What It's Like Making A Rocket Science Album In 2023

22 September 2023 | 3:23 pm | Roman Tucker

Rocket Science vocalist Roman Tucker spent ten years recovering from an acquired brain injury. And yet, here he is, playing rock & roll in 2023. He tells The Music about the journey to create the band's new album, 'Push Play'.

Rocket Science

Rocket Science (Credit: Patrick Pantano)

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Well, here I am. A quarter of a century later, our band/my band/your band, Rocket Science, is releasing its sixth album, Push Play, with a new label (Cheersquad Records & Tapes) and about to embark on an Australian tour.

Harnessing new vigour, Rocket Science feels more significant and better than ever, with a self-determination and expectancy that again feels like success. Recently, we played shows in Sydney and Melbourne to put our toe back in the water, as it were. We are deeply connected, and that connectivity is no more evident than after a show. The performances were celebratory and joyful, with so much love for the band and our twenty-five years together. Everyone is excited to get back to playing music again, and Rocket Science can finally break free and look forward to playing our extraordinary style of rock’n'roll.

The band is more robust and closer together than for what feels like ages. It is no mean feat and of epic proportion that I am here at all; what a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, riding a wave that sometimes moves through with colossal proportions and at other times a mere ripple at the edge of the sand. What a journey. I mean, as most people understand, I had an ABI (acquired brain injury) throughout the band's life. It took ten years to recover, and yet we are still together.

I am one member of the sum of four moving parts that is Rocket Science. Rocket Science is four unique individuals who play garage, no-wave, art pop, and punk strapped to their chairs, arms in the air, constantly flailing together. Well, sort of.

All members of Rocket Science have whole and meaningful lives outside of the band, not to mention family, children, jobs, desires, and even, god forbid, other music collaborations. Still, I will say one thing at this point - there is no other band in the world like Rocket Science. We look forward to being together; what can I say? It started in 1998, and it is still going in 2023.

I remember, clear as day, that first rehearsal in 1998 when I invited everyone separately to have a jam. We looked at each other in disbelief and later wondered, 'Was that as good as I think it was?’ (Paul Maybury) The feeling is no different today; we still feel the same energy as we did back then. It was wild back then; it is still wild now. Really f#@#'n wild.

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I feel blessed that after twenty-five years, we are still making music and our brand of rock'n'roll. I feel honoured to be part of our new sixth album, Push Play and excited to share it with the world. It's fitting and indeed makes sense that Push Play is the album of our 25th year together. I say this because I know more than anyone about our musical journey and the shifts and turns we went through to experience making this album together; like many albums, it was conceived at a time when we couldn't be together because of the pandemic, isolation and separateness.

Still, amongst all that tumultuous uncertainty, Rocket Science needed to find a way to make music together. We needed to communicate, and we needed to share with sound because, to us, communicating with sound makes sense; when the world is upside down and makes no sense, we make sense by playing music together.

So, during that catastrophic time, the most apparent thing was to send each other bits and bobs of our creative daily moments throughout our then-separate lives. I remember waking each day and checking my inbox, and often, a new piece of material had arrived, a new song or verse, chorus, middle eight, etc. After a while, we found enough themes/ideas for a new Rocket Science album, and we went to work.

We started by swapping ideas online, and then, when it was time, we met at our studio. There was something about the way Push Play began that all notions and pre-conceived ideas of the creative process went out the window. We were essentially free from our normative behaviours, which in turn meant we were able to start again from scratch if that's possible to achieve.  

Collectively, we had set off on a new path. I listen to the album now and hear Rocket Science in a genuinely collaborative way. There are psych, pop, and explosive moments. There is songwriting, poetry and art prose. It's thematically considered concept-driven, metaphoric, and reflective. No stone is unturned; every skill set from the four band members is embellished, and all ideas are considered. Listen to Push Play, and you are transported on a journey with Rocket Science. 

Push Play is out now via Cheersquad Records & Tapes. Rocket Science are touring Australia this month.



Friday October 20 - Northcote Social Club, Northcote VIC – Tickets Here

Friday October 27- Heritage Hotel, Bulli NSW – Tickets Here

Saturday October 28 - Factory Floor, Marrickville NSW – Tickets Here

Sunday October 29 - Link & Pin, Woy Woy NSW (arvo) – Tickets Here

Friday November 3 - Volta, Ballarat VIC – Tickets Here

Saturday November 4 - Barwon Club, Geelong VIC – Tickets Here

Saturday November 11 - The Bridge, Castlemaine VIC – Tickets Here

Friday November 17 - The Bearded Lady, Brisbane QLD – Tickets Here

Saturday November 18 - Mo's Desert Clubhouse, Burleigh Heads QLD (arvo) - Tickets Here

Tickets for all shows are on sale now.