Surrender Rome is a local pop-punk band that formed around 2018.
Their debut single, “Summer Vacation,” released May 28, is a sing-along anthem that’s reminiscent of early 2000s bands like Green Day and The Starting Line. The lyrics focus on how suffocating and seemingly endless high school can be but how freeing summer vacation always is.
Casey Zukowsky, an audio engineering major at Salt Lake Community College, enjoyed the song, relating to its sentiment.
“I can feel the teenage angst,” Zukowsky said. “It reminds me of the down days during the school year when all I could wait for was summer.”
Alex Nuntapreda, the band’s guitar player and singer when needed, had a lot to say about Surrender Rome and their plans after a recent show at Kilby Court.
When did you guys start as a band?
Me and Josh [Sneddon] have been playing since junior year of high school, so about three years ago. Sam [Conder], the bass player, joined about a year ago. He’s a little bit younger, he’s 16. Me and Josh are 18.
With the band name, Surrender Rome, is there a meaning behind that? Was it a group decision?
Yeah, it was a group decision. We were formally known as Carbon Relics back when it was just me and Josh, but we just rebranded to Surrender Rome because, at this point, it’s a different band, different sound, different everything. But yeah, Surrender Rome, we were just looking through names and someone was like “Rome wasn’t built in a day” so let’s call it Surrender Rome.
What are your biggest inspirations?
Bandwise, we look at everything from Blink 182 and Green Day, those kinds of guys, late ’90s and early 2000s. And a lot of the Warped Tour pop-punk bands like AFI, The Starting Line.
But me, as a guitar player on my own, a lot of blues, jazz. I’m a jazz minor, but within the band, basically any pop-punk group from the ’90s onwards.
You said you do your own solo stuff, right?
Yeah, I’ve got a sort of singer-songwriter type thing. My voice naturally is more mellow so that’s why when Josh isn’t here, I step in, but Josh’s voice is definitely much more of a pop-punk voice.
With the song you sent me (“Summer Vacation”), what’s the backstory on how it got written?
I wrote it a couple years ago in class, back when I was in high school. We thought it was kind of catchy and wanted to get it out there.
Do you have other music you plan on releasing this year?
We plan to put out another single in July or August and we want to get an EP by the end of the year but, as always, I feel those things get pushed back a lot because it’s not good enough, so we’ll see.
What do you hope as a band that the listeners get out of your music?
I think the cliché answer is I want to change people’s lives, but I think the thing I typically play for is to inspire people to do it, too, because I think we’re good, but I don’t think we’re necessarily, “This band is the greatest band on Earth.” But to me, if we can do it, then anybody else can do it. If you’re in a band, you can start to learn guitar.
When we started the band, I could barely play anything, but we decided we were starting a band, so I’ve gotten a lot better since then.
It’s been cool, because there’s a lot of kids when I graduated high school that are a couple grades below us that have started their bands and have told us they started because of us, so I think it’s super cool to kind of pass that on because it’s important to keep the local music scene alive.
That’s what [is] so cool about it; the local scene, at this point, has become family, because everyone knows who everybody is. Tonight, out of the four people who performed, only two of us are actually in the band. The drummer came on the fly from another band.
This was the first show where Kilby expanded capacity to 50 people, up from 10% to 25%. So did you feel a difference?
Yeah, I felt a difference. It’s nice because last time we played here, it was with the 24 cap and so it’s such a different feeling [with more people].
To me, Kilby is one of, if not the absolute most important, local venue in Utah and has become so influential for so many bands. I don’t know a band who hasn’t played at Kilby. It’s nuts when you see the hall of fame in there, because we’re playing on the [same] stage [as] a lot of legendary bands. So it’s cool that they’re able to start opening up, because to me, it’s very important that Kilby stays in business for the mutual benefit of the venues, the musicians who play here and the people who come to see the shows.