Move over, there’s a big sound coming out of L.A. with Steven Roth’s debut CD “Let It In”. An indie who has been garnering attention long before he opened up for The Who in the both the Staples Center and Madison Square Garden, his songs have a familiar feel to them, a rock sensibility with a touch of vintage 70’s. No wonder, as he counts among his influences many of that era’s icons. Roth manages to sound familiar and yet distinctly unique, a comfort in this era of over-synthesized “products” from the pop-music machine.
Roth eschews auto-tune and whatever’s popular at the moment, preferring to put out a more honest and personal sound. He travels on the road more than 200 dates a year, mostly in the midwest, and he’s gathering a following. He’s had the honor of opening for such legends as Robert Plant, as well as Roger Daltrey, and Roth was handpicked by Counting Crows frontman Adam Durtiz to perform at his own personal SXSW showcase this year at Rusty’s, ‘Outlaw Roadshow.’
WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCES – AND WHAT’S THAT FAMILIAR FEEL COMING THROUGH?
STEVEN: In no particular order Beatles, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Bob Marley, Queen, Paul Simon, The Who, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, the Allman Brothers, The Greatful Dead, Phish etc.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE OPENING UP FOR THE WHO, THEY ARE ICONS FROM THIS SAME ERA?
STEVEN:Dream come true, exhilarating insane adrenalin rush. I’ll never forget it, it was silly.
AND IN THE STAPLES CENTER TOO!
STEVEN: I know, hometown arena!
I’M SURE YOU HOPE TO REPEAT THAT
STEVEN: Yes, but there are no big gigs like that on the Horizon. I will be going out on a mid-west tour to promote the record, it’s grass-roots fan base building time.
HOW DID YOUR SXSW GO HERE IN AUSTIN, AND WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS TOWN?
STEVEN: It’s fun, it’s crowded, there’s a lot of music going on, so standing out can be a challenge. But it’s a blast, Austin is a great town! It’s the place to go eat BBQ, play music and have fun. I’d love to get back there.
I UNDERSTAND YOU’RE TOTALLY INDEPENDENT, NO MANAGEMENT, BOOKING AGENT, OR LABEL. HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO OPEN FOR THE WHO?
STEVEN: It’s a crazy story, they have a charity called “Teen Cancer America.” I got on their launch party doing an accoustic set, the manager dug it so when I finished my album I sent it to them and they liked the sound.
WHAT’S UP IN THE NEXT YEAR?
STEVEN: Another Album coming up…but first I’ll be working the existing record. Then the plan is to be on the road for next year and also to get some good video content up. I’d like to sync some more music for film and TV. I composed a song for my first feature length film, Lonely Boy.” It’s a really good movie and they’re getting good reviews – it’s doing the festival circuit right now.
WHAT WOULD BE AN IDEAL FILM PROJECT YOU WOULD LIKE TO TAKE ON?
STEVEN: Quentin Tarantino came to mind right away. Also Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Quirky and beautiful all at the same time. John Brian, he’s completely brilliant and insane. Anything that’s not super big and Hollywoody. Not Batman, something more indie. It would need to be quirky, pretty, and interesting.
HOW’S THE MUSIC SCENE IN L.A.?
STEVEN: It’s a challenge, it’s not really a great rock n roll town. As far as the live music, there’s a lot of electro going on. But there are pockets here and there. I found a niche in a place called the Piano Bar. There’s sunset strip, there’s a lot of punk rock and emo, but it’s not my thing. So it’s not like Nashville, or Austin. STEVEN ROTH’S WEBSITE