Taken from his ‘Apophenia’ album, set for release July 9, ‘They’re All Dead’ by Paul Rocha is a somewhat hilarious, if morbid – and altogether matter-of-fact – look at so many of the people we in high esteem from over the course of history, and those we don’t…are…all dead. No matter who we are, and no matter what we do, eventually we’ll all have one thing in common, and that is we’ll all be dead.
‘They’re All Dead’ is out June 18 on Paisley Palm Records.
It’s definitely worth watching the accompanying music video while listening to ‘They’re All Dead’ as Rocha catalogues historical figures who are all dead: “All the Shriners in that photograph”, “Noble sons of J.P. Kennedy”, “Every Grateful Dead keyboard player”, “Every president we’ve had but three” (wait a minute…who’s he left out? I count 6?)…illustrated by photos of those he’s mentioned.
As Roche says in the blurb on the YouTube video,
“You may find it funny, serious, respectful, irreverent, entertaining, sobering, romantic, cynical, poignant, whimsical, ironic, celebratory, somber, & bittersweet as we explore a universal calling that almost all will experience absolutely alone.”
Rocha is a left-handed multi-instrumentalist, whose musical styling on ‘We’re All Dead’ calls to mind that of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Phil Keaggy, Tom Petty…and of course something of his very own. He sums it up as “five-chord power pop” which certainly describes it well. There’s a definite late 60s element to the track, and lyrically it’s in keeping with that era.
Rocha’s list of influences is almost as long as the catalogue of the dead in his song: in addition to The Beatles, he cites as his biggest inspirations the likes of John Phillips, Pete Townshend, The Moody Blues, The Brothers Gibb, Burt Bacharach, Carole King, Neil Young, Randy California, Duane Allman, Steve Howe, Nicky Hopkins, Andy Partridge, Firesign Theater, and Simon and Garfunkel.
It should come as no surprise that Rocha is a bit of a polymath, whose interests include history, cinema, reading, crosswords, and jigsaw puzzles. Of course he’s an absolute Beatle know-it-all and an avid fan of 60s music. In the past he’s been a bagel baker, a machinist, and a part-owner of a skincare company, but nowadays he’s fully dedicated to his music, which he writes and records at his personal studio in Warren, Rhode Island. Pretty much everything you hear on his records has been performed by him – save the drums, which will forever be the thorn in his side.
‘They’re All Dead’ is out June 18, and ‘Apophenia’ is out July 9. Watch the video for ‘They’re All Dead’ below, and find out more about this incredible man online on Facebook.