The retro-leaning pop/rock band Rooney are comprised of Robert Schwartzman (vocals/guitar), Taylor Locke (guitar), Matt Winter (bass), Louie Stephens (keyboards), and Ned Brower (drums). Inspired by the Beach Boys, ELO, Superdrag, and the quintet's hometown of Los Angeles, Rooney held their earliest practices in Locke's garage in 2000. From the start, however, the group enjoyed connections that most garage bands lack: Carmine was the younger brother of actor/ex-Phantom Planet drummer Jason
Schwartzman (not to mention the son of actress Talia Shire, cousin of Nicolas Cage, and nephew of Francis Ford Coppola), and both he and Brower had previously enjoyed acting careers (Brower briefly starred opposite Katie Holmes in Dawson's Creek, while Schwartzman enjoyed moderate-sized roles in The Princess Diaries and The Virgin Suicides). The connections paid off, and Rooney made their live debut opening for Phantom Planet in 2002.
More live dates followed, including tours with Weezer and the Vines, and it wasn't long before Rooney enlisted the help of Keith Forsey (Billy Idol, the Psychedelic Furs, Simple Minds) to record material for their first full-length album. Spring 2003 saw the release of Rooney's sunny self-titled debut, whose sales spiked considerably when the band appeared on The O.C. (the first in a long line of indie acts to do so) in 2004. Later that year, the DVD Spit and Sweat arrived, collecting live performances, music videos, and interviews. Rooney began recording their second album late in 2004 with producer Tony Hoffer, but the album -- tentatively titled The Kids After Sunset -- was scrapped, despite several songs being posted on the band's MySpace page in 2005. More tracks from the sessions leaked onto the Internet and were dubbed The Lost Album. The band attempted to record its second album again in fall 2005 with Howard Benson in the producer's seat. The album was slated for a 2006 release but was also scrapped due to the band and label's inability to agree which songs should appear on it. In 2006, Rooney toured with Kelly Clarkson and returned to the studio with producer John Fields for a third -- and successful -- attempt at their second album. Calling the World was released by Cherrytree Records in summer 2007.