Movements vocalist Pat Miranda talks us through the band’s brand-new album ‘RUCKUS!’, which is out now via Fearless Records.
The product of the band spending several months flexing their creative muscles, the record features the likes of singles ‘Lead Pipe’, ‘Killing Time’ and ‘Fail You’.
Plus, to celebrate the release of the new album we’ve teamed up with Movements to bring you this exclusive ‘RUCKUS!’ t-shirt design, delivered worldwide.
Read Movements, ‘RUCKUS!’ | The Album Story below:
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“It’s easy to say, ‘What do people expect Movements to sound like? Let’s write a song that sounds like that’. In my opinion though, that’s a cop out. I would much rather say to ourselves, ‘What do we want Movements to sound like? And is there even a specific goal in mind?’”
That question, posed by vocalist Pat Miranda, has come to define the journey his band have been on since the release of 2020 album ‘No Good Left to Give’. A bleak, heavy record unveiled to a world swirling with chaos, uncertainty, and grief amidst a global pandemic, the past three years have marked a period of self-discovery and exploration for the California four-piece.
Faced with the reality that this could all end at any moment, Pat and his bandmates are venturing outside of their comfort zone in pursuit of something far greater than the sum of their parts, signalling the start of a boundaryless new era with latest album, ‘RUCKUS!’. Guided by their past but militantly focused on their future, here Pat joins us to tell the story of Movements as you’ve never heard them before.
“When it came to writing ‘RUCKUS!’ we knew we had to switch things up and take this band to a different level,” Pat reflects.
“We wanted to explore where we can take Movements, because none of us ever expected our band to be as successful as it has been. We would have been completely satisfied with being a local band who managed to sell out a 200-cap room, but we’ve seen worldwide success more than we could have ever asked for. Now, we’re like, ‘Fuck it, let’s see what we can do’.”
Existing somewhere in the murky waters between post-hardcore, pop-punk, and emo, Movements’ first two records – ‘Feel Something’ and ‘No Good Left to Give’ – found their homes within a scene that meant the world to Pat and his bandmates growing up.
Sparking a deep connection with their fans and developing a sound that has allowed them to share stages with everyone from Knocked Loose to A Day To Remember, Pat cites an ability to act as chameleons within the alt. scene as one of Movements’ biggest strengths. When it came to album three – they knew it was time to go big or go home.
“For so long we were only drawing influences from bands within our scene because we thought that’s what Movements needed to be, but for the last two years I’ve been on this crazy music rediscovery journey. I’ve been digging back into things that I grew up listening to, all the way back to the ‘60s and ‘70s classic rock I would listen to with my parents in the car. I no longer feel like we need to stay inside one box. This time we just wanted to have fun, we wanted it to feel nostalgic, and we wanted to be stoked about every single thing that we were writing.”
With his bandmates – guitarist Ira George, drummer Spencer York and bassist Austin Cressey – also maturing and the breadth of their music tastes expanding, they approached the process with no preconceived notions, drawing upon anything that made them feel something.
Plucking influences from whatever they found playing through their headphones, glimmers of everything from Jimmy Eat World and The Strokes to Snow Patrol and Tears for Fears can be heard sprinkled within the classic Movements sound throughout ‘RUCKUS!’
“It felt a little uncomfortable at times, but when we had the whole record done and got to hear Movements do all of these crazy new things – we fell in love,” Pat smiles.
It’s easy to see why when you’re thrown headfirst into the driving intensity of ‘Lead Pipe’, countered by the dreamy ‘Heaven Sent’ before the visceral melancholic melodies of ‘Tightrope’ take hold. An unstoppable, unpredictable journey, ‘RUCKUS!’ is a collection of songs made for big stages, to be sung by huge crowds, and much of that spirit has been driven by Pat’s newfound embrace of pop music.
As someone who admittedly used to turn up his nose at the auto-tuned hits he heard gracing the top 40, he almost shocks himself when confessing the influence of Justin Bieber on this record. So, what’s changed?
“My girlfriend is to thank for that. Before I met her, I hated pop music. I thought it was so dumb, but she introduced me to artists like Harry Styles and Ed Sheeran, and I realised there’s a reason why it’s so big.”
“It’s incredibly well-written music, and I’m such a big fan of pop music these days. I’ve gotten to do a couple of sessions with people who have written for artists like Selena Gomez, and seeing how the pop industry works is inspiring. People think that ‘generic’ pop music can’t be impressive, but these people are insanely talented.”
Creating an album that pushes the boundaries of everything people have come to expect of your band is a bold vision, and to make it a reality, you need people on board who truly understand you.
Having worked on every release since their debut EP, ‘Outgrown Things’, Movements knew that Will Yip’s guidance was integral to the process, making the first of three extended trips to the producer’s Studio 4 in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania in January 2022.
“Will is essentially the fifth member of Movements. We’ve become really close with him, and it’s not just a working relationship, he’s one of our best friends. He always has something awesome to contribute. He helped with everything from songwriting to music video ideas to merch spreads.”
“He’s tapped into so many different worlds, and he’s such a well-connected and well-respected dude within every single one. Having him in our corner is incredible because he wants to actively help push this band to the furthest level that it can go. If you’d have told me that we’d be able to forge this relationship together when I was in high school and Will was working with all my favourite bands, I’d have said you were crazy.”
“Historically, all of my lyrics have been based on my own personal experiences, and my struggles with mental health, loss, and relationships. I unexpectedly and unintentionally became this advocate for mental health, and there was a huge pressure on my shoulders to continue to provide that safe haven for people. As much as I appreciate how much that means to some people, that pressure became too much for me.”
Having felt a responsibility to write lyrics that connected with Movements fans on ‘No Good Left to Give’, Pat realised that overthinking the process was proving detrimental to his own mental health.
Feeling confined to a box and overly conscious about the impact of his words, on album three the frontman made the decision to simply write whatever felt right. If that meant he touched on his mental health, so be it, but no topics were off the table this time around.
“It was important that I wasn’t pandering to anybody. I am doing better, I’m happy. I can write a happy song, and that’s okay. I wanted to be able to experience and talk about new emotions that aren’t just, ‘I’m sad, I hate myself, I want to die’. I’m in love, I’m feeling good, but I’m also angry at a lot of things in the world. I haven’t written about those things before.”
That freedom within his songwriting has brought life to some of the most viscerally aggressive and deeply vulnerable Movements tracks to date, venturing into different facets of Pat’s perspective on himself and the world around him.
Stepping out of the sheer darkness where Movements’ lyrics have often existed, glimmers of light and hope are scattered carefully throughout ‘RUCKUS!’, with Pat using the opportunity to explore new areas of his creative talents.
“There’s a significant amount of storytelling on this record that has nothing to do with my personal life. Some of it is inspired by the experiences of people that I know, but some parts are completely fictional. Being able to take a step back and talk about something that has no connection to me felt like a huge sense of freedom. There’s nothing riding on it, it can just be a cool story.”
Coming from the gentle, almost poetic notes of ‘Feel Something’ and ‘No Good Left to Give’, the alarming proclamation of ‘RUCKUS!’ is a stark contrast from Movements’ previous album titles, mirroring the chaotic sonic stylings of the songs within it.
“This album is a jumbled mix of things, and it’s really hard to put your finger on exactly what it sounds like. If you put all of it together, it’s really just a bunch of ruckus.”
“We wanted it to be a one-word album, so I was on thesaurus.com looking at synonyms for chaos and noise. One of the words was ruckus, and I immediately loved it. It’s such a fun, cool, youthful sounding word. When you hear the word ruckus, especially with an exclamation point, it feels exciting. It’s bouncy, but it’s also in your face – just like these songs.”
“It’s the early 2000s. You’re a kid, it’s a summer night, and you’ve fallen asleep on the couch watching TV. You wake up, it’s three in the morning, and there’s the most bizarre shit playing on the TV. You’re still half asleep and unable to comprehend what you’re looking at whilst an infomercial or some weird adult cartoon plays.”
Inspired by the nostalgia of discovering bands they loved growing up, Pat and his bandmates sought to conjure up this distinct feeling from their youth.
Focusing the visual elements of ‘RUCKUS!’ around their own personal TV network and childhood memories, from the merch and music videos to the band’s website being designed to resemble an old-fashioned TV guide, they’ve cultivated a unique immersive experience, even creating alternate album artworks to accompany each vinyl variant released through their store.
“Every album art variant is a photograph of an old TV with a loop of the album art being played on the screen. Each of those little imperfections in the album art are real imperfections. We’re taking the whole vinyl variant collecting thing to a new level, because it’s not just collecting different colour variants, now you have the opportunity to collect different art variants. I wanted it to be different to what anyone else was doing.”
Whilst Pat asserts that Movements will always be advocating for up-and-coming bands in the scene just like his favourite bands did for him, there’s no doubt that ‘RUCKUS!’ is an album primed to push them beyond the confines of any one genre.
Beaming as he ponders the potential of one day touring with the likes of Paramore and Blink-182, for Pat and his bandmates, ‘RUCKUS!’ isn’t an album made for tiny, sweaty club venues. Now, Movements are ready to take on the world’s biggest stages.
“We’re never going to forget about the shit that we came from, but we want to break the glass ceiling of this scene and make this band as big as possible. People might see that as ‘selling out’, but there’s no money in being a small emo band. This is our job, so to me it’s not selling out, it’s seeing success and longevity as a career musician.”
“I think that the core fans will always grow with us, but if this album isn’t for certain people, that’s okay too. Movements has already become so much more than we ever thought it could be, and truthfully if the band ended tomorrow, we’d all be happy about where this ended up for us. I’m still surprised that people care about this band so much, and I want to keep seeing how far this will go for as long as the world will allow it.”
OUT now VIA fearless records