Rooney Livening Up Sophomore Album

Rock act Rooney is nearly finished recording its sophomore Geffen album with producer Tony Hoffer (Supergrass, Beck) in Los Angeles.

Rock act Rooney is nearly finished recording its sophomore Geffen album with producer Tony Hoffer (Supergrass, Beck) in Los Angeles. The group has laid down 14 tracks so far with an eye on releasing the as-yet-untitled set in March or early April. It will be the follow-up to the band's self-titled 2003 debut, which reached No. 2 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart and has sold nearly 348,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

"This whole record is being done on tape," frontman Robert Carmine tells Billboard.com. "A lot of records are recorded live, but then you go back and overdub everything. To me, that's not really 'live.' This one, we're getting everything in the room on that take."

Among the contenders to make the final cut is "My Sickness," plus "Paralysed" and "Enough is Enough," which the band has roadtested on recent tours. Carmine says the track "Ray-deo" is about "radio stations and what they have become, and the challenge to get on them," while "Sleep Song" dates back to before Rooney was signed to Geffen.

"We kind of felt it was experimental and strange and wanted to keep it off the first record," he says. "We wanted that one to have fun, uptempo, exciting songs. This is a strange song, but it's a favorite to play, because it has a whole different feeling."

Over the past few years, Carmine forged a close friendship with the late Johnny Ramone, and admits this bond had a definite impact on the new material. "I wouldn't say there's a song about my experience with him, but he heard all these songs," Carmine says. "I bounced all of them off of him. I feel happy he got to hear the songs and give feedback. He definitely had a lot of good things to say. I definitely went back and made changes based on what he felt."

To tide fans over until the new album is ready, Geffen will on Nov. 16 release the DVD "Spit & Sweat," featuring eight songs from a July 18 performance at Los Angeles' Wiltern Theatre. "It also has all the music videos we ever made," Carmine says, "including one for 'Pop Stars' that no one ever saw, because it just wasn't that good."

Rooney isn't planning to return to the road until closer to the new album's release, but Carmine confirms plans are afoot for a New Year's Eve show "in Northern California." Without revealing additional details, he says, "It will be a strange one."