Exclusive Interview: Michael Rosenbaum Talks Left on Laurel: New Album, Touring, Musical Inspirations and More!
With the exciting release of Left on Laurel‘s album Saved by the Ground today, we have a new interview with Michael Rosenbaum to bring to you! Left on Laurel, which consists of Michael Rosenbaum, Tom Lally, Rob Danson, Carl McDowell and Kent Irwin, describe themselves as having music that has “Beach rock/Americana/California vibes.” They’re ready to rock with their new album full of melodic, catchy tunes.
We asked Michael about the new album, touring, and working with producer Jason Manns … as well as asking him about his favorite dad joke. Read the interview with Michael below!
Nerds and Beyond: Let’s talk about the new album, Saved by the Ground which will be released on October 4. Where will we be able to buy it?
Michael Rosenbaum: You can order it now on iTunes. Available on all platforms October 4, with 10 songs on the debut album. This is all very exciting. Most of us in the group have never really recorded music before so it’s been a challenging and an incredibly fulfilling process. We are also doing a limited release on Vinyl. [check out the merch store here.] I think we want to do a hundred numbered albums autographed. We will see. But follow us online for more details. @leftonlaurel. And we’re all on the social. I think you sort of have to be, no?
Nerds and Beyond: How did you and Tom, Carl, Rob and Kent meet?
Rosenbaum: Tom and I grew up a few houses away from each other in the small town of Newburgh, Indiana. He was popular. I wasn’t. But we became close, mostly after high school. I’ve known him thirty-five years and we roomed together all through college. Kent and I met twenty years ago through our friend Jay Ferguson (Mad Men). Jay and I did a failed pilot together. Pete Segal (Tommy Boy) directed it. He promised to put me in a movie if I did the role. I still haven’t heard from him. 🙂 Anyway, Kent, Jay and I used play Bond on Nintendo at my house with Leonardo DiCaprio. Yeah. I just name dropped. Had to make this article more interesting. Carl and I met playing flag football. I was playing with some friends, he wandered over and we’ve been tiggity tight ever since. Danson was dating a girl who used to hang out with a group of us. He was a talented musician and such a nice guy that I was drawn to him. He eventually scored three projects I worked on. Ghild, a short that we created that went to some festivals; Fade Into You, a horror short I directed; and Back in the Day, a feature I directed and starred in with Morena Baccarin and Nick Swardson.
Nerds and Beyond: What fan-favorite songs will appear on the album?
Rosenbaum: Well, most folks haven’t heard of us but we are hoping we get a few more after the album is released. I think “Beautiful Mess”, “Let’s go for a Ride” and “My Everything” are really solid tunes, but I’m proud of the entire album.
They boys and I put a lot of heart into this. We aren’t making any money from this whole process but with the help of fans and doing Stage-its (live acoustic shows) we’ve been able to maybe break even on paying for the album.
Nerds and Beyond: What was it like working with Jason Manns?
Rosenbaum: The most chill, down to earth, talented and best looking dude I know. Haha. He’s a mensch. Such a consummate professional and so patient with us. We were all nervous and still are about playing, but Jason has a way of calming us and making us feel like we are here for a reason. He also really believes in us and actually loves our music. He’s a fan and that’s just an amazing feeling. I love him and owe him a lot. This was just a bucket list sort of thing and now it’s become a little more than that.
Nerds and Beyond: Who are your musical inspirations?
Rosenbaum: I love Chicago, The Eagles, The Wallflowers, Yacht Rock and pretty much everything in the 70s and 80s. Even a touch of the 90s. Like Gin Blossums shit. Kent loves Phish and jam band stuff. Carl loves him some Pearl Jam and The Doors. Lally loves the 70s and 80s as well and Danson loves Nick Cave, the Pixies and a bunch of other stuff I’ve never heard of. I mean I like everything these guys like except the jam band stuff. I always kid around with them that to be a jam band, they actually have to know what chords the other guys in the band are playing. But Phish is unreal. No denying that. I just can’t see them 100 times.
Nerds and Beyond: What has been your favorite venue to perform at/what is your dream venue?
Rosenbaum: Again, it’s all very new to us. I loved the Troubadour. That was our first show. Can you freaking believe it? It’s just so legendary. We couldn’t believe we were actually playing there. Do you know who played there? Elton, The Eagles, Rondstadt, Carol King, James Taylor, etc, etc, etc. Also touring in Germany has been life changing. This will be our third year in a row there and we’ve actually become friends with a lot of our fans. I think that’s just the style of the band and maybe part of the reason folks are liking us. For the most part, we’re just a few dudes having fun and making the music we love and I think that can be a little contagious.
Nerds and Beyond: What was the best/most challenging part of recording?
Rosenbaum: Everyone has an opinion and an ego. And sometimes it’s not fun and very stressful. But we manage to come together in the end. Put it this way… I’ve never raised my voice with Kent, our drummer, in the twenty years I’ve known him. Not once. But when we starting working together in the band… I definitely lost my shit a hand full of times. But we always work it out. Right away. That’s what’s amazing. I do love the guy.
Nerds and Beyond: Any plans for a tour?
Rosenbaum: If the album is received well and we feel that people really want to hear us and come out to see us play, I will certainly consider it. And If Danson can get out of work.
Nerds and Beyond: As a fun conclusion, what is your favorite dad joke?
Rosenbaum: What did one ocean say to the other ocean? Nothing, he just waved. I mean … you wanted a dad joke.
Make sure to check out Left on Laurel’s album Saved by the Ground which is out now! They also have some exciting merch like vinyl, shirts, hats and more that you can see here. You can listen to the album on Spotify, Amazon, and Apple Music.
(Special thanks to our previous staff member, Finn!)