Nashville-based, Roxercat, have been impressing us hugely over the past few months and we decided it was high time we caught up with them and discussed their music, their plans for world domination and their backgrounds.
The first single we heard of yours was Pearls, your debut single. It’s very different and much more country influenced than, for example, Crime. Was this a strategic decision to release a more country song as your debut as you are Nashville based?
Pearls was actually a middle section to a much longer song that sounded more like a rock and roll Yes tune. It had lots of different sections & tempo changes. We had a tracking day booked and needed one more tune to make the most of our time. We hadn’t worked this song up yet but since the middle section was relatively simple, I plucked it out & gave it another verse and we cut it pretty much unrehearsed. When the EP was finished we put together a focus group of about 30 people to listen and asked everyone to rate their top 3. Although Pearls didn’t have the most #1 picks, it was in almost everyone’s top 3 so we decided that would be the best single to release first since it appealed to the most people. In my mind, it’s more Pink Floyd-influenced than anything. It’s my “Wish You Were Here”. So I’m surprised when someone says they hear country music influences in it. I don’t mind though. Music is very subjective. As long as it’s well received, I’m happy.
Who are your influences? We spotted plenty of our favourite 70s bands in your style, but perhaps you’ll surprise us.
The Beatles, Heart, CSN&Y, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, The Police, Kansas, Yes, Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel (the stranger), Cat Stevens, Sergio Mendes & Brazil 66 I could go on & on. I was all about music as a kid and went to lots of concerts. I still have ticket stubs from way back when… like a Led Zeppelin ticket for $8.50!
What are your plans for world domination?!! We can see your music having wide appeal across Classic Rock and prog fans. Where do you see things heading?
Yes, World Domination, that’s our plan! Honestly though, I just don’t know. When you’re a new independent artist, releasing music and trying to find “your people” is not an easy task, especially with the large number of bands releasing new music daily. We’ve got a lot of really great feedback for the EP but because our music leans towards classic rock, a lot of times it’s followed by “but you just don’t fit in with the kind of music we’re playing here, sorry”. Then again music has always been somewhat about luck of the draw. It’s about getting that one push that helps get you on your way. Don’t get me wrong, it’s also about working really hard and doing your best but in the end, there’s usually an element of the unknown that attributes to ultimate success. Whether it’s getting a cut in a movie, a review in a big mag, playlisted on a significant playlist, or an opening slot for a more well-known act, there’s that one lucky break that helps push you over the edge from unknown to known. We’re okay with that. We’ve all played music for so long that we play because we love to play and will always continue to do so. Our dreams are big and we have high hopes but we’re also grounded in the reality of the business.
You’re clearly all seasoned musicians. Can you tell us about previous projects and successes?
Stan’s released a lot of great jazz fusion music. One record in particular he released was Psychic Sweat by the Stan Lassiter Group. It’s really fantastic. Everyone should go check it out. He’s a local legend in these parts. A guitar player’s guitar player. The man is simply astounding to listen to. The music he plays just flows out of him as naturally as a river flows. I released a CD back in 1993 called Oooznoz that was critically acclaimed. It got some really great press & I was able to tour it regionally. I also wrote a rock musical, The Fortunate Few: the rock opera. That’s actually when Stan & Bill & I started playing together. We spent 3 years workshopping the tunes, casting and recording it. Right about the time we were supposed to gear up for the live show, the pandemic hit and the project completely stalled. We still released the record but without a live show, it didn’t go far. By the time live music started up again, half of our cast had moved away. It’s a sci-fi story set in the not-so-distant future when it’s commonplace for babies to be “grown” in clinics. The story gets pretty dark but it’s a fun show with lots of unexpected twists and turns. I’d still love to see it as a live production or movie someday. It’s on my bucket list. After 3 years of playing together on TFF, Stan, Bill and I had developed this really great musical chemistry so out of the ashes of that project, we started Roxercat! Bill’s first released recording was The Fortunate Few. Pearls was his 2nd! He’s played all his life with a multitude of artists & bands. He’s a fabulous bass player. Being a bass performance major in college, I’m pretty sure his dream gig would be with Weather Report or someone of that nature but he’s played rock and roll all his life and just kills it. He’s the solid groove foundation of our trio and doesn’t get near enough recognition for his talent but most bass players don’t.
Your latest single, Crime, absolutely blew us away. Tell us more about the inspiration behind this song.
I wrote this back in 2019. The inspiration for Crime was my frustration with all the people who buy into crazy false narratives and then let it consume their lives. We’re at a strange time in history when the truth seems to have become obsolete to some degree. Too many people read or hear something and just assume it’s true without questioning its legitimacy no matter how nuts it may sound. This in turn has evolved into more hatred and violence in our society. So my song is a plea for people to wake up & take back control of their thoughts and beliefs and not let anyone dictate whom they should love or hate. The crime is giving away your power of choice and critical thinking to systems designed to distract. It’s very dangerous to blindly follow and not question. We can all choose truth and decency.
What’s the best gig experience you’ve had?
Stan opened up for Stevie Ray Vaughn at a festival.
…and the worst gig?
When Bill was playing a concert in another country many years ago, they were playing outside against a 3-storey building in this town. In the middle of the concert, someone threw a dead goat in the middle of the stage.
What is your favourite song to perform, and why?
Hands down my favorite song to play is 2020. I consider it my musical diary of the year 2020. It’s also the longest song on our EP at over 6 minutes and teaser alert it’s also going to be our next music video release. This was one of the few songs I wrote in 2020. Generally, I’ll hear a tune in my head and have it written shortly afterwards, like an hour or two max. This song was different. I wrote the beginning and thought I was done. Maybe a month later I started writing another song… then I realized it was a part of the first song so I put them together. This kept happening for a while. I’d think I had this new cool song only to realize shortly in that it was another part of 2020. Finally, when it was finished, it was this long intricate song that told the story of the year 2020. The year started off really great. Then the pandemic hit in China and worry started to set in. Then the pandemic arrived in the US and things got scary. Life changed dramatically. People started dying. Then there was the aftermath when it was easing up, dealing with the sadness and loss. But then finally out of the deep sadness comes this anthem of hope and finding joy again. The song just really resonates with me when I play it.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever been given?
When I was attending Belmont University in Nashville, I had a Music Business teacher, David Skepner. He was Loretta Lynn’s manager from 1972 to 1986. One of the first things he taught us and really hammered in was “NEVER ASSUME”. He said if you only remember one thing that I teach you, remember that! That has stuck with me ever since. I apply it in all facets of my life. It’s just really good advice. Never assume…
What can the fans expect from you in the next 12 months?
We’ve got plans to record our next EP and we’ll continue to update everyone on our socials. There’s another music video we’re releasing next month for the song 2020. We’re working with this amazing visual AI artist from Latvia. The video is really stunning and we’re super excited! We’d also really like to tour someday but that all depends on the success of our releases. I’ve really given up planning too far ahead. The best-laid plans… well you know. We’ll definitely be working on new music because that’s just who we are and what we do.
Thanks for chatting with us, Roxercat! Great to get to know you better.
You can find out more about Roxercat here;