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Riding the Fifth Wave: Inside the Unstoppable Rock Journey of THE FIFTH

Photos: Chris Formont Photography

Hailing from the vibrant music scene of Fayetteville, North Carolina, THE FIFTH has been a dominant force in rock for over two decades. Led by the visionary vocalist and founding member Roy Cathey, known for his stint with Cold Sweat in the late 80s and early 90s, the band has carved out a niche in the rock genre with a sound that is both nostalgic and fresh.

In a compelling conversation with East Coast Music Review, Jake Tripp, the talented bassist from the rock band THE FIFTH, delved into the group's evolution and exciting future plans. Tripp, who joined the band in 2019, described the upcoming album, poised for a spring 2024 release, as potentially their best work yet, thanks to a new production team and fresh energy. He reflected on the band's history, noting their changes over two decades, including the recent consistent lineup that has brought a unique dynamic to their music and live performances.

Tripp also highlighted the band's journey through the pandemic, a time used for writing and experimenting with new sounds, culminating in an EP. He shared his enthusiasm for live performances, emphasizing the band's engaging stage presence and how they thrive on audience interaction, bringing a genuine rock and roll experience.

Tripp also touched on their memorable experience on the KISS Kruise, describing it as an extraordinary opportunity to connect with fans and other artists in a unique setting. Looking ahead, he shared the band's eagerness to tour post-album release, teasing potential collaborations and exciting plans in the works.

The lineup of THE FIFTH, including Roy Cathey, Justin Womble, Gary “Zeus” Smith, and their bassist Jake Tripp. The group brings a wealth of experience and passion to the stage. Each member, having roots deeply embedded in the North Carolina rock scene, contributes to a sound that's both dynamic and robust.

Their musical journey is a testament to their dedication to keeping rock fun and engaging. With Justin Womble leading the band's writing process, their music encapsulates the essence of classic rock with a modern twist. The bassist, inspired by icons like Jason Newsted and John Entwistle, brings a loud and precise style that perfectly complements the band’s hard-driving rock n' roll ethos.

THE FIFTH's upcoming album, set for release this spring under RFK Media, is eagerly anticipated by fans and critics alike. It promises to showcase the band's evolution, marked by the collaboration of seasoned professionals who are not just bandmates but share a genuine love for their craft. The album is expected to be followed by a tour, bringing their raw, organic, and unfiltered live performances to stages once again. Their unique preparation for live shows, which includes a pre-show shot of tequila, sets the stage for an electrifying experience.

Their approach to music promotion is as grounded and authentic as their sound, relying on a mix of social media and organic word-of-mouth. With a presence on Facebook and Instagram, they connect with their audience in a direct and personal way.

For emerging artists looking up to THE FIFTH, the band advises focusing on creativity rather than getting caught up in the pursuit of social media metrics. This philosophy has kept them grounded and true to their art, even as they navigate the challenges and rewards of being in a successful band.

THE FIFTH's journey is a story of passion, perseverance, and the pure joy of rock music. Their upcoming projects are not just a continuation of their legacy but a new chapter in their enduring musical adventure. This interview not only offered a glimpse into the life of a rock band but also shed light on the resilience and adaptability of musicians in navigating the challenges and opportunities of the music industry.


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