WHO IS ARE THESE “COOL PEEPS”: RESERVED FOR RONDEE: Billy Magnussen, Tom Degnan, Trevor Vaughn, Nick Fokas, & Warren Hemenway
What do you get when you mix 5 NYC men, a roomful of instruments, a distinctly unique sound, a passion for music and, oh, did I mention five very handsome men already? What you have is the Manhattan based indie band Reserved for Rondee…an exhilarating rock-melodic treat for your soul. If you are looking for the hottest addition to the NYC music scene – look no further. You have found it. I am officially the “un-official” President of their fan club…
Reserved for Rondee has earned the title of New York City’s most beloved emerging band…selling out at venues like the Lower East Side’s famed Arlene’s Grocery, Mercury Lounge and The Saint (on the Jersey Shore). With inspiration that draws from “…classic artists like Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, U2 and contemporary artists like the White Stripes, the Black Keys and Arcade Fire, Reserved for Rondee blends imagination and style into a mystic rock journey”. Aside from that – this is a group of genuinely cool, down-to-Earth,and multi-dimensional men…(who also happen to be ridiculously talented and witty – charmed ones for sure). And as they hit the studio this month to begin recording their first full length album (“epic” is the word I kept hearing) – these five extroverted musicians kindly put aside a few hours to chat with me. Yes, I am a very lucky gal.
RESERVED FOR RONDEE: Billy Magnussen, Tom Degnan, Trevor Vaughn, Nick Fokas, & Warren Hemenway
A FEW OF YOUR FAVORITE THINGS?
BM: I love all of u. Traveling!! Jumping through fire. Q-tips. Little puppies.
TD: Hugs, CC, Chuck Norris, Christmas, the music of the Frank Sinatra, Legos, family, friends, and pork chop sandwiches. (Note from CC: Thanks Tom! Your my fave too…)
TV: Besides universal love, I’d say imagination rocks pretty hard. I’m ruled by Venus so beautiful women obviously (like Christabelle). Can’t leave out a great steak & wine!
WH: Twizzlers on the subway, coffee and a NY Post. Did anyone buy Hostess yet?? I’m dying for some freaking Ho-Hos!!!
NF: Well aside from my favorite blog, ChristabelleTheBlog.com, I’m addicted to Pawn Stars. I can sit and watch that show all day. And I have.
WHAT IS PLAYING ON YOUR IPOD RIGHT NOW?
BM: The Macabees
TD: The Lonely Island
TV: My Pandora is on Beirut currently
WH: The Kelly Bell Band (Homegrown)
NF: Live Led Zeppelin bootlegs or Motown
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HAUNT?
BM: The Gaf Bar, NYC
TD: Linebacker Pub, South Bend, Indiana
TV: Sunswick is a killer beer bar in Astoria, where I hang my hat. Chill atmosphere & artist’s galore.
WH: Claddagh Pub Baltimore (I’ve been thrown out 3 x and was brought back after a brief timeout each time.They know me there). Double Wide LES NYC (Home)
NF: The Druid’s Den in Rome, Italy. An Irish bar staffed by ex-pat Brits in the heart of Rome? Does it get any better than that? And I’m still a big fan of Epstein’s bar on the Lower East Side. Outdoor picnic tables and some of the best burgers in NYC? Can’t beat that on a nice day. Hope it doesn’t turn into a Chase branch or a cupcake shop any time soon.
WHEN YOU ARE ALONE AND YOU THINK NO ONE IS WATCHING YOU…?
BM: I love wearing a sarong around my house (ha-ha). Trying to intercept people blowing kisses.
TD: I watch re-runs of “The Facts of Life”, I write poetry, I try and intercept Nick’s attempts to take over the world.
TV: Lord! What don’t I do..Yell at current events on my computer, nude improve dance, impersonations are always fair game, sing/muse upon the Great Spirit. (Note from CC: Trevor, we kind of ALL want your home address to watch nude improve dance through your window)
WH: I do the robot while singing I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner.
NF: Plotting various methods for world domination. So far none have been successful.
EMPTY YOUR POCKETS RIGHT NOW, RFR…WHATCHA GOT?
BM: Camera, train ticket to Chang Mai, 400 baht
TD: Guitar pick, keys, phone, hopes and dreams
TV: Gum wrappers, ticket stubs, contraband, & a special someones hand;)
WH: Receipts from the cigarette cartons I illegally imported for Nick, three crinkled dollar bills… nights are long in NYC
NF: Keys, Camel Lights, a Bic lighter and my precious – what else could I possibly need?
ONE THING WE WOULD NEVER GUESS BY JUST LOOKING AT YOU?
BM: Nick’s answer is a lie!! I love cooking.
TD: I was a jazz drummer in High School and also played drums in the pep band.
TV: I used to play Texas high school football, like “Friday Night Lights” ladies. My brother was way better than I.
WH: I was a preacher, owned a construction company, a night club and a pizza place. Try putting that shit together. I can’t . Call me if you understand because I have no idea and would love to hear if you do. (Note from CC: Not a clue, Warren, not a clue)
NF: I’m much more of a geek than you’d think. And most people already think I’m pretty geeky.
FUNNIEST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU ON STAGE/IN STUDIO/ON THE ROAD?
BM: Actually played a song correctly.
TD: Finishing a great set at Arlene’s Grocery, getting called to do an encore, then having the five of us stand there like idiots trying to think of another song to play. We didn’t play an encore, and immediately thought of four songs once we left the stage.
TV: Scaling walls & ceilings during shows is damn good fun & always funny to me at the time.
WH: Over a discussion of a song…the studio was almost burned down!! (Names left out to protect the guilty).
NF: Busting my ass while doing a Pete Townshend style power-slide across the stage in Baltimore, collapsing in a heap & having Billy step on me. I walked with a limp for days. My pride has yet to recover. (Note from CC: Please tell us there is a YouTube video to go along with that…)
WHAT ELSE DO YOU HAVE COMING DOWN THE PIPELINE?
BM: I have only the adventure of today. (Note from CC: He is being humble…Billy is BROADWAY BOUND – catch him in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike in NYC)
TD: Playing the game of Life (like the board game, I’m seriously going to play it) and hopefully a vacation to Cape Cod in the spring.
TV:I have a wicked cool family & stoked bout going on vacation to Florida & Portugal with them this Summer.
WH: Time to go to Brazil…it’s the new Vegas.
NF: I’m currently finishing up the script to a feature-length movie titled “Turning Two,” the real life story of legendary 1970’s Mets double play combo second baseman Felix Millan and shortstop Buddy Harrelson. It’s both a period piece set in the gritty NYC of the 70s and a buddy movie that chronicles the on and off the field relationship of these two beloved athletes whose backgrounds couldn’t have been more different and whose time together was cut short due to a tragic injury suffered in an on-field brawl. Grab your popcorn and a box of Kleenex… it’s gonna make Field of Dreams and A River Runs Through It look like cold, emotionless, run of the mill Hollywood fare.
February 9, 2013
Freddies Tavern, Bristol, PA
February 15, 2013
The Kitting Factory, Brooklyn, NY
(Note from C:) I. LOVE. THEM. PERIOD. I love that their music makes me come alive inside. I love that they are the most genuine people I have met in a very long time. I love that they all have an abyss of passion for the music and a deep-rooted respect for each other as musicians and as brothers. Most of all, I love that they agreed to let me interview them, so now ALL of you know how cool they are, too xo
The highway to becoming rock-golden-gods is large and vast…fortunately, RFR has the road-map to take them straight to the top. Keep playing, boys…keep playing (and if someone wants to surprise me with an impromptu serenade of Brooklyn, I am all ears and smiles.)
Oh we’re headed out to Brooklyn,
We got some friends in hand.
No worries for tonight,
Tomorrow’s its own fight,
& we’re strong & we’re strong,
& perhaps you’ll sing along,
Somewhere out there in Brooklyn,
Before the sun’s begun.
Yes it’s a big tale for Brooklyn,
Before the sun’s begun.
-Reserved for Rondee, Brooklyn (off RFR EP – Available for Purchase at iTunes)
A little trivia before we depart…do you know which two members of the band are former Daytime TV favorites?
If you answered Billy Magnussen and Tom Degnan, you were CORRECT! They are As The World Turns and One Life to Live Alum…