Jeff Rosenstock Groezrock 2017

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

Jeff Rosenstock

Jeff Rosenstock is ready to bomb the music industry again with some new awesome music and sounds on “We Cool?”, his first release on Side One Dummy records, that even managed to crash their website when the pre-order went up. Time for us at RMP to have a chat through the technology of Skype with Jeff in his NY hometown of Long Island about the new record and all the amazing stuff surrounding this release, from bathrobes and bubble baths to working with AJJ and TSSB. Time to find out if we cool with Jeff?


  1. Jeff, congratulations on your new solo album, “We Cool?”. When the pre-order went up recently, it crashed the website instantly. How does that feel?

Honestly, I was just kind of worrying, because I wanted people to be able to get the record. At first I was ‘ah cool, that means people are interested’  and then like twenty seconds later the part of me that worries too much was like ‘oh shit, now people can't buy it anywhere. That sucks!’ It was nice and it's now available on a website that can't crash. Everything is back up and running now.


  1. You have some unusual merch on sale for this release, from a Jeff Rosenstock bathrobe to a teddy bear. Are you starting an imperium or what's the story behind the robe?

Well, at first I think Side One Dummy went to have some pre-orders stuff and I think like the first idea I was coming up with was like what would you want when you're having a sad night alone in your house like drinking. Stuff we were thinking about were like bubble baths, we were trying to figure out about having bottle of wines and then Christina at Side One came up with the bathrobe, she said ‘Rosenrobe’ and I wrote back ‘Robenstock’. And then it went real.


  1. Sean Bonette of Andrew Jackson Jihad drew up the shirt for “We Cool?”, epic as always of course. Was Sean or other friends involved on “We Cool?”?

Sean didn't play on the record but he came along on tour for a day or two with my other band Antarctigo Vespucci; just to hang out because we are buddies. He's just drawing in the van in this little notebook and all of us were like ‘holy shit dude, you're good at this’. I can't process how Sean is so good at so many things. So we asked him to do a shirt design for us. He sent me a bunch of stuff and that ended up being the one. As for other people on the record, there's a bunch of people on the record. Mike from Hard Girls and Shinobu played guitar on it, alongside me, John from Bomb The Music Industry played bass on it and Kevin from Bruce Lee band played drums. It's a solo record, but all four of us made the music. Then there's a bunch of other buddies who were cool and sent some other music in. Laura Stevenson sang some backing vocals with me on the record. Bob from Shinobu played trombone on it. I did a thing on Twitter and Tumbler to find a clarinet player and a cellist; we had two strangers, who are no longer strangers now to play cello and clarinet on the record. I know it was Scott that played clarinet and Sarah that played cello. We had a bunch of people doing all kind of things on the record.


  1. Since you’re tired of discussing the future, let's talk about now, how has the response been to your recently released video for the album track “Nausea”?

It's looking good, it's cool and everybody told me it's going good. People who have seen it and gotten in touch with me say they really like it. So I'm pretty stoked about it. I haven't got numbers but they're telling me it's good. My dad saw it and asked ‘what is your target audience, suicidal people?’ Even got my dad bummed out, so it's good. It's a weird ass video.



  1. “We Cool?” is the full album that's out in march, but you recently also released a track of it, “Hey Allison” on 7” through Side One Dummy records. It was your first release with them. How was it?

Really great, they are all really nice. It's a different experience to work with a label that has like an office. They have a whole thing going on there. When I mostly do things myself or with Mike who still runs Asian Man records out of like a garage or a basement. It's different to do stuff like that, but they are all really cool and it's nice to have new people having to help me out.


  1. Would you like to elaborate on the new song “All Blissed Out” because it has quite a different sound I can't totally place? Can you help me out?

This record especially is like faster and louder than anything I have done in the past few years. So this kind of stands out as one of slow-building, quiet ones. It came through a thing I was playing on my keyboard at my house where I sampled a harmonica, played it through and reversed it and just screwing around with it. And then one day I came up with the main melody and that other stuff that is in there. I was stoked to have a song on the record that was like superquiet and that got super, superloud. That’s extremely dynamic.


  1. You produce a lot of bands too, for instance the recent release of The Smith Street Band was done by you. How was working with the Smithies?

They're the best, they're my favourite. We were good friends before the record and we are good friends now. It was really fun. I'm super thankful for them, I hadn't done much of that stuff for other people on a large scale before they brought me up there to do that. I got to stay in Australia in the woods for about a month. That was fucking cool. They’re just a great band and it seems they keep getting bigger. So fuck yeah.


  1. You’re starting an American tour next with Andrew Jackson Jihad, The Smith Street Band and Chumped. How did this line-up come forth and how excited are you?

I'm really excited. Firstly, it's like the first tour I'm doing since like 2012, if you don't count going to Australia. It's been a really long time. It's really good to get back into it with three bands that are like really close friends. Andrew Jackson Jihad, we've been friends for like ten years now, we're just superhuge buddies. Chumped lives in Brooklyn and The Smith Street Band obviously, I'm pretty close with them after and even before the record. It's going to be a real fun time. I'm hoping to get to Europe somewhere by the end of the year. I'm psyched to come to Europe.


  1. With Quote Unquote Records you have your own unique record label, a donation-based label. You give what you want for the music. Any plans in that department?

I just put out Sean from Andrew Jackson Jihad, he made a solo EP of cover songs, songs that you have seen in skateboarding videos. All the money is getting donated to the Skate After School program, to get kids into skateboarding. That is the last thing O did. Quote Unquote is a really funny thing, you know Bandcamp just pretty much made that this thing can do anything, I think it's great. It's a slow-moving donation thing, like if a friend of mine has something they need a home for. I haven't been like seeking things actively for a while now, letting it do its thing.


  1. So if you have any time left after all those activities, touring, recording, producing, you even submit songs for movies. Any successes lately?

It's been fine. I get things through my publishing place, they are like ‘write a song that sounds like this’, or ‘write a party punk song’. I never hear anything back, I guess there not good enough. It's a fun thing to do. I scored a documentary some time ago. That was cool, I'm just stoked I get to do all those things. It gives me a different perspective on all those things.


  1. Any last words?

If we make it over to Europe, we don't speak English well and we don't understand any other language so don't yell at us because we don't understand what you're saying. Please come say hello to us, teach us funny things to say. Like when I was in Brazil the only thing I learned to say was like the only thing all old Brazilians say which was basically like saying 'that's a nice meatball'. If somebody could teach me something like that in every country we go to. And that's all I know what to say I think it will be fine.


– David Marote