The Roofer’s Union Builds a Following in Brooklyn
Like many bands coming out of Brooklyn these days, The Roofer’s Union plays genre-bending music that is hard to nail down. While their style falls generally in alt rock in terms of songwriting and structure, says front man and lead songwriter T.C. (aka Travis Tyge), “We try to mix in elements you’d find in neo soul, hip-hop, jazz, noise … all sorts of stuff.” The group’s sound, he tells Brooklyn Roads, “may be some sort of lab-accident fusion of Flying Lotus and Talking Heads, or Simon and Garfunkel and LCD Soundsystem, or St. Vincent and Shlomo. It depends on the day I guess.”
T.C. has lived the last three years in Brooklyn where, he tells us, “It feels great to operate in an environment where there are so many other small artists with a creative world all of their own.” The creative environment exists is part, he adds, because Brooklynites “have a pretty open mind when it comes to music, so every splintered-off sub-genre has the potential to gain some sort of following.”
It’s no coincidence, he adds, that so many of his favorite bands – including Dirty Projectors, Grizzly Bear and TV on the Radio — have come out of our borough in the last decade or so. Among T.C.’s current local faves is “electronic artist Rahm – solo and as a member of Altopalo – and one-man-band Kraus. [These] are some of the hardest, weirdest bands I’ve seen, the crème de la crème as far as originality and instrumental prowess are concerned,” he tells Brooklyn Roads.
Another Brooklyn artist he admires — and would love to collaborate with some day — is Annie Clark (St. Vincent). “Singing a duet with [her] on a Roofer’s Union track would be beyond sublime,” he says.
Regarding his band’s own creativity, T.C. says that even Brooklyn’s seasonality comes into play: “The winter is great for hibernating and staying inside for days and working on music.” The band’s most recent “hibernation” has produced a new single, and video, “Closer,” which was released on April 22.
The band is currently looking for a new favorite venue following the “tragic” demise of Shea Stadium. “I hope they can find a new venue to keep fighting the good fight. Shea Stadium always welcomed us, even we were first getting started [and] the crowds there have been some of my favorites.”
Perhaps the Roofer’s Union will find that same vibe when they play Sunnyvale on May 17 on a bill with the aforementioned Altopalo and another Brooklyn band, Ackerman.