MUSIC FEATURE: Five Minutes With…Rocket Pengwin
Eddie Sears is a man of many talents. Despite already being busy as a producer and a visual artist, the singer songwriter has penned one of the most exciting albums of 2023 under the moniker of Rocket Pengwin. With his debut locked and loaded for release this month, we jumped at the opportunity to pick his ever-busy brain.
Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself and your band.
Hey there. I’m Eddie Sears. I’m a New Yorker via Milan and London. I’m a producer, songwriter, visual artist, and the guy behind Rocket Pengwin. The story of a penguin that moved from Antarctica to New York City. It’s the surreal representation of someone like myself, (and many others) who moved thousands of miles away from home to pursue a dream of theirs. The story is personified with a five-foot-tall penguin that waddles around the streets of Manhattan. All the penguin wants to do is play music, and he left everything behind to do so. The project can be as lighthearted or as deep as you want to read into it, but I’ve crafted the music and the story to have meaning behind everything you see and hear. I am Rocket Pengwin, and Rocket Pengwin is how people see me.
How did the band form and how long have you been together?
I’ve been making music for as long as I can remember, but Rocket Pengwin started to take shape in 2017-ish. The project was formalised in 2020 when the penguin landed in New York City. I have many long-standing collaborators on both the music and visual aspects, but I oversee the entire project and I’m also performing on stage.
Can you remember the first time you realised you wanted to make music?
Probably when I picked up the guitar for the first time as a kid. My dad had an old Stratocaster I used to play around with. When I was really young, I was singing and writing songs and playing any instrument I could get my hands on, but the guitar is what really opened my eyes to what a real opportunity there was to make music as my livelihood and passion. It was clear to me that music gave me an outlet to express parts of myself that I wasn’t able to put into proper conversation or express clearly. It’s a side of who I am that is vulnerable, angry, delicate and introspective. quite the opposite of how I normally am perceived to be and conduct myself when I’m in a room full of people. The fact that I’m able to make music and have people really respond and resonate with it is something I’m grateful for every day.
Who and what are your main influences?
I grew up listening to The Beatles and The Who. Those were the records that played nonstop at home. I then discovered blink-182 and MTV, and the whole Vans Warped Tour/music video generation sonic aesthetic. I dove into pop-punk and emo in the early 2000s, still keeping some of that British melodic indie wave: Green Day, Taking Back Sunday, New Found Glory, Arctic Monkeys. I also love electronic music. Skrillex and The Bloody Beetroots changed how dance music was perceived and physically brought rock shows into nightclubs. I also admire fully rounded artists such as David Bowie and Donald Glover. Artists that curate every single aspect of their narrative and music is just a piece of the puzzle. The Rocket Pengwin universe is very much a culmination of all of these influences into one, coherent visual and sonic world.
What do you aim to achieve as an artist?
I’ve been lucky to achieve a lot already, but I’d love for Rocket Pengwin to reach the masses and have a positive impact on millions of people. I’d love nothing more than to headline Coachella, and even have a show on Adult Swim. Star Wars is my absolute favourite movie franchise, so a Rocket Pengwin cameo would be an insane dream come true. And while we’re here, this seems like the right time to dream big and manifest that one day the Vans Warped Tour will come back, and Rocket Pengwin will get the chance to play it.
For those who are yet to see you live, what can they expect from a Rocket Pengwin show?
It’s a journey, but not the kind of journey where you’re forced to sit down and listen to every single word in detail. It’s light-hearted, fast, and very loud. You can sing along and mosh with friends and strangers, or you can sit back and enjoy the narrative. Every show is catered to its unique venue and city. Whether it’s with special visuals or one of a kind merch, so no two shows are the same. You’ll also get the chance to meet the Pengwin!
What’s next for Rocket Pengwin?
I’m releasing my first full-length album Polar Opposites on 22nd September 2023 and I get to present it with a live, hometown show at Elsewhere in Brooklyn on 8th October! All of it is extremely exciting and I can’t wait to share this chapter with the world. After that, Coachella, Adult Swim, Star Wars, Warped Tour, in due time.
Rocket Pengwin‘s new album Polar Opposites is out now, available to stream or purchase HERE.