Los Angeles pop-rockers Rooney built a song around a bouncy David Bowie beat and shot to stardom. Culled from the quintet’s 2007 album “Calling the World,” “When Did Your Heart Go Missing?” became an international hit. After a 15-month hiatus, Rooney is ready to tour in support of a fresh release. The band’s new self-released EP, “Wild One,” will be available exclusively to concertgoers.
Rooney is Robert Schwartzman (vocals/guitar), Taylor Locke (guitar/vocals), Ned Brower (drums/vocals), Matt Winter (bass) and Louie Stephens (keyboards). If the band is best-known for “When Did Your Heart Go Missing?”, Locke is best-known for his love life. First, there was a long-running relationship with the Donnas’ guitarist Donna R., aka Allison Robertson. More recently, his breakup with actress Mischa Barton, star of “The O.C.”, made headlines.
Locke called from his hometown of L.A. to talk about the rigors of touring, the band’s more rabid fans and, reluctantly, his famous exes.
Rooney hasn’t toured in quite a while, what has everybody in the band been up to?
It has been a pretty major year as a band and in our separate personal lives. Some people bought houses. Some people might have a child on way. We have had fun doing one-off shows and rehearsing and everyone is getting along real good.
What’s the best way to stay sane on the road?
I think it’s good to put yourself on a routine because no one else is going to impose one for you. I think it’s up to people to read or not read or exercise or not exercise or walk around and explore towns, or not walk around and explore towns.
What kind of post-show partying goes on?
Well, it’s different for everybody in the band. You do have to pace yourself because if someone gets sick on the bus or has a real bad hangover, it snowballs and then everyone is sick. I can’t speak for the whole band in terms of how much drinking we do. You know we have really young fans, so, what people want to do in terms of partying, is, ah, their own thing.
“When Did Your Heart Go Missing?” became a worldwide smash, played on rock radio and even dance clubs. While recording, were you consciously striving for a hit?
I think we knew it had potential to be a single. In terms of will it be a hit single or not, you never really know. When you’re in what’s considered a pop band, having a song that fits the criteria of a single is always a consideration—especially when you’re nearing the finish line of an album. Danceable rock songs are always kind of a winning combination.
What’s the wildest thing a female fan has done to get your attention?
Ah, man. Probably some online form of stalking. Getting my email address. Inundating my inbox with nude photos and messages. Tricking me into accepting them on Facebook and posting relentless things on my wall that embarrass me in front of people who are my actual friends.
That doesn’t sound very fun.
That’s in the virtual land. In real life, I don’t know. I had a girlfriend for a long time, for many years, for like the bulk of our touring so…I don’t know. There are always those fans who are a little over the edge, but you have to love them. God bless the Rooney fans. Even the crazy ones.
You mentioned your longtime girlfriend. Most men would be intimidated to even approach one of the Donnas. Were you at all nervous when you first made a move on Allison Robertson?
Um, well, I’ve never really discussed any of that type of thing publically. But I’ll say we were friends for a long time before anything romantic happened, so it was all very natural.
Are you and Allison still friends?
I’d rather not go into it. It’s not particularly relevant to the upcoming thing, if you don’t mind.
So, I guess you don’t have anything to say about Mischa Barton.
I’ll say both of my ex-girlfriends are real nice women, but my involvement with either one of them is not relevant to the upcoming Rooney tour and EP “Wild One.”
CREDIT : Pittsburgh Metromix
Note : I thought about removing the parts about Mischa and Allison, but seeing as it was part of the interview, I left the whole thing in. I would like to state that I feel like who the guys in Rooney date is a private matter, and as fans of ROONEY it’s none of our business - and I don’t like how the interviewer went about it.