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Interview:
Patience, Fans Let Rooney Bridge Album Gap
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

As a Christmas Eve baby, Rooney frontman Robert Schwartzman usually throws a combined birthday/holiday party every year. But last December, he chose not to — and it had nothing to do with turning 24.

Rather, Schwartzman was tired of talking about the album Rooney had just recorded — which he’d done each of the previous two years without anything being released.

“It was a bummer,” says Schwartzman, the son of actress Talia Shire and brother of actor/musician Jason Schwartzman who also had roles in “The Princess Diaries” and “The Virgin Suicides.”

“Every holiday, I would have my family and friends there, and we’d celebrate my record being finished. And the following year, it was like, ‘Oh yeah, I just finished my record again. Every year, I was telling the same story and filling everybody in with what was happening with Rooney. It was like a nightmare.

“So this last Christmas, I actually just canceled the party. We were in the middle of making ‘Calling the World,’ and I just did not want to explain why we were in the studio for a third time.”

“Calling the World,” Rooney’s follow-up to its self-titled 2003 debut, finally made it out in July after two previous attempts to make a new album that didn’t sit well with the band. Rooney wound up changing labels and management companies along the way.

It was a stressful time, of course, but Schwartzman says Rooney’s ability to go out and play live most likely kept the band together.

“Every time we canned an album, we went on tour,” he recalls, “so we did a lot of touring over the past three and a half years, which was the only way we could stay in control of our career.

“Our fans are very loving. They give us a lot. So when we toured, it showed us that we have something that was happening and there’s a demand for our band — and that we had to make great music to get back and put a record out that we believe in.”



Rooney performs with the Polyphonic Spree and the Redwalls Sunday (Oct. 14) at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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