Interview: Jeff Rosenstock Groezrock 2017Written by David Marote
Jeff Rosenstock must be one of the busiest working men in punk rock. When not destroying stages as Death Rosenstock, Jeff is probably in the studio producing his friends records. So when Jeff finally found his ticket to Groezrock we at RMP decided to invite him and exchange some thoughts on his first Groezrock perfomance.
First time playing Groezrock and it happens to be the start of your Euro tour today. Siked?
Yeah, really excited. I wanted to play Groezrock for a long time. I'm glad that we finally snuck our way in here. I'm really excited to play, to go on tour. We've been in Europe for like two or three days just kind of getting over jetlag, hanging out, getting to seeing our buddies all play yesterday. Siked to be finally get to it and shred.
And you just released a new song this week, Dramamine, what's the story behind it?
Dramamine, i might even have it on my right now. It's like a motion sickness pill that you take when you fly. Also it knocks you the fuck out and helps you sleep. I wrote that song during our world tour last year. When we were flying from America to Australia, and then to Europe and then back to America and flying to California to record. I don't know, i don't feel that i usually write songs like that. Whatever song i write i want to try and follow it through and make it a song. We are about to get on a ferry from Leeds to Ireland and i was kind of thinking about how fucking sick it was goint to be to have a glass of wine, smoke some weed, drop a Dramamine, sleep for a few hours.
Your latest album Worry, where the tour is revolving around, was released end of last year.
How was it welcomed by fans and listeners?
Really good, i don't know. I made a bunch of records at this point. I kind of really never know if some one is going to like it or not. You go in and try to make your best record at that moment and you hope that people like it. This one really seem to hit people. Once Trump got elected it resonated with people in a different way. For some reason a whole lot of other punk bands were not talking about his shit. Like police brutality, gentrification, this kind of targeted advertising view, like life that we basically live in. Something is being marketed to you. You kind of lose control of your own thought. Which if feel is a big thing to the kind of situation we are in the States right now. Not a lot of people were talking about it.
Jeff, you're known for being a busy man. Next to your own release you also helped produce a ton of bands. The new The Smith Street Bands' releases, More Scared of You Than Your are of Me, was produced by you. A careerpath you feel like broadening?
I feel like i'm in it right now. It's cool, last year especially, when i was not on tour i was producing a record. It was wild. I like doing it. I hope i get to do it more.
If it's up to me i like doing live in a room, like the Smith Street Band, records that's the four them in a room. There are all playing live in a room to tape. I like to do it analog but i also record in my appartment. I don't have a tape recorder in my appartment. Just play with energy. Live always has that energy, i don't autotune shit, i don't pitch correct shit. I don't go through that constant gridding
of anything. I feel like i'm often trying to convince people that i'm with, no, your band is good, you don't need that shit. Don't do that just because other bands are doing that. Let's keep your voice, your voice. It would be stupid to take that away. That live energy that makes it special.
With Worry, you released a 20 min docu on youtube where we get in inside look into the recording of the new album. Quit the movie it turned out to be. Scary dreams and people getting run over by cars. Was that the plan to shoot?
My friend who made that movie, his name is JD Brown. We've been friends for a really long time, he's an actor in horror movies, and he's a writer. I saw the documentary that Modern Baseball did before their record came out. I just thought it was really cool. They got the movie announcer voice to narrate it. I was smoking weed one night and was talking to Side One and was like what if our movie was like a horror movie. It wasn't scripted. We would shoot stuff during after hours and we did a lot of voice overs afterwards. A lot of people who saw it on Youtube and commented just saw half of it, so sick to see you guys in the studio...
You're quite political, or at least not afraid to voice your choice. Given the fact that last year Donald Trump came to power, what would you like to share about the current state of the world?
Personally, i'm not very big on talking about it on social media. I think it's really important to talk to people. I think the voice and platform that Twitter and Facebook is giving everybody is good but also is reducing our actual human communication. Like every one on the left thinks that every one who voted for Trump is a racist and every body on the right thinks that every one who voted for Hillary is like a socialist. We probably all agree on a lot of stuff. But we don't talk any more. Because of that we have like this totalitarian facscist fucking asshole in charge. I think the people who voted for Trump didn't see that coming. Whatever. I'm waiting for us to kind of unite and do something to make it better. I think it's important to talk to people. Especially when i fell like kind of ass backwards into this platform that i have. To like talk about it occasionally. About how sexual assault happens at show all the fucking times. Women go to shows and get groped. We are conditioned to think that shit is ok.
I'm glad that a lot of people on our side are talking about it, we have to take action and get together and agree on this shit that we find real and that we have to fix.
And to end the interview, what's in store for Jeff Rosenstock for the nearby future?
Got an Antartico Vespuggi record coming out, i think in 2018. Some more touring, i'm writing music for a cartoon that is going to be on Cartoon Network. Hopefully at some point i'll just be able to smoke weed and chill out. Watch some basketball, play some synthesizers, some guitar and chill ou