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Fullmoon Renegades

Interview with vocalist/guitarist Elliot Rosen. Conducted via Facebook, August 2, 2010.

Me: What's up man?

Elliot: Not much, workin'.


How's it goin?

Not bad. You have an office job or something?

I wish. I work at a restaurant, I'm sitting on my friend's laptop while there is downtime.

Oh okay. Don't suppose you'd have time for an interview?

Yeah, I can do it now. Or at least start it.

Cool. So what's going on with the band?

Gearing up to do some new recordings. We've just spent a bunch of money on some new equipment and we're setting up the studio now. Hopefully this week we'll start recording; if I could just get a hold of my drummer...

Do you just have the one album so far?

No, we have quite a few albums out. We're only promoting the two newest ones, though, right now.

Gimme the rundown on that.

Well, we had two full lengths, from 2005 and 2007, and several unreleased EPs. We have also been on a few small compilations over the years. And then, in 2009, we did Secrets Of The Past, followed by Destroy This.

I remember when I first heard you, and this was probably in 2007, there was more of a Misfits bent to the band. Then you gave me a copy of Secrets of the Past, and it's still got a little bit of that, but it's decidedly more Alice In Chains-influenced.

Yeah, that's what I hear, the whole band has pretty much changed members [since then], with me being the only original member. So when the [new] musicians I got had more talent, I was able to do [more] with the music. The whole Misfits thing was because that's all I could play with those people, now I can do what I want. We get compared to a mix between AIC and Black Sabbath the most, and I'm okay with that!

It's an interesting mix. There's definitely still a horrorpunk element to it, though, as well.

For sure, that was a big part of it before, and it's still there, and it probably always will be. I don't want to call ourselves a horrorpunk band, though, because then that's all we can do, but if fans of that music like us and want to include us, that's cool with me, too. Hell, we're working on a song that's very Prince-influenced right now. Definitely doesn't sound like anything Danzig would write.

Who does your recordings?

I do. Well, me and the drummer, mainly.

Nice! What kind of set up do you have?

An assortment of random mics, and a Mac from 1999. (laughs)

Huh. Well, the recordings sound good. I'd have never known.

I have based anything creative I do on crappy equipment, and being able to utilize it to it's fullest extent. If you'd put me in front of equipment that cost thousands of dollars, I'd be completely clueless. I'm used to being broke and fucking with cheap, dated equipment.

I can relate to that. I think anyone who's truly good at what they do can use the lowest-end tools, and make it work to their advantage. Anyone who says any differently is full of it. Do you have any shows coming up?

We have nothing booked yet, but I'm hoping to start playing some local bars and shit, maybe doing some acoustic shows. Hopefully some paying gigs in the area, until we finish these recordings.

You just recently put up a pretty nice website; tell us a little about that. Where can people find it?

Well, it was made on a site with a template, so I may be redoing it, or trying to find a web designer to do it. The website is I figured we should get one. I hear it helps with booking, I guess it's more professional. (laughs)

Depends on the type of booking, probably. I know a lot of clubs prefer using Facebook and/or MySpace, like their contact pages actually direct you to their pages on those sites. But it never hurts to cover all the bases.

Yeah, but alot of the labels and booking agents I talk to won't accept those as a proper press kit. Covering all bases is exactly what I'm trying to do.

Good deal. So, if people want to get their hands on your recordings, aside from coming to your shows, how do they go about that? Are you on Amazon or CD Baby, or any of those sites?

I'm supposed to send some albums to CD Baby, which will put us on Amazon and iTunes and stuff, and I'm supposed to send some stuff to Interpunk, but I'm such a procrastinator. I have to do it soon. This summer has just been too hot, and it makes me not want to move, or think.

And all those links [to the CD distro sites you mentioned] will eventually be on your website?

They will. Along with some new music, and videos, and pictures. I have a lot of stuff to go through.

So, besides the ones you mentioned, who are some more of your influences?

Thin Lizzy, Kiss, Orbison. A lot of shit betwen the '60s and '90s. Our drummer is a huge Megadeth fan, our other guitarist is a huge Gwar fan. My bassist and I mostly like the same stuff, so that works out good. Punk and metal bands from the '70s and '80s, along with some grunge bands from the '90s, [those] are the biggest influences.

Who writes the bulk of your material?

That would be me. The other members will throw other things in, or add things that make it better, but I usually write whole songs with the execption of a couple here and there.

What are your songs about?

Sex, love, danger, depression, anger.

So these are happy songs? (laughs)

(laughs) Sometimes they can be uplifting and positive, but they're usually darker. If I didn't write these [types of songs] then I would probably be a completely silent, angry, and depressed person. But I'm actually just a goofy dork.

What's the inspiration usually? Do you base them on personal experience and then expand on that? Or do you usually tell a fictional story, or does it vary?

It varies, but it's usually based on what I'm feeling. I have a lot of problems with writing songs that sound like they were influenced by some stupid romance novel; I throw a lot of those out.

Anything else you'd like to tell people about your band, that maybe I haven't touched on yet?

Well, the band won't be calling it quits anytime soon. We just celebrated our 5-year anniversary this past Spring. We are planning a split album with a band from AZ called These Charming Men (Everyone should look them up on MySpace when they get the chance). That should be out around the fall. I'm hoping to start working on the new full length sometime this year, get some kind of label attention, and hopefully have the band on the road sometime in the next year or two.

Where are some of the places you've played? What's the furtherest from home you've played?

We've played all around Cleveland--as far as Columbus and PA, so either Columbus or PA was the furthest. It's kind of pathetic considering how long we've been around, but I'm hoping to cover more states and areas soon. Transportation is a bitch, though.


I'd really like to hit Chicago, and perhaps Jersey, soon.

Do you have any favorite venues?

I really enjoy the Fallout Shelter [in Aliquippa, PA], the guys over there are pretty nice. There was the Jigsaw Saloon, that was right by where I live, but that place closed down. There's the Maple Grove over here, they treated us pretty good. They draw an older crowd, but it's great.

Do you like all ages shows better, or 18+/21-and-over?

All ages, for sure.

Who are some of the bands you've played with? Who would you recommend to people?

Off The top of my head, I always look forward to playing with The Independents, they are really cool guys. Hour Of The Wolf, From AZ. American Werewolves, from Cleveland--I've known them for years now, they're all really cool dudes. But I have to get back to work now.

No problem. Thanks, Elliot.

Alright take it easy, and thanks!

Any time.

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