As founder/vocalist/songwriter/guitarist for New York City power-pop band The Rosenbergs, David Fagin has done things his way, whether it was opposing industry giants like Jimmy Iovine and Doug Morris in publicly refusing to sign an exploitative deal, or having one of the group’s tours sponsored by Napster back in its renegade days.
After an EP and two acclaimed albums with The Rosenbergs, Fagin emerges with his solo debut, For Promotional Use Only, on his own Noshpit Entertainment label. The album, currently available digitally on iTunes, will be released at retail on May 5.
“Hey, it’s either this or drive a cab,” he jokes. “It’s my own label so in four months if it doesn’t work out, I’ll drop myself.”
Fagin’s album will be spotlighted on Clear Channel Radio NEW!, its emerging artist program, and he’ll be doing a month-long residency Wednesdays, beginning April 9th, at New York’s hip Living Room.
Working with bandmate Joshua Aaron, For Promotional Use Only represents a vast departure from David’s driving pop sound with The Rosenbergs. This album showcases a collection of more personal material inspired by affairs of the heart, including the first single, “Goddess of Nothing.”
“You can only write what you know,” he says. “It’s the eternal, basic question. ‘Do you belong together or do you not belong together?’”
Fagin cites artists like Neil Finn’s work with Crowded House, Richard Ashcroft, Death Cab, and Coldplay as inspirations.
“I’ve always been a singer-songwriter,” he laughs. “It’s just in the past, I’ve been able to hide behind a wall of distorted guitars. I wanted challenge myself by breaking that wall down a bit, and presenting some more VH1-style, introspective type stuff, more lush and melodic.”
A raconteur and outspoken observer of the contemporary music industry, Fagin has been a frequent guest on CNBC’s Dennis Miller Live, as well as appearing on Air America’s The Majority Report with Janeane Garofalo and co-hosting shows on XM Satellite Radio. The band was personally invited by Fagin’s childhood idol Gene Simmons to appear with the Kiss bassist on The Howard Stern Show. David is also a frequent contributor to Billboard and TheOnion.com, as well as writing a monthly column for Salon City Magazine.
David made sure The Rosenbergs got exposure the new-fashioned way, meaning you may well have heard his songs while flying American Airlines, shopping at The Gap or watching ESPN. The band’s music has also been featured in TV teen soaps like Dawson’s Creek, Joan of Arcadia and Party of Five, as well as Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and MTV’s hits The Real World and Engaged and Underaged. The group made late night TV history when they performed as the house band for five consecutive nights on NBC’s Last Call with Carson Daly. Three tracks from their 2004 album Department Store Girl, are featured, along with members of the group themselves, in Playboy’s first video game. The Rosenbergs have shared live bills with everyone from No Doubt and Stone Temple Pilots to Duncan Sheik, The Strokes and Duran Duran.