Forward-thinking and controversial trio R.O.C – Denver, USA Karen Sheridan (vocals, music), of Irish origin Fred Browning (vocals, music) and Londoner Patrick Nicholson (music) – reissue their seminal, groundbreaking self-titled debut album, on September 22nd via Metal Postcard records.
‘I Want You I Miss You I Need You’ and ‘Excised’, are the two incredible tracks from the album, originally released on 1996 on Setanta Records…‘R.O.C’ precedes the release of a brand new EP, due for release later this year.
First up…Welcome back guys!
Why do you think it’s the right time for a reissue (on Metal Postcard records) of your seminal and groundbreaking debut album?
It just happened. A confluence of events, and other people getting involved. We had a couple of new deals and projects going on and then Metal Postcard made this bold suggestion of getting their hands on the album and reissuing it. It’s nice to give something a second hearing and see how it sounds in a different time.Can you tell us 5 things we should know about the album ‘R.O.C’
1. there was a ‘secret track’ on the cd called ‘Old Man’ – at least the artwork said so. But that track never actually existed.
2. Pamela Blake speaks at the beginning of ‘Asencion’, She is a real-life doctor of Neurology in the US. She appears twice on the album – in the sense that the scene at start of ‘Excised’, with the priest talking and the people clapping, is her wedding. We often use real events, real phone messages etc in our songs.
3. ‘Plastic Jesus’ is a cover of a song sung by Paul Newman in the film ‘Cool Hand Luke’.
4. ‘Sylvia’s Thighs’ is about Sylvia Kristel who was the star of the ‘Emmanuelle’ films.
5. It didn’t get a fair crack of the whip first time round – it flashed across the press and got great reviews but by the time it came out we’d fallen out with our label and signed to Virgin who thought they could buy the rights and re-issue it. Having failed to achieve that, Virgin said ‘move on’ and we made the next album. What’s the best and worst thing about being superficially described as a mischievous band?
Patrick: You can enjoy the notoriety but then people actually assume it’s true without having ever met or worked with us. Or they think you’re not taking things seriously – it’s dangerous to have a sense of humour in the music business. But actually we didn’t go off and become tv presenters, we still make music.
Fred: The ‘mischievous band’ tag is because they know we’ve seen through the rock n roll myth and they don’t want us telling anybody else!
Tell us a bit about your early days and how they differ from now?
Patrick: We’re not striving to succeed in the music business as we once were .
Fred: We just do it when we want, no-one tells us what to do.
Karen: It’s cool, when there are perceptions about age in pop music, that we just do it when we want and fuck everyone else!
Is there anything you would do differently in your career?
Fred: ‘pop career’ I don’t think we ever had one
Karen: If I had to go back again think I’d learn to play the guitar properly!
Patrick: I wouldn’t have bounced so much from one label/manager/etc to the next. I think we expect too much of them
Karen: I think we should have believed in ourselves and out intuition more, from a business perspective, rather than managers and accountants etc.
Are you planning any live shows and what will they be like?
Fred: yes – a rock n roll circus, with clowns…onstage playing instruments!
Patrick: just the three of us
Karen: it’ll be honest, straightforward, paired down, us…
Fred: …doing what we’ve always done
What music are you listening to at the moment?
Fred: Busy Signal Energy Up Riddim, LCD Soundsystem’s last live album, Eels new album, Burzum, Miley Cyrus.
Patrick: Prefab Sprout’s Crimson/Red, Vampire Weekend, Thursday Afternoon by Brian Eno
What do you have planned next?
Fred: Lamb cutlets, fresh garden peas and a bottle of sparkling Mateus Rose
Karen: some new releases…
Fred: we just do what we do what we do. It’s nice if people get interested…
Karen: tripping the light fantastic
Fred: it’s just what we’ve done, for a long long time
Karen: looking forward not back – well we are looking back haha
Fred: looking backwards to go two steps forwards
By Fabrizio Belluschi ©FAMEMAGAZINE.co.uk