Extra Virgin: Articles
Interview with Rogers
Stevens for New York
By Greg Prato on March 16, 2000
How did you meet Rene, and how did the current line-up come together?
Around 1997 or so, I used to go to this bar in New York that my friend owned.....the whole free drink scenario. Rene played on night and my friend introduced us. I forced him to quit what he was doing and work with me. At the time, we were looking for a singer to move on with what was left of Blind Melon (under a different name), but it seemed to work better with just the two of us. The other guys felt the same way and they carried on with their thing. Rene and I went to see Johnny Lonely when we were in LA last year. Blind Melon opened our first show for his old band, Liquid Jesus, so I've known Johnny for 10 years or so. He was involved with another band, so he couldn't do it at the time. Just after we had completely written him off, he called to say he was moving to New York and wanted to play. We met Bill Dobrow through Christopher Thorn, who was in my old band....Bill came highly recommended, so we called him. It took him a few months to come around as well, but he's in there now and it works great. Rene had know Jack Petrozelli before with some other group or something, so he came right in and knew the songs better that we did after about 3/4 of a rehearsal.
The current line-up was formed after '12 Stories High' was recorded, right? Did studio musicians play on the album?
Rene and I played a lot of the stuff on the record. The other guys weren't around yet when when we made it. We'll probably re-record stuff with them later. All of these guys have enormous rock egos, so we have to be sensitive to their needs or they go into hysterics and make irrational demands. We've also got a bunch of new songs that we've worked out. These new tunes will be recorded and all the members will be properly credited in bold letters.
Are you happy with how the album came out, how was the recording process? You've recorded in New Orleans before, right?
How have the shows been thus far?
I've got no complaints about the shows. The crowds seem to be getting bigger....and these people are fun to play with. I think it's much more bombastic live than on record. It's very hard to record that, but some people seem to be able to.
For longtime Blind Melon fans, how would you describe Extra Virgin's sound?
In my mind, it flows pretty well from the old band to this one. Obviously, Shannon and Rene are very different singers, so right up front it sounds different. But I still handle my part of things in the same way, so whatever my contribution was in Blind Melon can be heard somewhat in this band. I think the music is at least in the same neighborhood....being that it's sort of all over the map, but Rene brings a whole list of influences that I never considered to the picture. Now that we're all writing together as a band, it's going to be even more varied. Johnny is very into early Scritti Politti...so that alone should at least change the course of rock history.
Are the newer songs the band's been playing in concert collaborative between all the members? Any plans of recording the new material in the near future?
I think i've answered this one.
Is a major label deal on the horizon?
Label people seem pretty interested, so we'll check that out and see where it goes. You just never know until you sign your life away.
Interview with Rogers by Michael (from www.blindmelon.org)
What was the first Extra Virgin song
Who chose the name "Extra Virgin" and
were there any other names considered?
Also, why was the first record named
"Twelve Stories High?"
How do you think the next record will
compare with "Twelve Stories High?"
Will it be on Old Lady records?
Do you plan to tour extensively in promotion
of this record?
Whats the song writing process like
for you guys? Do you write seperately? together? through jams?
What kind of things do you draw influences
from? What's in your stereos?
Will any of the songs which didn't make
it on to "Twelve Stories High"ever be released?
Lastly, is "Fat Laces" autobiographical?
Many many thanks to Matthew
Flood for spending a lot of time to retrieve all this stuff and to Rene Lopez