American indie rocker Rob Munk presents his new single ‘Amazon’, an upbeat environmentally-conscious banger that previews his ‘Phased Out’ LP. It will be released on November 18 via New Jersey’s new Magic Door Label, founded by Guided by Voices drummer Kevin March, together with producer Ray Ketchem and artist Renée LoBue.
A dynamic album that’s creatively pure – a little poppy, a little sloppy, entirely honest and exactly what Rob wanted to make, ‘Phased Out’ is a record that somehow comes out of nowhere from an artist that has been almost everywhere.
“As a father, climate change is especially painful. Sure, it’s a societal failure but also a personal one. I wanted to write about the hurt of leaving the world worse than I found it, but I could never write an earnest anthem about climate change. It’s undignified. ‘Amazon’ is cynical but optimistic. I have little faith we are capable of making the necessary sacrifices, but I’m really hoping we can get there. I felt possessed by REM as I wrote it. That’s me in the corner,” says Rob Munk.
This is modern rock that respects people’s emotional intelligence. With elements of 1990’s and 2000’s indie rock, this song also bears sound traces of 1970’s AM pop. No wonder Munk produces such a welcome potpourri with influences ranging from The Byrds, The Lemonheads and ELO to The Shins and Carole King. This is music to be enjoyed by fans of all ages, all genres, on the rocks with a side of your finest prosciutto.
For Rob Munk, music was never the plan – or maybe there never really was one. He just got to work. An actor from the age of three, he and his brothers would commute into NYC from New Jersey for gigs to help support life with a single Mom. After several years of filming commercials (including Jello pudding with Bill Cosby), Rob was cast as young Woody Allen in ‘Stardust Memories’, his brother having played the same role in the Oscar-winning ‘Annie Hall’. Having worked with multiple future pariahs, he left acting when he was 14. Off to boarding school in search of new adventures, he formed a band and realized performing music felt more natural and was a lot more fun than acting, and he was hooked.
Upon moving to Boston, Rob’s new band Thudpucker became a staple on the Boston rock scene in the early 90’s as many local bands were starting to explode. Between several singles, local gigs and touring, they opened for everyone from Pavement and Hole to the Afghan Whigs and Juliana Hatfield. After relocating to Chapel Hill, NC, Rob formed the indie rock band Tinsel, having opened for Polvo, Guided By Voices, Pipe and Come, while also playing in cover bands with members of Firehose and Superchunk. After some touring and a few singles, they put out two records before imploding of natural rock and roll causes.
A return to NYC led to stints in a few more bands before once again acting in commercials and the occasional TV show, including scenes with the likes of Tina Fey, Tony Hale, John Goodman and Paul Giammatti. Having flown West for a pilot season but getting no traction in LA, Rob launched the now-defunct blog ‘LoserActor’, creatively chronicling his daily humiliation, before this was brought to the attention of the creative directors at famed ad agency Wieden + Kennedy. Rob returned to New York, not as a movie star or a rock star, but as a copywriter and creative director, writing huge campaigns for ESPN, Delta Airlines and AT&T.
20 years on, Rob again started composing – better songs, deeper songs, songs that meant a great deal to him. Recording throughout the pandemic, he was joined by his good friend, actor-writer Daniel London (Old Joy, Minority Report, Manhattan) and Tinsel drummer and writer-director Joe Ventura. Those sessions produced two singles earlier in 2022 – ‘Heavy Shoes (to kill the blues)’ and ‘Ghosts of San Francisco’.
Mixed by Oakland composer-producer Chuck Johnson at Cirrus Oxide, this album was produced, recorded, mastered and partially mixed at Magic Door Recording by Ray Ketchem, whose production credits include Guided By Voices, Gramercy Arms, Luna and Elk City.
‘Amazon’ is out now, available everywhere digitally, including Apple Music and Spotify. The full ‘Phased Out’ album, which will be released on November 18, is already available for pre-order via Bandcamp.
Rob Munk – vocals, guitar
Daniel London – lead guitar
Joe Ventura – drums
Scott Anthony – bass
Ray Ketchem – keyboards
Recorded and mastered by Ray Ketchem at Magic Door Recording
Mixed by Chuck Johnson at Cirrus Oxide in Oakland
Cover Art by Ron Liberti
Video directed by Iam Williams and Rob Munk
Video edited by Iam Williams at Shoffice with additional art by Ron Liberti