If you enjoy high-energy pop/rock with guitar-driven, good songwriting and gigantic hooks, then RUNNER RUNNER might be your cup of tea. With more than 8-million total plays on their MySpace page, RUNNER RUNNER is the first artist signed to David Letterman’s new label C.E. Music, through his Worldwide Pants, Inc.
The band members have their musical roots in skate-punk bands like Over It, Don’t Look Down and Rufio. Keep an ear out for their first single titled, “So Obvious,” which hits radio stations on June 15. RUNNER RUNNER is currently doing dates with Amber Pacific and with Cartel, and will join Secondhand Serenade and White Tie Affair for a lengthly U.S. tour starting mid-July.
We got a chance to talk with vocalist/guitarist Peter Munters, guitarist Nick Bailey and drummer James Ulrich.
1. How’d you decide on the band’s name?
PETER MUNTERS: As Ryan likes to say, we are the swiftest band on ten feet.
Truly the band name comes from a poker term, for a winning streak of cards. If, against the odds, a player receives the exact two cards required to win, he has “gone Runner Runner” for victory. The band is our good luck charm.
NICK BAILEY: We had a lot of names to choose from but we all like RUNNER RUNNER because it means against the odds and thats how we feel. We know we can win against the odds! RR comin atcha!
JAMES ULRICH: We had a ton of names on a dry erase board and this one stood out against the rest. It is a poker term meaning against the odds.
2. How did you all meet and how did you develop your sound?
PETER MUNTERS: The members of RR met over the years eating humble punk rock pie on tour in various bands. We all became friends over the years through a common love of power pop, guitars, melody and punk rock ethics. We believe in raising our voices, strumming our guitars, and living the way we see fit to move ourselves and other people.
Basically Nick and myself hi-jacked his parents basement and played loudly and proudly, until we believed we could carry a tune well enough to write a song that would last.
NICK BAILEY: We all played in bands that toured the world together for years. We gravitated together as friends and songwriters and eventually in 2008 formed RR. The sound is based of 80s influences we love from Tom Petty to Cheap Trick and a blend of modern sounds like The Killers, Third Eye Blind and Lady Gaga!
JAMES ULRICH: We all met playing in previous bands. I grew up with Nick and Peter. Jon was in a band my old band opened for. I think we Started this sound by listening and covering a lot of the 80’s artist we love like The Cars, Cheap Trick, The Cure, Fine Young Cannibals.
3. Are you guys working on any projects at the moment?
PETER MUNTERS Our work on projects never ends in RR land. Whether it be writing for our sophomore album, other artists, or developing a new masterplan for the domination of the internet social networks, we always have more on our plate than we can possibly finish. Idleness makes us frown!
NICK BAILEY: Yes! We are always writing new RR songs and songs for other artists. Ryan and I are working on producing some new up and coming artists on the side and we have also been traveling to Nashville, and writing songs to pitch to other markets! We are surrounding ourselves with great melody and catchy beats! Oh and We have also been working on writing some hooks for Drama Beats, Drama is on the show Rob and Big, and Fantasy Factory! Great dude and sick producer! The sky is the limit babay!!!
JAMES ULRICH: We are getting ready to release our debut album.
4. Where can fans catch you guys live? Any tours/shows coming up?
PETER MUNTERS: RR will be on tour all summer long, hitting radio stations across the country and playing shows with Secondhand Serenade and The White Tie Affair. Come say hello at a show!
NICK BAILEY: Yes we are on tour all summer with secondhand Serenade! Check out our facebook page for tourdates! www.facebook.com/runnerrunner We are on tour always and everywhere!!!
5. Are there any bands you admire and wish to work with?
PETER MUNTERS: It would be incredible if RR were to open for Cheap Trick in Japan.
NICK BAILEY: Would Love to work with Adam Levine of Maroon 5 and Ryan Tedder of One Republic! The songs would turn out KILLER! Lets do this!!!
JAMES ULRICH: There are sooo many. Its difficult to pinpoint. I’d like Katy Perry to do some guest vocals on a track.
6. What inspires your sound?
PETER MUNTERS: Freedom and love and passion inspire the sounds of RR. Every member of this band has stuck to this dream in the name of friendship and faith in something beautiful! Above all, our band wants people to hear our music and know, that they too, can follow their passion to a brighter tomorrow. We came to have fun and make dreams come true.
NICK BAILEY: Our sound is a blend of inspiration. Southern California, Girls, sports, 80s music and todays hits. we like to take all the things we love and put them to tape…or in this case…on our computers with pro tools.
JAMES ULRICH: Great Pop Rock acts of the past… Rick Springfield, Elvis Costello.. so many..
7. What are your musical goals and what lessons have you learned so far?
PETER MUNTERS: The music business has taught us many lessons. First and foremost, we have learned take care of the ones that matter like they are family. However many times you face rejection, it is always to see a new way out when you keep your friends close by your side. Secondly, i think we have all learned that good can be found everywhere we choose to look, even out of dark places. Sometimes you have to get a little desperate to pull off something original and amazing. Most of all, this experience has taught us to be humble and grateful for every moment we spend on the stage. Nothing means more to us than this precious gift, which i doubt many of our fans realize they have given. We are for you!
NICK BAILEY: Musical goals are to have our songs heard by millions! Lessons learnedare stay true to your roots and keep the writing honest and from the heart…the rest is just perseverance!!! Keep yo head up!
JAMES ULRICH: My musical goal is to get one of those Platinum Records on my wall. The Lesson I have learned thus far is that nothing comes over night. WORK WORK WORK!
8. What’s the best piece of advice someone ever told you? (If every band member could answer, that’d be great).
PETER MUNTERS: The best piece of advice i have ever received is..
“When you have run out of options, think again, because there is always another way.”
NICK BAILEY: Success is where opportunity and preparation meet. Always stay focused, always stay positive and remember, a vision without action is a daydream…and action without vision is a nightmare!
JAMES ULRICH: My mother once told me never do anything in life that you aren’t happy doing.
9. What do you guys do when you’re not making music?
PETER MUNTERS: When we are not making music I enjoy reading books, writing, riding my bicycle in sunny Huntington Beach and trying to figure out how to compile vocal tracks in Logic OSX! I’m a recent mMc convert. Huzzah!
NICK BAILEY: Thats all we do really…I take breaks from music to go surfing and eat…music is my oxygen….
JAMES ULRICH: Nick and Jon Surf, Peter rides bicycles and hangs with hipsters in HollyWeird. Ryan Plays tennis and trains his puppy. I ride motorcycles
10. We’re asking every band we talk to: What’s your favorite restaurant?
PETER MUNTERS: Five Guys!!! The original mecca of boutique burgers originated ten minutes from my house in Alexandria VA. Droooling!
MY favorite restaurant is the custom woodfired pizza bistro that Nick and myself will be opening. We are going to feature a spectrum of delicious toppings and crusts from pita bread to mango chutney, gruyere cheese and braised shitake mushrooms and more. The fuel here is the idea of individuality, with the common thread of an amazingly yummy wood grilled flavor and an efficient yet casual pace/price. Still looking for a name!
NICK BAILEY: Ooooh Thats a tough one! We love Chick Fil A…it’s always a good time and great food! I like their sandwiches and their wraps and salads! We stop there all the time on tour, sometimes we go outta the way for it! Crazy? nahhh just hungry!!!!
JAMES ULRICH: Rascal’s Teriyaki in Long Beach! Chicken Teriyaki plate, sauce on the side, dressing on the side!
11. Anything else you’d like to add?
PETER MUNTERS: I want to thank our fans for the amazing ride we are on. Please, never hesitate to approach us at a show or contact us online with your enthusiasm or concerns! We are so blessed to be a part of this and would never have the chance if it weren’t for you. Smile every day and never give up on your dreams! The heart is a map of the world!
NICK BAILEY: Please check out our new single “So Obvious” you can download it for FREE here: www.helprunnerrunner.com Thank you!
JAMES ULRICH: Get our single for free at www.helprunnerrunner.com
Check out the making of the band’s first single, “So Obvious:”