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Since rolling out of New Jersey's industrial wasteland, Rahway to be exact, these perennial rock underdogs are ready to take over the world! David Cardenas, guitarist, his brother and drummer Steve Cardenas, along with vocalist Nick Hade and bassist Chigger, feel that their latest CD, "Undefeated", is a fresh opportunity to prove themselves as many bands from Jersey have done in the past.
Rahway is a nonstop rock fest, with an unlimited amount of energy, guaranteed for every performance.
By Jason Yarrow, September 24, 2020
Hi Guys! Welcome to our "On the Climb" interview segment of Tru Rock Revival Magazine. These are fast paced "Russian Roulette" style questions to introduce you and your music to new fans.
TRR: Chigger. Looks like you're going to be the spokesman for the band today. Let's get it moving! What is the origin of your band’s name? What are some other names you tossed around before settling on your current band name?
Chigger: The band, at the time, was working with legendary producer Jack Douglas, known for his work with Aerosmith, Cheap Trick and John Lennon, and at the time, the band was known as Sun. Jack brought the band up in conversation with Aerosmith frontman, Steven Tyler, who thought the band name was stupid. He proceeded to ask where the members in the band were from, and Jack told him Rahway, New Jersey. Steven told him that they should name the band Rahway, and we’ve been known as Rahway ever since.
TRR: Who are the players?
Chigger: Nick Hade is the singer, David Cardenas is the guitar player, Chigger is the bass player and Steve Cardenas is the drummer.
TRR: How did all of you meet? Any interesting stories here?
Chigger: David and Steve are brothers, so they met when Steve was born. Nick met the band at a local gig when his band opened for Rahway. He was so impressed with the band that he accepted an offer to meet and jam and was eventually stolen from his band in Rahway style. I knew the brothers and their original bass player for years because my band used to play with Rahway all the time. David always threatened to get me in the band when his bass player moved. Luckily, I was delivering Chinese food one day, and I happened to deliver to the Rahway rehearsal studio and the band never let me leave. So, here we are.
TRR: How would you classify your music? There's a ton of sub-genres these days. Where do you guys fall in line?
Chigger: We’re a raw hard energetic rock band who writes about Sex, Drama and Rock ‘N’ Roll! None of us do drugs, but we’re surrounded by a whole lot of drama.
TRR: What do you think makes your band stand out from others?
Chigger: We’re older and we have more experience. We’re also not trying to copy any other bands. We are who are. If you like our music…..Awesome! If you don’t? Then keep listening to Justin Bieber or Post Malone or any of those other guys. Actually, Post Malone is cool. He’s a Metalhead! My drummer hates him though.
TRR: Over the past few decades, rock music has been the “red headed step-child”, rarely even mentioned on award shows like the Grammys, which has become very irrelevant. Do you feel that rock is starting to climb the ladder again?
Chigger: I don’t think rock ever dies. I think tastes just change. If you listen to any songs on the radio, they all have rock roots from samples to different beats. They call come from rock music. So, it has never died. Is it less important? Maybe. The Grammys? That’s still around? They’re as bad as the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame.
TRR: Who are some of your musical influences?
Chigger: Some of my musical influences are Mötley Crüe, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Skid Row, Metallica, Pantera, Kiss, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Godsmack…..bands like that. From a musician standpoint, Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Sebastian Bach, Gene Simmons, Duff McKagan, Rachel Bolan, Rex Brown, and Jason Newsted.
TRR: How do you write your songs? Is it a collaborative effort?
Chigger: Our drummer Steve has a knack for coming up with some killer melodies. He comes to us with a lot of song ideas. He’ll give us the foundation and then we’ll collaborate as a band to create what we have today. David and I had a side project before I joined Rahway and two of the songs on our new EP Slumlords of NJ, “Stone” and “Only The Strong” were songs that we wrote together and brought into Rahway. So, I guess it is one big collaboration.
TRR: Speaking of collaborative, if you could get together with any band or musician to record a song together, who would that be?
Chigger: I’d love to write with SixxA.M. I always loved Nikki Sixx’s songwriting, but I also love his songwriting collaborations with singer James Michael and DJ Ashba. Those SixxA.M. records are epic. I believe they even wrote Mötley Crüe’s Saints of Los Angeles, which was also epic!
TRR: What other bands would you like to tour with?
Chigger: I’d love to tour with the Greta Van Fleet boys again. They were very cool. I’d also love to tour with our buds in Skid Row or even Shinedown or Godsmack. I just want to tour with someone huge!
TRR: What is your most memorable show, good or bad?
Chigger: My most memorable for me was opening for Greta Van Fleet up at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre, PA to a sold-out crowd. After our killer set, we were walking back to our dressing room and as we passed Greta Van Fleet’s dressing room, their door was open and they literally gave us a standing ovation as we walked by. That was super cool!
TRR: What would be your dream show?
Chigger: Duh! To open for Mötley Fuckin’ Crüe!
TRR: What has been your craziest fan interaction?
Chigger: I’m not sure I’ve ever received any strange requests. Then again, I’m strange, so all requests seem normal to me.
TRR: What’s on the table for the rest of the year?
Chigger: We have a new music video out for our song “Stone” and we’ll be promoting our new EP Slumlords of NJ as much as COVID allows us to!
TRR: Is there anyone you’d like to give a shout out to or thank you to?
Chigger: Our manager, Larry Jones, who puts up with a lot of our shit! Our road crew, 18 Crew, who puts up with a lot of our shit! And our fan, who are our family! Without all of you, there would be no US!
For further information about Rahway, visit them on Facebook.