Friendships help Roughouse grow from a basement band

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For Randy Schumacher, there is a reason why Roughouse clicks as a band.

“We have great chemistry and great friendships,” Schumacher said. “That’s really important to this band. When we went looking for a bass guitarist, it was important for find someone who fit it. The bass guitarist has changed a number of times. We had one bass guitarist who exploded in the middle of practice. We played the wrong song and he spontaneously combusted. He packed up his stuff and stormed out. The friendships and laughter (are) amazing.”

Schumacher, an architect by day and guitarist by night, said he remembers one tipsy musician in the Slippery Noodle audience who said he liked the band because it played like a team.

“He said it like three times,” said Schumacher, who previously lived in Noblesville but now lives in Carmel. “But he was right, we really do.”

Drummer A.J. DeRose, who basically serves as a team manager, said the band started as a few friends jamming in his Noblesville basement, where it still practices.

“We got to together and played some songs,” DeRose said. “We had some musicians rotating in and out. It was real loose. Somewhere along the way, we wanted to do more than play in a basement.”

DeRose’s wife, Molly, was in another band but joined her husband’s band three years ago. From there, it took off. Molly’s sister, Emily Di Rosa, also a Noblesville resident, joined as a second vocalist. Emily and her husband, Matteo Di Rosa, opened Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano in 2003 in Noblesville.

Kelli Ray Yates, a Carmel High School graduate who now lives in Noblesville, joined as a third vocalist in the last several months.

“We’ve ended up now with a solid lineup that I don’t think is going to change,” DeRose said. “There are times when we contract a little bit because of people’s travel schedules.”

Jim Corner, an Indianapolis resident, plays bass guitar. He said the band has fun but practices seriously.

“All of us have interesting backgrounds,” DeRose said. “I played in several alternative rock and classic rock bands. We’re doing classical rock, but we also do bluesy stuff.”

DeRose said Corner and Erik Harlow, a guitarist and Noblesville resident, also have backgrounds playing the blues.

“It’s been catching on. A number of pieces on the classic rock side get people up dancing and then it comes down for slow blues tunes,” DeRose said.

Molly and Emily have musical backgrounds having been in show choir at Pike High School in Indianapolis.

“Our mom is a musician,” Molly said. “She used to write commercial jingles for TV and radio. We grew up around music and in the studio. We’ve been singing together forever.”

Yates is a singer-songwriter who performed solo acoustic sets.

“We asked Kelli to join a year ago and our voices blend well,” Molly said. “We all have jobs and families. We do this because we all love to do it. You make a little money, of course, but, for the most part, you do it because you love to do it.”

Roughouse is playing different venues such as Ale Emporium and Wolfies Geist, along with some outdoor events. Roughouse will play July 7 at Dillion Park as part of the Thursday night concert series and will play July 22 at Daniel’s Vineyard’s concert series in McCordsville.

“We have a private show at the Palladium (in Carmel) we’re excited about,” DeRose said. “We doubled the amount of shows we had on the books from last year. We do all covers. That’s the market and the target we’re going have. When folks want to hear a bar band, they want to hear their songs done well. We pick songs that feature our strengths and roll with it.”

Schumacher said the band is earning respect.

“We’re competing for gigs with bands that have been together eight or nine years,” Schumacher said.

DeRose said the band will play at Federal Hill Commons in Noblesville for the third consecutive summer.

For more, visit Roughouse Indy page on Facebook and Instagram.


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