Today’s Feature – May 11-12: Sikamor Rooney

May 13, 2008 at 12:32 am (Today's Feature)

Brad York, Tony Chick and Jeff Plate, the modern rock n’ roll heroes of Sikamor Rooney realize it’s more than just talent and tours that make a rock band awesome – you gotta live the life – breath it, love it and of course, drink it. And Sikamor Rooney certainly is drinking it in – even their manager Buck knows how to party the right way. Well, sort of the right way. On the last tour through Birmingham, Alabama and Virginia Beach, they “were basically on a bender the whole time! Having hotel parties, just complete blowouts, throwing shit off balconies.”

Tony recalls however that what they did wasn’t completely “professional”… however makes for excellent material for some of the stories you NEED to be able tell (as artists of course). Plus, it’s who they are, “The best thing about our live shows is how honest we are with what we are trying to do. We don’t have a shtick or sideshow or gimmick. You just come to see us play live music. We are all there to party and play music. When you come to a Sikamor Rooney show you forget about everything and just have fun.”

While some of their antics aren’t “professional,” they’re pros when it comes to the party on stage; Brad once tumbled ass first during a performance, all while continuing to play and not spilling one ounce of beer. Not bad. The new record is a reflection of the “more professional” Sikamor Rooney, including a new variety of sounds, new instruments, female back-up singers, the whole bit. The collection was recorded at The Dude Ranch Studios in Jersey by Ian Larkin, who has also worked with PEV alum, The Gay Blades.

As you might expect, Sikamor live is intense. Don’t come if you plan on sitting on your hands all night – come to get drunk, move around and see three of everything. The next tour is starting in Chicago most likely, and will make its way down the east coast, so look out for the next stop. And if you can drink more Jager than Tony, you’ll get yourself some free t-shirts. Good luck. Get into the XXQ’s to learn more.

A lot our interviews are done over the phone or in person. Either way, we usually cut out the small talk in the beginning or end and focus on just the interview. For this one however, I had to keep everything in. It was a conference call with the band and their manager, all of which have an incredibly humorous way of interacting with each other, even when they are all in different areas for the same call. I think it helps you get a better feel for the real side of the band.

XXQs: Sikamor Rooney – Brad York: Guitar, Anthony (Tony) Chick: Bass and Jef Plate: Drums

PensEyeView.com (Richie): Hey Anthony.

Anthony: Hey buddy, what’s going on?

Richie: Where’d I catch you?

Anthony: Driving on 95 south now, in North Carolina. Heading down to Savannah, Georgia with my girlfriend.

(Brad comes in on the call)

Brad: Hey guys.

Richie: What’s up Brad. Are you with Anthony right now?

Brad: No, I’m in New York right now.

Richie: I was checking out the MySpace page on your videos and I was checking out the living room video…

Brad: Yeah, that was where we recorded our album.

Richie: Tell us about the album. What can we expect?

(Buck, the guy’s manager comes in on the line)

Buck: Hey guys.

Brad and Anthony: What’s up Bucky!

Richie: Hey Buck, how’s everything?

Buck: I’m hung over (laughs).

(Everyone laughs)

Buck: Where’s Jeff?

Anthony: I think he’s out getting burgers or something… Richie, what kind of time do we have for the interview?

Richie: Um, it depends, we’ll see. Maybe like 15 to twenty or so?

Anthony: All good man. I got ppppppppppppplenty of time.

Richie: Hey guys, do me a favor, when you answer, say your name.

Brad: Ok… I mean, Brad says ok.

(Everyone laughs)

Anthony: Can I be “Team Bravo”?

Richie: Oh, man…

Anthony: No, no, no I’ll be Anthony.

Richie: Man, this is going to be impossible to transcribe. I really appreciate it guys. So tell me about the latest record, “New York City Gunner.”

Brad: This is Brad. Well, actually that is one that I did before, without Anthony. I did two albums before, that and “Love Hates.” I was in a band before that broke up and then I met Tony, and started the new record that will be out in June.

Richie: Tell us about this record.

Brad: Well, it’s a lot different from the other ones, a lot more professional. A lot more instruments; keyboards, girl back up singers.

Anthony: It seems to more of a focus project, more than “New York City Gunner” and “Love Hates.” Everyone is more in on it, rather than it being a side project; each song is all relevant with one another. The whole thing is a ride.

Richie: What can fans expect from a live concert?

Anthony: (Laughs)… Anything can happen out there man. I don’t know how to answer that.

Brad: This is Brad, it depends on the night… We party a lot. Pretty live on stage and running around.

Anthony: The best thing about our live shows is how honest we are with what we are trying to do. We don’t have a shtick or sideshow or gimmick. You just come to see us play live music. We are all there to party and play music. When you come to a Sikamor Rooney show you forget about everything and just have fun.

Richie: Any embarrassing performances?

Anthony: Yeah! (Laughs)… I do a lot of embarrassing things…

Buck: Richie, you need to read the CMJ review and then you can use your imagination. Brad fell clear on his ass with his guitar and beer in his hand and managed not to spill a thing.

Brad: We’re not trying to be anything or act a certain way and be just total real about it.

(Jeff comes on the line)

Anthony: Hi Jefffffffffffffffrey!

Richie: What’s up Jeff?

Jeff: Hey man, how’s it going, sorry I’m late.

Richie: Not a problem.

Anthony: Jeff, when you talk you have say, “Jeff…” then you talk.

Jeff: Got it.

Anthony: Tony! We are real proud of live shows; we are who we are on stage and off. I’m an idiot everywhere.

Richie: Hailing from New York, where’s the best place to catch great music?

Anthony: Well, the Bowery Ballroom. Terminal Five. The Annex.

Richie: What can we find you doing in your spare time when you are not performing or touring?

(Oddly, they all start to laugh at the same time… )

Anthony: I drink A LOT! I drink in my spare time… and we write.

Brad: We like to party a lot in our spare time… and a little too hard.

Jeff: I don’t have any spare time (laughs).

Richie: It seems like you guys would have a lot of fun on the road, what’s road life like for you?

Brad: (Laughs) The last tour we did, going down to Birmingham, Alabama and Virginia Beach, we were basically on a bender the whole time! Having hotel parties, just complete blowouts, throwing shit off balconies.

Anthony: (Everyone is laughing in the background) Rich, that wasn’t a good tour. What we did was unprofessional… we hit it too hard, too early.

Richie: How did you make up for the rest of the tour?

Anthony: Man, every day it hurt. We’d drive, no matter how short, is seemed like forever.

Buck: But on this next one, things are going to be different.

(Everyone laughs)

Brad: Yeah, things have to change, with the partying and all that.

Richie: What is the next tour looking like?

Anthony: Buck, you got this baby.

Buck: Three, maybe four weeks straight, just trying to get a show every night. It’s going to start in Chicago most likely, then go over to Boston and down to Florida… Maybe to New Orleans. The plan is to play a show every night in the biggest markets.

Richie: Since you get to travel so much, what has been your favorite city to play?

Jeff: I would say Virginia Beach is probably the best place outside of New York. Of course, like Asbury Park is good too, since that area is like our home base but Virginia Beach, we got a really good response from, it was super nice… It was also my birthday there too.

Richie: How have your friends and family reacted to your musical career?

Brad: Um, our friends, we have really good friends; The Parlor Mob and Nicole Atkins. They’re real supportive and try to get us on whenever they can. Our families are really supportive and love our music. They give us money… Tony’s dad really helps us out. And it’s great… our music is really good for young people all the way up to older people as well.

Jeff: My family is definitely into this one more than the other ones. I mean the parties and stuff is lost on them but the music calls back to them.

Anthony: All our friends and family Ð we all have the same friends and family and we consider ourselves family as well. So, they are all real supportive of what we do. A lot of positive energy.

Richie: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of the band?

Brad: (very softly) Yikes…

Anthony: Rich, um, what you would be surprised to hear about or what my band-mates would be surprised to hear about?

(Everyone laughs)

Richie: If it’s a revelation, it’s even better. I’ll let you decide.

Anthony: Um, my band knows me. I’m an open book, inside and out. I don’t think there is anything I can expose right now that they wouldn’t be surprise my band at all.

Richie: Well, what would fans be surprised to hear?

Jeff: They’d probably be surprised to hear we can read!

(Everyone laughs)

Brad: Let’s just leave it at that.

Anthony: Hey, we can read, man!

Richie: So, where do you think the band will be in ten years?

Brad: Either in jail or…

(Everyone laughs)

Anthony: Rich, this is Anthony, listen man, let me just worry about tomorrow ok?

(Everyone laughs)

Jeff: I think realistically I see us doing the Austin City Limits circuit and stuff like that. Like adult audience stuff, rather than, I mean I don’t see us on MTV any time soon. Just go under the radar and play the 500-600 seating clubs. But nothing too huge, you know? Whatever happens, happens.

Anthony: I agree. I feel like we’re not going to be the big commercial success ever or have any desire to do that either.

Richie: So, what’s next for the band?

Buck: I mean, it is pretty much to finish this album up and personally, I want to keep you guys on the road as much as possible. I’m just going to focus on licensing. There are good songs that I think can be all over television and radio. I can see commercials, all kinds of stuff. That’s my personal goal.

Anthony: Well, that makes what I said sound completely stupid!

(Everyone cracks up!)

Anthony: Buck, I mean we don’t spend enough time together, you couldn’t tell me that? (Everyone laughs) Making me sound like an idiot in front of Rich!

Jeff: Well, I think there is a difference in “commercial” success and “success in commercials,” so it was that stupid.

Anthony: Thanks, Jeff!

Richie: Well, before we go, is there anything you want to leave me with?

Anthony: Ummmm, It smells really bad in North Carolina right now (everyone laughs). It’s like bad cheese or something-

Buck: Anything intelligent?

Jeff: When this album hits it is definitely going to open a lot of eyes to what we’ve been working on. We got a shit load of show this summer, so everyone should come out and party with us.

Anthony: Free T-Shirts for anyone that can drink more Jager than I can!

Richie: I’ll put that challenge out. Thanks guys!

All: Thanks man.

For more information on Sikamor Rooney, check out www.myspace.com/sikamorrooney

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