Cuseglio called from Jersey last week, I cut right to the chase:
Why the '70s classic rock sound? Is this real love or a twisted
joke on all of us guys who grew up with Led Zeppelin?
"It's not a joke
at all," said Cuseglio, betraying his state of origin with
his thick Sopranos-style accent. "We're really into
a ton of '70s rock, especially Led Zeppelin."
Mere pups in their 20s,
these guys didn't grow up when Live at Budokan, Presence
or Toys in the Attic first hit the record racks. Instead,
they got their rock jonze from their folks.
"We listened to
a lot of punk and indie rock when we first started listening to
records," Cuseglio said. "Then we came across our relatives'
Zeppelin and Beatles records and it grew from there. I can speak
for the entire band that there are a handful of bands out there
right now that we listen some of the time, but a ton of classic
rock bands that we listen to all the time."
Cuseglio points to the
'Cuda era's party-til-you-drop attitude as the reason they don't
make 'em like that anymore. "Peoples' response to rock is a
lot more rigid now; where in the '70s, people were much more willing
to let loose. I notice it at shows -- people don't know how to let
go and have a good time."
And it's not just the
fans. Cuseglio said bands these days (especially in the indie scene)
are more interested in making a point than in entertaining. "A
lot of musicians take themselves really, really seriously,"
he said. "We came from a punk background, where bands were
politically correct, saying things about veganism and the military.
We just never fit into that. We never gave a shit. We wanted to
get on stage and just play music."
Cuseglio said that, as
a result, Rye Coalition has garnered a bad rap in some indie rock
circles. "We've been pegged as assholes trying to be pariahs,"
he said. "It's never been about anything but the music for
us. We don't have any great ideas of getting up there and changing
the world with what our music is saying. Some bands do that well.
We don't have any interest in it. We want it to be fun for everyone
involved. Music is really one of the purist forms of escapism."
Published in The Omaha Weekly Oct. 30, 2002.
Copyright © 2002 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.