Staying Out of Cycle: An Interview with Jeff Rosenstock


It was early 2015 when John Baldwin of Walter’s asked me, “have you heard this new Jeff Rosenstock record?” That record, We Cool?, would end up crashing the SideOneDummy website when it dropped, and thus made me a longtime fan of the indie rocker. I had already been a fan of his work with Bomb The Music Industry!, his D.I.Y. aesthetic and donation-based record label Quote Unqoute Records, but this version was so catchy and so unfiltered that it made me await his upcoming show. In the vein of doing whatever he wanted, Rosenstock returned the following year with another killer record, Worry., and toured again with better songs and an ever-growing fan base. Nowadays, Rosenstock isn’t booking his own shows. His latest record POST- was released on New Year’s Day without promotion through Polyvinyl, and with it he dropped the first killer release of 2018. After tagging Rosenstock in my review of the K. Campbell album review, his P.R. team reached out to me before I could send an email to them, and the rest is history below where Rosenstock and I discussed the new record, his time in the industry, and what people can expect from his performance here in March at The Secret Group.

Jeff Rosenstock deserves all of the attention he’s been getting in recent years because essentially he’s been doing this since the mid-nineties with ska punk band The Arrogant Sons of Bitches, and later with Bomb The Music Industry!. In recent years, it’s felt like he’s made a record, released it, and toured excessively enough to seem daunting to almost anyone who sees it. “Yeah, my bands break up, I have a band two months and I have to start a new one. I’m never putting out records to stay on (album) cycle. When people wanna see me, it’s cool. I did this cause I wanted to,” says Rosenstock.

And doing what he wants to seems to be the best method for how Rosenstock works. For his latest record, POST-, he recorded in New York and California, while adding parts from Canadian band PUP as well as Laura Stevenson and Chris Farren. When asked how he got everyone together to make that happen he replied, “the internet. We don’t have to do things the old way anymore. We had a week to record, I thought of the harmonies, asked and everyone did their parts. I talked to Stefan of PUP, I asked and he did it all through the miracle of email. I did the same with the last Bomb record too, and it’s fun and possible to do that way.”

When you listen to POST-, you can’t help but hear the lyrics in your face. As someone who doesn’t typically put too much stock into lyrics, the catchy nature of the record meant that I’d listened to it enough to know all of the words, so much so that I wondered how much of them were political and leaning towards the dumpster fire of a president we have in office now. As per Rosenstock, “I think every song is political. You have a chance to say something, whether it’s this girl broke my heart or whatever. Obviously, they are (about him), but I don’t want them to be just…



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