Now that the San Diego Music Awards have passed, it’s time to look ahead to another year of local music. But anyone dreaming of making the next Album of the Year can just give up right now: The Burning of Rome already beat you to it.
With Us, set for release on September 18, is a remarkable tour de force from the avant-rockers. Bursting out of the gate with the unforgettable “Ballad of an Onion Sprout,” With Us crams countless transcendent moments into its running time. There’s the shimmering quietude that gives way to a slicing guitar riff in “Little Piranhas,” the metal-invoking minor-scale ascension of “Cowboys and Cut Cigars,” the Man Man-ly stomp of “Norman Bates,” the arena-sized rock of “Wake Up Endamme,” and the heart-stopping chorus of “Island” — and that’s just the album’s first half.
Long story short, With Us is flat-out fantastic, a space odyssey of epic proportions that takes the last four decades of rock and roll and squeezes them into an oddly shaped diamond. So yeah, we can’t stop listening to it, and that’s why we’re thrilled to present The Burning of Rome’s Poetic Memory. Singer Adam Traub was kind enough to share some of the things that inspired the new album’s brilliance, and you can read the list below.
And once you’re done reading that, go check out The Burning of Rome live at Soda Bar on August 25 and at the San Diego Music thing on September 14.
The Burning of Rome’s Poetic Memory
Electric Light Orchestra: Out of the Blue is an album that, when played on the proper turntable, your stereo will transform into a starship that sends you soaring through the cosmos. The pitch-perfect pop melodies woven by laser-powered synthesizers open a cerebral stargate from your mind into Jeff Lynn’s universe. To do this record justice, though, you really oughta get that special gravity-defying, rocket-blasting record player. I’m pretty sure Panasonic makes it…or possibly NASA.
Q: There is a hyperdimensional plane that only those with extraordinary intelligence and divine power exist on. This realm is known as the Q continuum and is occupied by none other than Q himself. Q is an omnipotent being. He is amused by puny space explorers, and challenges them to battles of wit, morality, creativity, and humanitarianism. My mind must constantly be operating at an optimal level of agility perchance now be the moment Q demands my engagement in a bout.
Teddy Roosevelt: Theodore Rex was the 26th and most Henry Rollins-esque president of the United States. He formed the Bull Moose Party in 1912 — a progressive political party that aimed to nationalize heath care, as well as provide things like social security, minimum wage, the right for women to vote, full disclosure of campaign contributions, and many more social reforms. The party was named thus after Roosevelt had survived an assassination attempt while giving a speech in Milwaukee. He’s recorded as stating, “Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.” He continued his 90-minute speech with the bullet lodged in his chest before seeking medical attention, like a boss.
Wicca: The Horned God and the Mother Goddess (the Sun and the Earth) manifest themselves on our physical plane through life, song and humanity. They influence the moon to raise water, the crops to yield fruit, and the sleeping babe to wake into life amidst fertile conditions. They are also the enforcers of Karmic law: “Mind the Threefold Law ye should — three times bad and three times good.” In 1971, the Horned God decided to channel four young British mortals to speak wisdom to the world by means of music. The result was an album that had no name, though some refer to it as Zoso or simply IV. This album had a great impact on my life, and converted me (and millions of other wizards) to accept the Horned God and the Mother Goddess as the true keepers of cosmic balance.
The Moon: I see the moon as salvation for humanity. As our population exponentially grows, the Earth struggles to compensate for the overabundance of methane, radiation, and CFC’s (chlorofluorocarbons) we produce. Mother Nature’s backlash is inevitable but not inescapable — space colonization is the answer. By leaving the Earth we can balance the toxins of our globe and actually improve planetary conditions by using Earth as a farm for gathering resources while settling on the moon and neighboring asteroids. We can harness solar energy from the sun and cultivate water from the nearby asteroids. And as for Earth: no more CFC’s, no more methane, and no more radiation. We can dump iron into the ocean to stimulate algae growth and negate the damage done to our planet thus far; algae consumes carbon and other pollutants as proven by the Iron X experiments conducted by oceanographer John Martin in 1988. Our planet will be restored to untouched perfection and humanity will prevail through nobly sacrificing our home in order to save it.
Ayn Rand: Objectivism is something to remind us that the world will continue to turn without us standing on it; feel blessed to be here and take advantage of discovering the truths and mysteries withheld by nature. Reality exists independently of consciousness, the fact that you are conscious is a miracle so don’t waste it. Seize the fruits of life that make you happy; be creative, educate yourself, and find moral purpose. And for your own sake (not for God, your friends, your family, or the sake of anyone else) BE PRODUCTIVE!