Staring at the two
brothers who make up the creative core of Mad
at the World from a distance, there is a rough edge around
them. Roger and Randy Rose appear to represent
two opposite ends of the physical spectrum,
one tall and dark and rather slender, the
other shorter and fair and a little thicker
through the middle.
Randy Rose states that big
brother Roger was like a father figure to him
since there is an eleven year age difference
between the two. When Randy was seven, Roger
started teaching him to play drums. By age nine,
Randy was playing in the band with his brother
and at fourteen, he was included in the
recording of Mad at the World, the
band's debut for Frontline. They have been
playing together all this time, bringing the
count to nearly sixteen years.
Raised in a close,
Christian environment all their lives, the
Rose brothers say they never once turned away
from the faith of their parents. Never even
rebelled. They hold great respect and
admiration for their parents. The Rose
brothers don't take the credit themselves for
their lifestyle choices or personal success.
Instead, they compliment their parental units,
saying it was the strongly knit relationship
between their mother and father and God.
So, how has the band
changed after all these years? They practiced
the belief that being strong spiritually meant
following all the rules that the church had
set. They spent their energies trying to keep
others from breaking the rules. Over the
years, experience and simple observation has
taught them that one must work out their own
salvation before the Lord. This brings more
confidence in building a strong, honest
relationship with God.
Just before Mad at the
World signed on with Frontline, Roger Rose was
basically experimenting with keyboards and
took time off from the band to polish this
aspect of music. Randy Rose thought the
compilation of material he had gathered during
this time was strong enough to send out to
record companies. Respecting the opinion and
musical ability of his younger brother, Rose
took the advice. The sound was fresh in
Christian music circles, [and] it was well
received. One week later, they had a five
record deal with Frontline. That commitment
has been completed and the group has resigned.
Their first three
projects covered a wide range of musical
territory. The first having a heavy
synthesized, dance sound. Performing this
became a problem. None of the members danced.
So, there they were on a stage playing dance
music with nobody moving.
On the next project, Flowers
in the Rain, they used less keyboards
and more guitars, hoping to solve the problem.
Unsatisfied with the results, on Seasons
of Love they cut the keyboards
altogether and the gritty, metal edge of the
band was given birth.
That sound has carried
with them into their latest release, Through
The Forest. With thoughtful, captivating
eyes, Roger Rose explains the theme and focus.
"Through The Forest is like the travels
life takes you through, a binding of emotions.
Stand in the darkness and open the door. On
the other side is golden light and an array of
colors and strong shadows. A forest. There is
danger and beauty, excitement, fear and joy, a
sense of thrill. It is possible to walk
through this door and take the journey alone.
But there is a tour guide willing and able to
take you through this forest. And only by this
guide can you arrive to the other side
There is a gentle depth
and maturity to Roger Rose that pours without
effort as he speaks. It is nearly impossible
to capture this wisdom, one almost doesn't
want to, afraid to miss something following
close behind in the labor of the chase.
Perhaps the recent
recordings of Mad at the World aren't polished
and squeaky clean -- they record in a house
using sixteen tracks and B-quality equipment,
trying to get the best possible results. Their
live performance is good, in the aggressive
hard rock and dual guitar edge, Mad at the
World has found a stage confidence that was
lacking in the past.
Lead [guitar] player
Brent Gordon's biggest dream is finding a
guitar that will stay in tune. The band can't
afford to play full-time, to have great
equipment or a road crew, and they have to
settle for doing their music
half-way/half-time. Yet, they are happy and
definitely one of the more content, satisfied
bands in the industry. They aren't suffering
at the hands of the Christian music industry,
losing sleep, wondering who they should try
and network with to accomplish this and that.
In Mad at the World, Roger and Randy Rose have
created platform to share what God has
laid upon their hearts, and that in itself is
The band's fears run
deeper. With the completion of each song, each
project, they wonder if they'll ever be able
to create again. They fear condemnation in
exchange for honesty. They fear fading away.
Roger Rose fears getting old and death itself.
And that has nothing to do with music. It
happens to us all.
So, how does Mad at the
World escape these mundane worries on the
surface of life? Can such a band just relax?
To the envy of Midwesterners, Gordon rides his
bike to the beach. He paints and does
illustration on a free-lance basis. Randy Rose
writes music. Roger Rose competes in friendly
games of racquetball. After finishing a
recording, he stays out of the studio for six
Roger Rose makes his
living as a mailman. How uncanny. Picture him
in a postal uniform going from door to door
singing the chorus, "Isn't sex a wonderful
Throughout the hour we
shared, it became delightfully obvious that
Mad at the World, as a band, loves to laugh.
They say they are constantly on diets, because
they go out to eat all the time. So, the next
time you purchase their music, you may be
buying a record from Fat As The World instead.