7 September 2021
One of Turn Up The Volume‘s coolest flaming discoveries of 2021 (so far) is pithy pop-punk gang TYPHOID ROSIE out of Brooklyn, New York. The gunslingers released their 4th album (never too late to discover cool flaming bands) called QUEEN OF SWORDS last month. A scream-and-shout along avalanche of fist-pumping firework anthems to start and end all moshpits with.
Rousing Riot grrrl ROSIE REBEL leads the troops. A loud and clear don’t mess with me
(and her sisters) feminist who knows how to get your lazy ass out of your lazy couch and fight for your right to go bonkers. She will tell us all about the band, the Queen of Swords, herself and lots of other stuff. But first, as usual, before starting an interview, a piece of music, let’s make it a gloriously informative one this time…
Hello Rosie, thank you for
taking time for this Q & A…
TYPHOID ROSIE, not really an obvious band name. Why that choice?
“I performed under the stage name Rosie Rebel as a comedian for a long time. The reason
I chose Typhoid Rosie is because I wanted to keep my comedy separate from my music. On stage with the band, I’m always telling jokes in between songs, and I’m still that funny person. The difference is that our music is really good and I want people to take it seriously. I went
with Typhoid Rosie because I was a History major and I got a kick out of Typhoid Mary.
For those of you who don’t know she was, she was a healthy carrier of Typhoid Fever who worked in kitchens getting everyone sick. She felt pretty good but everyone around her was dying. And this was in the days before indoor plumbing and hand washing. Also, I would like
our music to spread like an epidemic, and my name is Rosie, so voila, I went with Typhoid Rosie!”
Which song would you pick to introduce the band?
“I’m gonna go with the Queen Of Swords on this one. It’s not even my favorite song on the record, but if I only had one song to play for others its that one. I’ve overcome a lot of tragedy and pain in my life and I believe that I was given these experiences to help others. I realize now that this is where the diamonds are made. Diamonds are cooked inside the Earth under the most extreme circumstances.
My gift is the ability to take that pain and transform that energy into something positive. It’s my expression of this pain that’s made me such a great artist. I want my songs to be the rocket fuel you need to blast you out of rock bottom. For this song I took the greatest fighting words of survival that I could think of: “Get Up!” Life is hard, but “Get up!”
The new album’s title is QUEEN OF SWORDS. Who is she?
“The Queen Of Swords is a Tarot goddess who has mastered her emotions of mind over heart. She is a symbol of strength, wisdom and perseverance. If you’re an Aquarius, Libra, or Gemini, you might have some of these cerebral / air qualities about you. But at times, we embody all of these elements of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. The reason I chose her is because the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do is letting go of toxic people that I love. It’s not in my nature to bury the living. I’m a Sagittarius. We are very truthful and cutting with our words at times but I’d rather have that than Judas Iscariot sitting at my table. People who plot and scheme, pray for your downfall, are jealous of you, who lie, and go behind your back. I’m one of the most giving and loving people you will ever meet, but some people quite frankly don’t deserve a seat at your table.
People drop red flags all the time. There’s only so long you can play victim, and deceive yourself. In this phase of my life, I’ve learned to love myself more, where others have failed me. And I believe that sometimes backstabbers become the greatest teachers you will ever have, because they put you in a situation where you are able to be given the choice to love yourself. Maybe that’s the greatest lesson you were sent here on this Earth to learn. It’s great that you can love other people, but you don’t need to sacrifice yourself in order to do so. Everyone thinks that happily ever after is some other person that’s come to complete you, but the greatest soul
mate you will ever have is yourself. Remember that!”
The record’s artwork is pretty awesome. What did you
wanted to visualize and who is the creator?
“Early on, I knew I wanted to call the record “Queen Of Swords”. Six out of ten songs on the record give homage to my obsessive tarot phase I went through. It took time to get my producer Phil on board, but eventually, he warmed up to the idea and ran with it. Phil had the idea of putting the Queen Of Swords in a mid-century living room as the album cover. He wanted the Ten Of Swords character lying dead in the foreground with an oblivious husband / father figure reading the paper in the background. Out the window is the Tower, and the 1950s car outside represents the Chariot. Originally we wanted a jukebox, but it became an organ instead. Phil spent months looking for the right artist and he found Paul Kepple who did the COOLEST tarot deck I’ve ever seen called the Zombie Tarot. If you’re a tarot junkie, you really need to get that deck.
Here’s the spooky part where fate comes in to play. Paul substituted an organ in the background in place of the jukebox idea, which is funny because it looks EXACTLY like my great grandmother’s organ that’s sitting in my living room. So I said, “It looks like my grandmother’s organ, lets keep it.” A clock on the organ reads, 1:11 which pays homage to all of the angel numbers that I see everywhere I go, and my favorite song on the record: 1:11. Lastly, I want to talk about my favorite thing, but I have to jump back to the hardest weekend of my life, when my Mother and Grandmother died 3 days apart. I was not expecting to lose my mom and it was Earth shattering for me. I looked for her everywhere I went. I looked for her in my dreams. Three days after my Mom died, I saw my Mom in a dream and she said, “Your eyes are bleeding!” It scared the shit out of me. A few years later, our drummer had a dream that my eyes were bleeding. Now fast forward to when Paul sent his final cover to us and I saw her bleeding eyes.
The bleeding eyes were an extra bonus Paul’s added that we didn’t tell him to put in. We never told him about the bleeding eyes in my dream, and it’s crazy to me how fated this all seems. I’m such a fan of his work, and I am so proud to wear his artwork on the cover of this album. The whole record layout is a work of art. Thank you Paul Keeple of Headcase Design!”
One of my favorite tracks is DEFEND YOUR TEMPLE. What’s the song about, Rosie?
“I’m glad you like it! We live in a very disposable World, where insecurities are worth billions of dollars. 3,000 times a day girls are told they’re ugly, old, and fat by advertisements just to keep them feeling ugly enough to buy their products. I studied these messages and also looked at the stories I grew up with. Classics like Cinderella, and The Little Mermaid. When I looked closer at these with a critical eye, I found the messages disturbing: The Little Mermaid sells her soul and talents, and changes herself for a guy she doesn’t even know. Cinderella is not much better, who sits around crying waiting for mice, fairy godmothers, and princes to save her. Instead of giving little girls ideas that they’re not good enough until a man comes along,
I thought let’s throw those broken high heel dreams in the trash and I wrote this song. In my song, Cinderella is a badass who wears practical shoes to outrun all of the losers chasing her. My Cinderella is out there kicking ass, and just in case, she knows Krav Maga and has mace. I want little girls to be strong in themselves and to know that their body is a temple, and to guard their light, and cultivate their minds, souls, and talents before they think that they were put here to seek validation from a prince who may or may not show up. Save yourself Cinderella!”
What impact did that awful pandemic had on the band’s activity?
“To me the scariest part is how much fear people consume. Honestly, I felt like one of the most stable people during the pandemic, which is weird for me because normally I’m the weirdo. Early on, I made my own mask on my sewing machine and walked my dog every day. I found secret abandoned spots to roller-skate. Meanwhile, my drummer, worked every day in his underpants writing this record. He’d be up with a guitar before I woke up. He found a way to make this record in isolation from the rest of the band. The man’s really a genius, he recorded drums, bass, guitar, rhythm and lead guitar in garage band.
Then he sent those tracks to our band, who played along with them until they were ready to record through amps in their own homes. Towards the end of the pandemic, he cut live drums in the studio. And our bass player also decided that he wanted to record in the studio. This is the first record in which I never set foot in the studio. I recorded on an SM-58 in my bedroom at the height of the epidemic. I felt like I had Covid at the time, because for the first time singing it felt like I had asthma. I guess you can say, while everyone lost their minds running from the Reaper, we finished this record.”
Many artists started to cover other artists during the lockdown times.
Did you do that too? If not which song would you pick to take on?
“We don’t do any covers, It is a smart way for people to find your music though. I have my own voice, and contributions. We have four albums so we could play three to four hours original material if we wanted to. But if you’re asking me what my favorite band to sing a long to, I love Cock Sparrer. It’s so fun to sing in a British accent.”
What’s a TYPHOID ROSIE gig like?
“I think I’m the most fun live performer. Except for Coolie Ranx from the Pilfers I don’t know of a better live performer than Rosie. Half these bands you gotta check their pulse to see if they’re still alive. Because I don’t play an instrument while I’m singing, it gives me the freedom to run around and dance. I’ve also learned the difference between singing at people, and bringing people in and connecting with them. I’m also funny, Is’ll hear that after shows, and its no surprise because I’m a comedian.
But here’s the difference between me and a lot of performers: So many people try so hard to be like someone else or to force a moment that they forget how to find themselves and be in the moment. Because life in each moment is really the greatest writer, we can try, but you’re better off riding the wave of life. When I look out in the crowd, I’m not interested in myself, I’m interested with connecting with you guys. Ultimately, these songs are for you. I already know these songs and heard em’ a thousand times.
The reason we put gang vocals, is because deep down, I’ve always heard you guys singing along with me. It sounds crazy, it’s just what I feel when I sing these songs. It’s not me, it’s us, and that’s how I feel about performing. I’m just as excited about you, as you are about me!”
Which movie would you show on a big screen behind the band when playing live?
“Pee Wee’s Big Adventure!”
It’s terribly sad to hear – almost every day – about sexual abuse of women in and out of the sexist entertainment world? What do you think, Rosie, is the deep-rooted reason(s) for this never-never-never-ending awful male behaviour?
“According to the UN one in three women worldwide have been assaulted, mostly by their lovers which is horrible. Some of this is just nature. The sperm chases the egg. I think the anger that some men feel derives from their own inadequency, and sometimes this comes out as violence towards women. It’s gross to think that a woman owes you anything. But some of it is just animal behavior. People forget that they’re animals. I take my dog to the dog park. Once in a while, you get a dog that just comes up and jumps on your dog and tries to slide his red rocket in. So much of sex is asserting power and dominance over another.
There’s plenty of good guys out there. There’s plenty of girls who treat themselves like garbage, who reject men who will love them. It’s even sadder when girls go against each other and stab their own girlfriends in the back. The best is when girls love themselves and each other. We’re the only animals who have knowledge and we have to strive to be better. Each of us should strive to love ourselves, all the wonders, and animals of this planet, and each other. Luckily
I do feel that the reason God / Karma is invisible is to see who people truly are when no one is looking. For the Jeffrey Epsteins, there is a special place in Hell just for them. I don’t think most people are bad. We carry both Heaven and Hell inside of us. I hope for the best always.”
What‘s the best and worst track you heard so far in 2021?
“‘Wow, You Can really Dance’, by Handsome Dancer, and
‘Wow You Can Really Dance’ by Handsome Dancer.”
Joan Jett or Courtney Love?
“Ha, I don’t like either. I had a chance to be in Spin Magazine if I would write about my favorite Courtney Love song, and I just couldn’t do it. Her eyes look so empty to me, and I don’t feel that we need to celebrate artists who are already famous. So I’ll pick 2 less famous singers who could use the recognition more: Nicole Atkins and Aimee from the Interrupters.”
Brooklyn Nets or New York Knicks?
“The only sports team I like is the New York Rangers. Is that bad? But I guess I’ll go with
the Brooklyn team, The Nets cause I know a few people who tumble at Nets games.”
Anti-COVID 19 vaccination or not?
“There is so much fear going around. I have to remind people constantly that the Reaper knows where everyone lives. I’m of the old school, where I believe if it’s your time, not even the doctors can save you. They can slow your death down for a few hundred thousand dollars and keep you hooked up to machines. I’m vaccinated, my whole band is. I got vaccinated mostly so everyone would shut up. Not cause I believe in a company like Phizer.
To be honest, it got creepy when everyone started talking like a Phizer commercial. We shouldn’t trust so blindly in these pharmaceutical companies. Especially because our government is more in pocket of Big Pharma than they are invested in serving their own people. Pharmaceutical companies are the ones who created the Heroin epidemic, by pushing drugs that they knew were incredibly addictive, which by the way has killed more people than Covid. That’s crazy
how those drugs slipped past the FDA. Look at the all the carcinogens in our food sprinkled in
by Proctor and Gamble.
Cancer is worth billions, so these companies are very invested in sickness. Secondly, you have to look at the death rates. Fewer people are dying now. I think we’ve all been exposed to Covid, so whoever survived it, their bodies probably already know how to fight the virus. But, can vaccines work? Yes they sure can!
Next step for TYPHOID ROSIE?
“Punk record of the year! And Shows! Shows! Shows! Capice? I love when you say that by the way! Thank you for having us!! Thank you everything you’ve done to get our record out there. I’ll remember you!”
Thanks very much for doing this Q & A, Rosie.
I’ll remember you too, and your
band and the Queen of Swords!
Now, let’s play cards. folks.
Stream/buy the Queen here…
Rosie Rebel: Lead Vocals, Gang Vocals
Jeff Crews: Lead Guitar, Gang Vocals
Matt Van Ernest: Bass Guitar
Phil Wartell: Drums, Rhythm Guitar,
Bass (Track 10), Gang Vocals