The feeling of love. The power of unity. The essence of happiness. The strength of togetherness and positive vibrations. The highs of living life and the lows of dealing with its obstacles. All of these things encapsulate the music of Cincinnati, OH-based Rockstead, a four-piece, passion driven rock/reggae group.
With roots leading as far back as middle school, Rockstead combines a lifetime full of influences ranging from rock, punk, reggae, jam and even metal. In their early days Rockstead ruled the college party scene in Ohio with a schedule full of impromptu house shows that led to packed, sweaty basements of DIY venues and later, massive crowds attending college fests such as Ohio University’s infamous spring festivals. This early success catalyzed the debut of their first album “Wake Up and Live” (2013) shortly followed by their popular “Rise” EP (2014). These releases ignited their inner road warrior leading to a plethora of plays at music festivals and concert venues across the Midwest. Since then Rockstead continues to widen their reach with an added 2017 tour through Florida.
Though member changes have occurred over the years, front man singer/guitarist Jake Burns continues to drive the group forward as they have shared stages with international acts such as The Wailers (Jamaica) and Sticky Fingers (Australia) as well as many staple East coast reggae acts like Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad and Roots of Creation. With a healthy gap since their last release (Homegrown, 2016) new music looms close on the horizon. By using their relentless high-energy performances and genre-bending set lists while aligning their unwavering dedication to the do-it-yourself work ethic, Rockstead shows no sign of slowing down their mission of bringing people together through music.
Jake filled us in on what his inspiration behind “The Distance” was when he wrote it.
The Distance: This song came about during the winter of 2017 when I (Jake) was doing quite a bit of traveling. I was currently working down in Costa Rica and my partner was working on a farm in Hawaii. The plan was to spend about a month in Costa Rica, fly back home to Ohio, then hop on a plane and go spend some time with her in Hawaii. As most people can relate to, being away from your significant other for that long, and at such distances, can be really hard. This song describes that point in my life and was meant to not only reassure her that I would be there but to also remind myself that our time together was coming, making the wait a little less difficult.
The recording of this track was a new venture for us as well. For most of those that know Rockstead (especially our live show) we usually bring the energy and like to rock the fuck out. This song however was very much a reggae ballad sort of piece and our producer (Stephen Buttree) really pushed us to pull back a little and focus on a clean “less busy” sort of sound. And we’re glad he did! We think the track turned out great and we hope that our fans enjoy this softer more intimate side of our music.