This is The Role Models third full length already. Once again the band delivers 13 original songs, soon to be classics, of super catchy, fun, addictive, powerful rock'n'roll with great vocals, driving guitars and an ever pulsating rhythm section.
This new record has some great guests on it. Duncan Reid from legendary powerpop group The Boys, Kris Rodgers of the Scott Sorry Band and some old friends like Stacy Stray. Andy Brook returns as producer and Rich Jones joins once again.
It was time for this blog to have a very interesting conversation with Rags, the man behind the Role Models.
Hello everyone! What can I say? Role Models are rock n roll band motivated and called to arms by powerpop and punk. That, right there, seems to be the sweet spot of having a great time and singin' your life. Within that holy trinity is where I feel a lot can be said and felt.
We've just released three full length albums in as many years with the fourth already written and ready to go! We wanna earn our bread through the timeless snake oil salesman trade of music. Only our medicine is pretty good, from what I'm told. We have Daniel Husayn on bass, Nick Hughes on guitar and vocals and Simon Maxwell on the pots and pans! Oh And me, Rags. I sing.
2) About the recently released record "Dance Moves", what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a live in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs?
The recording was done with Andy Brook at The Brook in London. He's been with us on every album, EP, single we've done. And we love love love working with that guy! Knows when the tequila needs to be brought out. And put away!
We like to lay down the rhythm section and make sure that is really happening. Then the guitars and vocals and whatever else we dream up. So, no, not live, but kinda traditional in how we work it up, I guess. But, having said that, we try to keep things pretty open. Not too many overdubs weighing it down. A good idea is a good idea. No need to do it a hundred times!
3) It's seems there were a lot of guest musicians invited this time. Tell us more about the collaboration with all these guys and their personal involvement in this new record.
Every album we've made has some guests on it. I feel it gets us excited, and with people in the past like Sami Yaffa and Steve Conte for example, it really feels like we are sharing our music with people who've inspired us in the first place.
This album had Stacy Stray from Toronto's Robin Black and The Intergalactic Rock Stars play the solo on 'Reach Me'. That guy was someone who made my life a way better, fun place years ago when I lived in T. O. and, well, he's a hell of guitar player. I wanted a Alice Cooper vibe and I knew he would get it!
We got Kris Rodgers from the Scott Sorry Band to do keys after touring with them. Man, that tour was something else. We really made some close, close friends there! And, again, what a player! That's kinda the way it goes. A lot of the people who are guests on it are friends we love and who we've played with in one way or another. And if ya got something to share with the people you love, do it! I would mention Rich Jones in all that, but really, he's like a fifth member to us. He's been a real supportive person to me over the years and we always make room for our brutha!
4) What is exactly pictured on the front of "Dance Moves"? And while we are at it, what's with the title? You guys do not really play what is considered as "dance" music these days?
The front cover is just a pic I took backstage at The Borderline recently, and I liked what it said. There is Simon warming up... the Rickenbacker case open and ready to go... all in a little backstage area. Not much glamour, but here we are. Still. You can count on us to keep plugin' away!
The title is something that came up in a conversation joking with Jones on the phone. I said it, and right away... "THAT'S the title of the new album!" Loved how it sounded. It works in the way that this album is about someone who is on a binge weekend. A bender. Trying to forget some pain, some hardships, or maybe remember them, if ya know what I mean. A bit of an exorcism. But this way of dealing with things can't work forever. The person wants to take back a little control, but here we are in the middle of it. We all know how those binges go... HAPPY... saaaaad... nostalgic... paranoid... the regaining of strength and sense of self... and maybe the feeling you can finally move on. A lot of different dance moves.
5) What is your favorite topic to write about or the topic that comes easily when you write a
A lot of songs come from either personal experiences or what I see affect my loved ones. No favorites, but I don't really make stuff up out of the blue.
6) Are you the exclusive composer in the band or is everybody involved in one way or another?
I write, arrange and demo all the songs at home then send them to Simon who reworks the feel and dynamics. The other two then put their mark on it. Now, all you have to do is listen to a demo and the finished product to know just how absolutely important each one of those guys are to the sound of this band. What those guys do is petty incredible and I am always very impatient and excited to hear that take place!
7) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.
I was the youngest of six kids. Ten years younger than than the second last. So, you can imagine there were a lot of amazing records laying around the house. Stones, Beatles, New York Dolls, Nazareth, Kiss, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Led Zep, AC/DC, Sweet, Bowie, Cheap Trick, Motorhead, Damned, Blondie, Tom Petty... the list goes on and on. I was in absolute love with it all. I was a bit lonely as a kid. Kinda smiling away sadness a lot of the time. But man, down in my room or at the record player, well, I felt so happy. Like I was ok. Unafraid and looking to a bright future.
Three bands that still have an influence from those days? Tom Petty, Cheap Trick, and a band that I discovered without the help of that pile of records, The Replacements. All three seemed to be able to do what they wanted, try new things, and yet retain their individuality. They were opening up their hearts and, whatever was showing, standin' tall! That feeling of, "I never said I would "make it" I just said I'd never quit." Their music and attitude still sticks with me. Feels like good friends.
8) Do you have a video on youtube featuring a track from the latest release?
We have a youtube picture thing for "I Want More" but no new video as of yet. We have been concentrating on these albums so much! Time to do one I suppose!
9) I hope you will not be offended but -at times- your voice and the way you sing make me think about Tom Petty. How did you react to the news of his death? Or was he absolute no hero of yours?
Oh! I was, and am, quite heartbroken about it. His music has been with me, playing a soundtrack for every part of my life it seems. The feeling that his consciousness, that guy, is no longer walkin' around ready to write or sing another song, is incredibly sad. I will take that comparison as a compliment. Thank you.
10) What can concert goers expect at a gig of The Role models? Are you playing any famous cover songs?
They can expect us to be playing and singin' our hearts out. The live show can be quite a bit more severe than what's on the album. They can expect a damn good time as well because we'll be having one. They can expect Friday night no matter what night it is!
We used to do some Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers, some Plimsouls... but right now, for instance, on the Michael Monroe Tour, we have a slightly shorter set so we wanna explode out of the gate with our stuff.
11) What are the plans for the rest of 2017 as far as The Role models are concerned? Are you guys planning to tour Europe soon to promote this new record?
We have the Michael Monroe tour, some other shows that are being booked as we speak and we are getting ready to record our fourth full length album, "Like We'll Never Make It" Europe will be on the cards for the next record.
12) Anything you would like to say to the viewers of this blog?
To you and the readers...Thank you! It is blogs, magazines and online communities like this that keep rock n roll alive. In a true sense. Written about, written by, and read by true believers! We as a band are very grateful to be included! Hope to see some of you out there!
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