Rooney Hearts Urbana

Touring is a routine that the California fivesome Rooney has become quite accustomed to in recent months, and the approaching summer seems like it won’t let up for the hard-working band. However, lead singer Robert Schwartzman was still able to take some time out to talk to buzz about their world travels and upcoming stop in Urbana and to give an insider’s view of the band’s music philosophy.
Eight months is all the time that the band could take from being away from the happening city of Urbana as they return for their second appearance this school year at the Canopy Club May 3. When asked what the appeal is, Schwartzman said, “I don’t know what it is, there’s just something in the air there.” (I guess he’s not referring to the stench of manure.) The show starts off a monthlong tour for the band in the U.S. before they head back to Europe. This is only weeks after the group recently returned to their homes after another long trip to the land of the euro, which they feel was a real success for their exposure.
“It’s definitely fun for us, being a California rock band, to go overseas because it’s all new to us,” stated Schwartzman. He mentioned that the tour for their first self-titled album focused only on the U.S. audience. “It’s crazy to go to these new places, and the people know your music,” he said.
In the past, the rockers have coheadlined tours with many other large acts such as The Polyphonic Spree. Rooney’s current tour, however, is all their own in an attempt to please their die-hard fans. “We feel like we don’t really have one typical kind of fan,” said Schwartzman. “Boys, girls, older people, young people — which is why our music just kind of works with many other types.”
The tour is still in promotion of their latest album, titled Calling the World, which came out about a year ago. It is the product of almost four years of songwriting, in which the band produced about 150 tunes as potential album candidates. “I actually want to put another record out this year,” said Schwartzman, hinting that this may possibly be a compilation of some other tracks written over the past four years that were not included in the album. “They sound really different, which is kind of funny ­— some of them are really stripped down, garage-rock, live-sounding, and some are super produced.”
When asked if that meant that they are going for a different sound in the future, Schwartzman responded by stressing that they are simply trying to “improve as musicians,” moving forward but without going too fast for their fan base.
“People tend to say that we sound ‘just as good live as we do on our record, and that’s so rare today,’ and to us, that’s weird because back in the day, that is what you would do if you were a good band,” Schwartzman said. The band only aims for the sound of good, old-fashioned rock, utilizing the nostalgic feel of ’60s rock bands mixed with more modern, catchy melodies to create tunes that make it hard not to tap your foot to.

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