July 5, 2022

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, the dependable purveyors of gleaming and infectious jangle-rock, are again with a brand new album. Countless Rooms started life as demos traded between the band’s 5 members — vocalist/guitarists Joe White, Fran Keaney, and Tom Russo, alongside bassist Joe Russo and drummer Marcel Tussie — throughout Australia’s strict pandemic lockdowns. After they have been capable of meet in individual, the band convened at a countryside home constructed by the Russo brothers’ household within the ’70s. There, they started bringing the brand new tracks to life, but in addition utilizing the home to search out the sound of their newest assortment.

The consequence was one thing they known as an “anti-concept” document. The one overarching themes for Countless Rooms are the place the place it was birthed, and one that means behind the title. RBCF started to contemplate their identification as songwriters, how they deal with every composition as a world they will construct out after which hone in on, till each component sits excellent. Forward of the album’s launch, we bought on Zoom with Keaney, White, and Tom Russo to speak about every music on the album — how the band subtly pushed their sound, how these songs went by means of completely different lives, and the way we finally ended up with one other batch of fabric that, after a hear or two, you possibly can’t shake. Now you could hear it for your self, hear and browse our dialog under.

1. “Pearl Like You” / 2. “Tidal River”

JOE WHITE: Loads of the time, a document is a response to the final document. We have been heading in the direction of weirder constructions and experimenting a bit extra with [Sideways To New Italy]. We bought into the studio with our producer Burke Reid, and it form of straightened plenty of issues out and made it a bit extra pop and pulled us into line a bit. For this one, we have been responding to that. We pushed it a little bit bit. That little opening monitor was one thing Joe Russo had made on his loop pedal for months and months and we fell in love with the melody.

TOM RUSSO: He wrote that one as a result of we was dwelling down on the seashore along with his girlfriend. He would simply construct up these loop symphonies, preserving the pedal on for hours at a time. He would simply dwell on the planet of that loop for some time. On the 2 albums… I really feel like with Sideways, we have been actually making an attempt to tug it aside and let songs transfer in any which method they wished to with instinct. If a refrain solely occurs as soon as and it’s on the finish of the music, and that feels proper, then that’s how that music ought to go. We have been making an attempt to observe our noses a bit, however we didn’t fairly get there. An outsider like Burke would say we wanted some screws tightened, and he helped us do this.

With this album, we have been a bit extra assured we may know when to let issues breathe, know when to rein issues in. That’s at all times been the push and pull in our band. Sure, they’re pop songs, however generally they should bloat, generally they should stretch out. I believe we’re getting a greater command of when to do this.

You’ve talked about the concept that you guys couldn’t see one another quite a bit due to the stricter lockdowns in Australia, after which all of it got here collectively when you might collect on this home. That was completely different than the opposite albums, in that songs would’ve come to the band extra fully-formed than prior to now.

WHITE: For this document, positively. I believe we have been all at residence recording and writing little demos. Normally we’d convey an unfinished concept to the band, however this time we had nothing else to do however attempt to end a music, get the top of it, put an outro or full cease on it. There have been a number of songs that got here to the method the place the construction was carried out and we simply needed to put it collectively or get the vibe proper. It’s a fairly completely different course of for us.

When “Tidal River” got here out, you talked about this delusion of Australia as “the fortunate nation.”

RUSSO: It was coined within the ’60s. I’m positive there’s some American ones, like an exceptionalism. The thought is that Australia is fortunate as a result of it’s blessed with pure assets and prosperity. The flipside of that’s that it’s this delusion. Lots of people pat themselves on the again. It’s a really steady and established and wealthy nation — which, in fact, as with America, it’s not that method for everybody. It may be that method for almost all. The plain factor is it’s not the fortunate nation for the First Those who have been dispossessed and proceed to undergo from that.

[The song] is a little bit of a response to that, significantly within the politics which have been happening the previous few years. We’re being lead by a really uninspiring conservative reactionary authorities. There’s been no imaginative and prescient. It’s been this very apathetic time. Which may be probably altering. As a result of we’re so blessed in these methods to have these benefits, there may be a lot potential to do higher — as with the States. It looks like that’s an extended, winding course of. It’s as a result of plenty of the people who find themselves most fortunate… They’ve all these riches and privilege, and as an alternative of making an attempt to make issues higher, there’s plenty of selfishness and burying of heads within the sand. Sitting at residence throughout lockdown, I used to be simply enjoying this riff again and again on an unplugged electrical guitar sitting there watching issues disintegrate. It was an angsty response to that, that we ought to be doing higher.

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Within the bio for the album, you stated you’re not essentially an indignant band, or that folks don’t see you that method, however there’s a bit extra darkness on this album. It appears there’s barely extra recurring social analyses. Does it really feel extra collectively centered on present occasions for you all?

FRAN KEANEY: I believe simply general, the album is rather less fantastical. It’s a bit extra… not autobiographical, however private. The opposite albums have been, however it is a clearer snapshot of how we have been feeling on the time, in 2020. It’s at all times the case that the political stuff bleeds into the non-public. “The Manner It Shatters,” “Tidal River,” “Bounce Off The Backside,” they’ve all bought the social panorama in there.

RUSSO: It places it in such reduction. The pandemic factor — although we don’t write about that, as a result of nobody actually desires to listen to about that. Stuff just like the fires, it was this traumatic nationwide expertise. It simply will get to that time the place in case you’re not indignant, you’re not paying consideration. We’re probably not an indignant band, however you possibly can’t divorce the context of what we’re doing from what’s happening round us.

3. “The Manner It Shatters”

This has some comparable themes, proper, like the thought of some folks being born right into a affluent nation and a few born right into a struggle zone?

WHITE: Yeah. We have been simply jamming on it and Fran stated we should always name it “The Manner It Shatters.” It’s from a Violet Crumble advert, a honeycomb and chocolate bar. Which led me to kind of write about absolute, full randomness — the best way a window will solely shatter that method as soon as, there’s nothing uniform about it. I used to be writing random, bizarre issues, which in the long run I couldn’t get behind it as a result of it was all a bit too esoteric.

The thought of the best way it shatters, the best way issues work or land, actually is simply how we ended up right here and the way another person ended up there. Virtually hoarding that luckiness, that perspective Australia has. To the purpose the place we not solely reap the advantages of our fortunate nation however we additionally defend it to the purpose that we lock folks up in offshore prisons for making an attempt to get right here. Then how simply we are able to defend that. Our present prime minister is a really outwardly Christian man that defends his Christian beliefs — like he’s hiding behind this concept of his values whereas on the identical time ignoring the actual fact there’s all these folks locked for the random reality of the place they have been born. That gave the music a stronger that means.

It’s principally about Violet Crumbles although. [Laughs]

That lead riff was a kind of components on the album the place I assumed it was one thing a bit completely different, simply by way of timbre. You wrote this music at residence on a synthesizer proper?

WHITE: That riff was on a synthesizer, yeah. Musically, it was all written on keys. That’s in all probability new. I do plenty of writing on keys however not for this band, I suppose. That is one the place it was so synth-y within the demo, I simply took it to the band to see what occurs, after which it labored.

4. “Caught Low”

RUSSO: To begin with, that music has been by means of a number of lives. It began as this massive jam, one other music we’d dubbed “Grand Funk” as a result of it seemed like an actual American rock music. It was too American jam band. Joe Russo turned it into this synth loop — I believe the synth is much more outstanding within the writing of those songs. We introduced it again and I put my lyrics excessive of it. It’s not a lot political, this one. It’s impressed by being on tour in the USA.

We performed Coachella, which was an attention-grabbing expertise for us due to the unnaturalness of it. You fly out over Indio and Palm Springs and there’s these stunning inexperienced lawns in the course of the desert and it’s beautiful however then you definitely hear they’re there as a result of the Colorado River is being diverted. Then there’s this large decadent celebration [at the festival], and also you’re identical to… “Ought to this be right here?” We have been staying on an off-day in Redding, California. Simply this large new constructing property, this model new home that hadn’t been used, sitting out on this stunning California night. The lawns are completely reduce and there’s frogs leaping within the lawns and there’s a faux hearth and also you’re strolling down this good concrete on these streets — and there’s not a soul round. It was this uncanny expertise, such as you’re within the The Sims.

I used to be fascinated by a little bit of a love story in a spot like that. Juxtaposing precise human life in opposition to the detached panorama. How suburbia is form of the other of nature. It’s nearly a wasteland, this panorama. There’s at all times cellphone towers proper by the homes within the US states, you’re simply strolling by and ignoring that. The “film’s gotten boring” line, that’s additionally realizing that each one of that’s momentary. It’s all being made but it surely’s all unnatural and you need to pay for that in some way. However yeah it’s a love story set in a brand new, empty housing property.

WHITE: I do not forget that housing property and we didn’t hear any proof of a human all the time apart from the hum of air conditioners.

RUSSO: It was so eerie, hundreds of air conditioners simply buzzing.

“An air conditioned metropolis” huh.

WHITE: [Laughs] Nobody strolling round, simply frogs.

5. “My Echo”

I really feel like that kind of dislocation seems in your music typically — or not less than, we definitely talked about that with journey and Sideways To New Italy. “My Echo” is a really every day form of dislocation, by means of digital life.

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KEANEY: Yeah, that’s proper. Heightened by 2020 stuff. There’s that Black Mirror episode the place that man lives in that unit the place he’s bought to maintain exercising. He lives a drone-like expertise. Actually, we have been watching Black Mirror in Redding.

RUSSO: Not a great place to observe one thing like that. You get a little bit of existential dread.

KEANEY: I don’t wish to harp on about lockdown, however there was a interval the place the remainder of Australia was going alright, just about Covid-free. Melbourne, the place we dwell, specifically had this ring of metal round it the place we have been locked down for months, the place the remainder of the states have been going OK. Notably WA and Queensland. So that they moved the AFL soccer competitors into state. It’s predominantly a Victorian sport. All of the Victorian groups have been effervescent out into state and enjoying these sport just about for the Melbourne market. We have been all like these battery hens sitting at residence with a drip feed of soccer. They made this competition, the place they’d a sport on each night time for some time period — Australian sport will not be like American sport the place there’s sport going on a regular basis, ours is predominantly on the weekends.

It was the one factor I did, and I believe it was the one factor lots of people did: make money working from home and simply watch soccer and be inundated with soccer evaluation and betting odds. That simply grew to become life. You punctuate that with checking your cellphone or working in your pc display screen. [The song] is born out of that, the dystopian themes we lived by means of for some time. Simply trudging round like a lemming across the well-worn paths of your house. I didn’t actually wish to write any pandemic songs, however this one fell out and it’s fact so it’s like, OK, we’ll enable this one.

The precise music was born out of a jam we’d had once we have been doing a dwell session in 2020. It was simply an iPhone recording. It was Joe Russo’s bassline with the chords I had, and it felt good right away. So we turned that into the remainder of the music. With this music, I actually tried to let the vocal melodies information the music much more. Loads of time once I write, I’m fascinated by chords and the melody comes after. This time the melody drives it and the chords observe. The verse and refrain chords aren’t that completely different from each other. They simply again up what the vocals do. By way of truly fleshing it out, once we have been capable of get again collectively once more on the finish of 2020, we went to do some demos and Tom ad-libbed this Neil Younger-y Crazyhorse guitar. We kind of had demo-itis with that demo, and Tom mainly ended up emulating most of these preliminary improvised leads.

6. “Dive Deep”

RUSSO: Throughout lockdown — I don’t know if this cartoonist Bjenny Montero, however he has a great cartoon the place somebody’s interviewing somebody and so they’re like, “So, I hear you made the brand new album throughout lockdown” and it’s like “Yep, we made the brand new album throughout lockdown.” Everybody’s in that boat. It’s form of boring however you need to hold referring to it. I bought a Roland TR-8 drum machine whereas we have been locked down, simply to play with. I used to be making a number of completely different form of songs.

“Dive Deep” began as a drum machine experiment, placing a straight beat down and constructing it piece by piece, this bizarre little funky jam factor. It’s a bit completely different than our standard Blackouts songs, as a result of it didn’t come about organically in any respect. It was very a lot a bed room pop factor. I used to be a bit nervous once I took it to the band, it simply wouldn’t translate. It went fairly effectively. We mainly reinterpreted it as a dwell band music, it bought a bit extra ‘70s or one thing. Joe White performed that massive guitar hook, that vast sound.

WHITE: That was a enjoyable one. Tom’s demo was about eight minutes — no construction, only a bunch of various melodies and chord adjustments and vocals. It was nearly stream of consciousness, seemingly no order to it. So we mainly simply extracted all our favourite components of that and turned it into what’s recognizable as verse, refrain, pre-chorus, lead. It was a enjoyable train, having such good bits all there at our disposal and [figuring out] what to do with them.

KEANEY: I really feel like that’s the music that gave form to the entire album. That was one of many few we labored on throughout our session in December of 2020. We have been trialing whether or not to see recording an album there would work and to see what we’d provide you with throughout our time aside. We put the amp upstairs and had it actually scorching. We have been listening to it again close to the fireside underneath the celebs and it had this celestial form of really feel. That was the glue for the remainder of the album, I reckon.

WHITE: We actually preferred the drum sound we have been getting. It was when it clicked that this sound, this home, was integral to the album.

7. “Open Up Your Window”

WHITE: That is an previous one. We have been jamming on this effectively earlier than Sideways. It was like an eight minute music, we have been desiring to make it that method. It was a one minute vocal bit after which there was this actual up and down lengthy jam. We have been nonetheless intending to do this till considered one of us stated, “Fuck that, why don’t we make it a two minute music.” [Laughs] How are we going to suit this on a document? How’s it going to turn out to be this piece that matches every part else? Making it two minutes was the reply, boiling it all the way down to its important components.

KEANEY: We have been speaking about placing it out when lockdown first occurred however we didn’t. It looks like a lockdown music. I confirmed it to my sister and he or she was like, “Did you write this throughout the pandemic?” and I used to be like “No! Under no circumstances!” The “Open Up Your Window” factor — Bob Dylan stated this factor about Australia. I can’t bear in mind the precise quote however he was like, it’s this stunning nation however the entire of the nation has bought its home windows shut. It’s closed off from the gorgeous nation that it’s. All of us congregate, as Tom says, to the water’s edge — all of us congregate round these main cities. However it’s this huge, stunning place. Many people don’t actually have interaction with it. We kind of block out the pure world.

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RUSSO: I assumed Bob Dylan meant that extra of a diss. Again within the ‘70s, like we didn’t have our mental home windows open. I believe he was saying it was a small-minded place. [Laughs] Which is form of… associated.

KEANEY: Yeah, small-minded. However anyway, that music is about opening up. Not actually opening up your window however opening up in case you’re closed off. It’s a pleasant music to play. It feels cathartic.

8. “Blue Eye Lake”

You guys generally tend to bury my favorites in a while the album — it was “Cameo” on Sideways and now it’s “Blue Eye Lake.”

WHITE: That is positively one thing that began as an acoustic guitar melody on my cellphone. I didn’t understand it was going to get so massive. I believe I demoed it at residence quite a bit. It’s a mellotron pattern of three violins that I’ve put plenty of results on, which was the unique sound from the demo that we simply utterly replicated for the ultimate recording. We’ve been making an attempt over a few years to convey four-on-the-floor as a drumbeat into our songs and it’s by no means labored. For some cause, this music completely known as for it. As soon as we established we may make that work, we determined to reimagine this music as a giant pumping disco beast.

It’s a fairly absurd music, lyrically. I simply mainly began imagining the protagonist that’s dwelling underneath this lake and it emerges out into the true world. Not for any explicit cause. It’s simply one thing I used to be imagining and right here it’s. Don’t wanna connect an excessive amount of metaphor to it or something.

I like how this begins with me saying it’s my favourite music on the album and the man who wrote it’s like “Yeah, it’s simply absurd.”

WHITE: [Laughs] Properly, that’s wonderful. There’s a number of absurd songs on the market. That music was a extremely enjoyable one to document. We made it actually massive and loud. The best way we recorded this album, we did the 2 weeks up on the home after which we got here again to Melbourne and needed to end it off. We have been in deep lockdown at that stage. It was solely me and Fran within the studio for lots of the time, ticking off vocals and guitar overdubs and keys, percussion and every part. There’s that bridge within the outro, we didn’t fairly have the bit for it. Are we going to go for a giant fucking guitar solo or can we be a bit extra intelligent about it? Fran simply threw down these little melodies that rapidly grew to become the centerpiece of the bridge and outro.

As a result of we had the time and the house, we weren’t on the clock within the studio in any respect. We had nothing else to do. We had time to discover and experiment with issues. Because of that model of recording, we have been capable of get these additional little adjustments and issues that wouldn’t have occurred in any other case. Utilizing background vocals as a melody is one thing we wouldn’t have actually carried out earlier than, but it surely completely works.

9. “Noticed You At The Jap Seashore”

RUSSO: That music was a 3 chord loop, once more, from Joe Russo. Once more, deep in lockdown, the one time we get to go outdoors was our one hour of train time a day. I used to be simply strolling across the identical streets in my suburb again and again, pushing my new child, doing these loops and listening to songs to maintain me sane. I used to be listening to that loop and I began developing with this sort of demented narrative — perhaps it was the mind set, there was plenty of paranoia within the air. I used to be placing all these strains down on my cellphone as I used to be strolling.

It’s set in, you’ll say a dead-end city, a “two crew city.” There’s plenty of cities or small cities the place there’s two soccer groups — you both go for one or the opposite and that’s the scope of what’s happening. I suppose, in some methods, it’s form of set on the coast. Geelong is a metropolis in Australia an hour and a bit from Melbourne. It’s not a dead-end city, it’s doing alright. However there’s Jap Seashore in Geelong. Loads of it’s also post-industrial. You’ll be able to look throughout this stunning bay and there’s these large petrol refinery factories mainly proper on the seashore. There’s an election on now and so they’re throwing a bunch of cash on the fossil gas corporations on the identical time we’re having pure disasters, in order that’s the place we’re at now.

WHITE: There’s a number of previous automobile factories too.

RUSSO: It’s like Detroit.

WHITE: They name it Geetroit, now that they don’t make vehicles there anymore there’s these huge previous factories which might be empty.

RUSSO: Half the city used to work for Ford. A factor in Australia, in nearly any city, there are pubs with poker machines. You see these previous boys sitting there all day lengthy placing their financial savings into that. It’s a little bit of a narrative — I gained’t go into the precise factor, I’ll go away a little bit of thriller. However it’s a narrative based mostly on that form of scene, one of many massive previous Australian pubs in a dead-end city and folks get determined.