Rust Belt Brigade

Victor Castillo Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin
Trevor Jennings Percussion, Cajon, Vocals
Miah Franco Vocals, Banjo
Brandon Mueckl Vocals, Bass, Guitar

Years Active 4 or so years. I’m very bad at keeping track.

Upcoming Release “Howdy, Hallelujah, Here’s The Thing”

Currently Reading I am currently reading the Jason Molina biography “Riding With The Ghost.”

Favorite Local Artist Cooler. I have always had a big crush on Nick Sessanna.

Local Artists We Should Know More About Shoot Ya String Band. Cody Barcroft’s country/americana outfit with slick songwriting and a rotating cast of local talent filling out the backing band.

img001Photo by Pat McCarthy at Mammoth Recording Studio

Tell us about how this project got started?

RBB started as a duo. It was just me and Trevor. I was playing guitar he was playing cajon. We’re were a couple of punks trying to play old time country music with every ounce of soul. Miah happened to see us at a few shows and had mentioned that he picked up playing the banjo so we asked him to join. A few months after that the same thing happened with Mueckl but this time the bass guitar. Trevor and I had always said if we were gonna add people they were gonna be people that wanted to be apart of it. People that kinda already knew where the ship was headed and were on board. We’ve been grinding it out on the brewey, bar, resturant circuit to pay for the record and upgraded equipment and I am so gratful to the many owners and business that let us play so we could pay for all this stuff without having to invest personal money. I think with the release of this recording we are going to head back into the direction of playing and organising shows though which is exciting.

Previous Bands?

Before RBB I was in a post-hardcore band called Lancer. Fellow Edenites Mike Rakiecki and Adam Cwynar. We played around the area and released an E.P. entitled “Don Is Rich” (it can be found on and its a project I am still very proud of). After about 3 or 4 years we kinda called it quits.

Anyone you’d like to Collaborate with?

Sonny Baker. He’s been the epitome of indie rock and DIY for me for a long time. I’ve looked up to him creatively for a long while. Probably since A Hotel Nourishing days. And he is the first triple threat I ever encountered. His art work is amazing. His songwriting masterful and thoughtful. And his performances are always memorable.

What has your recording experience been like?

Our time spent recording “Howdy, Hallelujah, Here’s The Thing” was with the team over at Mammoth Recording and it was such a great and smooth process. They had everything we needed but more importantly they invested themselves into the project. Since this will be technically our record debut, because Mueckl was not featured on our prevous releases, we had a direction and Justin and Mike helped us turn that into a clear image.

What’s the next move?

Next up is final mixes and mastering. Then plan a release show, get some new merch together and some physical copies. After the release then just start planning as many outta town shows as possible.

*Interview with Victor Castillo

DSC_9071Photo by Meredith Snow of Snowfall Photography at Jamestown Brewery



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