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The GnR Syndicate: Lets start with Beat the Devil, what can listeners expect to hear?
Rob Carlyle: I’ve been describing it as a harder, heavier, modern day version of Some Girls [by the Rolling Stones]. What I mean is, we put our own spin on a lot of different genres and we borrow from a lot of different styles: funk, punk, hardcore, electronica, psychedelia, whatever. You’ll hear a lot of different influences on there: everyone from AC/DC and Motorhead to Prince and Pink Floyd. And even though no two songs sound alike, they all work together and they all sound like the Compulsions. I’ve always admired bands like the Stones, Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith for being able to pull that off.
The GnR Syndicate: I really dig that slow bluesy groove in “Ea$y Money.” Was there any particular event that inspired this song? Is this based on anybody or anything in particular?
Rob Carlyle: The hooker in the second verse was inspired by the sex scandals you hear about in the news. And as far as the drug dealer in the first verse is concerned, no comment.
The GnR Syndicate: Any upcoming shows? Tours? Recent shows you’d like to talk about?
Rob Carlyle: These days, I’m just trying to finish up the new songs and finalize the album art so there’s no upcoming shows to announce right now. Our last show was a couple months ago at the Hudson Hotel. Pretty much the entire New York rock scene was there along with some unsuspecting hotel guests. It was a blast. We debuted two new songs from the upcoming album that night, “Eat My Dust” and “Hired Gun.”
The GnR Syndicate: How did you get hooked up with Frank and Richard?
Rob Carlyle: In the mid-90s I saw them playing together in other local bands and I was immediately impressed. Years later, after the first Compulsions line up disintegrated, I brought them in to record with me.
The GnR Syndicate: You should open for Guns, thoughts? Most of their opening bands suck.
Rob Carlyle: That’d be an amazing opportunity for the Compulsions but unfortunately it’d probably be a serious conflict of interest because Frank and Richard also play in Guns. Plus, I don’t know if anyone out there could actually play two arena-style sets in a row.
The GnR Syndicate: How do you view the state of rock n’ roll nowadays in the marketplace?
Rob Carlyle: This relates back to my description of the next Compulsions record. To me, rock n’ roll has always been about mixing the black man’s blues with the white man’s folk music and coming up with your own sound. It’s also about looking to the future with a really strong understanding of the past and present. That being said, I don’t hear any new rock n ’roll bands in the marketplace right now. I hear a lot of bands stuck in a genre or trying to replicate a certain time in rock history. If you look back at the last three Compulsions EPs, you’ll hear influences ranging from nu metal and industrial to country and Southern rock to hip hop and reggae and more. And it all hangs together. We don’t discriminate. That’s rock n’ roll, the neighborhood mutt. As far as I’m concerned, The Compulsions are the only new rock n’ roll band out there these days.
If you live outside the New York City circumference, there is a good chance that The Compulsions is not in your rock & roll vocabulary. Not that they suck, it’s just a simple case of a band that has not had the luxury of venturing out of their backyard. But that may be coming to an end as there is positive label interest in their debut full-length, Beat The Devil.
Rob Carlyle, the birth father of The Compulsions, took some time recently to talk about his beginnings in music, his band and the musicians that finally solidified its line-up: Richard Fortus and Frank Ferrer of Guns N Roses, and legendary Hanoi Rocks bass player Sami Yaffa. After playing with numerous other individuals, it was these four men together that finally put the exclamation mark on the music. With songs such as the Doors-ish “Easy Money”, the nasty sleazy “Yer Too Good Fa Me”, the bluesy “Dirty Woman Blues” and the lightspeed punker “Eat My Dust”, The Compulsions are climbing over the NYC fences with music that is far from the processed pop that has invaded the rock & roll charts, and having a good time while doing it.
“The Compulsions is basically a good excuse for a group of friends to get together to play some fun music that turns us on,” Fortus explained recently. “That's pretty much it. It's a blast to play tunes that remind us of the classic shit we grew up with. We're not trying to do anything that hasn't been done before. Not trying to change the world or have any agenda other than reaching for the perfect rock groove. Pretty simple!”
Read more now at http://www.glidemagazine.com/articles/58545/rob-carlyle-of-the-compulsions.html
There’s this guy who lives in New York City. He doesn’t live in a neighborhood so much as he lives in this intangible no-man’s land where times stands still. It is a thrilling place to visit but you can’t get there in a taxi. In this part of New York City, St. Mark’s Place is a punk rock alleyway and Tompkins Square Park is a place to cop heroin, not a rich-girl dog run. CBGB’s doesn’t sell three hundred dollar shirts to rockstar wannabees, and Limelight is a decadent nightclub filled with trannies and goths, not an upscale marketplace for hipster tourists on an 80s pilgrimage. Max’s Kansas City is there, along with Scrap Bar, the China Club, The Bottom Line and Coney Island High. Cigarette smoke fills the air, the music is rock, and it is young, loud and snotty.
If you want to get there, there is only one way to go and that is to follow that guy. His name is Rob Carlyle. He sings and plays guitar; and with his band, The Compulsions, stands defiantly in the face of what passes for modern music. Carlyle’s gritty sound is strictly Keith Richards riffing on old blues guys, by way of The Stooges and The New York Dolls. For almost ten years, Carlyle has been putting out EPs like he’s auditioning for Mick Taylor’s place in the Stones. Now, he’s arrived with his first full-length album and, thankfully, nothing has changed.
With Richard Fortus (guitars) and Frank Ferrer (drums) on loan from Guns N’Roses, and Sami Yaffa of Hanoi Rocks (and the revamped Dolls as well as the Mike Monroe band) on bass, The Compulsions are a full-on rawk band. They play dirty, sleazy, twin-guitar blues-based rock and roll; the lyrics never go over your head or try to be poetry, but what’s clear from the sound is that these guys mean what they say. They came to rock, they have the pedigree: this is no bullshit. In an age where anyone can make music on a laptop, The Compulsions are refreshingly authentic. And that authenticity shines through on “Beat The Devil"... a scorching collection of songs by the best rock band New York City has had since Johnny Thunders died. At their worst, they conjure comparisons to a few staples of classic rock radio; but at their greatest, The Compulsions are the one true hope New York City has of reclaiming its’ rock and roll glory. The Compulsions fucking rock: what more do you need?
Written by Mick Stingley
Read more now at http://rocksalt.mx/?p=1384
Despite the blandization campaign and development of much of downtown Manhattan, there's always gonna be some grimy rock 'n' roll living to be found beneath the sidewalk cracks. Rob Carlyle's always terrific band, The Compulsions, have documented this truly and well on The Compulsions’ Hell series of EPs, the unholy trinity of Laughter From Below, Demon Love and the grand finale, Been Through Hell.
Read more now at http://www.crushermagazine.com/features6_10/featcompulsions.htm
Special thanks to Morgan Y. Evans and Christine Natanael