Rapture is: Richard Haro (Vocals), Tony Rangel (Drums), Garrett Gutierrez (Guitar), and Isaac Guerra (Bass).
I recently had a great conversation with Richard about songwriting and their current EP, being real and speaking the truth at shows, and thoughts on bands preaching from the stage.
How long has Rapture been playing together as a band?
Let’s see… It’s only been a little over a year since we’ve been doing the whole band thing.
Okay wow. For your debut EP, how long did it take to write those songs? I thought you guys had been a band for a least a couple years.
It took us a couple months. We all had the same taste in music and we already knew each other. So we were like “Hey, we should start a band” Everyone was on board. At first it was just me, our drummer Tony, and guitarist Garrett. We were just jamming. It’s kind of hard when you don’t have a set place to go and practice, but we made it work. We went to one of those places where you can rent space to practice, and Garrett would just write the stuff and once we were all together at the place Tony would join in. We wrote all the songs and everything came out through our practicing. Everything just started coming together. So it was easy for us to write the songs.
Do you primarily handle the lyric writing or does everyone pitch in?
Yes, I do the lyrics. There was maybe one or two songs where Garrett has helped me do part of it, but mostly I do the lyrics.
Your faith comes through very clearly in the lyrics. Do you people dig that? What’s the reaction like to your overtly Christian lyrics?
Yeah, actually every show we’ve played we take some time from our set to talk about our beliefs and Jesus. We just go and we tell them the truth, like “We’re a Christian band” but everyone digs our music and they’re cool with it. And I think that’s part of the hardcore scene; like everyone is entitled to their opinion and to say what they want to say. I think people respect that.
Yeah, one of the things I love about hardcore is the mutual respect for people standing up for whatever it is they believe in. I noticed on Twitter that you’re a fan of some older hymns, and that Tony commented maybe you guys should do a cover.
Oh yeah. We were talking about maybe we should cover some hymns. It would be something cool, something different to do. Yeah. Put our own twist to it.
Yeah! I would love that. I just thought of The Great Commission doing Hillsong, but I don’t know of any hardcore bands doing hymns. That would be sick.
So right now you guys are currently writing a new EP?
Yes. Right now we’re in the writing process. We’re trying to get on shows, too. It’s pretty hard in the local scene to get on any shows. So right now while we’re waiting to get on shows, we’re writing. We’re getting together and writing stuff. Garrett mostly writes everything but then we just come in and go over it and change things around here and there. That’s pretty much what we’re doing right now.
It looked like on Facebook that you’ve already got one song put together – “Cast Your Stones”?
Yeah. That song is almost finished. We have a couple of songs and parts of songs here and there that are almost put together.
Looks like there’s plans to shoot a music video? Is that just an idea you’re tossing around or anything concrete yet?
Yeah, a video’s an idea we’re tossing around. We’re either thinking one of our old songs that we’ve already released or write a new song and do a video for that. But definitely in the future we do want to do a music video.
Right on. The “nothing Else” that’s the one you did with Joel [Muniz] from Dynasty right?
How did that come about that you got to record with him?
Actually I’m really good friends with Joel and the Dynasty guys. So he was on board with it. As soon as I asked him he was like “Yeah for sure I’ll do a part on it.” So that was cool.
The song turned out great. It’s one of my favorites on Trials.
Thank you. Me, too. That’s actually one of my personal favorites, too.
That song I wrote while I was on a prayer and fast. And the words just came right out during that time of prayer and fasting.
So cool. Is there another song on that EP that stands out or has a lot of meaning to you Or is just fun to perform live?
My favorite song to perform live is “Deceiver.” That was one of my personal favorites before we wrote “Nothing Else” and it’s because I like the energy that people give us during that song ’cause I think people really dig it because of the funky beat.
Lyrically where did the inspiration for that song come from?
For that one, it’s mostly about people who come into the church who portray themselves as Christians but then they are just there to hurt people instead of… like how the Bible says wolves in sheep’s clothing; somebody who comes in and disrupts, you know. That’s pretty much what it’s about: people who try to bring you down.
That’s a funny story. Originally we were just going to release the stuff and put it up on Bandcamp for everyone to get for free. And once we announced that we were going to release it, I think we announced it like two weeks or a week before. Joel from Dynasty actually promoted it for us, too, like, “Check out our friends, they’re releasing this.” That’s when David from On The Attack Records sent me an email and he just told me like “Hey, I know you guys are releasing this, I’d love for you guys to come on board.” So he gave me his number and I talked to him over the phone and he really wanted to help us release it which was really cool because at first we were just going to put it up on Bandcamp. But On The Attack Records helped us get it up on Spotify and iTunes and things that like which is really cool.
Oh, right on. So the next EP, will that be through them as well?
Yeah, I believe so, yeah, through On The Attack Records.
So what kind of stuff do you listen to, maybe not even hardcore, but just in general?
If we’re talking hardcore bands, one of my favorites is Terror. They’ve always been one of my favorites. I love Terror, just their hard-hitting sound. They’re one of my personal favorites. But other than that, for lyrics and things like that I listen to, I’m stuck on this band called Citizens & Saints. They’re a really good worship band. Here and there it’s different things. That’s pretty much what inspires me to write. Just listening to different genres, not just hardcore.
Are you guys involved in worship teams at your churches or anything, or is this your main musical outlet?
Our drummer is in his worship team at his church, I just run the sound at my church. So I’m kind of there I guess but I don’t play any instruments so that’s why I just picked up the mic and started screaming.
Hey, the sound guy is pretty much a part of the band too; he’s essential! Where would you like to see Rapture in the future? Is there a goal for this band, or just taking it as it comes?
Right now what I really want to do is take our music and tour. Which would be really cool to check out different places and see how the scene is different places and see how people react to our music someplace else. We’re just taking it as we go right now. Just to see where God wants to take us is cool.
I like that answer, just seeing where God wants you to go. If you were going to describe Rapture in just a few words, how would you describe the band?
I would say, not a “Christian band” because there’s a lot of bad connotations towards Christian bands or whatever. Like, cheesiness to it. We’re a band who encourages people and we’re just speaking Truth. It’s hard to say. We’re real. We’re just giving you our real selves, what we have in our hearts: through our lyrics, our music, and the way we live.
I like that. I really respect that. Some bands don’t want the Christian label, and some want to be Christians in a band.
Yeah, I’ve heard of all different types.
I know you said you mention in your shows that you guys are Christians and follow Jesus. What do you think of bands like For Today or Wolves at the Gate that actually preach for a few minutes from the stage? Or instead of preaching, just say “we’re here cause we love Jesus” in just a few words like that?
I love that. Like they don’t care. They’re speaking the truth. Some bands out there just say “we’re a positive band” or “Jesus loves you.” But I love when bands share personal experiences and I think that’s what people more gravitate to is personal experience and what you’ve been through. I think that hits home for a lot of people and that’s what I try to do at our shows. I try to speak through things that have happened in my life and just tell people “I’ve been there.”
I saw Aaron Gillespie lead worship and he shared some at the end about some stuff his family had been through and I thought it was just the coolest, most real testimony and how he shared the Gospel through that. Yeah, I agree with you, just being real and in a way I’d never heard it before.
Yeah. Definitely just being transparent. I think that’s what people respect more. Rather than just tell them “oh, you’re going to go to Hell and stuff like that.” I don’t think people respond well to that kind of thing. We’re not that kind of band, we’re not that kind of people that like… judge people. We’re just here to share the truth with them, and love. Love on them.
If you had one or two bands you could share the stage with, who would they be?
Definitely Terror. That’s one. That would be my ultimate goal to play with them. Another band that’s my favorite that I like a lot is Sleeping Giant. Tommy Green is just awesome. Every show I’ve gone to by them is great. He’s always speaking the truth, he’s transparent, I love his love for God. Those are two bands that I would love to share the stage with.
Anything else you want us to know about Rapture?
Just keep on the lookout for us. I think we’ll be doing some cool stuff in the near future. We’ll be playing some more shows, maybe we’ll do a little tour or something.