Zach Rogue's Release the Sunbird Project + Ticket Giveaway


On a whim, Zach Rogue of local favorite Rogue Wave bought a ticket to Bloomington and booked time at a friend's recording studio. After years of being on the road with his band, he felt the urge to try something new. And that's when his latest project, Release the Sunbird, was born. The result of his time in the Bloomington studio is Come Back to Us, which makes its debut on July 26. New faces and voices are behind this album, and the project's members—Pete Shreiner on drums, Kenny Childers on bass and vocals, and Kate Long on vocals—brought out a side of Zach Rogue as a singer and songwriter that we haven't seen in a long time. Have a listen and decide for yourself—Release the Sunbird is playing the Swedish American Hall on Thursday, 7/28, and we're giving away 2 pairs of tickets to the show. Check out our Q&A with Zach Rogue and leave a question for him about this new project in the comments section below. We'll pick 2 winners at random on Monday, 7/25.

How did you know you needed to go to Bloomington for this new project? What about the place called out to you?
For a project like this one, it was just the perfect setting. Since it is a small college town, it has its own little ecosystem that seems pretty unaffected by the economic downturn. Nothing seems to change there. I wanted to be sparse when we were tracking, and every morning I would walk to the studio with this perfect feeling of stillness and peace.
Now that Come Back to Us is finished, do you have a clearer sense of where you were headed when you envisioned this new project?
It is more than I thought it would be. I could never have guessed the band would have come together in such a fluid fashion. I thought the record would be sort of a series of song fragments, but it ended up becoming a real moment in time for all of us. Stepping back from that, I now see I needed to go back to making this kind of music. Live tracking, off the cuff arrangements, minimal overdubbing. We wanted everything to sound good, but it was more important that we were connecting on the right emotional level.

How do you want people to differentiate between the music you made as Rogue Wave and the new work you’ve created with Release the Sunbird?
When people hear the vocal harmonies and the sounds of the warm acoustic guitars, they will feel a difference. When they hear Kate and Kenny singing with me, they will get it. People who know the first Rogue Wave record will maybe draw some connections there, and that's not just aesthetics. I made both records with almost no expectations. I really just followed my own muse and developed arrangements as I went. Both of those records are a little closer to who I am, I think. A lot of space, a lot of fuck-ups. 
The music on this album sounds deeply introspective in an uplifting sort of way. Was that a conscious decision or does it simply reflect what’s going on in this phase of life?
It's the reason it is not a Rogue Wave record. It wouldn't have worked in that context because Pat and I are so closely linked when we make records together. I needed to have Kate's voice on this record and a different musical sensibility for it to work right. It needed to be about male and female perspective and the dualities of relationships. That can be harder to accomplish in a rock band. 

Is this the end of Rogue Wave?
Absolutely. No way. Of course. Maybe. How dare you? For sure. Not a chance.

Release the Sunbird plays The Swedish American Hall at 8 p.m. on Thurs. 7/28; 2174 Market St.,

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