Recovering from damaged nerves that made playing painfully impossible, guitarist/song-writer ZACH ROGUE’s ROGUE WAVE returned earlier this year with a brilliant, upbeat CD, “Permalight.” Catching Zach as the band embarked on a tour that takes them to Madison’s High Noon Saloon April 16th, he was kind enough to answer a few questions via email.
MAXIMUM INK: How did the idea of “Permalight,” come about?
ZACH ROGUE: It was the first song I wrote after I started writing music again in 2009. I was in an amazingly great mood and I felt like writing a sequel to Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration” and that is what came to mind. I wasn’t really concerned so much with a chord progression per se. I was really just interested in the rhythm and having my hand move up and down the guitar neck so the song would have a loose groove.
MI: Why, “Permalight - Say Goodnight?”
ZR: There isn’t supposed to be a deep meaning to the lyrics. It is just about staying present and preserving the moment. Instead of a salutation of saying goodbye (goodnight, the night is over), it is supposed to be a declaration (good night! the night is young).
MI: Do you ever know when a musical idea has what it takes to become a finished song?
ZR: I don’t. I wing it.
MI: After taking time away from the band to recuperate, do any of your old songs strike you as ironic, perhaps revealing a new layer with a different meaning?
ZR: I find it strange that the old duality of work vs. art (I hate working and would rather make art full time) has morphed into art vs. family (I make art full time and I hate missing my family). Some of those same lines can be applied to both concepts. Also, it seems like we will always sing “Harmonium” and it will always have the same meaning. We will always be at war somewhere.
MI: What’s your take on the resurgence of late seventies/early eighties sounds?
ZR: You make it sound like bands just discovered synthesizers. We’ve been using them all along. They’ve been on every record our band has made. Bands that borrow from other bands like Joy Division or Eurythmics or the Human League or Depeche Mode isn’t exactly a novel concept. I think people just really like to dance sometimes. And there are others that would rather just get online and write ugly things - probably because they can’t dance.
MI: The band had a major scene in the film “Love Happens.” How did, “Love Happens,” happen?
ZR: We heard about it while we were on tour at the end of the summer of 2008. I was a little skeptical at first because Jennifer Aniston is always asking me to appear in her movies, but alas, I relented. We’ve reconciled.
MI: If you had to be a tribute band, which group’s songs could you play night after night?
ZR: Credence or the Smiths.
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CD: Permalight Record Label: Brushfire Records/Universal
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