Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Favorite Band

One day back in 2002/2003 I was cleaning my room and had Vh1 on for some background noise.  Through my speakers came the most wicked crazy spectacluar sound I'd ever heard.  I turned around and sat down on my bed to watch what would become my favorite band... Rooney.  Their style was something so familiar yet so fresh and new to me.  It was like they knew exactly what I had been looking for in music.  They were able to give my ears something that had been missing.  "Blueside" changed my view on modern day rock bands. 

All through high school Rooney remained "my" band.  I got so many other people listening to them and hooked on their signature California sound.  Not once did I get to see them live in high school due to A- being young or B- lack of them touring close enough to my area.  Ironically enough in the summer of 2006 after I graduated they toured with my favorite singer of all time, Kelly Clarkson.  The tour was seriously MEANT for me.  What were the chances of Kelly picking my favorite band to tour with her?  So weird.  Anyways, I got to meet the guys after the show and was really impressed with how sweet they were.  Very normal and down to earth.  It was clear that after seeing them perform so well live that I needed to see them again and again to get my fill. 

I've kept myself somewhat involved in Rooney's "online" community over the years.  I like to keep updated on what's going on.  I saw them again live in 2008 in Detroit and then later that summer in Jackson.  Around came last December and I traveled to Chicago and then to Detroit the following day.  Drove back home in an honest to God BLIZZARD and almost died.  Legit.  Still I can't seem to get enough and I absolutely adore listening to them. 

The band just released their 3rd album back in June called "Eureka."  While all of the albums bring something a little bit different to the table I find myself in love with this one the most.  I feel like the guys got to do what they really wanted to with this album.  It's something that they can be proud of 100%.  Rooney is constantly touring and working on spreading their music.

Even after 3 albums, loads of touring, a number one single in Germany, and a loyal following, the band still hasn't hit it big.

My husband said to me the other day, "Why isn't Rooney on the radio?  Why aren't they huge?  They are such a great band!"  Of course I totally agree with him and I do think that there is a rhyme or reason as to why Rooney isn't more mainstream. 

To me Rooney's sound isn't like anything else.  While this is easily my favorite thing about them, it's not what Top 40 radio stations look for.  Lately it seems that the more a band sounds like another band the more popular they are. It's sad really but that's the way it is right now.

I also have to think about what FANS want.  As a fan of not just Rooney but of other musical acts, I think I have a good idea of what different types of fans look for.  Some fans want to meet their favorite band while still keeping the slight illusion that they are "untouchable."  Others already know how completely normal they are and admire their musicianship.  Having a good assortment of merchandise on hand at shows is always a must.  Obviously, this can all be done with sufficient touring.  Luckily, this is something that Rooney is great with.

Keeping up with an online community is a great way for a band to stay in touch with their fans and really listen to what they are saying.  Fans like to be heard.  It's as simple as that.  I think Rooney really needs to work on this aspect.  Maybe a little more activity here would help them reconnect.  In my opinion, all of the guys needs to do this.  Not just one or two of them. If the guys would post more on their forum, make more YouTube videos, be active on MySpace and Facebook, then I could see fans really getting involved.

I'm starting to think that the bottom line is simply giving a shit.  Are the guys in the band for their own personal purposes and not for fans at all?  Are they really working on gaining a larger fan base so they can expand?  It absolutely does not matter to me because I'm going to love and support them 100% no matter what.  I don't care if they are soley in the band for the sake of meeting women or to see the country.  I just want to hear their music and feel connected in some way. 

Maybe Rooney doesn't want to become a huge rock band.  That's always a possibility and is totally fine by me since I prefer small venues.  Haha.  But seriously, if they are content with the success that they have achieved then kudos to them.  They accomplished all that they were looking for.  If they are happy at the end of the day then that is what matters. 


  1. i agree with u 100%! my mom was asking the same thing u're husband asked u.... even though she doesn't know much about rooney i was listening to i can't get enough and she told me "this song is so good and catchy... i don't understand why it is not playing everywhere all the time..." and i hear comments like that all the time...i also agree with the fan interaction part.... i have met them too and i was so impressed! they are so nice! and down to earth... but i don't hear much of the whole band, and samee... only like two members actually have interacted with me online... and it just makes everything more fun.. we fans usually want to make the band feel appreciated and when they answer you on twitter or even aknowledge your existence lol... it makes us think they appreciate the support

  2. But what about their right to exist as private human beings and not entertainers 100% of the time? They've been away since June, more or less living on a bus to bring what they love and what YOU love to as many people as they can, and on top of it they're planning more so that they'll basically be on the road until the holidays, and you're asking why they can't be talking to you guys online all the time? If they were to even TRY to be active in all these venues with any consistency, that would mean saying goodbye to any free, personal time they actually had to breathe. I think what irritated me most about this is the fact that you say "for the sake of meeting women or seeing the country," what about ..... I don't know, the sake of making music and the ability to play it for all kinds of people?

    Some people aren't as outgoing as others. Some people prefer to have a little more space than others. One of those band members has a kid now, and some people just aren't as comfortable spending all their time interacting with strangers. Apparently giving a shit looks different to some people than it does to others - if they simply didn't give a shit, chances are they wouldn't be spending the valuable time they DO have talking to people after shows who are 100% supportive, yet seemingly not so satisfied with what they do have.

    To be completely honest with you, I'm not writing this to be difficult. I don't know you, and chances are I'll never see/comment this blog again. It just seems kind of ridiculous from the vantage point of someone who loves this band just as much and wants to see them succeed, rather than burn themselves out, that anyone would put forth conscious effort to make them feel like they aren't doing ENOUGH. That they don't "WANT" to be big. If they didn't appreciate the support, they wouldn't be doing as much as they do for people. There is something to be said for being grateful for what you HAVE and letting that be that.

  3. I totally get where you are coming from. Maybe you didn't get the message I was trying to convey. I probably didn't do a very good job of explaining my point for you to get it.

    They are absolutely doing more than enough to please me. I have been totally content with how they handle ME as a fan personally. They make music and tour... that's all I ask.

    I simply meant that there are other fans out there who are definitely a bit more demanding. I'd have to say especially those in the younger age bracket. If you notice I never asked that they talk to "me" online or even recognize my existance. My point is that communication with most fans is pretty key. I'm a huge fan of so many artists that don't even know I am on this planet but that doesn't make me appreciate them and their craft any less.

    It's impossible to please everyone.

    I'm just curious as to what the "goal" of the band is. And if they are aiming to one day play for bigger audiences and get significant radio airplay. Some bands don't care about that stuff as long as they can record music and play it for their fans.

    The guys have all obviously grown and become more family oriented since the start of the band. It's important that THAT be their focus.

  4. I forgot to touch on the comment you made about my statement...

    "I don't care if they are soley in the band for the sake of meeting women or to see the country. I just want to hear their music and feel connected in some way."

    Note that I said I don't care. Meaning... whatever reason they are on the road for is their own business. I just appreciate them being out so I can hear them. There was definitely sarcasm in what I meant but it must have not come across that way.

  5. (See, Graham was right...there needs to be a "sarcasm" font.)

    Anyway....I used to be a pretty big Rooney fan. Frequented the message board. I met quite a few awesome people (including the man I ended up marrying) because of Rooney and their message board.

    The song "If it were up to me" was what drew me in back in June or July 2002. I listened to all Rooney songs I could get my hands on back in the day. I enjoyed their first album. And their second album was decent. But I think I actually preferred the Kids After Sunset demos and their pre-self titled album songs.

    I've only heard a couple new songs and sadly, they just didn't do anything for me.

    I skipped my first Rooney in Omaha show this summer. I thought maybe I'd regret it, but I didn't. I supposed I just didn't want to go since I'm not into their new stuff.

    And I know it's horrible of me, but it just isn't the same experience without Matt. To me, he was the nicest and most down to earth of all of them (well, unless you also count Matt Star from the original line-up...he's awesome!)

    I suppose I've just sort of moved on or something. I still listen to their older stuff once in a while. And I followed them on twitter briefly but they put up a few political comments so I stopped following after that. (I don't follow celebs to hear their political views...ugh.)

    I think that comment by "anonymous" a few comments up was pretty harsh. Makes me wonder who wrote it. (Was it a member of Rooney? Hmmmm....) Whoever it is needs to unwad their panties. Stacey wasn't demanding any more time from the band or anything. I think you need to re-read her blog entry.

  6. It's almost comical how possessive Rooney fans are of the band so I can understand a certain amount of aloofness. That being said, I think they've always done a pretty good job of engaging their fan base at shows though the whole autograph table at the last show I went to was pretty lame and stunk of their record label. It's a good way to see everybody but it's so sterile that any committed fan is going to feel slighted by the assembly line process.

    In the end they're not OkGo and probably don't have the time or the inclination to keep their fans interested during the long periods in between albums. They've always gotten by on their charm and will most likely continue to do so until it wears off and they have to play for empty houses. I hope they continue to adapt and grow but based upon their history I don't think that's going to be the case.

  7. I agree with you, Jill, about loving the KOS demos and the pre-self titled album material. That is what got me really hooked to Rooney so I think that sound is always something that I search for. On this new album there are a handful of songs that make me REALLY think I'm listening to old material. I also absolutely love Ned's song, "The Hunch." It's probably my favorite on the album actually.

    I briefly met Brandon on Saturday night. You can tell he's just naturally outgoing and nice. I'm excited to see him again tomorrow night. Watching him on stage is just mind blowing because there are times that you think it's Matt. They are both tall and have short dark hair. The difference is Brandon really gets into a song. He sort of dances and mouths the words to the songs. He just looks like he's enjoying himself a lot.

    I talked to Louie after the show and thanked him again for reading the blog. He was really supportive and said he agreed with what I said and it made him think about fan relations and the importance of it. If I even reached one person then thats one more than had heard me out before.

    Graham, I'm with ya on how the band works on charm. Robert seems to be really good in this area. Haha.

  8. Louie reads your blog? Interesting.

    I've never really spoken to Louie. Matt was really the only one I chatted with after every show. I talked to Robert a bit too. But mostly Matt.

  9. Well, he read it. At least for the sake of this blog entry specifically. Haha.

    I'm glad I got to chat with Matt in December before he left the band. I never said more than hi to him before that. He was nice! We talked about me being from Michigan and about how I got married when I was 19. Haha. Weird.

  10. Well said, I couldn't agree more! I saw them in Farmingdale on Long Island and I was convinced that I'd have to wait on a long line at the front door. Surprisingly, it was a short wait and there was barely anyone inside the venue. Met them after the show and they are just downright lovely people.
    I also believed Rooney to be 'my' band during high school and got my friends hooked on them. I'm pretty sure the way I would talk about their music to my friends had them thinking I was crazy. They really have their own sound, making them even more appealing to me.
    They are my favorite band and the fact that I got to meet and talk to them still blows my mind! Louie even commented on a picture I took with him on my about having a connection! They're doing really well with fan interaction and their 3rd album has made me really proud of them.

    I enjoyed reading this. It helped to confirm my own thoughts about the group. Thanks! =]