Roseburg Debuts Their Album Righteous Punk


Daffodil Buchert, Arts and Entertainment Writer

Roseburg is releasing its debut album on streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music next February, fully introducing themselves to the music world with their conceptual album Righteous Punk. Named after the Oregon city where 3 of the 4 members met, Roseburg has been building up for this album for practically as long as they have been a band.  

In an interview with the bassist of the band, Soren Buchert, he explained why the album has been such a long project. “Making a song is more than just writing and being able to play it… the recording process is bigger than anyone knows.” The amount of time spent on each song varied, but Buchert said that they wouldn’t put out any songs that the band felt wasn’t ready. 

When asked what students at East High School can take out of Roseburg’s music, Buchert explained the idea behind Righteous Punk. “What we’re doing is trying to make music anyone can listen to… the character in our album is archetypal. [We want these songs to be] abstract enough for anyone to listen to.” Part of making the songs able to be listened to by anyone was the mixing of genres, not only in the album as a whole, but in the songs themselves. “A lot of it is rock at its core,” Buchert said. But when listening to the different tracks, you can hear the blending of pop, alternative, and the band’s wide array of musical influences. In one song, drummer Keith Lambson switches things up with a John Mayer-like guitar solo. The talented musician ditched the drums and the darker undertones of some of the other songs on the album for a ballad-type song with a complex guitar solo that draws heavily from one of Lambson’s musical inspirations, John Mayer. Another song on the record mixes up several of the bands biggest idols’ music styles. “It’s like Coldplay, Jon Bellion, Billie Eillish, and twenty one pilots all together,” Buchert said enthusiastically about the song. “It might be my favorite to be honest.”

 The album has something for everyone. Hard rock fans will be able to find a fast paced, dark song in Be Good, especially in its ending,  while pop lovers will be able to find a new favorite in 9 to Midnight. “Lots of genres are colliding,” Buchert continues. “Not just in the album but in the larger music world. We’re just trying to blur the lines between genres, but the genre isn’t as important as the music, and a lot of people are starting to see that.” Zach Knell, the frontman and lead singer of the band, adds on to that sentiment in an interview with Alternative Press saying, “Where we could get confused as an ‘indie band’ or a ‘boy band,’ we can instead live in the world that we want to live in, which is our own world, where we’re allowed to make whatever music we want. Whether it’s influenced by heavy music, preppy boy music, pop or all at the same time—and to have it come out of the speakers as something that anybody will love.”

Part of the conceptual aspects of the album is in its track arrangement. Righteous Punk is split into two parts, “The first half is more night, the second is day.” The beginning half of the album will feature songs like the popular R.I.P. (feat. Kellin Quinn) which has heavier layers of instruments, more intense guitar, and darker undertones overall. The ending of one song introduces us to the daytime half of the album, which has songs that are more upbeat, lighter instrumentally, and have peppier bass lines in songs such as Ms. Sunshine. The song that ends the album introduces us again to the nighttime. 

There is an “archetypal character” whose story the album follows, called the Righteous Punk. “The Righteous Punk is basically the archetypal young person dealing with the different anxieties of life, whether it’s mental illness, faith crisis, abuse [or] insecurity,” Knell explains, also in the Alternative Press article. “Each song will hit a different thing that I know so many people need to hear right now to give them hope.” Buchert spoke of the purpose of the album, saying,”We want it to be a rallying cry for people to know that their hardships aren’t just theirs and use this encouragement for them to face their problems head-on.” This is something the band feels very strongly about. The four members want their music to be most focused on the message that they put out, making sure it is as meaningful as possible. In an interview with heirwaves magazine, Knell said that the band asks themselves “If we’re gonna do this, and we’re gonna add to the noise in the world, what are we gonna say? and we need to be careful about it.” 

The album is intended to not only be experienced on streaming services. “Recording is great, we love it. It’s a processed refined way to experience it but we want people to experience the project in different ways. Shows are a part of that, the live experience,” Buchert said about the band’s plans for their first official tour. In another interview with The Utah Statesman, he also said “It gives all of us an opportunity to really communicate and connect with the crowd in a way that’s really hard to find with anything else.” This is why Roseburg has been steadily playing shows along the West coast, including a performance in their adopted hometown of Roseburg, Oregon, with Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens, opening for them. They will continue to play shows on the West Coast, and then will move their way East. They are excited to meet and connect with fans, spread their messages that are rooted in their album far and wide, and experience their tour with the same novelty as the people they will play the shows for.

Buchert was asked about collaborations that the band would like to do, but revealed no upcoming collaborations such as the highly popular song R.I.P. that they made with Kellin Quinn. “People we’d love to collaborate with are on a different level than us. If we make a song that we feel like needs someone, we’ll definitely look into it, but right now, we’ll just take things as they come.”

The album is a great, moving listening experience, drawing in the listener with Roseburg’s unique style that you can’t quite put a finger on, as well as new sounds and effects that they designed themselves. Look for Righteous Punk on streaming services on February 18, 2020, and the new band Roseburg.