Tony LaRocco – Pale Blue Dot: “Anatomy by Eileen Shapiro

Charlottesville band “Pale Blue Dot” has just released their new 9 track album entitled, “Anatomy”. The music is pop-rock, with an alternative flavor, similar to Foo Fighters or Pearl Jam. The mastermind of Pale Blue Dot is Tony LaRocco, who assembled a group of musicians committed to exploring the possibilities presented by his songwriting.

The musicians involved in Pale Blue Dot are Peter Balogh on guitar, Drew Pompano on Bass, Darby Wooden on drums, and Tony on lead vocals and guitar. The tracks on “Anatomy” are lightly influenced by current events especially those in Tony’s hometown. The music is riveting with a live, raw sound, and Tony’s voice is sensational. The music is heartfelt and passionate.

I spoke with Tony about his music and his influences….

How did you come up with the name Pale Blue Dot?

My folks, my mom specifically raised me on a pretty steady diet of Carl Sagan. I don’t know if you read his little essays but when voyager one a big satellite went up in the 70s, it went past Jupiter and somebody took a photo for reference back at Earth as it was passing Jupiter. They got this amazing shot of this tiny blue planet just kind of in this ray of sun. It’s a really an amazing essay that he writes about, so we liked the quote and took the name.

You sing lead on the record?

I’m the lead singer and I write the songs. “Anatomy” is kind of an interesting record. We tried to do kind of an old school style of recording with as little overdubs as possible. We were focusing on a live vibe at the sessions. We really kind of focused on, I don’t want to say current political climates, I don’t want it to come out like it’s a huge political record. It’s hard to not be shaped by what’s going on especially here in Charlottesville. The new record, it is kind of this weird grab bag of this older style of recording. People say were not current and that sort of thing, but there’s two prog heads, there’s me, and I kind of just write like any other song writer would. I turn the game up and we just rock. I think the essence of it really is just its raw guttural rock. We’re not going to sing “Smokin’ in the Boys Room”, or anything awful like that. We are going to say what we want to say. And that’s saying something, it doesn’t have to be political but I think right now that’s the situation.

Do you tour?

Yeah. We played Baltimore a couple of nights ago. We played DC a couple of nights ago. We head down south to Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina and then we end up home for a little bit and then we’re going to play some more dates in September.

If you can have your ultimate stage fantasy what would you need to happen?

I think the pipe dreams of playing Madison Square Garden and those sorts of things, those are dead. Now it’s just working. That’s what I guess my stage fantasy is just to do work. To play our sets and crush. That’s it. You know crushing on stage, that’s it. There’s nothing except maybe a good bottle of wine and a good night with a significant other, and that’s about it. And then crushing on stage… and I have two kids and I love them to death but the love of my children might be just underneath that. It’s just one of those things you can’t replicate. You can phone it in, and when you crush and you’ve got a good crowd that’s my fantasy I think.

If you could say anything to your fans of followers what would you want them to know?

That we’re sincere. We’re not gunning for celebrity status…We just want more work. That’s the end result. Respect….respect is great, but making those hard decisions, choosing the right shows to play, or playing certain shows for free. We gave away our single before the record came out to anybody that donated money to the survivors of the incident that happened in Charlottesville on August 12. So we ended up donating about 500 bucks. People were just donating five dollars at a time. That was cool. That could’ve been $500 in someone’s pocket, that could’ve upgraded our van, bought a new guitar…..not that I’m tooting our horn, but this is the kind of shit we do….we care about our community a lot.

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