Former Hey Monday's Mike Gentile, Now of Rescue Kid, Says: "All Band Names Are Awful"

Breakups aren't easy -- but sometimes they're for the better. That seems especially true since the abrupt disbanding (and subsequent hiatus) of Hey Monday last year after West Palm-born-and-raised singer Cassadee Pope decided to pursue a solo career, leaving the band's future uncertain. 

Former bandmates and brothers -- guitarist Mike Gentile and bassist Chris Gentile -- are moving on for now, regrouped with a new project of their own, a rock act they've dubbed Rescue Kid. For the past nine months, the fivesome of South Florida natives -- rounded out by guitarist Eddie Castineira, drummer Nicky Cedeno, and vocalist Armando Soler -- have been hard at work building a band from "the ground up," writing songs, practicing, and recording in Miami. So far, they've composed six songs featuring a sound they call "melodic rock." 

"Our music might not be original [in genre], but we do have something that a lot of music lacks these days: honesty," Castineira recently told New Times. "The best thing about this band and the music is that it has substance. We write our own music, our own melodies. It was also important for us to have a real raw rock sound. Real guitars, real amps, real drums, real vocals."

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Although there's no record deal in the works or plans to release an album in the foreseeable future, live music will be the band's focus for the next few months. With the help of John Wylie, guitarist for Florida metal band Old Habits and founder of Fort Lauderdale's Eulogy Recordings, Rescue Kid organized its first official "all ages" show happening this Friday at Propaganda in Lake Worth, where it'll be hitting the stage with Wellington's Break Blossom, Orlando's Bad Wolf, and West Palm Beach's American Photo Club.

The October 5 show is a focused attempt to "get South Florida bands heard," said Castineira. "[These days] every local show is too costly, and there aren't enough decent bands anymore to draw enough people. We want to try and bring back the local music scene how it used to be eight to ten years ago. [We're hoping this show could] spark a fire."

We spoke with Mike Gentile about moving on from Hey Monday, growing up listening to Blink-182, and why he hates band names. 

New Times: From Hey Monday to Rescue Kid. Tell us about that evolution.
Mike Gentile: Simply put, last summer [2011] it was time for Hey Monday to work on a new record.

But that didn't happen...
The band's vocalist [West Palm's Cassadee Pope] was, and still is, extremely driven and passionate about reaching superstardom and felt it was in her best interest as a musician to [pursue a solo career]. Since that happened, working on new music with a new band has been an incredible growing and learning experience for me, personally. It's really exciting to move forward. Hey Monday was an unbelievable life experience, and I'm grateful, but it didn't really happen naturally with that band. It was surreal. Everything happened so fast. It blew up. There was no time to think. Now I'm at a point with music where I can do me. I can write music that I want to write and do what I want to do. No influences other than the guys in this band. I can start over.

When did you decide to start working on new music?
It has been in the works since last December but didn't officially become Rescue Kid until about a month ago.

What were you doing before that?
I was doing nothing musically last year after I got home from touring with a band called Weatherstar. Eddie asked me, and naturally I said yes. Eddie is my best friend and a supertalented musician. His band at the time, the Ever After, was also awesome. I started showing the dudes ideas I was working on, and everyone loved them. So we decided to work as a band, along with a few of Eddie's ideas, and that's when Rescue Kid kind of just happened. Wrote a few cool ideas, we recorded them with producer Brooks Paschal [former Charlotte, South Carolina-based Sullivan lead singer] in May, and brought Chris into the band a month or two after that.

How did you come up with the name Rescue Kid?
The name was something I came up with that didn't make me cringe when I said it. I despise band names -- all band names are awful. Even more so when it's your own band. It took us -- no joke -- three or four months and hundreds of shitty band names before we settled on what we thought was the least shitty name: Rescue Kid.

What stage are you at with Rescue Kid right now? Are you looking to get signed?
We have six songs recorded but countless demos and songs in the works. If the right deal comes along, then we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. The goal is to hit the road as soon possible and get our name out to as many people as possible. We are holding out on releasing music right now. I want everything to be perfect. 

I want for people to hear the band's music and see the band live and be left speechless. We're taking our time and making sure we do everything right. Rome wasn't built in a night, but when it was finished, it blew everyone's mind. I can also do things like say "boner" in an interview and not feel bad or like I'm going to get in trouble.

Not everyone knows you and Chris are brothers. What musical inspiration did the two of you have growing up?
Yes, the Gentile brothers! Music has always been my life. I can remember being a little dude in my car seat singing along to Whitney Houston with my mom. I've always had a passion and love for it. When my cousin took me into his basement and played me the guitar riff from Blink-182's Dammit. I thought it was so badass, and from that point on, I knew I needed a guitar. 

We have grown into the musicians we've become through experience. I feel like me picking up the guitar inspired my brother to pick up a bass guitar. He's an insane bassist -- one of the best musicians I know. It inspires me to better myself as a musician. Sometimes I watch him play and just shake my head in disgust, because he's way better than I am. In my opinion, this is our first real project and band together. We have shared stages before in previous projects, but this is the first band that we are both officially in together.

What are your feelings for this Friday's show?
Watching Rescue Kid come to life with these songs, and the band's natural ability to play live, has been such a great feeling. I'm really looking forward to the future.

Rescue Kid will be playing 6:30 p.m. Friday, October 5, at Propaganda, 6 S. J St., Lake Worth. Entry for those under 21 will be $7 and $5 for those 21 and over. To learn more about Rescue Kid, find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr

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