Updated: 09/23/02

One of the best bands to emerge from the Orange County scene, Rudiger is here and they have a very positive message to convey. Ever since their appearance at this year's Warped Tour, the fan base has grown tremendously. Their debut album is called Travel By Day and it's on indie label Gratuity Records. This album would be impressive if Drive Thru or Vagrant had released it! Highwire Daze catches up with lead vocalist/rhythm guitar player Jered Caballero to find out more about the band who goes by the name of Rudiger.

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in the band, and give me a brief history on Rudiger.

My name is Jered Caballero, I sing and I play rhythm guitar. We official started playing three and a half or four years ago now. But all four of us have been friends since we were pretty much in grade school. We pretty much grew up together, and once we got into high school, we kinda messed around just playing in little high school bands. Then towards the end of high school, we said we were going to take it a little more seriously, so we started Rudiger, and we've been doing our best really up until this point.

Tell me about the show you did at The Warped Tour this year.

That was awesome. We played the LA show that was on the 10th of July. That was great. I think the Warped Tour is amazing. We've been going to the Warped Tour just as fans for so many years now - pretty much since back when it started. It's always been our dream to play in it, and now we're actually able to go and play ourselves and it was great. There was a good crowd of people that actually stopped to watch us, being that there were so many bands playing that day and so many things going on. There were probably a good 500 people standing there watching us. We loved it. It was a little hot that day, but we had a great time. We had a half-hour set and tried to do just the best we can. We got an awesome response - we met a lot of people that day - a lot of new kids that are now our fans. We're just totally grateful - that was just an amazing experience.

If you had to describe your music to someone who has never heard you before, what would you say?

Well, I kind of have to all the time for people that I met. I usually say we're like a melodic rock band, and that you can compare us to Jimmy Eat World with punk influences like MXPX.

Where do you come up with your ideas when you write lyrics?

Well, I pretty much base them on experiences in my own life, like things I have gone through - or different ideals I have about things that I go through. It's pretty personal, as far as where I get the concepts for the lyrics - things that have happened or things I am going through or things I see wrong with my life. And things I like in my life.

Is there any meaning behind the album title Travel By Day?

The words Travel By Day - I would kind of describe it as a mission statement, sort of, for the band and for myself and us in our lives. We were thinking the whole idea that you see movies, there's people on a mission or on a journey - and they usually tell each other, "Okay, we're going to travel by night. That way we get to this place quicker and easier and sooner." That way they can avoid all the hardships and dodge all the different things. But we thought the opposite - Travel By Day is cool cuz it gives the opposite contrast - meaning that we are ready to face whatever is to come. Travelling by day is a lot harder, I think, than going by night in that you get to see everything and there's different obstacles that can come. We like the idea of having the challenge, and we wanted to portray that as what we believe in and where we're going as a band.

The name of the band - where did you get it from?

Actually, Rudiger - we got it from The Simpsons - the cartoon. We've been really big fans of it ever since we were little. We just watched it all the time, and on one episode - at the beginning of our CD we took a little clip from the episode we got it from. Bart Simpson goes to this self-help seminar that the whole town of Springfield is having, and the host of the whole seminar calls Bart up onstage and says, "We need to be like this boy. He does whatever he wants. He's really free spirited. If we could all be more like little…" He looks at Bart, and Bart just says, "Rudiger." He just says that's his name and the guy goes "Rudiger." We just thought it was funny - it was just an odd ball name that they threw out there. We thought, "Wow! That's a cool name!" It doesn't have any meaning behind it - it's just that we liked it when we saw The Simpsons.

I kind of thought Rudiger might be someone's last name…

Yeah, yeah. Our website is www.rudiger.net and we wanted to get rudiger.com, but there's actually a guy in Germany who owns that dot com already with that last time. We were like, darn it, we're too late!

With MXPX being a big influence on you guys, what was it like actually opening a show for them at The Roxy?

It was unbelievable. For myself personally, that was the dream of my life up to this point. I have been saying it for years to everyone I know. Pretty much all of us, but speaking from my heart, I was so, so dreaming of playing with them forever - and when we finally got the chance I was like, "This is the greatest night of my life!" It was just amazing. It was really cool, cuz it was just us and them on the bill. It was a dream come true, and everybody at the show took to our music. To be able to play for one of the bands that we've looked up to for so long - it was crazy, it was unreal.

With so many bands in LA and OC, what do you think has made Rudiger stand apart from the others?

I think what would make us stand out in our minds is the focus that we have as a band. We're not in any hurry. We're looking at all of this as the beginning of something really big that's going to be for a long time. Not big meaning going huge and signing on a major label really fast. We mean in huge that as a band we want to be around for a long time and we're ready to do whatever it takes. We really want to make this our lives and careers. And with that in mind, it's pretty much all we do - it's what consumes our lives. I know there's a lot of bands around that have a lot of drive too, so I couldn't say what really separates us. I guess if I think about what other people say - they say "You guys are so great because you actually care. When you play your shows, you give it everything you've got." And then kids tell us that "After you play, you take the time to actually hang out and talk to us." That's what a lot of kids and people that are fans of us - they tell us that, so maybe that's what they notice that a lot of bands don't do. I couldn't tell you, because a lot of bands that we met around the area are great - they have a strong drive and they love their fans. I guess we just stand out in different ways to different people.

Do you have any messages for fans or people who might be interested in checking out your music?

Yeah, we'd just be totally happy and thankful to whoever wants to listen to us and check us out. We want to send out a positive message - that's what we're about. We want to send out the fact that we're human beings - we're trying our best - that's the feel you might get from the lyrics on the album and if you come and watch us play. We really want to meet everybody and talk to everybody we can - just hang out and build relationships with people and just do the best we can. We want to send out a positive message and hopes everyone heeds that and joins us on our quest.

The members of Rudiger are Jered Caballero on vocals and guitar, Curt Phillips on guitar, Adam Marino on bass, and Mike Bibeau on drums.


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