Philly’s own Roselind courts fame, stardom

Candace Stevens

It’s a dark night. Hot lights. As he gazes out at an anxious crowd, sweat trickles down Scott Cumpstone’s face, a drop or two landing on his shiny amber Les Paul guitar as he plugs it into an amplifier. He glances over at Tommy Mosca, his best friend, as he does the same.

Mosca, usually charismatic and open to the world, seems strangely entranced by his guitar, tuning, and occasionally playing a Hendrix-esque riff to test his work. Cumpstone then directs his attention to the main microphone, where he locks eyes with frontman Josh O’Neil, who’s also drenched in sweat. They smile knowingly at each other. The hunger is burning. It’s not because they’re nervous; it’s because they’re ready.

A pounding beat emerges from Brian Vindicor’s drum set, his long curly hair flying forward with every beat, draping over his small frame.

The crowd begins to move and scream, the nervous anticipatory tension ascending from their bodies. Andy Laub begins playing an earth-shaking bass line with his brawny toned arms, and the collective unit, the band Roselind, begins playing the most important show of their lives.

Roselind is here on a mission:To bring back the spirit of rock and roll. With influences like Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and Bon Jovi, Roselind brings the sounds of giants of the past in a more intimate environment.

“I think one of the biggest things music has lost is that whole live aspect,” says Cumpstone. “It’s all about the studio and the CDs now, but for us, the centralization is on the playing.”

And how? A Roselind show is a thing to behold, with Mosca’s lightning fast guitar solos, O’Neil’s push for audience participation, and the bands immaculate precision while playing.

However, you’d never know they focused their all on performing. Their six-song, self-titled album took months to record and was produced by a local recording guru, Chris Arms, and sounds every bit professional; it has been gaining lots of praise from the fans, and major record labels. Warner Music and Interscope Records are both seriously considering adding Roselind to their line-up of uber- successful artists who shaped the face of music as we know it today, such as Van Halen, The Kinks, Eric Clapton, and Madonna.

And, like these great musicians, Roselind has songs that can truly rile you up and songs that can send you floating happily down a stream of slower sound.

The album has a few hard driving songs: one called “Dream,” which has a true rocking seventies feel, and “Hobby Horse,” which was inspired by a Snapple cap fact. “Hobby Horse” is another name for a bike, and O’Neill was dared to write a song about it, a seemingly hard thing to do. O’Neill decided any old bike wouldn’t do, and he wrote it about the “town bike,” and thus a song about a wild woman was born.

The most intricate song on the CD starts off with a Led Zeppelin acoustic riff, then transitions into a powerful, angst-filled chorus, and then slows it down again. “Stranger” and all of the rest of the CD are worth a listen.

When asked where they wanted to go with the band, Cumpstone and Mosca looked at each other, smiled, and said almost unanimously, “the top.” And with their stellar performances and breathtaking record, it won’t be surprising if they do end up standing there.

“It’s just something that’s so passionate for all of us; it’s something we want to do forever,” Cumpstone said, looking out the window, his blonde hair falling on his face. He brushed it away, and said again, “I want to do this forever.”