Archive for Runner Runner

Turning the world upside down (to find some perspective)

Posted in Recommendations with tags , on September 10, 2010 by stevenreedkelly

Runner Runner‘s self-titled debut album is about to come out.  It got slammed in Chris Fallon’s review on  Having heard most of the songs already on several EPs that the band released, I’m not shocked.  At the end of the day, Runner Runner (formerly Over It – my favorite band) is not a punk band.  They’re not a rock band.  They’re a pop band for a demographic that no longer includes me.

And that’s ok.  I can accept that.  At the end of the day, the band is made of genuinely talented musicians and all-around nice guys who work really hard.  I wish them all the best.

I did have the opportunity to hear some very early demos from the band when they first started the endeavor though, and one of them has become a personal favorite.  It’s like the next logical step in Over It’s progress as a mature punk-influenced rock band. I often wonder how incredible the Runner Runner project would’ve been if they went in this direction.

Pete hinted that they might someday release another Over It album – but with Runner Runner blowing up, I won’t hold my breath.  Still – I’d be really excited to hear a fully realized (yet minimally tricked out/glossed over) version of this. I hope you guys enjoy!


Runner Runner Interview… (And Free Music!)

Posted in Recommendations with tags , , , , on May 19, 2010 by stevenreedkelly

You can download a free single from recent Capitol signees Runner Runner by going here.  This is a re-recorded version of “So Obvious” that will be included on the band’s upcoming full length later this year.  Go help out some of the nicest guys ever!

Runner Runner is made up of the pieces and parts of some great melodic punk bands. Pete Munters, Nick Bailey and James Ulrich hail from Over It; Jon Berry was part of the technically-gifted band Rufio; and Ryan Ogren was the singer and guitarist from Don’t Look Down.

The resulting sound isn’t exactly what you (or I) would expect.  Instead of keeping with the skate-punk vibe, the band is primary a pop act – and they don’t try to hide it.

As a long-time Over It fan, I’ve gotten to know some of the guys a little bit and they agreed to answer some questions about their new project:

[Me]How far along are you in the process for releasing a new Runner Runner album? When do you expect to release it? How many songs have you written so far for the record?

[Nick] We are currently in the studio, working on the album which will be out in the summer. We wrote 40 songs 15 of which will be on the record.

[Me]What’s the songwriting process like? Is it mostly collaborative or done by a couple members? Is anyone the designated lyricist?

[Nick] The song writing process is a rotating effort, we pair off.  Some song are Me (Nick) and Ryan, some are Peter and Ryan.  Same with the lyrics.  Everyone contributes different parts at different times.  Sometimes one person will write a song on their own, other times we’ll all get together and create a song… Thats how we roll.

[Me]The major shifts in your sound and fashion sense suggest you are focused on reaching a younger demographic – can you explain the transition and what your intentions or goals were when you switched from Over It to Runner Runner?

[Ryan] We wanted to write different kind of music, more fun more pop more upbeat and it just seemed that music attracted a younger demographic at the start of the project.  As far as fashion is concerned we can’t help that we look good.  HAHA jk jk, the fashion sense developed within the project it wasn’t conscious effort.

[Me]As a band that has roots in punk rock, how do you make yourselves relevant or endear yourselves to older fans of your previous bands (Over It, Don’t Look Down, Rufio)?

[Ryan] We strive to just write great songs, and assume fans of our old projects will respect what we’re doing and hopefully get on board the Runner Runner train as it barrels down the tracks towards rock and roll superstardom.

[Me]What are your big plans in 2010?

[Ryan] Releasing the first official Runner Runner album, touring the world and beyond, meeting new people and gaining new fans.

[Me]What have you guys been listening to lately for inspiration?

[Ryan] We really like the new Angels and Airwaves, Boyce Avenue, Gloriana, Green River Ordinance, H.I.M, Justin Bieber, Ke$ha, Lights, Tokio Hotel, Owl City, Rascal Flatts, Goo Goo Dolls, Third Eye Blind, Taylor Swift, The Veronicas, 3Oh!3, U2.

The inevitable post about Over It.

Posted in Rants, Recommendations with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2010 by stevenreedkelly

Over It is my favorite band of all time.

I know that might sound silly – choosing a relatively unknown punk band as opposed to, say, any other influential artist in the annals of history – but you know that age-old question, “If you were alone on an island and could only take one album, what would it be?” – I’d be left with the difficult task of choosing between my 3 favorite Over It albums (Timing is Everything, Silverstrand and Step Outside Yourself) over any Police or Rolling Stones album.

Over It (Nick Bailey, Peter Munters, James Ulrich, Seth Watts and sometimes Ryan Ogren) was not the best band in history, but during my formative youth they made better punk rock and pop punk songs than just about any other band crowding the scene.

What made them so good (in my humble opinion)?

You can start with the music.  The songs are equally complicated and catchy.  Every repeated chord progression in a chorus is dressed up with transitions and fills that make my head spin.  Even when the guitars aren’t flying around at breakneck speed, they’re still technically proficient…  and don’t even get me started on James Ulrich’s drumming (the kid is as good on the set as any rock drummer I’ve ever seen).  Finally – you cap it all off with one of the most full-ranged, powerful voices that have graced punk music.

And then you move deeper into the songs… noticing how the lyrics aren’t just stories – more like ethereal poetry filled with vague notions of longing and hope – with room for interpretation.  More importantly, they were smart – smart enough to win the adoration of an aspiring English major (at the time).  At a time when too many bands were writing bitter songs about ex girlfriends – Over It was their counterpoint, specializing in subtlety and optimism.

Essential Listening (click on the songs to go to the iTunes store):

Hey Liberty!”  – A song from the Hindsight 20/20 EP.  I love the bouncy/chunky guitar part during the chorus and the way Pete hits the final “The weight of the wind on dumb lips…” line at the end of the song.

Serial Kisser” – Could this song be more complicated?  There are at least 10 different “parts” in this song and yet somehow they still manage to deliver the hook over and over again.  There’s an acoustic version that soothes as much as the electric version kicks you in the teeth.

Fall” – Another song from Timing Is Everything and probably the first Over It song I ever heard.  Maybe one of the only Over It songs that’s flat-out about a girl… the lyrics are beautiful – and the guitar chords are big and splashy.

Siren on the 101” – This is the first “song” on Silverstrand (after the incredible intro – which I considered putting on this list) or the third song on Step Outside Yourself (rerecorded).  Still one of the best songs to sing with your friends in a car, and that verse riff is just so big…

City Lights” – A b-side from Silverstrand, but this is one of the catchiest songs the band ever wrote.  I always thought it was a shame that this didn’t make the album, but they finally released it as part of their b-sides and rarities compilation, The Strand.

Your Song” – Step Outside Yourself was such a strong rock record, and this song should’ve crossed over into mainstream rock radio.  It’s just so good.  The spooky falsetto in the verses is so fitting for the subject matter.  I listen to this song when I need to get over a hangover.  Works every time.

Like Satellites” –   This song always makes me a little sad because it feels like the last song the band wrote before the “hiatus” (foray into Runner Runner) as it’s the final song on their final album.  “Life is short but it takes its sweet time getting started”  Indeed.