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After last month’s introduction to hot Brit rock band Rooster, we bring you our exclusive interview with guitarist Luke Potashnick.

The Record: You recently performed across Asia – how was the experience?
Luke: I think Asia’s great. They’re really into their rock music. When they find a band and like it, they really embrace it and that’s what we’ve been lucky enough to feel. We’ve gone over there, we’ve had great support, we’ve been greeted off the plane. In Japan people followed us across the country when we were doing our tour. It’s really great to come to such countries and see how passionate they are about their music. That’s what we are, we’re huge, huge music fans! When we’re not playing music all we’re doing is talking about it and listening to it, and it’s nice to go to a country where you can see that passion among the public.

TR: I read on the Internet that someone thinks of you as “the male rock version of the Dixie Chicks (a country band)”. Comment.
Luke: We get compared to a lot of things. People tell us they can hear bits of the Rolling Stones and Free in our music… but the Dixie Chicks, that’s a new one! [Laughs] That’s a compliment. I think we just try to get on with our own thing and of course we have some clear influences in our music and we’re not afraid of that and we’re obviously flattered when people compare us to some great bands, but we’re just trying to get on with it.

TR: What’s the best thing that’s been said about Rooster?
Luke: When the album finally came out there were a lot of nice reviews. People saying “classic rock as it should be”, someone else said “air-punching, stadium-gold rock”, other people saying “rocket-fueled rock”… I think we got a lot of nice compliments for the album but I think one of the biggest compliments for me certainly was when we played the Royal Albert Hall supporting Robert Plant. That was one of the most amazing experiences. And Roger Daltry, the singer from The Who was there and he came to our dressing room after and said ‘Hey guys you’re a really tight band, you’re going to do really well if you really work hard.’ To come from someone like that, who really doesn’t have to say that to you, who has done it all himself, and who can see the potential in us… that was a huge compliment. So yeah, Roger Daltry saying we were a really good, tight band was a really good moment.

TR: That’s what makes all the sleepless nights and hard touring worth it right?
Luke: Yeah! I mean that and also, it’s great to get critically recognized, but right from the start in the UK we’ve been headlining our own tours, even if it means playing for 100-300 people, we always wanted to do it that way. And now we’ve built up from playing small little rock clubs in London where there’s a hundred or two hundred people and our next tour we’re playing to three and a half thousand people each night in theaters in the UK! The real satisfaction and what makes all those sleepless nights on tour worth it is when you get up on stage and you’ve got thousands of people going crazy for your music and singing it back to you and having a great time… that’s what really makes it worth it.

TR: Being a rock band – is your live show the place where Rooster really shines?
Luke: I think so. A lot of people say that’s when our ‘70s influences really come through. Because no matter how big someone like (producer) Pete Woodroffe has made the songs on the record sound, when we play live, we have no sequencers, no help, it’s just the four of us on stage, a stripped down, rock four-piece and the songs become a lot edgier, a lot rawer, and a lot heavier as well.
The energy that we give off on stage – Nick is a great frontman and we’re always jumping around and moving around on stage. So our live show, we’re very proud of it and we feel that no one can really understand Rooster until they’ve seen us live.

You can read the rest of our exclusive with Rooster in the July 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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