Ryan's IG: @EG.GMAN
A Look Under the Hood, Running on Empty speaks on what fuels them.
“I think true creativity comes from within, and I respect people who can force it out,” lead guitarist Anthony remarks on creative inspiration. He strives to work into his playing “the reinvention of the guitar,” in the vein of Hendrix. As for Ripley, the band’s rhythm guitarist, classical guitar virtuoso Christopher Parkening is who sets the bar. For Hope, this project is about channeling an affinity for music that she has felt since a young age. “The rush of passion and beauty that consumes me is what continues to inspire me musically.” In just a few sentences, these people have changed what it means to be an artist for me.
I decide to try and dig a bit deeper; where is the middle between the five distinct artists that make up this band? The short answer: the stage. “We focus on how we can complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses, to create a live show that is enjoyable no matter what kind of music you like,” again Anthony’s answers seem to make me forget that he's only one piece of a larger unit. So what about off stage? When they’re writing their songs, “We make music that we would listen to...we all bring a different style to the table.”
“Warm ups and blasting metal.” Ripley’s statement leaves me wanting more information on what goes on before shows, but maybe this would draw the focus away from where it should lie, on stage. As for their presence off stage, Gavin says that “we want to create timeless songs that are enjoyable to play as well as listen to...when we work in the studio to create a song, we put our absolute all in so that hopefully it connects with our audiences for years to come.” These songs aren't written with a specific method, and Hope (vocals), explains that sometimes it’s a phrase, and other times a melody that forms the primordial ooze of a song. “Although I honestly don't truly know myself at times, or what I'm even feeling, it (writing) has become a very therapeutic process for me personally.”
Locally, I wanted to know if there were any favorites they could name in the music scene. Gavin couldn't decide on one, and proceeded to name the first five he thought of: Coffin, Strange Case, Mt. Pool, the Rays, and the Melrays. These were preceded by a wholesome declaration of love for any band that he had played a show with before.
More than anything, the band as a whole hopes to create music and experiences that let the listener feel understood. Katie, the band’s bassist wraps up my correspondence with the band by reassuring me that the name is not derivative of the Sidney Lumet movie, or the Jackson Browne Song. Laughs aside it's good to know just how much horsepower lies within the engine of Running on Empty.