Since the release of Jeff Rosenstock’s second album Worry, things have been pretty different for the skaa-rooted punk rocker.
“Well, this morning I made a theme song for a cartoon, that was pretty crazy,” Rosenstock reveals. “It’s for a cartoon called Craig of The Creek and that will be on Cartoon Network. The guy who made the show saw my old band at a house party a few years ago and then when he started making the show he asked me to do the music for the pilot and I was like ‘yeah of course’ and then Cartoon Network picked it up and I got to do the music for the season.” The shows creators being Matt Burnett and Ben Levin, the masterminds behind Cartoon Networks current hit show ‘Stevens Universe.’
But curating Craig of the Creek’s soundtrack isn’t the only new project for Rosenstock, but also his album Worry sees him branch out into a new realm of lyricism, straying away from punk lyrics about life’s boringness, as seen on his critically acclaimed debut record We Cool?.
“If I’m being honest, I did a lot of interviews after We Cool? came out and I did a lot of them in a row, and I had never really had that level of media attention before so it kind of led me to talk about depression and anxiety for a week straight,” he says, “and then I got to the point where I was over talking about that kind of stuff so I tried to write from a different perspective, to try and challenge myself.
“I was really happy with We Cool? But I felt that if I tried to do that again I could have easily just repeated myself and had diminishing results. I guess not wanting to talk about depression led me to talking about things that are even less comfortable; like how our world is turning into a big pile of shit, or the racist police murders all the time and the way genderfication happens and dehumanizes people. I thought all that sounded way more fun to talk about than depression… I don’t know what the fuck I was thinking,” he laughs before expanding on what traditionally led him to writing emotive lyrics.
“I think the way I get when I am writing and demoing a song is that I get into it, especially with lyrics. I get into that headspace. I just start thinking about really negative things and diving into the deep end.
“I think it’s healthy for me to do it, I think it’s how I write my best stuff. But there is always a release when I have finished writing a song because it’s like ‘okay, I have turned this negative energy into a song’ and at the very least for me that is something positive because I have created something. Writing sad songs does make you feel better but it doesn’t solve anything.”
After delivering sell out shows previously in Australia, Jeff Rosenstock will be returning to headline this years annual Poison City Weekender, an event that’s been on his radar for a long time.
“I’m stoked, I’ve wanted to play Poison City Weekender for years and I am so happy we are finally doing it. Poison City is great; whenever I am in Melbourne I hang out at the shop a lot so I am really stoked to play it.”
When & Where: Poison City’s annual Weekender Fest, Melbourne – September 15 & Karova Lounge, Ballarat – September 16
Written by Alex Callan
Photo by Andy Johnson