Virtually every biography of Jeff Rosenstock refers to him as a Long Island punk icon. A lyric from his tune “Pash Rash” nods to this: “I have been doing this for 1/2 my years.”
For effectively over a decade, the 35-one year-primitive has dripped sweat at are residing reveals fronting ska and punk bands with names love the Arrogant Sons of Bitches and Bomb the Music Trade!, now not counting his a gigantic collection of side projects. Onstage, that you just would possibly possibly presumably presumably look for him in jean shorts, shouting in entrance of a 666-adorned rainbow flag sooner than scaling the amplifiers to blare out a saxophone solo. He’s produced more than a handful of records. He’s podcasted about the TV describe Lost with his fair right friend, fellow punk Chris Farren. In sure circles, he’s nothing short of a story.
As soon as I meet him at a neighborhood bar in Brooklyn one afternoon, even supposing, he’s simply a man in a hoodie. Draft kombucha in hand, Rosenstock is talking a pair of pair of upcoming reveals he’s home to play in toughen of his unusual album, POST-, spherical the corner on the cherished concert venue Warsaw. Smartly, searching to discuss about them, anyway.
“Including a 2d describe, our agent had to persuade me. I modified into love, I don’t know, man. Presumably we can receive to aloof simply sever encourage our losses and be stoked we sold it out,” he says about the 1,000-ability venue loved for its pierogies — the identical venue that hosted both his marriage ceremony and final Bomb the Music Trade! reveals. “He’s love, ‘No, man. It goes to be proper.’ I most continuously undersell myself, and my pals who I work with must try to persuade me, ‘No, things are going effectively, it be alright, buddy, it be OK.'”
Rosenstock has reason to celebrate this particular sellout. His hooky, explosive 2016 album, WORRY., hit with an ironic resonance after the fateful presidential election simply three weeks after its launch, main to cease-of-one year accolades and the greatest serious success of his occupation. It got esteem on tune publications’ most productive of 2016 roundups and even landed on the tip of USA These days‘s list. Pitchfork Competition therefore booked him, the put he saw fit to yelp onstage how great his band had been paid for the gig.
Rosenstock’s manic gospel — cathartic indie-punk injected with the gleeful abandon of basement hardcore — unfold huge love a pair of outstretched fingers. On New Year’s Day this one year, he capitalized on that, shock-releasing POST- by the exercise of Polyvinyl. “One thing fantastic firstly of the one year,” he said. “Or, I don’t know, for those that don’t esteem me, one thing unpleasant firstly of the one year to secure upset about.”
These undercutting developments in interviews enact now not lengthen to his tune. The man who says he undersells himself is the identical one who spring-hundreds the encourage 1/2 of one album with a blistering medley of rather just a few styles, whose unusual album leads off with a seven-minute, continent-spanning diary entry known as “USA” and ends with the eleven-minute anti-bullying manifesto “Let Them Make a choice.”
This identical songwriter captured the particular stamp of demoralized betrayal Americans receive lived with since November 2016 on the intense, confident POST-, and tune titles love “Powerlessness,” “All This Unnecessary Vitality,” and “Beating My Head In opposition to a Wall” hit shut to dwelling, literally, for him and his listeners. “I modified into smitten by the phases of peril, nearly,” Rosenstock said.
“The thing happens, then you in actual fact absorb that the thing happens, and then it kinda is a unhurried-building freakout until you fair kinda lose it,” he persevered, “and then you in actual fact simply kinda inform and love, oh shit, I lost it, OK, how enact I preserve up the pieces from right here?”
There’s denial on “USA,” the put Rosenstock reckons with the day almost sixty three million Americans opted in to this nation’s darkest timeline. Recalling the gas web site clerks and SUV-driving dads he’s encountered, he asks, “Used to be it you?” Madden splatters with every vocal utter on the brutal ballad “TV Stars,” and bargaining arrives by the exercise of the escapist anthem “Melba.” On “9/10,” within the period in-between, depression sets in:
Nine events out of 10, I’ll be stoned on the subway
Reading backlit directives of what I will receive to aloof enact
Dodging belief contact with any individual who looks my blueprint
Nine events out of 10, I’ll be pondering of you
“So many of us I do know and of us I love [are] simply careworn out out by the whole lot, and I simply desired to jot down a tune love, yeah, me too, bud, and it be OK,” Rosenstock said. “That one modified into simply kinda love, it be OK to feel shitty. All individuals tells someone that, ‘Yeah, I’m busy tonight’ in case you are now not busy.”
POST- would possibly possibly perchance perchance presumably simply additionally be exuberant, too. Amid its reputedly limitless turmoil is the fun cry-alongside line “Meet me on the Polish bar, I’ll be the one having a demand at my cell phone” (surprisingly now not Warsaw, but nearby Irene’s Pub) and the staccato bursts of “Beating My Head In opposition to a Wall” that cleverly resemble that very exercise. That you can perchance hear why it took Rosenstock and his band most productive per week to characterize it in California, albeit after what he calls “huge” demoing.
But its most lasting moments are contemplative, informed by the calm locale the put it first took shape. Final wintry climate, he trekked up to a snowy Catskills trailer his pals have and tinkered with what he’d recorded up to that point. “Presumably I’ll simply slither up within the mountains and fucking play a synth for per week,” he said of the principle.
Song fragments that came to him whereas driving spherical on tour, like a flash guitar and vocal strategies captured on his cell phone right by strategy of soundchecks — he introduced all of it. He additionally had a newly bought Roland Juno synthesizer, guitars, a computer, and other tools and even deleted social media and web-having a demand apps from his cell phone.
“I could possibly perchance perchance presumably create noise as slack as I want,” he said. The aloof heart share that deflates the bombast of “USA” comes from a quieter 2d, and he adds that the keyboard section heard on the album is the one he captured “simply staring out within the course of the night within the snow and smitten by stuff.” That you can perchance look for this solitude on the POST- duvet, too, within the squawk captured by Rosenstock’s fair right friend Hiro Tanaka and the originate by Rosenstock himself. In it, a lonely cleaner vacuums a vestibule at a Reno concert venue at 2 a.m.
“That one looked and felt basically the most productive,” Rosenstock said. “I modified into stoked after I got that one [from Hiro].” Because the conversation winds down, he directs me to take a examine out his web site for more candid moments from Tanaka.
Earlier than we section programs, Rosenstock agrees to pose for a handy e-book a rough squawk since the lighting fixtures looks proper within the encourage of the bar. He stands up and assumes a 1/2-smile in entrance of his stool; then I suggest he will receive to aloof simply enact no subject feels natural.
Sitting encourage down, he looks away. “Nothing feels natural,” he says. I’m now not so effective. I inform the squawk grew to vary into out simply handsome.