Published Jul 24, 2011"I tend to write about the worst parts of myself, which can attract some really awful people." Jeff Rosenstock is the brain trust behind Bomb the Music Industry!, a laptop punk project-turned unsung international phenomena whose last full-length record, like all the band's material, was made available for free online. It was downloaded over 60,000 times. That's a lot of songs about crippling social anxiety, agoraphobia, and borderline alcoholism to be floating around the world.
"Especially when I'm writing about drinking, I think people tend to misinterpret me in a big way," says Rosenstock. "People have found my phone number on the internet and been like, 'What's up, are you wasted right now?' Someone actually came up to me at a show and said, 'I was in rehab, but I broke out because of you!' And it's like, 'Maybe you should go to rehab.'"
It may not have been a conscious decision, but the band's new record, Vacation, is less of an ode to self-destructive self-loathing. "Our last EP was super dark," says Rosenstock. "After it was done, I decided not to write anymore. But things started to turn around a little in my life." Bumped from several flights, Rosenstock suddenly found himself with over a thousand dollars in free airfare, and, on top it, a steady job. "I decided to try to harness the times when I feel good," he says. The result isn't just a sunnier incarnation of the band's sound, but a more thoughtful, nuanced exploration of influences ranging from Superchunk to vintage Elvis Costello; lyrically, it eschews the point-blank anger of the band's past. "I don't think anyone wants to hear someone complain about being a headcase 800 times," laughs Rosenstock. "I don't want to be a headcase forever. It's about trying to conquer the things that I don't want to cripple me for my entire life."