Interview: The Racing Pulses
Recognized by fans worldwide and media authorities such as Alternative Press, Paste Music & Daytrotter and AllMusic - The Racing Pulses have been filling festival grounds and venues since 2012 with their catchy and intelligent rock music.
We recently sat down with the Madison Alternative/Rock group to talk about their music, their future and their new music video "Intricate."
Tell us about The Racing Pulses.
Kristian: The story of The Racing Pulses is the story of a rock band beginning in a Wisconsin basement, now almost eight years ago. I was making noise on my dad's red Fender, learning how to stop getting feedback from the microphone, and just becoming comfortable discovering my voice. From there, our songs have gone on to entertain thousands of fans across the world, appear on radio stations from France to Australia, and soundtrack lovely moments in the lives of many people.
Currently, we are absolutely thrilled about the new music we plan to release in 2020. There might be some other songs we unveil before then, but our main focus is on making this next album - length project the best it can be.
This next record is more complex than our debut in several ways, so we are spending lots of time in our home studios and at other studios, experimenting, working through arrangements, and collaborating with some outstanding engineers. I cannot say much else right now, but we think the new material will be memorable. We feel even in these early stages it is some of our most interesting work. For us, it is vital we continue to develop as performers and musicians. The amount of time that has passed since those basement days is unbelievable, but I guess that is the price for having too much fun!
How has music shaped who you are as individuals?
Mike: Music is definitely a big part of our lives. Drumming is a great outlet, creatively and sometimes to just blow off some steam. Chicks also dig it.
Kristian: Music feels like an extra sense or a superpower to me. There is just so much that sound expresses and taps into. It truly is a world within our world. Whether I am making music, consuming it, or learning about the favorite songs of others, I consider music as an integral part of my identity, helping me communicate and connect with both individuals and my surroundings.
Tell us about your new music video "Intricate"
Kristian: We worked with a talented cinematographer named Christian Cuévas. He envisioned a darker spin on the early MTV-style video, precisely capturing this vexed vibe we were going for. Milwaukee radio station 88Nine took interest, premiering it on their blog, as well as playing “Intricate” over the airwaves. It was fun to learn from friends, fans, and even strangers about how they heard “Intricate” in their cars or on their radios. The video was filmed in 4K and the clarity is neat.
Mike: It's dope! It was a fun, daylong process. Christian is a super good producer. Everything was pretty simple, but he brought it all together and got some really interesting shots. They spent like two days putting up all those balloons (laughs). I luckily got to skip that bit.
What has been your biggest triumph?
Mike: The album. we put everything into that, and finishing it was a great feeling. It felt good to have a complete, finished product.
Kristian: Yeah. It was important for us to not make filler. We know the best albums are considered great because each song is independently strong. I think when you approach a collection of tunes that way and hold yourself to a high standard, the songs fit together better and the value of the listening experience is elevated.
What has been your biggest tribulation?
Kristian: Touring is hard work. You have to travel quickly between shows and bring quite a lot of stuff to keep the costs down if you are on the road for long periods.
Mike: The Northeast tour we did a couple years ago was tough. It was a good time, but my car needed a wash afterwards.
Where does Koss Headphones play a role in your music/brand/ideals?
Making music that inspires and innovates has always been a priority for us. We respect pioneers in many fields and enjoy using quality equipment. The Koss Corporation changed the way people listen to and experience music. It is hard to imagine that the first stereo headphones – one of the most widely used technologies since the invention of audio recording and transmission – were developed by John C. Koss, just a few miles away from where Kristian grew up.
Wisconsinites should be proud, and we think this story deserves to be told! The Racing Pulses are excited to work with Koss, a brand that not only revolutionized entire industries, but continues to make sleek, high – fidelity products at affordable prices.
What's one thing you wish you could change about the music industry?
There's a lot of focus on likes, shares, all that social media. I'm not sure a lot of venues even listen to music anymore before they book shows. It's really tough for new bands to get started, even if they're super talented.
If you guys weren't doing music, what would you be doing?
Kristian: I love writing and write whenever I can. I am also the Assistant Director of Marketing for RotoWire, another storied Wisconsin firm.
Mike: I work at a software company. I'm also working on getting my master's in computer science, so probably something in there.
What's one thing most people don't know about each of you?
Kristian: Juggling is an activity I enjoy. I almost use it as a form of meditation.
Mike: Probably a lot (laughs). I played guitar in my first band, and only got a drum set because that band broke up. So, it is kind of fate that I ended up drumming.
Favorite thing about Madison?
Mike: People around here are really friendly. Although, being from New Jersey, I have a low bar for what "friendly" is.
Kristian: Yeah, I agree. The university is a big treasure and draws lots of smart, kind, and passionate people from across the world. You’ll find Madison to be a welcoming community that retains a quaint Midwestern charm, despite feeling like a much bigger city.
Finally, where do you see yourselves in 10 years?
Mike: Retired in Maui after a big lottery win!
Kristian: Ten years? Tending to my collection of exotic plants while listening to rare jazz cuts.