Hannah Ensley, Editor-in-Chief
January 30, 2016
“The first time I saw you, I was seventeen / and I could not know just how much you would mean to me.” accompanied by the energetic strumming of an acoustic guitar marks the beginning of ‘Spruce Pine,’ the debut song of the band Earnest Rodgers. If you think that name sounds somewhat familiar, you’re probably right. Ernest Rogers Road is a street here in Haywood County, and now shares its name with the local punk band, which was created, in part, by several Pisgah students.
One of said students is senior Caleb Pace. His co-founder and bassist is Haywood Community College freshman and Pisgah alumni Brian Fletcher. The two have been playing together for about a year, but officially formed the band in October of 2016. Caleb, who plays lead guitar, spoke with me about how the band came to be. He explained, “Brian and I bonded by going to see a Modern Baseball concert, then decided we wanted to play together.” The band also includes Timothy Sanchez, another HCC attendee, and Caelan Burris, a sophomore here at Pisgah. When asked why they decided to start the band, Caleb told me, “I love the escape. Music and writing are my escape, and I’m really grateful to have [the band] in my life.”
I talked with Brian as well, and he spoke about what it’s like to write for the band. “My greatest inspiration when I write would probably be [the band] Sorority Noise.” He told me. He then explained how all the members usually write songs separately, and abide by the general rule, “if you write it, you sing it.” Interestingly enough, the one song that is excluded from this rule is actually Spruce Pine. “I wrote that song about a friend’s relationship experience,” Brian said. As the song developed, they eventually decided that Caleb should sing it. “We all have different writing styles, but a lot of it is punk-ish, drawing inspiration from bands like Modern Baseball and Joyce Manor.”
Naturally, I was also curious about their goals for the up and coming band. Ernest Rodgers has played live several times, at various parties and get-togethers, and Caleb informed me that they would be open to playing more shows. They are also hoping to record an EP within the upcoming months, and hopefully find a permanent drummer to add to the band as well. Towards the end of our interview Brian remarked that, “it’s cool to see how many people have responded to it, and talk about it, even people I don’t know.” when asked about how the band was being received by the community.
If you’re interested in keeping up with Earnest Rodgers, you can find them on Instagram, Facebook, and Soundcloud.