Brisbane rockers The Rockefeller Frequency released their debut album, Chemicals, earlier in the month.
The album’s creation was a DIY journey from start to finish. It’s been a few years in the making too, with the band taking some time off before reemerging in 2018. Recording took place in the band’s Basement Studios in Brisbane, and the album was engineered and produced by the band as well.
To celebrate the release of Chemicals, vocalist Joshua Eckersley is here to take us through the album track by track and give us some insight into the stories and process behind the songs. Have a read through and pop the album on for a spin.
Sheep and The Wolf
“Sheep and The Wolf” is about what can happen when two very different people come together in a relationship, when they probably shouldn’t. There are any number of things that can go wrong. But, in this case, the more passive person, the sheep, gets mentally beaten down. They sort of beat themselves down in the end, to take control back from the wolf.
“Good Apples” is a redemptive tale, with the main character contemplating some mistakes he’s made in his life. He somehow figures out how his life could be worth living, and actively seeks it out. He works it out and it’s not all bad in the end. That helps in relaying these types of stories. It’s a positive end, but you have to work through a lot of shit to get there.
I Told You I was Hardcore
This song is about a young man called Brandon Vedas who killed himself in front of a live audience on an online chat room. He overdosed on a swag of different drug. From what I understand, it started off as a showy display of his drug-taking prowess, but it quickly devolved into a horrendous scene. The song is an imagining of the mentality he had that drove him to that. To glimpse at what he might have been feeling inside. It’s a sympathetic look at someone in a bad situation that doesn’t end well for anyone.
This song is an upbeat fun track and I love to play it live. It’s about a fictional member of the Rockefeller dynasty, Theodore Rockefeller. He’s a bit of a fuck up, a wild kid and he gets shunned by his family, but he’s just living his best life. He’s living out loud, and he doesn’t give a fuck what anyone thinks.
“Get Up” is a bit of a call to arms for people to rise up against authority and against what we know is wrong and bad for humanity. It’s about unfettered capitalism, climate crisis, and all those types of things that have just become an acceptable evil in these modern times. But, it doesn’t have to be like that if people speak out against it. Life is chaos at the best of times, so a little anarchy is OK if it’s to support the greater good.
We Are The Dead
This song is a George Orwell-inspired tale about that feeling you get when you’re young and unsure of almost everything in life. It’s hard to feel comfortable in your skin, and you feel safe when you trust anyone, let alone yourself.
“Rivals” was written a few years ago and started off as a parody on society. Especially regarding the herd mentality of public shaming/pile-ons that were really common back in the old days (let’s say 2015). It was a tongue-in-cheek take on those type of scenarios, where the protagonist of the song is saying that he doesn’t care about anyone’s beliefs, or morals or whatever. We took a break for a few years and now in 2020 I feel like I am singing this song in a whole different societal environment. The meaning has really changed from that of parody to a satire. Exposing a sad reality for a lot of people that get chewed up in the system and forgotten about.
Long Way From The Gutter
This is another fun bit of pop rock. The song is a slower jam with a real bluesy feel to it. The lyrics are a cryptic contradiction of lies and truth. It’s all about working out your own demons before you can really let someone else into your life.
“The Rift” is about reckoning with the duality of our best and worst selves. People will try to sell you a high version of themselves, for what benefit, I’m not sure. In reality we are mostly just little tyrants fighting to put ourselves first, in one way or another. And, it would be to our detriment to allow that type of egotism to go unchecked. So this song is just calling that type of bullshit out, in a weird cryptic way.
The chorus lyrics are “Hey baby, sell me your thing, cause I care what you say”. It’s a pretty sarcastic jab at the way people portray themselves on social media, and the façade that we all accept as reality. I try to inject a little bit of real life in there at the end though, so it’s not all doom and gloom. We’re all vulnerable in different ways, and if we keep that in mind, we can cut through a lot of the bullshit, and get to the good stuff in life.
Love Letter (From Alien to Human)
The title says it all for this tune. I wrote this one as a love letter, or even a half-apology from a captor to their captives. It’s based on a lot of conspiracy theories that I used to get into a few years ago. One in particular, which suggested humans were designed and cultivated to fulfil the desire of a controlling alien race. In this scenario, one of the aliens felt the need to convey how they felt, and why they did what they did. I get in a little shout out to Randy Quaid in this one, which is great. He was a great actor that really went off the deep end. I’m hoping he finds his way back though.
“Obliterate Me” is a simple yet unusual attempt at conveying love and emotion. The protagonist wants to be consumed and destroyed by this feeling of love that he has for someone. He doesn’t want to exist in a world without it. It’s not the healthiest viewpoint to have but most people can relate… I think.
Vanished At The Disco
Similar to “I Told You I Was Hardcore”, this is another one that is based on a true story. It’s about an old unsolved disappearance of two young women who vanished on the way to the disco, and were never seen again. I’ve tried to create a bit of an emotional understanding of the victims, just to tell a story that I find interesting. It involves injecting fictional elements into the structure of a true story, to create a fuller picture and story of what it might have felt like to be living that life and experiencing those awful circumstances.