Q&A with Rodent Lord

Rodent Lord, a band based in Hazelton, will perform at 9 p.m. Jan. 26 at Smokey Jo’s, 1234 W. Fourth St., along with Kill the Car, Suckered In, The Gasholes and Phantom Creeps for a show that is a little different than what the music scene in Williamsport usually brings.

The Sun-Gazette recently sat down with Gary Critical, guitarist for Rodent Lord to discuss their upcoming album, “Circus Flea” slated for February, nicknames from grade school that just won’t go away and the honesty Rodent Lord gives, whether people like it or not.

BETHANY WIEGAND: Who is in Rodent Lord and are you all from Kutztown? Is music a full-time thing for you guys right now?

GARY CRITICAL: Rodent Lord is Gary on guitar, Brendan on vocals, Ratshit on bass and Bobby on drums. The music is a pretty full time thing for us. We put a lot of work in making sure we always have a new gig booked. We try to play out every single chance we get.

BW: When I heard the name, “Rodent Lord,” I immediately pictured Splinter from “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” What’s the story behind the name? Any correlation there?

GC: No direct correlation between the name and Splinter, though we are all Ninja Turtle fans. Brendan and I created the name back in 2011. To us, the name represents our positions, socially and morally – one of those counterculture things.

BW: What’s the most embarrassing album in your music collection. Be honest!

GC: Okay, ready for this one …

“Shaq Fu – Da Return,” by Shaq.

BW: If you could be a dinosaur for one day, which one and why?

GC: A raptor, they shred!

BW: What were some of the stand-out moments from your recent East Coast tour?

GC: I would have to say our Southern shows in general really stood out. Greensville, S.C., Miami, Fla., anytime we go down south the scene is great. We always get a great response and a lot of love.

BW: You’ve got a couple EPs under your belt now. What have you learned as a band through the recording process? Has there been an evolution to your music?

GC: We are in the process of our third release. In the year we’ve been together, we have definitely evolved in our writing and recording process while still maintaining the raw punk-hardcore style that is our foundation.

BW: You’re releasing an album, “Circus Flea” in February. What did you do to prepare for it? If you could pick a song as your favorite, which would it be?

GC: We started writing the songs for “Circus Flea” back in August. We click well as musicians. A lot of our writing is just jamming out what we have until we are happy with it.

BW: Your profile on Facebook is pretty blunt. Ever get any flack for stating your opinion?

GC: Yeah, from time to time. We are always more then happy to discuss our points though.

BW: As a band, what’s one thing you want people to take from your music?

GC: I would like people to listen to our music, see what we have to say and just maybe that will encourage one to critically analyze how maybe these issues might effect them or their community.

BW: What’s Ratshit’s deal? Did his parents just really dislike him enough to give him that name?

GC: Haha, not a birth name! The rumor is in 6th grade Ratshit would sneak into his class room during recess and eat the droppings of the class pet (a rat) crazy I know … guess the name just carried on.

BW: What’s Rodent Lord bringing to 2013? What’s your next move?

GC: We have our new EP being released in February. The rest of winter and spring you can expect to see us all over the East Coast, always playing out. Come June we have a two-week tour planned spanning from San Diego to Seattle and a mid-west/Canadian tour we are booking in July or August. You can get in touch with us, see our full tour schedule at facebook.com /rodentlord and our debut EP “Anthropocene” is available for free download at rodentlord.band camp.com.