Hailing from Los Angeles, retro-pop band Rooney has been rocking the scene with layered harmonies and youthful sensibility, as featured on their recently released, self-titled debut album.
Formed in 1999 while still in high school, the quintet, which is named after the principal, Ed Rooney, in the cult classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, includes frontman Robert Carmine (brother of Phantom Planet’s drummer Jason Schwartzman), guitarist Taylor Locke, bassist Matthew Winter, keyboardist Louis Stephens and drummer Ned Brower. Combining stud appeal and talent, Rooney sold out the Roxy in West Hollywood without having released a record and is now on a nationwide tour. The group is also part of the featured lineup on Lollapalooza, the traveling circus of mainstream rock giants.
While Rooney maintains that the only two bands who’ve supplied significant creative influence are Nirvana and Weezer, their sound is reminiscent of The Beatles.
“Some of the greatest pop songs were written by people in their early 20s,” said Carmine recently. “All those Beatles songs -- they were young guys when they wrote those love songs. Our lyrics are similar to what people experience, no matter what their age. And that’s the kind of music we like.”
Coincidentally, it was Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo who gave Rooney their big break early last August by inviting them to tour as Weezer’s opening act on the Enlightenment Tour.
“We are a band with a strong sense of direction and intent. We’re not a jam band,” says Brower. “Each part has a purpose within the context of the song.”