top of page

Interview with Ethan Rundlett of Guest Bed

Guest Bed is an alternative/emo/pop punk band based out of Baltimore, MD formed by Ethan Rundlett (guitar/vocals), Brooks Owens (drums), and Josh Ellis (bass) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their favorite local venues include the Ottobar, Holy Frijoles, and Zissimos. Don't miss their upcoming performance at Maryland Day Festival on 3/23/24 among many other Maryland artists! You can find more information here:

Now, time to tune into Guest Bed's music and mind with their exclusive VASH interview!

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

I hate operating my band like a business, but it’s tough to exist in the industry without that mindset. I want to write, grow, and perform more, so that means paying for recording, splitting sales with the venue, marketing and streaming services, etc. In our capitalist society, everyone needs to make a living, and I would be the first one to say everyone deserves to be paid for their work. That doesn’t mean though I don’t still wish we could just make art and let it speak for itself.

What does "success" look like to you as musicians?

I actually consider this to be one of Guest Bed’s strengths. So, each year we have a conversation about goals; what we specifically are seeking to accomplish and how we’ll achieve success. First that was simply to play more shows, then record, release new music, and repeat, but somehow a little bit bigger each time around.

What makes a successful band?

Maybe it’s because I grew up near DC and idolized everyone on Dischord Records, but I think being influential is the ideal model for success. These bands have the advantage of strong fan bases, so opportunities will always come for them, whether they still play together, are in new bands, work in other fields, etc. For example, its why Guest Bed sought to record at J. Robbins’ studio, Magpie Cage.

What is your favorite song to play live?

This definitely varies amongst the band. Josh prefers the faster punky pace of “Love (A Sure Thing)”, while Brooks likes the powerful dynamics behind “Get These Words Out of My Mouth”. We actually took a break from playing “My Favorite Self-Sabotage Types”, but recently started opening with it and audiences seem to really like that. Also, there are two new songs, “None of the Above” and “More Spilled Drinks”, I use a Fender Acoustasonic for, and that guitar is really fun to play.

For those that missed your last show, share your experience playing at The Ottobar on 1/14/24.

First, I want to thank everyone who came out, the bands, and staff at Ottobar. We couldn’t do this without y’all, and we strive with our performances to put as much into this community as we receive. A fun moment: I remember going backstage to the green room before our set to collect myself and found Brooks there doing the same (Josh was responsibly manning the merch table). He immediately turned on some 90s pop music and we just started shouting the lyrics and jumping around – not the most efficient warm up, and frankly a little embarrassing, but it helped us tame our pre-show jitters. We played several new songs, and I noticed for the first-time people singing along to our older ones. Josh’s t-shirt design got lots of compliments and sales, someone caught and kept Brooks’ broken drumstick, we signed set lists, posed for group photos, etc. Weeks later we’re still coming down from that high.

What's been one of your favorite performances to date and why?

Besides Ottobar, there was something magical about our first show. We played a Halloween party in the alley behind my house in the city and then took a long break after my son was born that same week. It's my favorite because it could’ve been our last, but we felt like there was something special worth investing in despite the scheduling hurdles. Almost 3 years later we’re still having fun being in Guest Bed.

If you could give advice to anyone who wants to perform, but may be intimidated, what would you say?

The best part of being in a DIY community is its agency. Can’t find shows? Host them. Want to join a band? Start one. Don’t know how to play an instrument? Neither did many of your favorite musicians. We all have to begin somewhere, and we all mess up, so give it your best “Dry Try” (lol sorry).

Who are some of your favorite local musicians or bands?

We’ve been very fortunate to share the stage with many talented local artists: Moraine, Triple Bunk Bed, Shadow Apparatus, American Television, Paperback Tragedy, Shift Meal, The Neckbeards, Awkward Since ’82, Batty, Some Mess, Soul Meets Body, Sugar Hysteria, Southview Drive, The Southern Ocean, The Hollow Truths, It Wants, etc.

What are some band goals for 2024?

We’ve been recording with Matt Redenbo at Magpie Cage Studio and can’t wait to share those songs later this year

Do you pursue other artistic passions outside of music?

I wish, but I don’t think my family could stand another artistic passion project. For my solo project, Ethan Andrew, I would sometimes make the album art, music videos, etc. It can get overwhelming very quickly, so with Guest Bed, I specifically wanted to expand and partner with other talented artists. For example, Lynds Mika did our Flower Power design, and we had our t-shirts printed locally at Black Collar Screen Printing.

You can only choose 1 album to listen to for a WHOLE YEAR...what album are you choosing and why?!

Gosh, something with a lot of emotional range, like the Weakerthans’ “Left and Leaving”, Johnny Foreigner’s “Johnny Foreigner vs Everything”, or Manchester Orchestra’s “Cope/Hope” (that one feels like a cheat). I’m fairly certain though when my brother gave me Faraquet’s “The View from This Tower” its all I listed to for a year.

Do you have "day jobs"? If so, would you mind sharing your occupations & how you balance creating with working?

I’ve worked as an Instructional Designer for a few years now. As far as 9 to 5s go, I have plenty of opportunities to be creative and make online education more cohesive and accessible. Currently, I’m mostly remote, which is a huge advantage for balancing time between daily responsibilities, family, and the band.

Have you ever been on tour? If so, share some tour stories! If not, let us know your dream tour locations!

Guest Bed has had a few out-of-town shows, and we’re hoping to eventually find the time to more formally tour soon. I have toured in other bands though, and there are some funny stories. One in particular I’ll never forget; when I was the drummer in Cape Farewell, we had a show in this consignment shop in Fredericksburg, VA. I had just started dating my wife and she had never seen me perform, so she agreed to make the drive from Maryland and watch us play. Having grown up in a conservative Christian household, I’m immediately terrified she’s going to break up with me when I see the place is covered in satanic memorabilia – upside down crucifixes, an inverted pentagram on the American flag, etc. Luckily, she’s the best, and wasn’t turned off by the other screamo bands either.

Photo by Genevieve Moore, courtesy of Guest Bed.

29 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page