Stuck in a Rut

Zach Lopez on vocals and guitar, and Sean Stockham is on the drums and vocals.

How did you become a band?
Sean and I have been playing together for about 12 years now. We grew up in the Sacramento scene always playing in the same band together. After our last band broke up, Sean and I drifted apart for a year and a half or so. Then we joined back up two years ago and decided to do everything ourselves, and to not involve anyone else. We write and record everything ourselves in our studio in Sacramento and in doing so achieved a sound that represents us honestly.

Where did the name Middle Class Rut come from?
It came from what we are. Since we met each other we’ve been striving to get our music out to people and haven’t been willing to settle for anything else. There’s never been any other options. You gotta deal with real life, and bills, and work. Being stuck somewhere you know you don’t belong, but doing what you have to do to get by and stay afloat. And that’s where it’s easy to stay forever. Getting by, not thriving, not poor, just right in the middle, running in place chasing your dream.

Who are your musical influences?
Our influences don’t mirror what we sound like, but some comparisons that we’ve gotten are from bands that we love and respect, like Jane’s Addiction or Refused. We grew up musically on the Sacramento scene, for example bands like Far and Deftones. Now we listen to Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, Fugazi, Sepultura, Pantera; anything that either has mass substance lyrically, or that is really heavy and sounds huge.

What is your music about?
Our music is pretty self-explanatory when it comes to lyrics. It never gets too metaphorical or obscure. It’s about whatever we’re going through at the time the song’s written. It could be literally that day or that week. Or we’ll play a riff and a line will shoot out that has relevance to my life and it becomes a song.

What was the process like making your EP?
Recording in general for us is the most freedom we can feel other than being on stage. Since we’re the ones that do everything, we move fast. We don’t overanalyze anything, and don’t listen to outside people who feel entitled to an opinion because they’ve been given the title “producer.”
We’re into taking opinions from people that we have respect for and that have worked on things we respect. In our case, we write a song, get it solid and lay it down in a few hours. If you listen to the EP we just released, that’s the immediate vibe you’ll get. It sounds live and has the excitement that we felt from finishing a new song.

What are your plans for the future?
Our only immediate plans are to tour and play for as many people as possible. We’ve been in the studio for a year and a half now writing songs. What is on the EP is only a small fraction of what we’ve laid down.

What would you want to tell someone who hasn’t listened to Middle Class Rut before?
If you’re into energetic, raw music then you’ll like what we do. Our songs are exactly who we are. We like melody, hooks, and really big rhythms; we just prefer to present it the way we see it.