2023 in Review
Photo by David Barber
2022 was another busy year for me. The main thing was I formed a new rock band called Total Flower Chaos in the Spring. We starting gigging in July, and played 7 shows. The band has been playing songs from my 2021 album, The Way, as well as instrumentals from my 2016 release under the Total Flower Chaos name. We decided to take a break from gigging in the winter to work on new material. We plan to resume gigging in the Spring.
I also played 4 "Rob Roper and Friends" shows at Gennaro's in Denver. These are acoustic shows, backed by musician friends. I keep these shows loose and fun. I usually learn a new cover song for these shows, in addition to playing my acoustic songs, and acoustic versions of my rock songs. These shows are fun for me as well as the audience, so I'm going to keep doing these shows in 2023.
Finally, I played two solo acoustic shows. One was as an opening act at the Lion's Lair in Denver, and the other was at Broken Compass brewery in Breckenridge, Colorado. The latter I treated as a little mountain getaway. I want to do more of those in this coming year.
In June, I released the second video for my 2021 album, The Way. It featured the title song, and was produced by Jamie Krutz, who did the first video for the album based on the song Metadata. If you haven't seen it yet, or want to watch it again, check it out on my Youtube site.
Speaking of The Way, I released a lot of new merch based on the album cover design. I now have available on my Bandcamp site a medium and light-weight hoodie, tshirts in two colors, and a ladies tank top. All are made of high-quality, soft material. At least one of these is a must for all Rob Roper music fans!
By November I realized I was burned out and needed a break. I've been going hard at music 7 days a week for the past 15 years or more, and it finally caught up to me. Everything else in my life was neglected. So for the last 3 weeks, I've been working on my neglected home-- having a handyman fix broken stuff, organizing stuff and cleaning this dirty house. Unfortunately, I've been hampered by a persistent cold the last 3 weeks that has sapped my energy, and sleep problems. Hopefully those will get fixed soon.
After this cold and break are over, the first thing on my agenda is to get back to songwriting. I'll be writing both by myself and with the band. I've collected a ton of music and lyric ideas over the last 6 years or so, but didn't have time to put them together because of all the gigging. That time is now. Hopefully I'll have some new songs for you when I start gigging again-- both solo and with the band. But this year, I'm going to try to pace myself and have more balance.
--Rob Roper, January 14, 2023
Total Flower Chaos
I've been busy getting my new band, Total Flower Chaos, off the ground and running. We have played a handful of gigs in the Denver area the last couple of months. See our website for upcoming shows. And follow us on Facebook and Instagram if you like.
--Rob Roper, October 7, 2022
"The Way" Video Released!
I have released the second video from my 2021 album, The Way, and it's the title song. The video was made by Jamie Krutz, who made the first video, Metadata (We're Watching You) . Check it out!
If you'd like to help my pay the cost of making the video, please go to my Bandcamp site and download the song. You can pay whatever you want. Thanks!
--Rob Roper, July 8, 2022
Rock Band, Acoustic Shows, Merch
My main focus right now is forming my new rock band, Total Flower Chaos. I began the year with bassist Ryan Watts and guitarist David Shaffer. In March, I found a drummer, Connor Gibson. He is currently learning the songs. I am still looking for a keyboard player. If I don't find a keyboard player soon, we will probably start gigging anyway, and hope to recruit a keyboard player later.
Meanwhile, I've been playing a few acoustic shows, sometimes solo, sometimes with friends. Check my Shows page for details, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to join my email list.
I now have new merch based on my new album, "The Way." These are high-quality, light and medium weight black hoodies. You can order them on my Bandcamp Merch Page.
--Rob Roper, April 11, 2022
2021 Year in Review
My 2021 was dominated by the completion and release of my new album, "The Way." The year began in the middle of the recording stage. Recording was finished by the end of February, then came editing, then mixing, and finally mastering. The audio portion of the project was completed in early July. Artwork was completed in August.
The album, without promotion, would cost me about $20,000. I ran a pre-order campaign among my fans to raise funds. That brought in $2,500. My fan club, The Misfit Club, contributed another $1,000. Revenue from sales of previous recordings added another $1,500. The other $15,000 I raised by sales of guitars and amps, and by borrowing from my retirement fund. I sent those who pre-ordered their downloads and/or CDs in August. The album was released to the public in November.
In August and September, I worked with videographer Jamie Krutz on the first video for the album. In October, "Metadata (We're Watching You)," was released as a single with the video. Making the video was a lot of work but it was also a lot of fun. Jamie did a great job, and the video was nominated for video of the year by Chris K's Colorado Playlist.
In the summer I began recruiting a new rock band. I already had bassist Ryan Watts, who played on my album, and has become my musical right-hand man and a good friend. While waiting for the band to come together, Ryan and I played a gigs as a duo, and sometimes with others, the highlight being the Rob Fest at Gennaro's on August 28, where singer Janet Lipson and percussionist Sam Caston joined us.
Lead guitarist David Shaffer joined the band in August. We went through three drummers, none of whom worked out, all for different reasons. We did not find a keyboard player. So we are still looking for a drummer and keyboard player.
I scheduled the album release show at Herman's Hideaway in Denver on November 12. I recruited three well-known Denver performers to open for me-- Luke Schmaltz of King Rat, Wendy Woo and Brent Loveday and the Dirty Dollars. I worked hard to publicize the show, and we had a very good turnout. I also played a live internet solo acoustic release show for my out-of-state fans on November 29.
The Denver weekly, The Westword, interviewed me about the new album, and ran a great feature article on their online edition. The Denver magazine, 303, listed me as one of Colorado's Top 5 up and coming musical artists.
Now that the album has been recorded and released, my focus in 2022 will shift to getting the rock band fully formed, stabilized, and playing regular gigs. I also plan to play the occasional acoustic gig once in awhile, including a solo acoustic tour of Colorado's smaller cities and towns.
Other goals include one or two more videos from songs on the The Way. And I plan to get back to songwriting, both rock songs for the new band, and maybe some new acoustic songs. In fact, I started on that in December.
--Rob Roper, January 2, 2022