Saluda is a city in North Carolina. It’s also a conjugated form of a Spanish word that means “to say hello to”—and top of that, it’s the new name of the band formerly known as Rescue Party. It’s a good fit for these guys, who are currently “saying hello to” another chapter in their music career. With the name change, they’re embracing a more rock-influenced sound that shines through in their single “We’re Not Alright,” which you can listen to for the first time right here.
In honor of this song release, we recently chatted with Landon Rojas, Saluda’s lead vocalist, and his brother Cade, the band’s drummer. Read on to learn about their vision for Saluda, their wildest show this year, and their favorite type of chicken wing.
TYF: You recently changed your band name to Saluda. What prompted this change?
Cade: Kinda just the transition from high school to college. And [it shows that] we’re serious with it and our music kinda changed.
Landon: Yeah, we kinda dropped the keyboard. We have a more rock and roll sound now. That’s what we’re shooting for. And I wouldn’t say we’re, like, a “college band,” but since we’ve gotten older we’ve matured, and we’re writing songs with real meanings, and… I feel like we used to be forcing a sound, and now it’s more natural, and the songwriting has gotten better. We’re writing songs with actual meaning and purpose that reflect our generation. That’s what we’re shooting for now. And the name change is necessary, I feel like. Rescue Party kinda gave off a young vibe, and we’re going in a different direction.
TYF: One of your new songs is “We’re Not Alright”; what was the inspiration behind that song?
Landon: Having a bunch of screwed-up friends. (Laughs) That’s pretty much the reason behind that. I had a bunch of crazy friends that were doing a bunch of crazy stuff. Not going down the right track, you know. Not really going in the direction they need to be. So I wrote a song about that.
TYF: You guys recently recorded at Blackbird Studio. What was that experience like?
Landon: That was very interesting.
Cade: That place was crazy. (Laughs) It was like a museum.
Landon: I felt like I had walked into an alien spaceship when I saw everything. There was just so much stuff I had never seen before. Stuff I never knew how to use.
Cade: There was this giant door where Taylor Swift signed her name… Kings of Leon…
Landon: Kings of Leon. You can put Kings of Leon first. Kings of Leon. (Laughs)
Cade: All the famous musicians you could think of… a lot of them recorded at that place.
Landon: It was cool to have that vibe and be in that atmosphere. Such professionalism. When we were just working in the basement making music… It’s a different step. It’s really cool.
TYF: Earlier this year, you released your debut album as Rescue Party. How does it feel having that out?
Landon: It’s interesting. This is kinda where it gets confusing, ‘cause with the name change… We still have the album with Rescue Party, and we’ve kinda put it off to the side with Rescue Party, so people still download that and they like that music. But Saluda, that’s what we’re pushing. We have this single, and we’re putting out another single later. So we’re really pushing singles right now. And after we get a following in Spartanburg and Clemson, South and North Carolina and Georgia, then we’re going to shoot for another album.
Cade: You’ll hear kind of a difference between [the Rescue Party album] and each single. Every single’s more rock. And there’s nothing wrong with [the Rescue Party album]. I thought it was pretty good. But [the new album’s] gonna be different.
TYF: You guys are brothers. When you were growing up, did you ever make music together before you started an official band?
Landon: No. (Laughs)
Cade: It just kinda came up.
Landon: I didn’t play guitar or sing or anything till I got a guitar when I was, like, 14, 15. I was like, “Well, that’s cool, I wanna try that.” Then [Cade] got a drum set… Cameron and Colton have always been my best friends, and [after Cade and I got our instruments], I was like, “Cameron, you know how to play guitar?” He was like, “Sure.” He didn’t know guitar. (Laughs) Then you have Colton. Colton’s the only one that really played, like, every instrument known to person. He played piano, he played upright bass, upright cello…
Cade: Yeah. We were kinda just like, “Screw this, let’s do some music!”
TYF: Last time we talked, you were telling me about how you were going to open for Mayday Parade and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. That’s already happened now. What was that like?
Landon: That was amazing.
Cade: I used to listen to Red Jumpsuit Apparatus all the time. When we got word that we were gonna open up for them, I was kinda in shock. I was like, “What the heck? I listened to them on the way here!” It was pretty cool ’cause Western [Carolina University] treated us very well.
Landon: They treated us like kings.
Cade: Each of us had a green room and everything.
Landon: They’re all so nice. Everyone treated us with such respect. It was really cool.
TYF: What would you say is the most memorable show you’ve played this year?
Cade: Oh, gosh. Savannah.
Landon: Savannah, Georgia. We played Savannah, Georgia and there was this one dude… I think he was on something. He had to be on something. He was running around the stage in front of us, just running around.
Cade: Our hype man.
Landon: He was just running in circles. Then he put his leg on the stage and he was,
Iike, humping the stage, and it was just really strange.
Cade: It was hilarious.
Landon: It was very weird.
Cade: It was entertaining to everybody in there.
Landon: He was doing a bunch of male stripper moves and I was like, “Whoa, okay. You do you, man. I’m just gonna play music.” (Laughs)
TYF: That definitely sounds like an experience. And when you guys aren’t making music, what do you like to do for fun?
Landon: We just hang out. We usually go out to eat or something.
Cade: We’ll go watch other bands. We’ll just go to [Wild Wing Cafe] or something and watch who’s playing.
Landon: Chill out.
Cade: It’s usually about music.
Landon: Pretty much everyone’s obsessed with music in this band, so you don’t really get away from it.
TYF: What are some other artists you’ve been listening to lately?
Cade: I love Muse. That’s one of my favorites.
Landon: I’ve been listening to Cage the Elephant recently. I like their older stuff, but their newer stuff is just as good. They’re always going to make great music.
Cade: And Kings of Leon.
Landon: Kings of Leon. Always Kings of Leon.
TYF: I’ve noticed that you guys play a lot of shows at Wild Wing Cafe, and in one of your behind the scenes videos, you guys were eating wings, so with that said, what are your favorite types of wings?
Cade and Landon (in perfect unison): Lemon pepper.
Landon: Lemon pepper wings are definitely the best ones you can get.
TYF: I’ll make a note of that. I don’t think I’ve ever seen lemon pepper wings anywhere.
Landon: They’re so good. They have Wild Wings [where you live]?
TYF: I don’t think I’ve ever been to a Wing Wing Cafe.
Landon: It’s awesome. If you do go to Wild Wings, you need to get lemon pepper wings.
TYF: Ok, I’ll definitely do that. And is there anything else you guys would like to say to the readers before the end of the interview?
Landon: Be ready, ‘cause new music’s coming, and we’re about to make our mark on this industry. We’ve got a good process coming, we’ve got a good team behind us, and we’re ready to do some big stuff.