by Deb Rao
– Senior Columnist —
One of the hottest tours this summer is the Motley Crue Final Tour. Joining the bill is Alice Cooper and The Raskins. Hardrock Haven recently had the opportunity to talk with the up and coming act The Raskins on opening night of the tour. The Raskins are currently playing their music to the masses and making new fans along the way. Roger Raskin comments,” The bands kind of sounds like The Ramones meets Green Day.” Hardrock Haven is proud to present an interview with Roger Raskin. Roger discusses growing up in New York, having musical parents, and the current tour with Motley Crue.
HRH: Roger, you have some exciting news. The Raskins are opening for Motley Crue on their final tour. How was opening night in Michigan?
Roger: It was just great. Playing in an arena that big was just a great experience. And to be on tour with Motley Crue and Alice Cooper is a pretty special thing. And having Alice Cooper go on after us was just amazing. He still is so great. And obviously Motley Crue just killed it. It was a good first night.
HRH: Tell us about your set list.
Roger: We played about 30 minutes last night. It was funny; we didn’t want to go over our set time being respectful. But when we finished they were like you guys could have played more. So that was kind of cool. It is like seven songs. We play pretty hard and fast and just knock them out.
HRH: Now I know you have a new EP out. Are you playing “On The Radio?” Is this song a tribute to your life on the road?
Roger: That song was written about the first time we heard our song on the radio. The single that is released right now is “We Had It All.” That is also on the set list. It is a fun kind of poppy rock and roll kind of song.
HRH: How was the writing process for the album?
Roger: I will usually come up with all the riffs. Logan is definitely great with the lyrics. It is funny how Logan and I work. I will take a song to a certain place, and then Logan takes that song and puts it across the finish line. The way we work is just a great marriage. Logan is exceptional with the lyrics. He has always been a great writer. The Raskins originally started as a writing project. Where my brother and I were writing music for TV and films. We didn’t have a name and they would refer to us as The Raskins. The name just kind of stuck. People were contacting us where can we buy these songs and get your music? My brother thought it is time to put the band back together. And start playing some of these songs out. So we did that over the last couple of years. It has just been a snowball effect. It has been a great ride so far.
HRH: How would you describe your sound to all the new fans seeing the band for the first time at Motley Crue?
Roger: I would probably say maybe a modern day Ramones and Green Day-ish. That is what I get from people coming up to us. It is kind of like the Ramones or maybe a little better? I always thought the Ramones were amazing anyway. We are not to heavy but not to soft either.
HRH: Now you are on the biggest tour of the year. How have the guys in Motley Crue and Alice Cooper influenced you?
Roger: They were a huge influence on everyone in the band. Alice Cooper has amazing songs. Motley Crue is just huge. It is an honor to work with those guys. I haven’t met them yet or got a chance to hang out with them yet. But I am sure we on this tour we will all get this chance to meet.
HRH: You come from a very musical background. Your dad Tommy Raskin was on Broadway and your mother was a jazz singer. How did this impact you and your career in music? What was it like growing up in a musical family?
Roger: It was amazing. Logan and I were blessed to have that kind of background. My dad did a lot of Broadway. He did all these great shows. My mom was a jazz singer. We always had music around the house. My dad was always rehearsing his songs with us and going over his music with us. It was a great foundation for what was to be in Logan and mine careers. My parents have always been super supportive. It has been a great thing. I remember the first time I ever saw my dad perform. It had such an impact on me as a child. It was all about seeing how he would impact the audience and how they would react to him and his performances. That was the thing that captivates me most. The apple didn’t fall from the tree. It is funny. My parents didn’t push us into the industry. The industry kind of has a rough side to it. It is not always peachy king. There are some rough roads when you are trying to make it in the music business. Maybe they didn’t want us to experience that kind of stuff. For Logan and I it was hard to feel comfortable doing anything us. It is what we grew up being around and feeling most comfortable.
HRH: It is in your blood. You also grew up in New York. The New York/New Jersey was the Mecca for the metal since during its heyday. Tell us about this. Did you play the clubs in New York during the heyday?
Roger: Definitely growing up in New York City was amazing. Especially back then. The scene was just intense. I remember CBGB’s would have these matinee shows. It was just kind of melting pot for musicians. We would kind of network with each other. It has changed though. The music business has changed and the scene has changed. But back then it was a good time to be around. Logan and I definitely caught the bug.
HRH: You live in California now right?
Roger: Yes, right now we are all based out of Los Angeles. We still have a home in New York. We are back and forth quite often. I like Los Angeles. Better weather anyway?
Roger: You are not kidding. After you experience New York winters, I am LA bound! (Laughter)
HRH: Is there anything else that you want to say about the tour.
Roger: Logan and I did the Scott Weiland tour before this. I really didn’t know what to expect. Logan and I put our hearts and souls into our record. Music that is what comes out of us naturally. The music is what we are feeling at that time. We kind of throw caution to the wind and put it out to the universe. We hope the people dig it and understand what we are trying to say. It has just been a positive experience. After playing our shows, my brother and I always go hang out at the merchandise booth. I am so blown away with the positive reviews. I hope the experience will be the same on this tour. I am looking forward to a great summer and a successful tour. We are going to ride the wave and see where it takes us.
HRH: Awesome. We wish you the best of luck Roger.
Visit The Raskins online: www.facebook.com/theraskins