Friday, March 4, 2016

The return of Rooney

We haven't heard much from Robert Schwartzman's band Rooney the past six years (since the group's 2010 album Eureka), but this LA-based musician and frontman was busy. 

He released two solo albums, scored a critically acclaimed feature film, launched an iPhone app (22) for musicians, built a highly sought after live/work recording studio facility (Beachwood Park Recording), wrote/scored/directed/ produced a feature film...and made a new Rooney album.

On May 6, Schwartzman and Rooney's newest and long awaited album, Washed Away, which will be released across all digital retail partners and select physical retailers, via Beachwood Park Music. It is available for pre-order HERE.

The album's first single, "My Heart Beats 4 U," ("MHB4U") can be heard HERE.

"I like to put songs out that make people want to sing, dance, and that pulls something out of the listener...I hope 'MHB4U' evokes this kind of emotional response," Schwartzman offers about choosing the band's first single. "It's the first taste of what the album is about, but not all its about. This album has a lot of sides to it; the songs are diverse, but I've tried to keep the sound cohesive." 


The single is available at all digital retail and streaming partners.

"I wasn't happy not making Rooney records," Schwartzman explains of the hiatus. "Rooney is my baby and I really love it and I miss it, and came to a place where I felt creatively ready to make new Rooney music." As far as when to bring Rooney back, "making a new record isn't something you can time; I think you just have to start somewhere and go." It was out of this batch of material (collectively the Washed Away album) that woke the bear up, and beckoned Rooney to come out of hibernation.

Schwartzman wrote, produced, engineered, mixed and performed all of the songs on the album, and this DIY quality allows Washed Away to serve as a direct line between artist and fans. "I built a recording studio in LA over many years so I could have more creative freedom to make music. I believe in having as much as autonomy as I can, and that goes for how I bring this music to listeners."

"Washed Away is named after one of the songs on the album," says Schwartzman. "That title comes from the imagery of when waves crash on shore. I love watching the ocean, how the water moves and flows in its own way, always changing. It's beautiful to watch and listen to the cycle of waves. Every time a wave washes away, it leaves the sand clean and new. Sound is a wave; like the ocean, like music, waves flow in and wash us away."

What's more, Schwartzman has made it a priority to create the record independently-even between his other projects, like scoring the 2013 Gia Coppola film debut Palo Alto, writing theme songs for TV shows, like Marvel's Iron Man, co-writing with various other artists like Hall of Fame Songwriter Jeff Barry, and creating his own Los Angeles live-work recording studio, Beachwood Park Recording. He also spent several of the Rooney hiatus years in development for his first feature film debut, Dreamland, which will make its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival 2016.

Schwartzman has also been eager to get Rooney back on a live stage. The band performed as the house band at this year's Independent Free Spirit Awards, which aired live on IFC, the past weekend. Rooney will be at this year's SXSW Festival and kick off the new album release with a string of tour dates, to be announced soon.

Track listing:

1 - All the Beautiful People
2 - My Heart Beats 4 U
3 - Don't Be A Hero
4 - Why ft. Soko
5 - Washed Away
6 - Time Alone
7 - Do You Have To Go?
8 - Come On Baby
9 - Love Me Like There's No Tomorrow
10 - I Miss You When You're Gone
11 - You're All I Ever Need
12 - Sad But True

Catch up more with Rooney and Schwartzman via Converse Rubber Tracks'
Going Off Track podcast. Listen to it HERE.

Rooney's history dates back to 1999, when Schwartzman was still in high school. After meeting his bandmates through mutual friends and building a loyal West Coast following over the next few years, the group entered a major label bidding war and eventually signed with Geffen/Interscope Records.
The partnership led to a series of sales successes-for starters, their 2003 self-titled debut album sold more than 500,000 copies worldwide (even without the help of social media), and their releases thus far classify Rooney in the highly coveted Platinum selling artists category. The album's US singles proved to be radio worthy when songs like "Blueside," "I'm Shakin," and "When Did Your Heart Go Missing?" crossed over Alternative radio to Top 40 radio, earning the band high chart positions, as well as significant television exposure. 
Rooney spent a majority of the album cycle for Calling The World touring and promoting the music internationally, earning the band 3 top 10 radio hits, including a #1 song with "When Did Your Heart Go Missing?." The band performed on major festival around the world, such as Coachella, Lollapalooza, Summerfest, Rock em Ring, Rock im Park, and Summersonic to name a few, and multiple TV appearances such as Letterman, Leno, Kimmel, The Today Show, Conan, and The Critic's Choice Awards. The band's debut was regarded as one of Rolling Stone's 'Band's To Watch,' and VH1's "You Oughta Know" artists, where the music video for "When Did Your Heart Go Missing?" reached #1 most played.

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