Early Talks w/ Peach Tree Rascals

Sam: Man, first question of the day…How are ya’ll doing? Give me a pulse check!

Tarrek: Honestly, you’re catching us at a pretty good time. We’re just coming back from doing a few shows. We had three shows this weekend and the high you get from performing and the energy from real people is unmatched, so coming back from the moments and going through pictures and videos and reliving it, its good to take a deep breath and realize that the work is paying off. We really get to appreciate it because when “Mariposa” blew up, it was during the pandemic so we didn’t get to experience the fans during that time, so we didn’t know what it felt like. Last year we did our first show in Chicago and it brought s back to a place of knowing that this is what we’re supposed to do.

Jorge: For me personally, life has been really good. Probably the best it’s been in years. Especially with just general feelings of mental health and stuff like that. We’re just having fun again and excited about creative ideas. It’s just a really good space to be in and I feel really positive about what we’re doing right now.

Sam: Man, I’d love to hear how all of this stuff started. From San Jose to living in LA, can ya’ll take me back to the beginning?

Isaac: So, I moved to San Jose the second half of my freshman year of High School. I had no friends and I had been doing music in Tracy which is where I grew up for 10 years. But yeah, I would just find friends from playing basketball and eventually I came in to contact with these guys. I met Dom in PE, that was cool. We were just playing sports and were hella competitive always. Then eventually, I met Tarrek and the first time we hangout outside of school, I showed him a song and that obviously peaked his interest and Dom was always on Piano; he even had lessons in High School. Eventually, Tarrek and I got super close form just playing basketball and smoking a vibing…

Tarrek: Yeah, we just started free styling for fun. That was the first thing I did that got me into music, just free styling with Isaac. He used to pass CD’s out at school and we would film music videos for him and we were just supporting a friend, but it rubs off for sure…

Isaac: …And even before we all started making music together, they were all a part of the process and eventually they started joining in and getting more interested and if it wasn’t for that, we wouldn’t have gotten anywhere. If I was just making music by myself, none of this would’ve happened. So, I’m just grateful for the situation we’re in and I just love these rascals.

Tarrek: Yeah, never decided that we were going to be a group. It was just a domino effect…

Joseph: Yeah, for me, Isaac and Tarrek would just always ask me if I wanted to record some vocals…

Tarrek: Cuz we knew he could sing…he was always singing…

Isaac: He would do covers on vines sometimes!

Joseph: Yeah, I was really shy, but through them pushing me, it really helped. Eventually it just inspired me to do this full time and pursue it.

Sam: So did any of ya’ll dabble in music before meeting Isaac? Did any of y’all play instruments or sing in choir growing up?

Joseph: Yeah for me…This is Jasper, he’s my cousin. We’re Filipino, so family is everything and growing up filipino, it’s very musical and fun and at family parties, we’d always have the guitar out or the box drum…Jasper was the one that inspired me to start singing or play guitar. He would teach me often, so I would say that’s my brief background in music.

Jasper: Yeah, I used to be in this filipino folk music group and I was doing that since I was like 15 and then Jospeh and the gang brought me on around the time “Mariposa” was happening. 

Tarrek: That was the first song he did with us…He was the one who came up with the guitar riff.

Sam: Man, I love that so much. So with that, I want to hear about the name. How did ya’ll come up with Peach Tree Rascals?

Jorge: Yeah, it was two weeks before our first song came out, we went camping together and we were just hanging around the campfire and I said, “Peach Tree Village” and no one responded really. Isaac specifically hated it and he said instead of village, lets add “rascals”…that was just always in his vocabulary and it jus fit perfectly.

Sam: So you got the name…When was the moment when you all realized that this could be something special?

Dom: It was for sure around the time of I”Someday”. When we made that song it was an actual song that we were very confident in!

Isaac: yeah, we had been working on music for like a year and a half without releasing anything and the progression was undeniable. My favorite thing to do at night was to listen to shit we made recently and then go all the way down in the email to listen to shit from two or three years ago and I was just seeing progress and we started releasing…Then we went on another camping trip and during that time we didn’t have any reception. We had just released our first song and we would go back to the cabin where there was wifi and we started seeing our stuff pop up on algorithmic playlists like release radar and before that, I had done a bunch of research and I was like okay playlists are happening. It’s the make or break. Our second single we dropped made Mellow Bars and after that happened we were just hype. It felt like the flood gates were open.

Dom: Yeah, we had to be very consistent too.

Tarrek: Yeah, all the way up until “plus” we were just in the shed. I’’m not sure if we mentioned it, but Dom and Isaac and with the help of Dom’s dad, they built a shed and we were working out of this 10 x 10 shed that didn’t fit us but we made it work.

Dom: It was the bare minimum. We didn’t have a lot of money, so it had to work.

Joseph: Man, and on those summer days, it was blistering hot. 

Sam: Obviously there’s a lot of ya’ll which probably helps the creativity, but tell me about the creative process. How do y’all  take an idea and turn it into a song?

Dom: So usually, we come up with the chords first… either me jasper or joe, then we put that down and just slowly build off of that with the artists.

Joseph: In the beginning, all of the production you heard was mainly Dom just putting in inhumane hours, like 16 hours a day trying to finish the stuff.

Tarrek:Violet” was the craziest story. when we made “violet”, I went to the shed around 10pm. I had just got off work and I fell asleep on the floor in the shed while they were working on something and I wake up  at like 3am and Dom was still working so I just started singing on whatever chords he was making and then by like 7am, we had a good verse and a good portion of “violet” done and then I go home at 6 or 7 am and then I come back the next day at 2pm and I see Dom come out of the Shed and he still hasn’t slept. I was like dude, you look like a zombie.

Sam: Dom, bro. What kept you going? What inspired you to put in all of those crazy hours?

Dom: It was when I failed my statistics class and I was like fuck, what am I going to do with my life? Then pretty much I figured out that I had to just go off and grind. I just knew that I was young so now was the time to utilize the time I had to put it into music.

Tarrek: Yeah, and after the success of “mariposa”, now that were getting more resources, we just wanted to take that workload off of Dom, because that mentality that he had was a huge reason why we are who we are and why we had such a quick progression.

Joseph: The work he was putting in, it was rubbing off on us. If he was putting 20 hours a day, why can’t I put half of the hours that he put in? 

Sam: Man, I love that. As we wind this thing down, what’s a lesson that y’all have learned when it comes to the journey y’all have been on?

Tarrek: After the success of “mariposa”, we got immersed into the industry. We started doing the label calls and meetings and stuff. Then after that entire year of doing that, we found our label and their first thing they did was pushed Mariposa and it was the best thing they did with us. Before the label, we really were the label. We did everything from creative to promo. Once we signed, We thought that we could just chill and make music now that we were with a label, but we learned that we have to keep the same mentality of being our own label and pretend that we’re still in the shed. It took us about of year to maneuver this space that we find ourselves in.

Isaac: To go off of Tarrek’s point, I kind of spent my whole life trying to learn about the industry and by the time you’re in it, you feel like you know what to expect as far as the politics, but the biggest lesson I got is, you can’t let the shortcomings of other people and and expectations of others bring you too low. it’s wasted energy. You can’t let it take you too high or take you too low. business will always be business no matter how its shaped or presented  to us. That’s something I barely even understood, but it’s your whole life that’s being talked about, so you can’t let it take you down. We have strong support system, so the more communication that we have the better we’ll feel about the scenarios we find ourselves in…

Sam: That’s inspiring man…I don’t want to take up too much of your time, but, I want to go around and just hear about what all of you are excited for when it comes to this year and looking ahead…

Dom: Just exited to work with new people, producers and artists. Working with people can just bring new ideas and elevate the ones that you already have…

Jasper: Going out and showing the world true performances and showing people our music.

Tarrek: For me, I’m excited to collaborate with more artists too. Like we talked about, when we were in the shed, it was just us. We had no experience with other people and we would just dream of getting to work with certain artists and certain producers. Just trying to get our foot more in the door with good people.

Jorge: I’m excited to work on the new stuff…I’m just excited to work on all of the creative ideas we have. I’m feeling really excited about it all…

Tarrek: Jorge does all of the visuals by the way. His first music video he shot with us was “glide”. I don’t know if we mentioned this but besides Jorge and Jasper, we all met in High School, but we met Jorge through twitter…through like a mutual friend I think. Isaac found his art that was retweeted and he was like yo this guy is amazing. We hit him up and he respond right away and when Isaac asked for a cover art, Jorge sent like 10 different covers…

Isaac: I offered to pay him and he didn’t even acknowledge it and we knew he was the one!

Isaac: I’m excited to kind of like become something for more people..to exist in more peoples minds. Whether it’s industry people, kids, peers. I’m just excited for people to uncover and understand what we’re doing and theres no way to tell something is understood until its in person; which is why shows are important to gauge where you’re at. We just want to elevate that to the point where people are understanding, which is a process.

Joseph: I’m excited for life in general. Just gathering more experiences by living with these guys and being on the road and making more music.

The Peach Tree Rascals drop their new single tonight at midnight, but in the meantime, keep bumping their discography down below!

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