In an age where there are so many subgenres of music, this band identifies as ‘alternative indie rock’ just to settle the argument of “Who are you?” Though the term “shoegaze” has been used as a negative connotation, I do not believe this is the case in general. The truest definition of shoegaze describes it as a subgenre of indie rock featuring obscured vocals, distortion of guitar and loud volume. THE RUMORS utilize basic elements of shoegaze, but the usage of upbeat drums and bass fast-forwards the style into the modern era. I enjoyed how the keyboardist chimed in with melodic riffs throughout the set to give off vibes of The Cure. The distorted vocals balance out the guitar riffs in order to not appear jarring, but contrasts the “mainstream” enough to draw an audience. “Run All Night” was the song that attracted me to their show to begin with. The melody is catchy and I feel it captures the essence of the band as a whole. Coming on a year old, THE RUMORS are doing their best to boldly stand out amongst other artists that bear a similar name.

THE RUMORS consist of:
Shanely Mullikin (SM) -Rhythm guitar/Vocals
Geoff Atkinson (GA) - Drums
Martin Keith - Keys/Backing Vox
C Gage Davidson - Bass/Vox
I encourage you all to educate and learn about new and different styles of musical art from an objective point of view. By the end of this interview, you can decide for yourselves who THE RUMORS truly are.
Can you talk about your newest EP?
SM: "So, we did release a two track 'sort of' EP. A good chunk of recording was done in late 2019/early 2020 with every intention to release 5 songs for an EP. We ended up being satisfied with the sound of 2-3 of those songs. There were a couple of 'em that just kind of didn't come across the way that we wanted to. [Instead,] we kind of only ended up releasing just a couple of them. Honestly, it's only just a couple of singles. We got those locally mastered and went ahead and released those to some streaming services and stuff. That's what we did. Speaking of recording, we are back at it at the moment and that's kind of what we were doing before we booked this show. The last two singles we released were 'The Fury and the Sound' and 'Run All Night.' There's also 'Watch Me Walking Away' and we also recorded 'Got Me Feeling Alone'. We're gonna be re-recording [those] and then releasing [them.] We've got several other songs too that are in the pipes."

What types of inspirations contribute to writing your original music?
GA: "We're kinda all across the board. We like a lot of 90s Brit-pop, alternative music [from] the late 90s/early 2000s, and 70s/early 80s punk. We try to blend a lot of those influences all into our own sound."
SM: "We all have a really eclectic buffet of influences. Every single one of us has such a different background when it comes to the stuff that we listened to when we were growing up. I [listened] to a lot of British rock when I was younger and Geoff listened to a lot of post-punk stuff. I know our keyboardist Martin was really into a lot of 80s new wave stuff. Our bassist Gage is into a ton of… I don't even know what to call it."
GA: "Just all over the board crazy stuff."
SM: "Gage] listens to literally everything. When all of us come together and start working on something new, it turns into something that I don't think any of us really anticipated. It is what it is. It's us. Ya know? Something that we get a lot from people who listen to our music is that it doesn't sound like anything that they've really ever heard before. [People] think that they can kind of pinpoint who possibly our influences are. Every time we talk to somebody we get something different from them. [It's] such a cool and rewarding part about music. I had a guy tell me the other day that he heard Foo Fighters [when they] listened to our stuff. I never would have thought of that."
GA: "It must be the drumming. [Our music is considered] alternative indie."
SM: "[Sometimes] you have this idea in your head and you really feel like it's going to turn out this certain way. In our case, I might start off on [having] the rhythm, melody and lyrics. [Afterwards,] I [think,] 'Here [you go].' [Later] it becomes something completely different and it's so hard to label that. I'm totally open to people and their interpretation [of our songs] because it's art. You know what I mean? Once you put it out there, it doesn't matter what we think it is. Honestly, the more we put into trying to explain what it is to somebody else [ends up] ruining it. When we're writing stuff, it is what it is to us. As soon as someone else hears it, it's what you want it to be. It's what you think it is. We can call ourselves whatever the hell we want, but it doesn't matter. I don't ever want what we say about a song, who we think we are, our sound or anything like that to influence anybody else. It just screws up their perception. [This is] why I like to be vague, especially when it comes to talking about who we are or [what our] songs are about."
What steps has your band taken towards becoming more well known in the regional underground music market before, during and post pandemic?
GA: "Once we got together and we were able to write enough music to have enough songs to play a show, we then started playing a couple of shows. We promoted them the best we could using social media, e-mails, texting and telling all of our friends. Shortly after that, COVID-19 hit and everything got shut down."
SM: "We are now having to start all over again because we weren't around [as a band] for too long before the [pandemic.] May 2019 [is when] we started playing together."
GA: "We just had a small handful of songs that Shanely had written by himself. Once we finally got enough members in the band, we started collaboratively writing and building up an arsenal of songs. [After the pandemic,] we are now getting back to it."
SM: "We had about 5 shows that were cancelled because of the pandemic."
GA: "Yeah, we had a bunch booked. [We thought,] ' The future's looking good! Everything's going to be so good! I can't wait!' and then [the pandemic happened.] [After] everything got cancelled [due to] COVID-19, we took a break and kept our distance from each other. Once things kinda settled down, we said, 'Alright. How about we start practicing again? Let's get back into this.' We wrote a whole bunch of new tunes [during] that time."

Has other bands having the same name as yours caused any issues yet and what do you hope makes your band stand out more?
GA: "I know. [There is] not just the wedding band [from] Indiana, but there is [also] one here [with the same name.] They are a Fleetwood Mac cover band. [So far,] it hasn't [caused any problems,] but it can."
SM: "It's come up, [but] we are producing copyrighted material under our name. Legally, we have the upper hand. We've talked about it and it's come up more lately. It's probably something we are just going to have to nip in the bud." 
Is having the majority of the members participate in vocals a signature style for your band or is it a random coincidence? 
GA: "Well Shanely's vocal style is fantastic on it's own, but if we can help add a little bit to that with some background vocals [then it adds] extra elements. [Also,] we enjoy singing."
SM: "It's kinda 50/50 too. I think that sometimes I've got an idea for backing vocals [while] the other half of the time they start doing stuff and [I think,] 'Fucking genius! That was incredible!' Another cool part about the creative process is just stuff you didn't even think of and [when] somebody else just catches the vibe or whatever. I think the backing vocals have been fantastic and it was just something that sort of happened. It was one of those things [that made you think,] 'Yeah, that definitely makes the song better.'"
Video Link in Instagram:
3/20/21 @ George's Majestic Lounge - THE RUMORS

To keep up with THE RUMORS, track them down on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify or on their main website.

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