A British rocker by way of Birmingham, England who now lives in New York City, Edward Rogers‘ love for music blossomed in the late 60’s. That budding passion would result in now seven studio albums and fans throughout the world. Rogers’ latest album, “TV Generation“, features guests including Don Piper (Syd Straw). James Mastro (Ian Hunter), Sal Maida (Roxy Music, Cracker), Dennis Diken (Smithereens), Geoff Blythe (Dexys, Black 47), Jane Scarpantoni (Lou Reed) and more. Have a listen to the embed below.
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Sean Ritchie: I wanted to ask you about your childhood hometown of Birmingham, talk to us a little bit about the town. What makes it home to you? Have you been back later in life?
Edward Rogers:Birmingham, a lot of it is a run-down city. They’re rebuilding it. The main industry used to be car manufacturing. I remember it as a kid as always a place with a lot of smog and grit. There would be a lot of foggy mornings and days because of pollution. I know it’s not a rosy picture, but that was my overall impression.
Now, we went back there two years ago, we had a show. I hadn’t been in that area in 32 or so years ago. The first morning this strange foresight came over me to visit my childhood home. I knew where I was near Acocks Green, which is this little town outside of Birmingham. We were going up the streets and everything looked the same from 30 years ago. When we got to my street I instantly knew it was it; the houses were still painted the same. I thought that I was thrown back in time to the late 70’s. We got to my house and the fence that my father had built was still there. I had chills down my neck.
SR: That must have been a trip! To bring it back a bit, how were you first exposed to music? What gave you your initial inspiration? How did you know you wanted to pursue this for your life?
ER: Obviously, I was bitten by Beatlemania, everybody was. I think the one moment that really made me start wanting to be involved with music was watching the London Palladium, which was a big show in the late 60’s. I had never seen a color TV and my aunt had one. All of a sudden it was the Rolling Stones doing “Ruby Tuesday”, and I said immediately, “This is what I want to be!” I was only eight years old at the time. I started off as a drummer, but then I had an accident that took about a year to recover from. One day a producer came up to me and said, “You write songs, so if you took up singing you’d be more natural at it.” I did, and really got into it and now I’m here talking to you.
SR: Fantastic. Now, you just released your seventh studio album “TV Generation”. Talk about that, what was your thought process behind it? How was it been received?
ER: It’s just out, so it’s still really new, but the people that are the hardcore [aficionados] seemed to have reacted really well to it. The songs came fairly quickly compared to my last album. TV is a big part of our lives. You only have to go two generations back where they may or may not have been listening to radios. So, the song itself “TV Generation” is about us all in a way.
Then one morning I had woken up one morning to find out that David Bowie had passed away. It had such a devastating effect on me. Him and John Lennon were probably the two most influential people at various points in my life. It gave me a lot of inspiration after that [to finish the album]. It came very naturally.
SR: That’s always good to hear. Having it come naturally probably helps give the most passionate sound.
ER: Yes, the best feeling you can get is sitting down, writing a song from scratch and one line comes out right after the next. You pray for days like that, they don’t come too often. Most of the time it’s doing the grunt work — editing and re-editing.
SR: I can understand that, and it is incredible the imprint Bowie left on music. It’s incredible. To transition into travel, one of our main objectives at SCP is to bring people together while traveling. I think there’s a huge correlation between that and music. One thing that stands out, to bring this to current times, is the Ariana Grande benefit concert for Manchester. I think that symbolizes the best part about music, you don’t have to speak the same language to be together as one people. Talk to how special that part of music is being a traveling artist.
ER: Over the years, every time there’s been a really traumatic event there’s some sort of music benefit surrounding it. It’s one of the best ways to bring people together to show solidarity and support. I think that’s one of the biggest gifts music gives us. You really don’t have to speak one language. It’s something you feel rather than have to learn about. It’s something magical when people come together around music. I’m really privileged to do this.
SR: I always love to ask well-traveled people if they have any destinations that they haven’t been to, but still want to see. What’s one place on your list?
ER: I’ll tell you the first is Amsterdam. We almost got there this past tour, but we just missed it. I just find something magical about it. I think there’s an interesting music culture there. I also am very interested to see all the bikes. It seems like a different life than us. I think that’s interesting to the differences, because if you live in New York, or really any city, you get caught up in one mindset of how the world is.
SR: That’s a great destination, I was there once myself. Lastly, to wrap this up, what are you doing to follow up the album’s release? Any shows coming up?
ER: There’s rumors of us going back to Europe in September or October, we’re going back through previous stops to see if we planted any seeds. So, there’s going to be some traveling coming up, maybe it’s when I get to Amsterdam.