Spotlight: Green Light Theory

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Story and photos by Bridget Fornaro

Most guys who go to concert venues are there to see a show, but not the members in Green Light Theory: they are there to perform in the parking lot, hoping to gain new listeners among the passers-by.

On a recent night, the guys walked up the general admission line to promote their music. The guys hand out flyers, take pictures with new fans, and sell merch. It’s all a part of their promotional plan to get themselves before the public any way they can. This is paying off more with each show they promote themselves at.

“Using this method, we’ve gained an unmatchable fan base that just keeps growing in numbers and in support that we can only be thankful for,” said Corey Rutchland. “It’s not for every band–or for every fan for that matter–but we believe in our music and our message enough that we put ourselves out on the line every time, hoping that we gain at least one amazing new fan.”

When the Los Angeles residents got together as a band two years ago, they had no idea where this journey would take them. The four members are: Corey Rutchland (rhythm guitar/lead vocals), Kyle Rutchland (bass/backup vocals), Scott Waldman (lead guitar/backup vocals), and Drew Holliday (drums).

The band came together when Corey and Kyle wrote a song together. K. Rutchland called up Scott to get his opinion on it. Scott really liked the song, but it was just okay.

“He played me a song called ‘Rooftop Kiss’, that is now called ‘Who’s Lost and Found’,” said Scott. “I helped with the bridge and Corey and Kyle added the framework. I thought it was a hit.”

The three liked the song; all they needed next was a drummer. Drew was called up, and asked if he wanted to join the band. Kyle recalls practicing the song together as a band, feeling magical. “Drew was the first drummer in mind to hit up,” said Kyle, “I sent him a few of our acoustic record recordings. He dug them. Then we all met up, practiced together–it was magic.”

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The group was well on their way to becoming the next big punk band. Their very first show together as a complete band was in May of 2013. Their first single “Who’s Lost & Found Now” was released in the fall of the same year with a music video. The music video premiered on the site, Artist Direct.

“It was our very first video and our very first video premiere. It felt like we finally arrived,” said Drew, “We started the band with that song, and it’s been a part of every single show.”

February 2014, they were promoting their band outside of a Panic! At the Disco show. The guys were introducing themselves to new fans, where they would meet their future street team leader. That night, the band’s promoting dynamic changed when they met Meagan Robbins, 18, from Los Angeles. Meagan has been running the Green Light Theory Street Team for over a year. Robbins pinky promised street teaming for GLT, and she has not left their side since that night.
“I promote online through street team accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Youtube,” said Meagan, “Social media is the perfect way to reach hundreds of people all at once.” Meagan also brings flyers to potential new fans, and speaks with them about Green Light Theory. She creates dozens of sample CDs to pass out. She believes that promoting is one of the best ways for new fans to know about the band.

The band is very appreciative of the street team, and for everything that they do. “We couldn’t be more grateful,” said Drew, “It’s humbling to be putting in so much work on our end, and then turn around and see a group of people you didn’t know even 2 years ago backing you up 100%.”

Along with the street team, there is a young woman named Linda Wang. She is a friend, who volunteers as photographer for GLT. She met the band at their album release show in April of 2014.

“I started taking pictures for GLT the day I met them, at their album release party show about a year ago” said Linda, “I love everything about GLT. I love especially how caring they are about their fans and how they interact with everyone. They always try to pick up the crowd and get everyone into the music. They are always thanking the venues and the crews working.”

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Once the album release show happened, it just seemed like things really started picking up for the band. That summer, they played a few shows and promoted themselves a lot at punk shows. Finally, at the end of the year, they booked their first show at Chain Reaction; they opened up for the band “Elder Brother”.

“To perform at a venue that a lot of our favorite bands played in the beginning of their careers, made us feel like we’re on the right path,” said Drew, “It was also nice because we’ve been promoting outside, in the parking lot of Chain with our acoustics for a while, so it really was a rewarding feeling to finally tear up the stage.”

At the beginning of this year, the group had the chance to play a sold-out show in New York City, opening for the band “Hawthorne Heights”. It was one of the most rewarding experiences for the guys. Scott is from New York, so he was able to show the members around his hometown.

“What was rewarding for me was taking them to my home state and showing them where I grew up,” said Scott, “Also, playing two sold-out shows in the best city of the country, New York City. I don’t care what anyone says.”

Even with all the successes the guys have experienced, the band has its costs. “Being in a band is an investment, it’s like any business. It costs money,” said Corey, “You have to really believe in it.”  They hope to someday make a living off of the band, without having to have day jobs.

DSCN0573Being in a band is all about believing in your ability to make music.  “If you don’t believe in it, it’s going to fail,” said Scott. “We’re already in that 99 percentile of bands, and we don’t earn a living off this band.”

Another challenge they faced was creating music from scratch.  “The most challenging thing is starting out with just a bass line, a little guitar part and turning it into something,” said Scott, “but making it into something, and turning it into something that you can sing along to.”

In May, Kyle was featured in YouTube Vlogger, Trisha Paytas’s, YouTube Channel. The band logged onto their social media sites after that happened, and were very surprised to see all the new followers. “We woke up to a crazy amount of followers and subscribers on all of our social media sites,” said Drew, “It really helped give us a jump start on our fan base and online presence.”

The band is currently recording new songs. Drew is working on getting their YouTube channel together so they can create more video content to put online. Green Light Theory currently has over 7,700 YouTube subscribers, and their music video for “Our Last Day” has over 37,000 views.

Green Light Theory loves their fans. The band is set to play in Los Angeles in September. They hope to play a lot more shows in the future. Their hit single, “Our Last Day”, is getting awesome reviews online. GLT is getting back in the studio so they can release new music.

Green Light Theory can be found on Twitter, Facebook, SoundCloud, and YouTube.

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