Ska punk musician Jeff Rostenstock headed for Ballarat

Jeff Rosenstock says  childhood was a time when he lived music. 

Living music: American musician and songwriter Jeff Rosenstock will be performing at Ballarat along with Jess Locke and Foley on September 16 at the Karova Lounge.

Living music: American musician and songwriter Jeff Rosenstock will be performing at Ballarat along with Jess Locke and Foley on September 16 at the Karova Lounge.

“I was always writing songs in my head. I was listening to Bobby Brown and Madonna. Running around the backyard making songs up, making up songs in my room with the guitar,” he said. 

Now 35, it seems the man behind ska and punk rockbands such as The Arrogant Sons of Bitches and Bomb the Music Industry! never stopped living it at all.

He recently appeared at the Pitchfork Festival and his album WORRY was dubbed album of the year by USA Today. 

It was the tender age of 13 that he got together with friend Joe and the formation of what would become ska band The Arrogant Sons of Bitches took place. 

“It wasn’t good. It was arguably never good. We just hung out and wrote stuff. It was two or three years before we played a show. I was 13, nerdy, trying to impress girls,” he said.

It wasn’t until the musical collective Bomb the Music Industry! was formed that Mr Rosenstock said he really felt like it got started, with the band putting out music for free and maintaining a DIY ethic.

“I was just like, I wish bands would treat audiences less like a consumer,” he said.

Also talented in the recording side of music, Mr Rosenstock founded independent record label Quote Unquote Records and more recently Really Records. 

“I was always recording, I did it in my bedroom, so because I had the ability, I turned to producing. I was living in Brooklyn, trying to make 200 bucks every now and then and turn it into rent,” he said.

Making money off recording added to the money he made through graphic design and delivering pizza. He has produced the last two albums by Australia’s own Smith Street Band, with who he has also toured with twice. Set to perform at a range of festivals and shows across Australia, this is sixth time he’s been to the country which he says he loves. 

“Everybody is really friendly and I have a lot of good buddies. Friends seem like they’ll be lifelong friends. There’s a lot of positive energy, it’s hard to describe,” he said. 

Catch Jeff Rosenstock’s Ballarat performance, along with Jess Locke and Foley on September 16 at the Karova Lounge.