On this past Saturday’s show, my very special guest was Rick Hromadka. You may know Rick from Double Naught Spies, Maple Mars, or Ruby Free. All great bands. I’ve seen Maple Mars play a couple of times over the past decade, on visits to Southern California, and they’ve got a big presence. Arena-ready, they’re astoundingly good on stage. A big part of that is Rick Hromadka–he’s a true rock star, but as you’ll hear in the conversation–he’s also genuinely humble and down to earth.
We got a very early sneaky-sneak preview of his forthcoming solo album, “Better Days”, and cutting right to the chase, it’s one of the best of his career. It’s up there with the magnificent 2010 Maple Mars album, “Galaxyland”. Yes, that good. It’s coming out on September 22nd on Soda Star Music.
This record features an all-star cast of L.A. indie (and not-so-indie) musicians, and that list reads like a who’s-who of my record collection. Rick credits them as being the reason this record is so good. Although there is truth to that, it takes a skilled ringleader to create the blueprint, and put all the parts together. What’s the general sound? Well, rock, pop, and psychedelic all show up in the proper amounts. If you’re a Maple Mars fan, you should like this one too. As we discussed, there is a certain Maple Mars sound and chemistry, and this one is a little different, but great in its own way. It was all recorded and finished up last year, well before the pandemic and its resulting quarantining. At first, Rick didn’t feel it was right to put it out, with so much trouble in the world. But after a while, it became the right thing to do. I applaud this decision, because if there’s one thing that helps soothe people, or fires them up, or gives them cathartic release, it’s music. This is absolutely the right time for Better Days.
Our conversation is lengthy and deep, and we cover a lot of ground. Plus, you’ll get to hear a few tracks from the new album. Go ahead and just pre-order it now–that way, you’ll be ready for September 22nd. And check out the videos Rick’s releasing in support of the album. https://www.sodastarmusic.com.
I hope you enjoy the show as much as I enjoyed doing it!