Over the course of a winter tour that will span 14 states and exceed 220 shows in 2012, the band Roster McCabe will play Vail’s Sandbar at 9 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 10. Self-described as a “high-energy dance party,” this funk/ reggae/ dance/ rock quintet is excited to be making its fourth appearance at Sandbar, saying “the people are what ultimately keep us coming back.”
With technical and skillfull rendered guitar solos and soulful vocals, Roster McCabe manages to sustain the dance energy with catchy synth lines and heavy guitar counter melodies, not to mention inspired drumming.
There is another noteworthy thing about Roster McCabe’s 2012 tour, including the upcoming Vail show, in addition to its prolific performance schedule. Roster McCabe is at the forefront of what might become a movement for independent bands, of building a national grassroots fan base by giving their music away for free.
“We work on a pay what you want/pay what you can system which has worked out well, because the fans, and people who really spread the word, are the people that want it, not just people that can afford a $10 CD,” says lead vocalist Alex Steele, who also plays the keyboard.
SneakPEAK recently caught up with Steele to unearth some insight into the band’s unique worldview and set the stage for the upcoming show. But – just to warn you – don’t expect to have your curiosity satiated about the meaning behind the band’s oddball name.
“Officially, we’ve decided the origins of the band name should remain a secret,” Steele says.
How are you keeping such an ambitious tour schedule for 2012?
Alex Steele: We are coming into 2012 with a very strong forward momentum from last year. We effectively doubled our fan base in 2011 and want to make sure we have a chance to get back to all those places we were last year and continue to grow. We are all very focused on the goal of making Roster McCabe a sustainable project, so we stay busy in the van on long drives promoting or writing. We make sure we are getting the right amount of sleep whenever possible, and eating as healthy as we can (including a plethora of vitamins and supplements). There is a certain amount of unavoidable burnout that happens on the long tours towards the end, but the sacrifices have been well worth the finish-line fatigue.
Will there be anything different about the performances you give in 2012 versus previous tours?
The music of Roster McCabe has always been a constantly transforming experience with new parts, transitions and breakdowns. We have already begun experimenting with a few more styles of music, and continue to bang out new material over the course of the year.
Why is the band giving away their music for free? What has the response been?
We give our music away for free because we have a firm belief that people should have music in their lives no matter what is in their pocket. We are all looking for answers as to how to survive in the new economy. Gaining support for our live shows and gaining new fans for the purpose of growth and sustainability are way more important than making $10 on a CD.
To learn more about Roster McCabe, check them out on Twitter or Facebook or download their music at www.rostermccabe.com.