Local Spotlight: Remo Drive

By Logan Lanphere (First Avenue Marketing Intern)

This week I had the chance to chat with Remo Drive frontman Erik Paulson about the band’s last record, touring this fall, and their show at Bayfront Park in Duluth on July 8 with Hippo Campus, Poliça, Low, and J.S. Ondara.

This Minneapolis alt-rock three piece doesn’t get too caught up in genre when it comes to the music they write: as long as it’s fun music the kids can relate to, genre labels aren’t as important. Paulson says he’s influenced by Jeff Rosenstock and Vampire Weekend, as well as some classic rock staples like The Police. As the Paulson brothers grew up, they immersed themselves in the world of emo bands until eventually forming Remo Drive together in high school. Drawing inspiration from a high school band that he was “like in love with,” Paulson explains that after seeing them play live he thought,“I think I could probably do that too…they’re super cool, we should be a band too.”

This emo influence is what led the band to write fast head-bangers about adolescence and teen angst, and Paulson uses this almost like a gas pedal, adding more or less emo edge in each individual song. Emo has always been a part of Remo Drive, and it’s on display again in their first full length LP, Greatest Hits. Paulson says the goal was to “tie up the ends of our previous music about growing up and being young… kind of like a time capsule of suburban Minnesota.” The relatability of Greatest Hits made it easy for Minnesota punks to get these songs stuck in their heads, and it’s why Remo Drive’s influence is spreading.

Now that the band has successfully tied up the loose ends of their previous music, they’re moving towards a very bright future. With two tours scheduled for the fall, things have been moving quickly for them since the March release of their record. This will be the first time the band gets on the road in a professional fashion beyond the DIY basement tours they’re used to. They’re getting back on the road with Hippo Campus, and when I asked Paulson about playing with them he said, “They’re some of our favorite guys… it’s crazy how good they are. They’re probably the tightest live band I’ve seen. It gives us a reason to improve.” While all this is happening, Paulson is already working on the early stages of a more mature punk rock record, making them one of the busiest young bands in the scene.

Remo Drive is speeding into the future with their raucous live shows, and you won’t want to miss them play with what Paulson describes as “an incredible lineup as a whole.” Despite the colossal hype they’ve garnered in the past few months, the band members are some of the most humble and grateful people I’ve had the chance to talk to. It’s hard not to want to cheer them along as they gain more exposure and step out of the local spotlight and into the national spotlight. So head to Duluth to enjoy an exceptional bill of Minnesota bands with Hippo Campus, Polica, Low, Remo Drive, and J.S. Ondara on July 8. Get Your Tickets!