Blow The Scene Spotlight series takes us across the Atlantic to Basque Country, which is split between the Northeast corner of France and southern Spain, where we find a metallic hardcore hybrid, The Rodeo Idiot Engine, as they prepare to release a new LP on France’s Throatruiner Records. The band has been making waves across Europe with a blend of metal and hardcore that is reminiscent of early Dillinger Escape Plan with leitmotifs of melodic hardcore and emotional vocals throughout. We are excited to have caught up with the quintet for a BTS Spotlight Interview, as the band discusses their new LP, life in France and Spain, touring Europe, equipment picks, and much more!
Editor’s Note: RIE’s grasp of English is fantastic – and although some edits were necessary – we chose to edit as little as possible to keep the integrity of their responses. If something sounds a little odd, just read it with a French accent.
Joshua BTS: Greetings! Thank you for taking time to answer a few questions for Blow The Scene readers around the World! Let’s begin by having you introduce yourself and declare your onstage weapon of choice with France’s mathy, blackened metallic five-piece, The Rodeo Idiot Engine.
The Idiot Rodeo Engine: To be simple, we play together since a little bit more than two years. During this time we made something like 70 shows around Europe (France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Slovenia, Croatia, Czech Republic..) with a lot of awesome bands like Celeste, Nadja, Kruger, Nesseria, Plebeian Grandstand and much more. We also released a first EP The First Fall last year and our first LP Fools Have Taken The Nave will be available in the next days. We are a five-piece band and we’re always a bunch of idiots.
Joshua BTS You are poised to drop a new record Fools Will Crush The Crown on Throatruiner Records and Enema Thematics in August. Let’s get the inside scoop on this forthcoming LP. When, where, and whom did you record with?
The Idiot Rodeo Engine: The whole album have been record during January 2011 in Toulouse (FRANCE) at the Solstice Studio with Baptiste Bouchard who already worked with My Own Private Alaska, Selenites, 8 Control. He is such a talented guy, he didn’t just record our music but he also gave us some tips and helped us through the recording process by enhancing each aspect of our songs.
Then Pepe (Infest, Skunk), who already worked on our first EP, has mixed all the tracks. He lives near the band so it was easier for us to tell him where we want to go with this album.
The well-known Alan Douches did the mastering; who made like expected a very good work.
Joshua BTS: Why the choice to release Fools Will Crush The Crown on 2 labels?
The Idiot Rodeo Engine: It was not really a choice. For us it was normal to search for more than one structure because nowadays it becomes so hard for an independent label to release something alone. Obviously because of the money but even for the work hidden behind each release. In our scene labels are often run only by one enthusiast, so they are far from a major-like structure.
Joshua BTS: What are some of the lyrical themes fans will find within the record?
The Idiot Rodeo Engine: We often talk about mankind, its craziness and the danger of the power. Our lyrics are most of the time metaphors painting our society’s excess like selfishness, narcissism and lust of power.
Joshua BTS: The Rodeo Idiot Engine have captured a quite a smorgasbord of different sounds within your mathy metal formula. I always like to throw a few questions in for the gear nerds. Any special pieces of equipment, whether it be cabs, mics, heads, drums, effects, etc., that you find pivotal when capturing the overall sound of the band?
The Idiot Rodeo Engine: We have never been and never want to be some kind of geek musicians but we know how our sound has to be. Unfortunately we are not rich or endorsed by any fantastic gear brand but we’re trying to make it with our own gear. At the beginning of the band it was not an important part of our music but now it is. For the album we record the two guitars (LTD Eclipse and ESP Eclipse II) with a Peavey 6505 Head on a Custom Marshall 4*12 Cab spotted with Eminence Governor and Private Jack speakers. But since then we use two Orange Thunderverb Amp on Orange Cabs just with simple delay and reverb pedals. Our bassist uses an Ibanez ATK Series on Ashdown amp just with an overdrive BOSS pedal on top of it. And our drummer play on the simplest Pearl drum kit ever.
Joshua BTS: What is the story behind the name The Rodeo Idiot Engine? And what is the significance of your latest album title, Fools Will Crush The Crown?
The Rodeo Idiot Engine: The only thing behind our name it’s alcohol… We searched a lot for a name and one day (or one night to be exact) our singer came out with these words. We loved them ‘cause they really represent what we feel about us, an explicit nonsense.
For the album, we loved the theme of the 10th track, so we searched for something related to it but also to the rest of the album.
Joshua BTS: If I understand correctly, you are based out Western France, close to the border of Spain. Do you find that your fan base extends into Spain as it does in France? Do Spain and France have comparable music scenes and do you tour both countries with any type of frequency?
The Rodeo Idiot Engine: Our situation is a little bit more complicated. To be simple, we live in Basque Country; it’s officially split between France and Spain but we speak the same language even if we also speak French or Spanish so it’s common for us to live in each side of the border. We feel at home in every side.
We made a lot of gigs in each side of Basque Country but our music scene it’s not too much exposed here so since the beginning we always tour more in other countries than at home. To understand, we made our first European tour only after 2 gigs in our city!
Joshua BTS: What are some other bands in your neck of the woods that are exciting you right now?
The Rodeo Idiot Engine: There are a lot of amazing bands out there but if we have to talk about some of them I guess friends of us like Plebeian Grandstand or Selenites totally deserves more attention. Then all the other bands from Throatruiner are so rad and we are all big fans of them, be sure to check them out.
Joshua BTS: Favorite foods and eateries when you are on the road? Any vegans or vegetarians on the band?
The Rodeo Idiot Engine: A lot of different hobs for sure.
To be honest nothing special, just a lot of junk food on the van and specialties from each country. We all love so much to taste food that we can’t even pronounce the name, except our bassist who only eat fast fucking sheet food!!
Joshua BTS: Apart from your musical endeavors- What do your daily lives look like?
The Rodeo Idiot Engine: We all work besides the band because we have to. So we wake up early every morning like everyone else but we run away from that life as soon as we can.
Joshua BTS: Best aspects of being in a band based out of France?
The Rodeo Idiot Engine: I don’t think there are positive points to be based here, it’s certainly better than other countries but it’s way difficult to be exposed than if you live in US for example. Maybe the good point is that since the beginning you know that you will have to work harder than others for the same result, so it’s a good school, and it gives a lot of very good bands at the end.
Joshua BTS: Worst aspects of being in a band based out France?
The Rodeo Idiot Engine: The worst aspect it’s obviously that we are not a Rock country like UK or Germany, but like said in the previous answer sometimes it’s better for the quality of the music.
Joshua BTS: What does the rest of 2011 look like for The Rodeo Idiot Engine?
The Rodeo Idiot Engine: We are now writing new songs for a split for the end of the year but it’s still a little bit secret, so we can’t tell you so much about that. We will also tour this fall in France.
Joshua BTS: Where is the best place/s online for fans to keep up with the band?
The Rodeo Idiot Engine: Since the death of MySpace, it’s quite difficult to merge all the fans in one place, so now you have to spend a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter, LastFM, Soundcloud, Bandcamp and so on but it’s maybe better ‘cause a few years ago bands claim some sort of success based only on the number of friends. A lot of people now understand that you have to sweat on stage and not in front of your keyboard!
Joshua BTS: Thank you kindly for taking time with Blow The Scene readers from around the world as we look forward to keeping up with your future endeavors. Any final thoughts?
The Rodeo Idiot Engine: Thanks for your questions, and don’t forget that all our releases are on free download on our bandcamp page.
Interview by Joshua T. Cohen
Fools Will Crush the Crown – The Rodeo Idiot Engine
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More info at The Rodeo Idiot Engine bandcamp
The Rodeo Idiot Engine facebook