TribLIVE

| AandE

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Rusted Root not afraid to go global on new record

Rusted Root
Rusted Root

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By William Loeffler
Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, 8:57 p.m.
 

Rusted they ain't.

On their new release, “The Movement,” Rusted Root bursts out of the gate sounding like a young, hungry band, not a veteran outfit that's spent 20 years touring, recording and weathering changing music trends.

“I think touring has a lot to do with it,” says vocalist/percussionist Liz Berlin. “Playing the music live is kind of like a bonding thing for us. It's also taking time off and doing other things and having a balance to your life.”

She and bassist Patrick Norman are “somewhere in Utah,” working on the video for “Monkey Pants,” the leadoff track on the album.

“The Movement,” which is set for release Tuesday, heralds a return to concise songcraft after previous, more-experimental outings for the Pittsburgh unit. Lead singer, guitarist and songwriter Michael Glabicki journeys to distant points on the map — India, Africa and Brazil — while staying within the bounds of conventional pop-song format.

“It's important to experiment, just because you can stretch your boundaries,” Norman says. “You can find places you've never been before creatively, but it's always best to rein it back in.”

Rusted Root's 1992 debut “Cruel Sun” stood out like a gaudy tropical bird against the grunge-saturated musical landscape. The band's propulsive worldbeat poly-rhythms and lived-in, communal hippie vibe quickly crossed international boundaries to fans on other continents. Their major- label release, “When I Woke,” went platinum and vaulted them, briefly, into the rock-star stratosphere.

They've sold more than 3 million records and toured with Santana, the Dave Matthews Band and Jimmy Page and Robert Plant on their 1995 “Unledded” tour. They've stuck around long enough to see the beat they helped popularize taken to the bank by bands like Vampire Weekend.

“I think it's interesting that those sounds and influences are actually making it into alternative radio,” Berlin says. “Back in our day, we had a hard time getting to triple A (adult album alternative), let alone Top 40. I think it's awesome, as well. It's the kind of things that really move us and drive us — acoustic guitar and Latin and African rhythms.”

“It's all world music anyway,” Norman says. “I think the more influences that come into rock ‘n' roll, the better the genre.”

Both Berlin and Norman are keen to reconnect with their fans in Pittsburgh. They play Nov. 10 at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg and Dec. 21 at the Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland.

“The Movement” is a crowd-sourced effort, financed partly by fans.

“We recorded it independently,” Berlin says. “Money's kind of tight now all around, with the economy. We put together a fan-funding campaign on our website similar to Kickstarter. We called it ‘Fortunate Freaks Unite' after one of our songs. We had friends and family and fans from all over the world donate to help us record the album. We feel really supported.”

Details: www.rustedroot.com

William Loeffler is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at wloeffler@tribweb.com or 412-320-7986.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Police: Escaped Armstrong County inmate armed, dangerous homicide suspect
  2. Reds send right-hander Leake to Giants for 2 prospects
  3. Pirates’ Burnett endures another poor start in blowout loss to Reds
  4. Pirates bolster bullpen by trading for former closer Soria
  5. 44th Folk Festival off to bustling start in Kittanning
  6. Paradise Park Rib Fest reviving legendary stage in Cowansville
  7. Inside the Steelers: Rookie linebacker Chickillo continues to excel
  8. Steelers’ reserve quarterbacks vie to secure spot behind Roethlisberger, Gradkowski
  9. Southmoreland School director named
  10. Winfield supervisors OK natural gas-drilling regulations
  11. Peduto blasts Wolf’s plan to borrow $3B to shore up pensions