By Alec Wooden
On the surface, Los Angeles-based rock band Rooney has had it rough over the last 12 months. They’ve lost a label (Geffen) and a bass player (Matt Winter), all the while cutting a new record for the first time without benefits of mountains of label aid, engineers and producers. It takes little time talking to guitarist Taylor Locke, however, to figure out that the opposite is quite true. Instead of “losing” a label, they feel freed from one. Winter is gone, but has become no less a friend and avid supporter. And Eureka, the new and aforementioned uphill climb of a record, has left the band energized and excited about controlling their own direction more so than at any time in the past decade. One week into the band’s summer tour, Locke talks about all the reasons why, perhaps now more than ever, Rooney feels right at home within themselves.
What are we to expect sonically from Eureka?
Everyone these days uses the word “organic” in every album review … so I’ll try and shy away from that. The record has a polished sound to it, but slightly less so than our past records. Louie [Stephens, keyboardist] played lots of upright piano, which lends a cozy, barroom feel to the songs. I played more slide guitar than usual. Ned [Brower, drums] takes a lead vocal on one track. Matt [Winter, recently departed bassist] played much more active bass lines. However, you’ll still get plenty of synthesizer hooks, and of course, Robert [Schwartzman]’s voice, which are hallmarks of our groups’ sound. Read more about Q&A with Rooney: Playing Juanita’s, July 2 and The Loft, July 10 …