HMR: Rob, thanks for taking the time to talk with me. I think that the new album is awesome and want to talk about it, but just to clear it all up, you are now on your own and out of Impelliteri. You are however very visible through both 'Crunch' from Impelliteri and your own solo effort 'Rage of Creation'. Where is this all at??
Rob: First I recorded the "Crunch" album with Impellitteri and then I recorded my solo album. I had Chris's blessing to do the solo album for a long time, but after I finished my recording he changed his mind and wanted me to do only one or the other. I wanted to still do both but he said I had to choose, so now I'm a solo artist. "Crunch" has been out for awhile and "Rage of Creation" is coming out now.
HMR: The new album 'Rage of Creation' is great. How did it all come together??
Rob: I was talking with Roy Z for a long time about doing a solo album since it first came up in 1996. I was doing the tour for "Screaming Symphony"in Japan and there were some industry people who expressed interest in hearing some of my old demos I had done in the past with Roy Z. It took 4 years of prayer and waiting for things to finally come together, but the timing was right now and everything started to fall into place near the end of 1999. I just called the people I knew and respected, and with a little bit of help from Roy and our mutual friend Chris Leibundgut, we were able to put together a pretty awesome line-up!
HMR: You have worked with Roy Z in the past in a band called Driver. Had you stayed in contact with him through the years or did you have to look him up??
Rob: I've maintained contact with him throughout the years because we are really good friends.
HMR: Turning to the music, what influences did you draw from on the writing of this album?? The new album is very consistent.
Rob: Thank you. I really just went back to what I love most. Classic metal. I just put away all pre-conceived notions about what a label would want and finally did an album that I wanted to do. Roy and I always wanted to make an album together so we started from there and just let it rip. We wrote a lot of brand new songs and we also had some great ideas from back in our Driver days that we felt stood the test of time. We used those ideas as a springboard to write some new songs and make an album that was true to Rob Rock as a singer, artist and performer.
HMR: When you refer to stuff from the Driver days that stood the test of time, which tracks or elements are you referring to??
Rob: I'm talking about riffs and hooks that we love today, hearing them years later. There's parts in songs like "Never Too Late", "Forever" and "In The Night".
HMR: I am sure you are well aware of the projects that Roy has been involved with this year. What did he bring to the creative process?? He is really becoming quite the sought after Producer.
Rob: Roy brings a fresh shot of excitement and enthusiasm to the creative process. He is very creative and his energy is contagious. We both wanted to make a great record and concentrate on a great vibe and real performances. He is definitely a great talent.
HMR: What are your personal favorite tracks??
Rob: Oh man! Ask me on any given day and you may get a different answer. Today I'm really diggin' "Judgment Day", "Streets of Madness" and "In the Night". But "The Sun will Rise again", "Eagle", "Media Machine" and "Forever" have all been on the top of my list at different times too.
HMR: I noticed the Abba tune on the album. For those who don't know, you covered 'Eagle'. Why did you decide to do this one?? It sounds really good. If you didn't know the tune, you would think it was yours. It fits in very well on the album.
Rob: Well, the point was to make it my own. My friend Chris Leibundgut had the idea and told Roy Z. Roy told me and after we discussed it, I felt that I could do it justice by singing it in the vein of one of my favorites tunes by Black Sabbath called "Heaven and Hell". Once the tape was rolling, I just sang it the way I sing and in the end, I really enjoy the performance and delivery we captured.
HMR: What kind of promotion are you going to have for the album?? Will there be a radio single in the States or overseas??
Rob: Yes, the promotion machine is starting up now and "Streets of Madness" will be featured in Europe, and "Judgment Day" here in the States. Japan is playing "The Sun will Rise again" and "Media Machine". I've also received airplay lists from other countries that have played "Forever", "In the Night" and "Eagle".
HMR: What other kinds of promotions will you try to boost album sales here in the States??
Rob: I obviously will pursue the internet possibilities and use the many independent distributors that are available now. I also plan on doing some shows and promotions here in Florida. I'm extremely happy with the album and that's what matters most to me, I know in my heart it's a great record and they best one I've ever recorded, so great sales would be icing on the cake!
HMR: Looking at Japan, the album has been out for a bit over there. Any idea how it is doing??
Rob: The album is doing great there! Especially when they consider me a "new artist"and spend very little time and energy pushing it. With very little promotion it is still selling well.
HMR: It not only helps to have a great record, but metal music seems to thrive in Japan. The scene in the U.S. has been warming up recently. Do you feel it can succeed in it's revival to the way we once knew it??
Rob: Well, I hope so...but I think it will take a label with the guts to put the marketing to the masses to make it happen. MTV would have to embrace it too. I hope it resurges with quality and talent, not by trends and images. I want to hear good songs again!
HMR: You just signed the album thru Massacre records for Europe. They carry some great talent. How did you get your deal with them?? Is it a one album deal or multiple??
Rob: They told me they were interested, along with some other labels, and I felt that they would do the best job for me at this time. We'll be doing more albums together in the future as well.
HMR: Have you signed any distribution deals for the U.S.?? The album is available thru your website as of October 26 for the fans who want to get it now.
Rob: Only individual ones for now. All the on-line distributors will have it and also Mom and Pop's and major chains. After the holidays, I will look for a larger exclusive distributor and see if there is someone out there that can expose this album at an even higher level.
HMR: You will be doing some warm up gigs before you tour. What are the tour plans so far??
Rob: The tour plans are just beginning now, First we'll head to Germany for the CRN festival in December, then come back to do some Florida shows, and then we plan to go back to Europe in March to tour behind the record there. It would be great to hook up with another act so we are keeping our eyes and ears open to all the possibilities.
HMR: I wanted to touch on something I have heard. You will be handling vocal duties on the next Warrior album??
Rob: Well, Roy Z and Joe Floyd engineered and mixed my album. When "Rage of Creation" was done, Joe asked me to consider writing and recording the new Warrrior album with him and I accepted. Warrior is a great heavy metal band and to record with them is a great honor.
HMR: Did you just meet Joe in the recording process or did you know him already??
Rob: I've met Joe before as I've often visited Roy at Joe's studio when he was recording albums there. Once we started working together on ROC, we got to know each other better. Joe is good people!
HMR: Have you already done work on the future Warrior project?? Is there a projected date??
Rob: The Warrior album is now complete. The album is in negotiations for an early 2001 release. I don't know all the intimate details like which label yet, but there seems to be a lot of anticipation for the album, especially in Europe.
HMR: Are you currently involved with any other projects other than Warrior??
Rob: I've got my Florida band now and we are rehearsing for the upcoming shows.
I did record a few lines for Avantasia-the metal opera for Tobias Sammet that will come out in January. It was a quick session I did at a home studio and it was fun. To this day, I don't know what it will sound like in the end!
HMR: Rob, good luck with the album. It is amazing and one of the top 5 releases of the year. Let's get together again and discuss things as times go on. To all of the fans out there, if you are looking for a no nonsense album that really packs a punch, grab 'Rage of Creation'. The songwriting is great and the album is heavy yet very melodic. I wrote a review that you can access by clicking here.
For further info on Rob Rock and 'Rage of Creation' as well as any other Rob Rock happenings, check out the official Rob Rock website at: