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The Roogs – Photo Credit: Karin Johansson
Always the hotbed of activity when it comes to the music scene, not to mention the creation of soundtracks for feature films, Los Angeles has been particularly prolific these days, especially under conditions of Covid-19’s resultant lockdown. Artists often find much more downtime on their hands and what better way to spend it than making music.
Enter indie rock duo The Roogs present their self-titled debut album, a collection of tracks that is honest and hopeful, combining the ethereal and the aggressive, the electronic and the acoustic, and the personal with the universal. The Roogs’ music is wonderfully eclectic, smoldering and intriguing and wouldn’t be out of place in an episode of Twin Peaks (the original series) – David Lynch would likely dig this.
The Roogs are Courtney Davies and Steve Gerdes. Together, they represent one-half of the seminal goth / tribal / industrial band Fourwaycross, who were active from 1984 to 1991 and again from 2015 to 2018. Fourwaycross released four albums, five EPs and one compilation album. The band have toured the US three times.
Today, as The Roogs, Steve and Courtney are more focused on a wider range of sounds, reflecting their many influences, past and present. They recorded, mixed and mastered this album in their own studio, Hilda Labs. This debut offering should appeal to people who enjoy music by Washed Out, Dif Juz, This Mortal Coil or Sneaker Pimps. Standout tracks include I Still See You, Approaching Storm, It’s Own Good, and Wildebeest.
“Our songs happen organically – we set out in new directions for each one, leaving behind any ideas on what they are meant to become. This album marks a major shift for us as a couple, who’ve worked together and individually with other bands through the years. We became excited about forging our own sound, being inspired by our many influences past and present, with no restrictions, rules or agenda,” says Steve Gerdes.
“This group of songs dives into our ever-changing perspectives on experiences we share moving through life. Working with unconventional musical combinations; flute and distorted guitar, aggressive bass and ethereal vocals, drum machine and ebow. We like to work with the structural and the gestural to create music that is honest and emotional. Soundtracks are a source of inspiration for us, we like working with texture and sound design.”
Massive Attack, Unkle, The The, Everything but the Girl, Sneaker Pimps, Roxy Music and Washed Out are among the artists shaping The Roogs’ current sound, in addition to Gnarls Barkley, Throbbing Gristle, Tuxedomoon, The Sleepers, Echo and the Bunnymen, Kraftwerk, DJ Shadow, Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead.
“The songwriting process usually starts with rough, minimal sketches written in Ableton Live that are “jammed” live with Steve playing bass or guitar, and me singing or playing guitar, ebow guitar, flute or keyboards. Once we decide a song or piece is viable we start to record the final version in Logic Pro X, which we use for recording, mixing and mastering,” says Courtney Davies.
“We have an extensive amount of outboard gear (synths, samplers, drum machines, etc.) but we rely on mostly plug-ins for compression, limiting and EQ. We are huge fans of anything made by Elektron, Sequential Circuits and Arturia, and love the plugins that come with Logic as well as iZotope, Reason and Line 6.”
The Roogs’ debut is now available everywhere digitally, and there is a special Bandcamp edition that includes an eighth track – ‘Forty Versions’. It can be obtained directly from the band HERE
Steve Gerdes – bass, guitar, synths/drum machine programming, keyboards
Courtney Davies – vocals, flute, guitar, ebow guitar, keyboards
All songs written and performed by Steve Gerdes and Courtney Davies
Enjoy two recent performances by the band. Both tracks appear on the album.