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Robert Schwartzman of Rooney

June 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Interviews, Pop, Rock

How do you measure the true character of a band?  Is it the success they have with the backing of a major label or their ability to bounce back once they’ve taken full creative control back into their own hands?  Either way, Rooney (Robert Schwartzman on vocals and guitar, Louie Stephens on keys, Taylor Locke on guitar and Ned Brower on drums), know that staying true to their music and their core fanbase is their highest priority.

On June 8th the band returns with their third full length album “Eureka”.  After their up and down experiences with previous major label releases the band decided to go the indie route with this one and shoulder the full responsibility.  The album is 100 percent Rooney from start to finish – written, produced and released on their own label California Dreamin’ Records (through Warner Music Group’s Independent Label Group). 

Since their major label debut in 2003 the band has felt a bit stifled by the suits and this album gave them the opportunity to do things their own way.  Mixing their old soul with new tricks the result is an album that has all of the Rooney charm that we’ve come to expect.  Sharing the writing duties this time allowed for the songs to cover a broader range of sounds and styles.   Their influences are widespread but they’ve pulled together a cohesive collection of songs that deliver on all marks –  clever wordplay through honest storytelling, well-crafted catchy choruses, and the throwback addictive beats.

We recently caught up with Robert Schwartzman to talk about the new album, the long road getting here, the departure of bassist Matt  Winter and of course we had to throw in a little West Coast/East Coast sports rivalry courtesy of the NBA Finals.

Interviewed by:  Mary Ouellette
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Robert Schwartzman of Rooney

June 26, 2007 by  
Filed under Interviews

rooneymainIt’s been a few years since Rooney released their debut self-titled album and many fans were starting to wonder if we’d ever hear another from them.  But Rooney (Robert Schwartzman on vocals and guitar, Ned Brower on drums and backing vocals, Taylor Locke on guitars and backing vocals, Matthew Winter on bass and Louie Stevens on keyboards) may just take the award for hardest working band in the business.  Not only do they have a new album coming out on July 17th titled Calling The World, they scrapped two entire albums prior to this one, simply because they felt they weren’t good enough.  The band demands perfection on and off the stage, so it should come as no surprise that they would be the first to scrap an entire album and start all over again, but one would have to start to wonder, when is good, good enough?  Some bands may be okay with good, but Rooney strives for nothing less than their best, and their best is what they give you with Calling The World, from beginning to end.

The first single When Did Your Heart Go Missing and it’s accompanying video are already eating the faces off of pop fans everywhere.  The song, the perfect summertime anthem, oozes fun, dance, pop beats, all the while hitting you right in the gut with the Rooney lyrics we’ve all grown to love – a recipe of half tongue in cheek, half clever and add a dash of wit.  The rest of the album follows in the lyric department but the music offers a few new things that we haven’t heard from Rooney in the past.  On I Should Have Been After You you get what is being referred to as Rooney’s first mini rock opera and the album closes with the poignant ballad Help Me Find My Way which will leave even the coldest of hearts with goosebumps.

The album gives you a full feel of what this band is really all about as far as what they are capable of musically and how much Schwartzman has magnified his songwriting over the past few years.  Never fear though, their California spirit and carefree vibe is evident throughout; they’re not going to let you forget where they came from.

The band garnered many new fans last summer opening for Kelly Clarkson and is currently on tour with Fergie.  While this may seem a bit off key for the band, they have been filling in their off days with headlining shows for everyone and promise to be back on tour just as soon as this tour finishes up.  In fact, if they had it their way, they’d be on tour forever!

Frontman and chief songwriter Robert Schwartzman recently sat down with TWRY staffers Mary and Stacie to answer our questions about the past, the future, and all things Rooney!

Interviewed by: Mary Ouellette | June 2007
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