The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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A look into the musical world of Rooney:

Interview with drummer Ned Brower
Rooney guitarist Robert Schwartzman at the House of Blues. Photo by Sommer Saadi
Rooney guitarist Robert Schwartzman at the House of Blues. Photo by Sommer Saadi

Rooney guitarist Robert Schwartzman at the House of Blues. Photo by Sommer Saadi

The Rooney fan is a loyal fan.

Even though the band packed up the bus for the “Calling the World” tour a year after its sophomore album release, Rooney’s faithful Dallas fans showed up at the House of Blues on July 3 to show their support.

The venue was nowhere near full, but no one seemed to notice. That just meant more room for subtle dancing from the boys in the audience and overzealous flailing from the swooning girls, all of whom knew the words to every song, especially those from the band’s debut album released a little over five years ago.

And that’s just the way Rooney likes it.

Being a self-proclaimed rock band that has trouble fitting into any sort of genre or scene means trouble getting radio play. But as long as the Rooney fans are listening, the band will keep recording and touring. The group will head to the recording studio next month in hopes of releasing its third album before next summer.

The show’s set list included songs from the debut and sophomore albums, as well as tracks from the new album, a few unreleased b-sides and a couple of covers (in which drummer Ned Brower and guitarist Taylor Locke took over lead vocals).

Before the show, The DC sat down with drummer and vocalist Ned Brower to talk about what Rooney fans can expect next from the band.

DC: What are the band’s goals for the third album?

Brower: I think there might be a little more collaboration on the writing process. There might be some other lead vocals sung by some other people, myself, particularly. Just basically the main goal is to push our music that we’ve been doing a little bit further but still stay in the same genre. But we want to do something for our third record that is really satisfying to us. It was a lot of trying to appease other people with making “Calling the World,” which I was really… we were really happy with the end result. But it was stressful at times, so I think we’re trying to make something that is really a landmark for us.

DC: When you say pushing the sound, do you think you’ll end up with something different from your first two albums?

Brower: As far as songs go, it might be a little bit more expanded concerning lyrical content, maybe different song structures that are little less straightforward here and there, but I’m not sure because we’ve written a lot of songs but we haven’t gotten together to start learning anything yet, so I’ll be as interested as you are to hear what we come up with.

DC: The band played a lot of shows in Europe in support of “Calling the World” where the record and singles got a lot more radio play than here. Does it get frustrating that your sophomore album doesn’t get as much radio play at home?

Brower: For us, we don’t really try and control that. It would be great to fall into that, but at the same time we can’t really change our music to meet the radio format because that wouldn’t make us happy either. It’s really more about the fans that come to the shows and want to really be an invested fan, and that’s what we try to keep building.

DC: What about the music scene inspires you?

Brower: We’ve always been very into old music, obviously lots of different styles of music from Motown stuff to I guess ’80s pop, of which Robert [lead singer] is a really big fan, and that comes across in his song writing. Probably his song writing more than in our record-making process or our band. Because we’re more into band bands like Queen and The Beatles – bands that play together and have good songs and have good musicians.

DC: So influences are pulled from older music?

Brower: I think so, yeah. What I like about our band is there are a lot of bands that like classic rock, especially in the last, whatever, five years, so it’s a little trendy in some ways. But I think a lot of those bands’ issue is when there is a band where every single review is “Oh yea, it’s Black Sabbath meets Led Zeppelin” it’s like well, “What do you guys listen to?” every interview and they’re like “Oh, we love Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin” and nothing else.

I think with our band what’s interesting, and just by chance, is we have different strong personalities contributing. I think we take a lot of different influences and try and create something new.

And also, I think you can hear different influences in different songs, which makes it fun to be in the band because I don’t ever feel, “Oh we couldn’t pull that off.” It’s just fun to be in this band because you don’t know what we’re really going to do next.

I feel like the sky is the limit, and it’s exciting thinking about this next album because I feel like we haven’t really dug ourselves into a particular hole that we wouldn’t want to be in.

DC: What kind of music do you listen to now?

Brower: I just like stuff, and we all do, stuff with catchy melodies and stuff that gets in your head and has cool personality behind it. We’re always getting on different kicks. Basically like exploit that. We listen to it so much and read so much about it and suck it completely dry and move onto the next thing. Especially Taylor, he is a real student of rock. And talks about it till we all get the point, too.

DC: And then move on?

Brower: Yeah, but we always go back to the good ones and it gets incorporated into our work in some kind of way. Not in a rip-off kind of way but in a subtle way.

DC: What can Rooney fans expect out of the third album?

Brower: You can expect some cool music, that’s for sure.

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