it.
It's been a hell of a ride that has taken us to some very cool and interesting places and we have been blessed to meet some wonderful people along the way that share our love of this thing we call music.
Some of you reading this are new to our music and some have been with us the entire way. It's all the same.....So to everyone that has bought a record, come to a show, shared a kind word, bought us a drink, or been moved by the sound we created, we thank-you with every fiber of our being. It's been a pleasure. We've had times that none of us will ever forget.....if only we could remember. (I think I stole that BTW)
For those of you wondering what lies ahead for us individually....well, Erik will continue to focus on his solo stuff and dropping the hammer on those poor nails. Craig will be sitting behind either a camera or a telescope...perhaps both. Joel will be, of course, fishing. Rocky will be running an endless amount of marathons. I (Ryan) will be jamming somewhere with someone and writing a book about all of it. Gary The Buck? He'll just keep spitting the truth.
To celebrate the last 7 years and to truly go out in style, we are playing a record release show on November 3rd at Cause Spirits and Sound Bar in Uptown. We will also debut a new video. Sounds odd right? Yes, we have a new E.P. Yes, we have a new video. Yes, we are breaking up. I guess that is a bit odd but screw it...we recorded it, are still proud of it, so why not share it with the rest of you. Besides, to be honest, there isn't another band that's come down the pike the past 7 years that knows how to sonically remodel the inside of a bar like we know how to do. So please join us to celebrate with us one last time and to help put The Rockford Mules out to pasture. I guarantee we'll go down kicking.
Once again, thank you so much for the past 7 years and for supporting us. Hopefully we made a difference to someone somewhere.
Peace to ya'll...See ya on November 3rd.
The Rockford Mules
Band Members: Erik Tasa (guitar/vocals), Ryan Rud (guitar/lap steel). Craig Peck (bass), Joel Habedank (original drummer and drummer for our last show), Rocky DeVries (Joel's replacement drummer)
Are there any big plans for the next step? Do you ever want to graduate to stadiums, or are you all a band that just wants to play music?
On the other hand, nobody likes the last guy at the party; the guy who doesn't know that the party is over. We figure it is best to politely step out while people still think we are reasonably cool. We are self aware enough to not try and drag this tractor out of the swamp a year from now for another run at glory. It ran its course, we had a better time than we deserved, and we will miss it severely. For all of us, this band being over will be a little hard to wrap our minds around. Having said that, Cause will likely be reduced to a smoking crater by Sunday morning.We absolutely love playing live, and we plan on going down swinging.
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