Tim Baker of Hey Rosetta! Talks Touring and Secret Bonnaroo Shows

David Weiner ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer


Tim Baker sounded relaxed on the phone. I asked him where he was.

“I’m in Maryland right now,” Baker said with a smile in his voice. “I’m sitting on the grass with a river behind me, enjoying the sunshine and trying not to get overwhelmed.”

Baker is the lead singer and founder of the seven piece band, Hey Rosetta! The exclamation point is part of the stylized, Rosetta Stone inspired name. The group’s layered tones and driving beats push a sound that is both harmonious and hard-hitting.

The group’s Spring Communion Tour kicked off on Wednesday in DC. After the release of their fourth studio album Second Sight last October, Hey Rosetta! seems to be steadily climbing the ladder of success.

Baker’s voice was calm and easy as he explained the groups journey since its beginning in 2005. The only hiccup seemed to come when asked him how he would describe what the group sounds like.

“That’s a difficult question,” Baker said, followed by a long pause. “It’s probably easier for someone else to explain. We get a little eclectic. (another pause) It’s kind of rocky, poppy, or folky I guess.”

I was in an ice cream shop in Boston interviewing Baker over the phone. But I imagined his reaction to the question looking something like a young dog’s when it cocks its head to the side inquisitively.

Baker say the band pulls its inspiration from groups such as Dr. Dog and Local Natives who’ve held a steady presence in the indie music scene in the last few years.

“I didn’t really listen to much music when the band first started,” Baker said.

Before forming the group, Baker was teaching piano, delivering pizzas and temporarily living out of his parents’ basement, sitting on a college degree in sociology. Ten years later, the band has since toured all over the U.S. and internationally, released four studio albums, and is on track to make 2015 their year.

Baker seems like the kind of guy that is truly happy just living life and playing music. He points to Bonnaroo as one of his greatest experiences as a musician thus far.

“Bonnaroo was hot, dusty and awesome. So much of the experience for me was not playing and just walking around,” Baker said. My favorite show we played there was this secret show that we did at 2 a.m. in this little oasis in the woods. It was magical. Coming from a small place (St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Labrador Canada), we see a lot of magic in the things that other people are able to put on.”

Hey Rosetta! is a live band, through and through. This band sounds even better than their recordings. Hell, a lot of their stuff is recorded live. Check out their collection of videos they shot on Fogo Island in Newfoundland to get a good feel for what I’m talking about.

You can see Hey Rosetta! live this Saturday at Great Scott in Allston. It’s a small stage for a big band, but you won’t want to miss this intimate experience.

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