Minneapolis emo brand, Remo Drive, garners local acclaim

Remo Drive’s newest record, “Greatest Hits,” will be released on April 6.

Members of Remo Drive, Erik Paulson, Stephen Paulson and Sam Mathys, pose for a portrait in the backyard of their practice space on Thursday, March 30, 2017 in Bloomington. The indie rock band recently came out with a new album,

Ellen Schmidt

Members of Remo Drive, Erik Paulson, Stephen Paulson and Sam Mathys, pose for a portrait in the backyard of their practice space on Thursday, March 30, 2017 in Bloomington. The indie rock band recently came out with a new album, “Greatest Hits.”

Joe Cristo

“Emo” rock is difficult to define. Is pop-punk emo? Or is emo a genre befitting 90s indie rock that delves into emotional faire?

Minneapolis band Remo Drive self-describes as “emo.”

“Right now we write music with a little bit of an emo flare,” singer and vocalist Erik Paulson said. “The stuff we have been working on recently has more of a rocky vibe though.”

Remo Drive was founded by brothers Erik and Stephen Paulson in late 2013 after their earlier musical projects fizzled out.

“We matured and had different music taste from our first band,” Stephen Paulson said. “So we thought it would be good to grow and try something different.”

Soon the group of young high schoolers were ripping up stages and houses across the Twin Cities.

In 2014, the band released a handful of demos on Bandcamp. Since then, they’ve laid low — that is, until recently.

In the summer of 2016 the band got to work recording their first proper debut, aptly named, “Greatest Hits.”

“We recorded in our parents’ house,” Erik Paulson said. “We did drums in the living room, guitars and bass in my basement and vocals in my bedroom. Recording on our own was a new way to look at recording and arranging our songs.”

Since then, the record has received national hype on various music blogs. More importantly, Remo Drive’s fan base is exploding — more and more kids are buying their music and seeing them live.

Erik Paulson is the band’s primary songwriter and lyricist. Usually, he writes the skeleton of the song that skewers some object of disaffection.

“Then Sam [Mathys] and I rework the arrangement and dynamics together,” Erik Paulson said. “Stephen comes in as the last wall of defense because he brings in more movement to the songs if they’re lacking energy.”

But the “formula” has not always been so well-defined.

“For the longest time we strayed away from playing music that really represents who we are,” Stephen Paulson said. “So with this record, we were trying to force ourselves to write and create art a certain way. I feel like in the past year we started to get on course and stopped putting ourselves in a box.”

But like most emo bands under the age of 22, where there is seriousness there is also levity.

“Remo Drive is about fun,” Erik Paulson said. “Sure, we take the music very seriously, but we try to keep in touch with why we got into music in the first place. So one of the most important things about this band is that it’s fun to perform and listen to.”

The future of the group is inarguably bright and moving quickly.

“We are always writing new music,” Erik Paulson said. “And we hope to tour this summer.”

Remo Drive’s “Greatest Hits” will be released physically on April 6 at the Triple Rock Social Club.

What: Remo Drive Release Show at Triple Rock Social Club

When: 8 p.m., April 6

Where: Triple Rock Social Club, 629 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis

Cost: $8 advance, $10 at the door

Ages: 18+