XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Steve Cardenas: Nothing so far other than the new EP coming out later this month, (Slumlords Of NJ).
Nick Hade: Yeah, our new album dropping with a sick ass video recorded by Arc Angel Entertainer’s Larry Jones.
Chigger: Nick is referring to the we just wrapped up filming a new music video for our next single, “Stone,” off of our next EP, Slumlords of NJ, which will be released on September 18. Unless you ar readin this after the 18th, then it is already out. Unfortunately, due to the state of the world, we have no plans to perform live to promote the EP just yet, but who knows what the future holds.
David Cardenas: Right, with the pandemic, live shows are shut down for a while now, but the good news is our EP will be dropping on 9-18-20. We are super excited and can’t wait for everyone to hear it!
XS ROCK: So how long has the band been together?
Nick: Depends on who you ask haha, Dave and Steve been jamming together for a century or two, I got picked up in the last decade.
Steve: Me and my brother Dave have obviously been together forever lol. But this lineup has been around for about 5 years so far.
Chigger: The Cardenas brothers have been together their whole lives! Nick Hade and myself were the last ones to join the band. This lineup of Rahway has been together since 2015.
David: Yeah, I think about 5 years now.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally starting or being in a band?
Nick: Listened to a lot of music but didn’t hear any bands putting out the sound I heard in my head or the lyrics I wanted to hear. Had a lot of emotion I wanted to express, and music seemed like a pretty solid way to express it.
Steve: Well I love being a musician, I love creating music and most importantly I always loved the idea that maybe I can be famous someday lol.
Chigger: Hot chicks!…..Hello?
David: For me, its music in general, all of it. It is life. It is everything.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Nick: Played guitar in high school, found out I was rather good on piano in college, switched majors to music in college, learned how to sing properly, then started networking until now.
Steve: Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Motley Crue, The Beatles and so much more.
Chigger: I’m the bass player! I’m always in the background. I actually started out as a singer. When I realized how terrible my voice was, I picked up the guitar, but six strings was too much for me, so I picked up the bass and I felt right at home.
David: I am self-taught, loud music, great hooks and big dreams.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Nick: Depends on the song but I’d say in total it’s raw music done in a way that doesn’t overcomplicate with computer-driven sound too much. Rahway does it the raw way.
Steve: I feel that it touches everyone to some extent.
Chigger: We’re the Slumlords of NJ. What do you think it conveys? It’s raw, it’s gritty, and slummy rock ‘n’ roll!
David: Moods, situations, current affairs and a whole bunch of attitude.
XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?
Nick: To be a household name in a good way.
Steve: To possibly write a few hit songs to be proud of.
Chigger: Isn’t it always to dominate the world? Or is that too cliché? I just want to keep playing shows and see smiles on people’s faces.
David: I would like the entire world to hear Rahway.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Nick: Nothing beats the feeling of performing in front of a sea of heads that get amped with you while you perform.
Steve: I love both, but nothing beats playing in front of a live audience, such a great feeling.
Chigger: I love playing in front of an audience. It’s the reason why I still do this. Then again there’s nothing like coming up with a new riff and laying that shit down on tape! That was a trick question!
David: Nothing beats the feeling of performing live, then again nothing beats the feeling when we are creating. So, yes! All of the above …lol
XS ROCK: What are your songs’ lyrics about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Nick: Depends on the song as our lyrical content can be different based on who comes up with the lyrics that everyone agrees with first. Mainly our lyrics deal with fighting depression and not giving a f**k.
Steve: Our songs cover everyday life situations with a touch of hope.
Chigger: Sex, Drama and Rock ‘N’ Roll! None of us do drugs and there’s tons of drama to take it’s place.
David: Missing a loved one, to a bitchy woman, to the struggle of life.
XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?
Nick: The happiness of those around me.
Steve: To be authentic.
Chigger: Being happy with the music I am playing and making money doing it.
David: The music, it’s always been the music for me.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.
Nick: Had to run out of a festival after someone clogged the backstage toilet, not gonna give any names though haha. Shameless Rahway plug – Snitches Get Stitches.
Steve: I have tons but I wanna stay PC lol.
Chigger: I remember playing out in Boston with a few other bands and during the day, we all went out to Quincy Market to hang out and grab something to eat. We all got together for a quick photo and when we looked at the photo, we accidentally stood under a Pride Celebration flag with rainbows and stuff on it. Just picture that. All of these bad ass rocker guys standing under a LGBTQ Pride Flag. It was priceless!
David: Shhhhh,,,,oh no, I’m not getting tricked into this question lol
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Nick: Someone gave me a long ass laundry list of things to incorporate into my set for their girlfriend’s birthday while another person asked me to give CDs out to the crowd that they bought from us before the show. Working both of those into a set that you are performing new songs for the first time is a real pita.
Steve: haha I’ll let the other guys answer that question.
Chigger: I’m not sure I’ve ever received any strange requests. Then again, I’m strange, so all requests seem normal to me.
David: An autograph of course…lol
XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?
Steve: I don’t know, I never asked, nor do I care lol. I play for me period.
Chigger: My friends were always supportive. My family was supportive to a point, but they have been come more supportive with Rahway because the music is really good.
David: Yeah man, always have been, I’m a very lucky man.
XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?
Nick: Know what your goal is with each song and where you want it to go.
Steve: Don’t give up, work really hard. Play hard and practice hard
Chigger: Stay in school and stop copying other bands. Do your own thing!
David: Never ever ever ever give up, (sings) “its along way, to the top if you wanna rock n roll” …lol.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Nick: Stone and Only the Strong
Steve: As a songwriter in the band I love all our songs but really love to play any song of our that’s high energy.
Chigger: I love playing “Stone” because it has a nice bass intro. I also like the song “Undefeated” because it has a nice bass intro. “Acetelyne” is fun because there is a cool bass lick in it. I also love the song “Jessie” because it kicks ass. We also have five new songs they we haven’t recorded yet that are so much fun to play.
David: Definitely our new single, Stone! Undefeated, off our CD by the same name. They’re all great really.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Nick: None, I never wanted to get into the music industry after seeing what it did to most musicians. My inspiration doesn’t have a single source, it comes from everywhere.
Steve: Led Zeppelin (John Bonham). At the time that man played the drums like nobody else, it was different at beautifully done. To this day drummers have been still trying to recreate that feeling he gave. That’s a huge compliment.
Chigger: Bands like Mötley Crüe, Skid Row, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Metallica, and Pantera. Why? Do I really need to give a reason? They all kicked ass! Had this attitude that just made you want to rock!
David: Johnny cash, it was the first thing my dad showed me, I knew what I wanted right away.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Nick: Linkin Park, Audioslave, Metallica, Atreyu, Killswitch Engage for a regular show, for a festival there’s way too many to list since I like a lot of bands. I’d also probably throw artists from other genres in there just to mess with people haha
Steve: I don’t have a favorite, I choose any and all. I just love music.
Chigger: Mötley Crüe, Rahway, and Skid Row with Sebastian Bach back on vocals.
David: Wow…hmm… AC/DC, Motley Crue, and Rahway.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Nick: The festivals that I’ve performed with bands that I listened to growing up.
Steve: I think I’ve written some really good songs lol, I guess we’ll have to wait and see if that’s true. I’m really happy that RAHWAY is a solid machine, a wall of sound coming at who’s ever listening.
Chigger: I have two. Playing the inaugural Rock Carnival in Clark, NJ in 2015. The other is playing a sold-out show with Greta Van Fleet, only to have the boys in GVF give us a standing ovation when we were walking back to our dressing room. That was bad ass!
David: I haven’t accomplished it yet. Rahway to be known globally.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Nick: Honestly, no idea.
Steve: I love Designing drums, customizing etc. I also love songwriting.
Chigger: I would be working in Public Relations at some casino in Atlantic City or something!
David: I would have to say a Primatologist, I find apes fascinating.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Nick: Shure wireless mic, boss compressor, TC Helicon for anti-feedback.
Steve: Lugwig drums, Tama hardware, Paiste cymbals, DW pedals, Vic sticks.
Chigger: I always play my Gibson Blackbird that I like to call Blackie! It was Nikki Sixx model with Rex Brown’s personal humbuckers. Yes, Rex literally gave me his extra humbuckers. I play it through an SWR Goliath stack powered by a Line 6 Bass pod. It has some real balls!
David: I use Marshall amps, Gibson guitars and Boss effects. The combination simply just works perfectly.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Nick: Covid flipped everything upside down, we are currently in a transition, and I hope things get better. As far as the music scene for rock music, I think the popularity has diminished since other genres started to flood the market but it’s still alive and well. I think people that perform rock music are real as fuck, because most of us don’t give a shit damn or fuck about where it goes, we just do it out of passion. You can really see it with rock artists, you can feel the time they spent learning their instrument and how to make it speak their mind.
Steve: I think there’s a lot of great talent out there.
Chigger: What music scene? Everything has been shut down for COVID. We have to be creative and keep putting out content to keep our fans happy!
David: Normally I’d say very diverse, but with this pandemic its silent. I can’t wait till this is over.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Nick: I had two rows of teeth when I was a kid and a huge birthmark/bald spot on the back of my head.
Steve: I have no clue lol, I’m a book of useless information, I guess.
Chigger: For a Chinese dude, I have a pretty big…Ego! What the hell did you think I was going to say?
David: I’m just a regular guy, I dig rat rods and like building things. Creating, go figure lol.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Nick: If you read this… you’re the BEST!!!
Steve: I am so looking forward to performing live and seeing my fans and spreading that joy. Can’t wait to see you all again soon. Love and peace to all.
Chigger: Thank you for being there because without our fans, there would be no us! We would have packed it in many years ago.
David: We have a new EP dropping 9-18-20 along with a new video for the song “Stone”. Please visit our web site, say hello, and check out are catalog and keep up to date with up come events & news. Everyone stay safe, respect each other & enjoy life.
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!
Nick: Thank you for helping get the word out about Rahway.
Steve: Oh it is over, ok. Thanks for all that you guys do.
David: It was a pleasure thank you guys so much, Rock on XS Rock!
Chigger: Thank you XS Rock! Now, get outta my house!
Nick Hade – Vocals
David Cardenas – Guitar
Chigger – Bass
Steve Cardenas – Drums
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