Welcome to Mastedonia, the longest running Rooney fansite on the web! Here you'll find all the latest news on the pop/rock band from Los Angeles, CA, as well as many other goodies including a gallery with over 4000 pictures, a graphics archive, and a forum to chat with other Rooney fans!
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Rooney. In a humourous UGO album review by Christian Hoopes, it is mused: "No one ever explains what a "Rooney" is. My guess is it's either slang for "booger," or a rare type of Canadian platypus." However, we all know better. To us, Rooney is a band that has been compared to the likes of The Beatles, The Cars, and Weezer, but they still maintain a sound that is uniquely their own. Ned Brower (drums/vocals) describes it as "sunny, the kind of thing you would 'drive around with your windows down,' with or 'make out' to."
Some people might think that they were an overnight sensation, becoming famous after an appearance on Fox's hit T.V. series "The O.C" in early 2004. While it's true that their album sales skyrocketed after this appearance, their story actually began long before that.
The band formed as Ed Rooney back in 1999, adopting their name from the principal in the movie, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." The lineup was not as it is today. There were two previous members, Teddy Briggs on drums, and Matt Star on guitar. After they left the band for personal reasons, Ned Brower and Louie Stephens (keyboards) joined Robert Schwartzman (lead vocals/guitar), Taylor Locke (lead guitar/vocals), and Matthew Winter (bass). Before their first show, which was at the Troubadour in West Hollywood (a gig that involved opening for Phantom Planet's fanclub show), they shortened their name to Rooney, and the band that we all know today was officially born.
However, fame did not come easily for this five-piece rock band from Los Angeles. They released a series of independent EPs called Deli Meats, The Rooney Sampler, Plug It In, and Mastedonia. They handed these out wherever possible, and continued to promote the band through their official site, www.rooney-band.com. For Rooney, music sharing on the Internet was a vital key in their success. Before they had even released a full-length album, fans were coming to shows knowing all the words to their songs. Anyone could tell that they were developing an extremely strong fanbase of people from all over the world.
After relentless promotion to get the band's music out there, the executives at Geffen Records finally took notice, and Rooney had a contract! After the usual major-label delays, their debut album was finally released on May 20th, 2003! For the fans that had been around since 1999, that day had been long-awaited. Being able to walk into a popular music store and buy the CD was a huge change from sharing files over the Internet. It was around this time that some of the older fans felt that Rooney was 'selling out', and that they were abandoning their roots. However, the band made it very clear that their fans were still the most important thing, and that they were making pop music in a time when other genres dominated. In a RecordNET article, Louie said that everyone was "getting really into rap culture" and that they "wanted to do something else and maintain [their] reputations without being hip-hop."
While the band formed for "reasons unknown" (as stated by Ned in The Floor, their fanclub magazine), it is clear that their purpose today is to bring their refreshing brand of music to the mainstream. They want to return to the pop music that used to be considered a good thing, and write catchy songs that people can sing along to. Gary Glauber jokes in a Popmatters article that if you want to imagine what Rooney's music sounds like, you need only "imagine Ric Ocasek and Rivers Cuomo having an illicit love child." To the dedicated fans of this band, there is only one word for them - Rooney.
When asked how he wanted the band's future to play out, Taylor joked, "Get huge overnight, squander all our cash, get addicted to drugs, become estranged from our families, have our second record flop, and break up by the time I'm 21!" But with Taylor safely past his 21st birthday, we all know that Rooney is headed for great things. We also know that Rooney is a band breaking down musical barriers, and not a rare kind of Canadian platypus.
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