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INTERVIEW: Room Full of Strangers

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been? 

Aw man, couldn’t be better, just found out Ma is going to be a millionaire, because god knows I’m not buying her Cadillacs and houses like Elvis did for his Ma.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Modern Media”? 

Well, Modern Media is a loose interpretation of our collective feelings about the news media in particular. We view the news more as a means of entertainment. It’s hilarious and fascinating to see how it works everyone up. It’s a mass derangement of the populations sensibility. It’s like watching a bus full of people fall into The Grand Canyon in slow motion.

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

A hit parade of events of people tearing away at each other. Then we sponsored a four day outdoor concert in DC, during the presidential inauguration. We played to thousands, some of which were beaten and gassed by the police. Foreign media covered this, US media, not so much…hmmm

Any plans to release a video for the single? 

Yes, we’re going to release a video for every song on the new record. It will be like a mini series. We’re in talks with a network about this, can’t really comment much more than that right now though.

The single is off your new album Plastic for Packaging – what’s the story behind the title? 

Well, it’s about being an artist and having to deal with industry shenanigans or what some may call “making it”…It’s kinda like being the main character in the movie Shawshank Redemption. At first you’re screwed, then screwed a bit less. Then if you persevere you’ll get to crawl through a sewer pipe of human waste to your freedom. The idea also partially came to me as I watched my nieces cut their new Barbies out of plastic packaging on X-Mas day… that’s the less rock n roll version. Or what my bass player would call @the least rock n roll story in rock n roll.

How was the recording and writing process? 

A blast! Shout out to Pete at Ampreon Recorder in Youngstown Ohio, Aaron of Phat Planet and Kramer of Shimmy Disc. Kramer has worked with Sonic Youth, Half Japanese and many other cool bands, he gets us.

How does Mac DeMarco and Dead Boys play into your writing? 

I’m personally not familiar with Mac’s work, I just hear his name from time to time and a writer compared his lyrical stylings to Room Full of Strangers songs once or twice. The Dead Boys are kind of in our DNA, I’m from the same town as Stiv Bators. Blitz, Jimmy, Cheetah and I believe Magnum are also from the same region, the Rust Belt. As is Chrissie Hynde, DEVO and Lux Interior… the list of rockers is long.

What aspect of our current social and political climate are you diving into with this record? 

I’ve been accused of being a nihilist… accused. However, we’re just reflecting aspects of the human condition back onto the society from which it came from. We feel that governmental politics are dangerous, corrupt and that it’s futile to seek truth in a diabolical hall of mirrors. The other subject matter, French cocaine (metaphor), a snarky break up song, inspired by our drummer and No Feelings, by The Sex Pistols annnnnd…I can’t remember the rest right now. Laughs

Any plans to hit the road? 

Yep, we’re on the road for the entire month of July, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, W Virginia, DC, NYC and it looks like Europe again this November. Do yourselves a favor, show up, the fun is real. No feigned enthusiasm at a Strangers show

What else is happening next in Room Full of Strangers’ world? 

Among other things, we’re going to be in a doc about CREEM Magazine; Iggy, Debbie Harry, Wayne Kramer of the MC5 are in it as well. I’m going to tell a story about how I discovered the mag and my sexuality simultaneously…yea, ew, I know. But hey, the truth can be more interesting than fiction. Deal with it.

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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