Finding a Balance

Since 1999, RPG has honed its no-frills balled fist of sound into a seriously '70s rock update that recalls the era's pioneering work of the Stooges, MC5 and Grand Funk. All that hard work is starting to pay off. With appearances at the SXSW festival, a national release of their debut, "Full Time," on the Arclight Records label in Austin, Texas, and a steady diet of touring that will cover North America and Japan over the next year, the band may finally be within reach of the simple dream of being able to make a living playing music.

As usually happens, band members fall in love and have children, which isn't conducive to life in a band. Longtime bassist Tony Brown recently left the tightly knit group to provide for his wife and child. The parting was stressful though amicable and after trying out several candidates to fill the position, 26-year-old Ryan Shade — who the group has taken to calling "The Face" for his good looks — has settled in as the permanent replacement.

Life in a band is not for the faint of heart. RPG has maintained its existence despite constantly skirting the edge of financial ruin, total indifference and, now, the demands of family. It's a constant juggling act of bartending gigs, short-order line cooking, freelance metal refinishing and construction work that has sustained the band over the years. The fiercely independent group has persevered where lesser bands would have thrown in the towel, but RPG isn't your typical band. They are workhorses, and this simple-minded determination to rock is what sustains them.

This strong work ethic will no doubt be passed on to their children. Let's just hope they have earplugs. — Chris Bopst

RPG's new album, "Full Time," includes a DVD. They're on tour and return for a local show June 9 at Alley Katz with Alabama Thunderpussy and Dixie Witch. www.rpgva.com

More Music Issue...

Letters to the editor may be sent to: letters@styleweekly.com



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

  • Re: The Brain-Makers

    • greetings to every one reading my testimony, my name is ELVIS CEASER from the united…

    • on October 21, 2016
  • Re: Library of Virginia Layoffs Will Hinder Open Government, Preservation of Historical Record

    • How about taking the corporate welfare money and investing it in librarians. These job losses…

    • on October 21, 2016
  • Re: Virginia Rapper and Producer Dies

    • I was diagnosed of hepatitis in 2012 and I have tried all possible means to…

    • on October 21, 2016
  • More »
  • Latest in Cover Story

    Copyright © 2016 Style Weekly
    Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
    All rights reserved
    Powered by Foundation