BY ADAM QUANDT | The Statesman It doesn’t take long while talking to musician Leslie Rich to hear the passion he has for music.
That passion started when he was growing up in Belfast, Ireland where he began writing his own songs as a teenager.
“I actually wasn’t that great,” Rich said. “But the ability to combine energy and feeling, and just get it out there through music was incredible to me.”
Rich toured around Ireland, Scandinavia and the U.K. He created two albums on Northern Ireland’s Immortal Recordings with his band Rocket Soul Choir after its creation in 1994.
However, something seemed to be missing.
During a solo trip to the Midwest in the late ‘90s, Rich found the missing ingredients to his band.
Rich linked up with bass player Jason Wahl and drummer Michael Jorgensen to create a new version of Rocket Soul Choir. This connection of musicians led to Rich’s emigration to the states in 2004.
From that point on Rich considered Minneapolis his new home.
However, all three members went on to perform with a variety of different bands such as A Little Of The Ready (Rich) and Minnesota punk band The Skullcranes (Wahl and Jorgensen), while Rocket Soul Choir took a back seat.
RSC’s current drummer, Pete Boulger entered the picture after Rich and Wahl began playing with the idea of rebooting Rocket Soul Choir in 2014.
Rocket Soul Choir is now back in full-force and preparing to release their new EP some time late June.
“It’s the most exciting music we’ve created so far. It’s different, it’s poppy and it’s most definitely ‘sing-along-able,’” Rich said.
In anticipation of the upcoming EP, Rocket Soul Choir will be performing at Duluth’s Red Herring Lounge on May 20.
“It’s either going to be a giant train wreck or pure genius,” Rich said.
Rocket Soul Choir will be joined on stage with Duluth bands A Band Called Truman and The Mighty Shock Tower.
“A lot of passion and soulful music,” is what people can expect to see and hear at a Rocket Soul Choir concert according to Rich.
“If musicians aren’t on stage ripping their clothes off, because they are so damn into it, then they shouldn’t even be up there,” Rich said. “You should be able to see what you’re in for before you can even hear it.”
If you’re looking for a taste of Rocket Soul Choir before their May 20 show, their music can be found on iTunes as well as on the band’s website, www.rocketsoulchoir.com.