Rusted Root not afraid to go global on new record
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.”
“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.”
William Loeffler is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7986.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates must weigh risk, reward in attempt to sign Martin
- Penguins rebound with shutout of Predators
- For Luck family, a father-son success story
- CDC’s misinformation spreads faster than Ebola virus
- Inappropriate dress wears thin in schools, courts, jails, elsewhere
- Penn State succumbs to No. 13 Ohio State in double overtime
- Steelers notebook: Ex-Steeler Sanders living up to his word
- Starkey: Chryst missed his only shot
- Penguins’ Crosby OK with Neal comments about trade
- Syrian border town emerges as pivot point in Islamic State fight
- Robinson: Rooney retains North Side roots