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INTERVIEW: Judge Roughneck

From all the songs, why did you choose to cover “Mirror In The Bathroom”?

Byron: I have always been a fan of The English Beat. They’re one of my all time favorite bands, actually. Judge Roughneck started as a two tone cover band. We covered bands like English Beat,The Specials, Madness…basically all the two tone bands from the eighties. Soon enough, we started writing our own songs and here we are!

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Byron: The song was written by Dave Wakeling and The English Beat, but I rearranged it, slowed down the tempo, added a funk beat (also known as “Rockers beat”) and added the newer horn line. Sometimes I will here a song in my head and all the parts are there. That’s what happened with this arrangement… it just sort of came to me in dream and all the parts were playing.

How was the film experience?

Chris: The filming experience was wonderful! We had a fantastic crew and Angelo could not have been greater to work with.

Byron: Matt Nasi, the director, was very cool and made everyone relaxed. Angelo was great as well, he has the most experience in front of the camera and helped shape some of the shots.

What was it like to work with Angelo Moore and how did that relationship develop?

Byron: Working with Angelo has been amazing. He is kind, generous, and has taught us so many new things along the way. Angelo and myself have a mutual friend in L.A. and she was kind of the liaison. We sent him the track and he liked it and worked really hard on the vocals. Those four part harmonies are all Angelo!

What did he bring to the table?

Chris: He brought a level of experience to the table that made the video much more exciting.  He had so may ideas and was really able to guide a lot of the shots in the video to make them more creative.

How was the recording and writing process?

Byron: We Recorded The CD In our Trombone Player (David Dinsmore) Home Studio. David Dinsmore Produced it and I Co-Produced. I would bring in my ideas – just skeletons of songs, bass lines drum beat and lyrics and vocal melodies. We would map out the arrangements, then add chords, horn lines, real drums, bass, and so on.

You brought some special guests – did you handpick them? How did they come on board?

Byron: Angelo was an amazing opportunity, that choice was easy. Hazel Miller is local legend and has toured with Big Head Todd And The Monsters. She and I are friends and go way back. My daughter, Sidney Shaw, has a beautiful voice and I’ve always wanted to record her. Hopefully we will work together many more times!

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Byron:For this record I wanted it to be positive – or as positive as we can be. There’s so much negativity in the world, we wanted to kind of “lighten the load”.

Hence the title “Pick You Up!”

Any plans to hit the road?

Chris: We love playing for our fans and always love to have the chance to win over a new crowd on the road!

Byron: Angelo wants to do a Colorado tour with us in March, which is in the works.

What else is happening next in Judge Roughneck’s world?

Byron: We are planning a follow up album, maybe a “Best of” with a few new songs and some remixes.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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