Rob Malloy Exclusive Interview- Rob, Lately Releases “Haunts”
“Hi, I’m Rob. I’m originally from the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. I live in Philly now. I used to play punk rock, but now I play plain old rock music with my band Rob, Lately. We just put out a record called “Haunts” and we’re very pleased with it. We hope you’ll dig it too!”
Those are the words of Rob, Lately front-man Rob Malloy. Formally apart of The Holy Mess, Rob has decided to take a new step in life and enjoy it as it comes. After recently releasing “Haunts,” Rob deserves the recognition of everyone looking to appreciate quality music. I was lucky enough to get a few words with him about his solo project, check it out!
So Rob, how’s the Philly life treating you?
“Ah, can’t complain. Finally moved on from the sort of “punk house” lifestyle I’ve lived for years and got a one bedroom apartment with my girlfriend. It’s a lot easier to relax and enjoy things when you know your bar of soap in the shower definitely hasn’t been used by 4 other guys.”
Haha that’s great. So tell me about your solo project Rob, Lately and who is all involved?
“I’ve been doing Rob, Lately in between other projects for years. Since 2007, actually. I started doing the solo thing mostly because I have a really oddball taste in music and it was hard to do a fully collaborative band where everyone was tolerant of my eclectic musical interests. Thankfully, through some trials and tribulations I’ve found a group of guys that are into the stuff I’m writing and it consists of: my brother Ryan (drums), Kyle Graham (keys), Joe Centrelli (bass) and Kevin McHugh (guitar).”
What’s it like being in a band with your brother? Any sibling rivalry?
“Haha not at all, believe it or not. He’s my best friend and he and I see eye to eye on most things. I mean, I may be guilty of playing the “older brother” role from time to time, but we sort of compliment each other in that way. Where I’m more calculated and pragmatic, he tends to be more care free and excited to try new things.”
Okay, I have to get it out of the way because you know everyone wants to know. Are you and the guys from The Holy Mess still cool?
“Haha, yeah we’re still cool. I actually ran into Steveo and his girlfriend at the laundromat in our neighborhood yesterday. Of course, my leaving the band complicated things for them for a minute, but they’re on track and I wish them the best.”
When your first release Tiny Hearts came out in 2008, did you think you would still be involved 4 years down the line?
“Well, this has always been my sort of “if all else fails…” thing haha. I wanted it to represent my purest, unadulterated creativity. I was tired of trying to fit into some sort of mold that would be widely accessible as what modern music should sound like. It is what it is and if people don’t “get it”, that’s okay. I’m not doing this to get famous. The struggle is the best part of making art.
So yeah, I guess that’s a roundabout way of saying yeah, I always knew I’d still be Rob Malloy.”
Is there any particular message you are trying to get through with your music? Or is it just to make you happy, doing what you love.
“I don’t think I’m really trying to get a message across lyrically, as all of the songs are super personal and come from different life experiences I’ve had. However, I feel we live in a time where it’s super easy to live behind a facade and put whatever face forward you please. So, as a band we try to put across a message that says just be honest with yourself and others. Be you. We like YOU.”
The artwork for Tiny Hearts and especially Haunts is very unique. What is the story behind it?
“A theme sort of unintentionally manifested during the writing/recording of Tiny Heart (the hero, the tree, the vulture etc). The album was really thick with all sorts of wild imagery and it kind of created this landscape that the hero lived and had all this horrible shit happen to him in haha. On Haunts the songs were a little more introverted and dealt with simple emotions, so I wanted to put the Hero in a more common, everyday scenario (subway train). Hence, Jeff Giannone’s beautiful painting.”
I must say, Haunts sounds beautifully matured. Was their any change in your writing process?
“Yes. Tiny Heart was written almost completely by myself and the song structures are pretty straight forward. After moving to Philly and playing in different bands around the area, I met Kyle Graham and heard his album The Merced River – A Measure and I was completely floored. I absolutely had to work with him and lucky for me, he obliged. He ended up engineering Haunts and helping with arrangements and song structures. The guy’s a genius.”
Can you pinpoint any influences or certain bands that inspire you?
“As you may have guessed, when I was writing Haunts I was listening to a lot of acoustic guitar-driven stuff. Justin Townes Earl, The Decemberists, Bishop Allen, Neutral Milk, Mumford and Sons. And also, a lot of older country stuff like Johnny Horton, Carl Perkins, and Roger Miller. I feel like after yelling so much for so long, I wanted to find other, more subtle ways to tell my stories haha.”
If you could summarize Haunts into one word for your fans, what would it be?
“Holy hell haha. ‘Sincere'”
There you have it, folks! Support you local bands by sharing this and appreciating everything they do.
“Haunts” is available now to purchase. Check out the merch store! >HERE
Check out the bandcamp page here! >HERE
Like the Rob, Lately Facebook page! >HERE
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