Listen to the latest from Brooklyn’s super-metal rat pack and catch them live as they celebrate the release TONIGHT at Planet X
What’s in a name?
Much like deciding on an AIM screen name back in middle school or figuring out what to call your kid (hopefully not in middle school), I’ve always thought that choosing a band name—an arrangement of letters that will appear on merch, media, festival lineups and pretty much everything else—would be a pretty big deal.
But despite the imagined importance of this factor, when I ask a band how or why they initially made their choice, the answer is usually pretty unremarkable, a product of randomness, compromise or often just availability. Something along the lines of “we just kept throwing things out there until we found one we didn’t hate” or “we googled it and it wasn’t taken” or, most recently, “a drunk guy at a party told us that if he started a band, he’d name it this.” (Okay, I actually love that last one.) The artists are usually pleased with, and frequently proud of, the result, but it’s simply a moniker—not an identity.
And then there are bands like Brooklyn’s Castle Rat.
A group that has not only deliberately chosen a name, but created characters, written a backstory and built an entire world.
“Castle Rat, led by Her Majesty the Rat Queen on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, is an inter-dimensional heavy-metal glam band featuring the Count on lead guitar and backing vocals, Dr. Mouse on bass, and Sarge on drums,” Riley Pinkerton, the red-headed Rat Queen herself, says. “Their current realm has been orbiting Brooklyn, New York, where they have been continuously plagued by the Rat Reaper ever since the Rat Queen first cheated death by the hand of Dr. Mouse with his mystical potion.”
Castle Rat creates with intention and presents a live performance that is not just a concert but—with all four band members in full costume, a scythe-bearing “rat reaper,” some fake blood and, of course, plenty of heavy head-banging—a true theatrical experience.
Interest piqued? Check out this gnarly take on what’s def not The Nutcracker TONIGHT at Planet X, where Castle Rat will be taking the stage and celebrating the release of their second single, “Different Dirt”—which, after all this build-up, I’m thrilled to premiere here!
“We are each such wonderfully complex, sensitive, perceptive creatures,” Riley says of the song. “We become more powerful as unified, cohesive beings. Dig into the darkest depths of your void and harness that which you may have felt compelled to fight or run from. Stand tall and lead yourself through this World with a clear, focused, and truly balanced mind by befriending the Beast that walks within.”
Check out the track above, snag a limited-edition record featuring “Different Dirt” and the band’s previous single, “It Isn’t Clean” (released TODAY through Roolette Records NYC), and don’t miss the phenomenon that is Castle Rat TONIGHT with Priestess and Shred Flintstone at a showcase presented by Bloodless Management—
Bonus points if you also come in costume.
Feature image (provided by the band): Savannah Lauren
“Different Dirt” is written and performed by Castle Rat. Recorded/mixed by Phil Duke. Mastered by Dan Walker. The new single appears on the official Roolette Records NYC release of “It Isn’t Clean” b/w “Different Dirt” on Limited Edition 7″ Lathe-Cut Record [cut by Cryptic Carousel].”