Friday, January 25, 2008

Return of The Roosevelt

On Saturday night, DC's The Roosevelt returns from a long hiatus to headline a show at Rock and Roll Hotel. Earlier this week, I caught up with bass player Scott Remley and he filled me in on their absence, their return and where they hope to be headed from here.

IA: Welcome back! You just had a long absence from the scene. What was the cause of that?

Scott: We had a weird one-two punch. First, Chris (our drummer) tore up his shoulder pretty bad while rock climbing late in 2006 and reinjured it this past spring. So he had to have rotator cuff surgery, and it basically knocked him out from June until the end of September. At which point, Jon somehow contracted mono and shut us down for the rest of 2007.

IA: During the down time, you started writing again. How has that been going and what changes are you noticing from your previous work?

Scott: Jon had a really great burst of new material a few months ago and we've been honing it all through the fall. It's been going very well and we've recorded about half of the album so far at Jon's house, which has been a really interesting and educational process for all of us. Plus, it has allowed us to play around with the arranging process: ripping material apart and reassembling it. The result is a sound that's darker and a little less traditional (especially on the keys and song structures) and that makes us pretty happy. We didn't abandon the character of EP and some of the alt-country sensibility, but we're becoming a little more minimalist and textured. It's more challenging, but the results are more rewarding too. Plus, I think more of our influences filter through – you can make those judgments for yourself.

IA: When can we expect the new release?

Scott: If we don't get it out sometime this year, we'll probably all cry a little. We've made good progress in the last six weeks and we can probably finish recording sometime this spring, we hope. As we get some demos together, you'll see them popping up on various DC music sites. Plus, we're posting some rough cuts on our website, myspace and facebook.

IA: Now that everyone is healthy and you are back to playing shows, what are your touring plans for this year?

Scott: We'll probably do a larger East Coast swing this summer – Boston, NYC, Philadelphia and Baltimore, and maybe something looking a little more south, too: Charlottesville, Richmond, Chapel Hill, possibly reaching as far south as Atlanta. The Midwest is also something that we're all drawn to: Minneapolis, Madison, Chicago, Cleveland. Right now, we don't have anything firm and a lot of it revolves around our decidedly non-rock star day jobs. That said, touring is not out of the question and it is something that we would like to do.

IA: You are headlining Rock and Roll Hotel on Saturday and it is your first show back. What can people expect?

Scott: From us, they can expect a lot of new material – stuff we've been working on and recording over the fall. One example is on our myspace page and it's called "No Name #3". It's a different sound for us... sort of. We're pretty excited about it.

IA: Thanks for taking the time to do this. Good luck on Saturday!

Scott: Thank you. We're pretty fired up about the bill – The Beanstalk Library , Gary B and the Notions and one of our favorites, Kitty Hawk, are all joining us. Alfonzo Velez (formerly of Monopoli) will be starting things off at 8:30 with a short solo set.

Codeine Cure



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