2. To paraphrase the title of Team Rockit’s fifth independently released CD, it doesn’t take a Rockit scientist to figure out why the band’s Chicago styled gutter punk n’ roll has been noticed not only in their hometown of the Windy City, but throughout the Midwest, East Coast and across the Pond in progressive rock friendly countries like Germany and Switzerland.
Taking their high energy vibe to the next creative and commercial level, Team Rockit—guitarist/vocalist Joe Sanzeri, drummer/vocalist Matt Friscia and bassist/vocalist Steve Killian—worked on Rockit Science with producer Mark Blewett, renowned for engineering and producing bands like the platinum selling The Used and Story of The Year. The band’s website www.teamrockit.com that will feature a six minute webisode about the making the album which includes previews of a documentary DVD they will soon be releasing that chronicles their exciting recording process, marking, and touring adventures.
Launched at the beginning of the decade by Sanzeri and Friscia as a natural progression from their popular previous band Charlie’s Pipe Dream, Team Rockit played at well-known Chicago haunts The Double Door and The Note, and soon expanded its grass roots following with shows in Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Detroit, Cleveland, Boston, Philly, New York and Washington, DC. Team Rockit’s series of shows in Germany in April 2008 will mark their fifth tour of the country, and they’re also performing for the first time in Poland. Friscia’s work as a tour manager and his job as a product manager for BMG in Munich led him to realize the vast market there for Team Rockit’s style of edgy rock, which they whimsically describe as “The Hives meets Foo Fighters meets The Figgs meets AC/DC.” The band quickly established a powerful presence among German rock fans.
While working with a series of different bass players, Sanzeri and Friscia self-produced four critically acclaimed independent recordings: an EP called The Mirror (2001), full-length albums Hell On Wheels (2002), Duck Duck Goose E.P. (2004), and full-length The Lowest Point…In Rock & Roll History (2006). Tracks from Duck Duck Goose hit the airwaves in 72 markets across the U.S. and Canada, and Team Rockit has shot a number of videos that have appeared on the enhanced CD versions of the last two albums. These include: “She Wants Us To Stay,” “Car Bombs,” “Know What I Mean,” and a live performance/Brady Bunch like video for “Something I Said” from The Lowest Point. A promotional code embedded in one of the videos linked to a special website where fans could enter to win one of Sanzeri’s Telecaster guitars.
Recorded at Rax Trax in Chicago, Rockit Science is Team Rockit’s most focused pure rock collection to date, deviating from the band’s previous all-over-the map sensibilities that drew equally from rock, punk, and indie sensibilities. “Our mindset was always to keep putting ourselves out there, making the records we wanted to make,” says Friscia, “but we’re finally honing in on our true identity as an indie rock punk band with this much more streamlined but no less fun and intense project. We were willing to put more money into the recording this time to produce an album the way it should be done. We met Mark Blewett when he was a judge at the Bodog Battle of the Bands and we knew he was the right guy to help us take things up a notch. He pushed us hard, brought us up, tore us down, told us which songs worked and which ones to trash, and was a tyrant when it came to tempos. The result is that we’re putting across a more concise message as to who Team Rockit is and where we’re headed.”
Team Rockit’s goal with their “raw Chicago rawk” has never been to be overtly commercial, but “All Over Town,” Sanzeri’s percussive, bobbing head song about creatures of habit and a woman that’s selling herself out for drugs, has heavy duty pop/rock single potential. The hard charging, frenetic, filtered vocal driven “There’s No ‘You’ In Team” gets in the face of folks who act like they want to work with you but who ultimately are only out to serve their own interests. The similarly fiery and propulsive “Devil’s Tattoo” reflects on an old saying concerning mental illness and how it was originally thought to be the doing of demonic forces. The sexually charged “Rough Rider” is classic tongue in cheek Team Rockit songwriting and performing all the way.
“It’s exciting for us to see how opportunities keep opening up for us as our grass roots following grows even further with the help of the internet,” says Friscia. “But the core of the Team Rockit experience is our live show and the energy Joe puts out. He’s not smashing guitars but he loves jumping off my bass drum and flying through the air! I like to say there are two kinds of bands: groups like Radiohead which are cool to experience listening at home and others like The Jesus Lizard where they’d wack themselves with the mic until they bleed. We’re sort of in the middle, giving fans everywhere a completely dynamic but blood-free presentation of our best songs every time we play.”
Edited by radooor on 11 May 2011, 15:54
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