In-Depth with Tim Rogner!

John @ Musuk was fortunate, fortunate to get to interview a member of one of his most favourite bands, an inspiration to him growing up, a reason why Musuk exists today! Talking about his bands Allister and his new project Hot Alice, we bring you our “In-Depth with” Tim Rogner!


Phineas Gage, Later to be Allister were formed in 1994! I was 3 yeas old. When first becoming a band you were obviously a lot younger then as well. What was your inspiration to want to be in a band and what did you want to come of the band?

 Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved music.  My dad has played in a band for over 40 years so he was a huge inspiration.  We always had drum kits and various musical instruments in the house so it was something that just developed naturally.

Back in 1994 when the band first formed you originally were playing drums then after a small line-up change you went onto guitar. What was the reason for your switch?

I was writing a lot of the songs and singing them while playing drums.  We quickly realized lead singing drummers aren’t cool.

Allister’s first full length album “Dead ends and Girlfriends” released in 1999 was recorded on a very small budget. Once released what was your overall reaction for completing your first album?

At the time we were just excited to have recorded original music. We didn’t care if it sounded good or bad, we were just happy to have it on tape.  

Introducing your new band “Hot Alice” , Fairly new band on the scene, What direction are you looking to go in with “Hot Alice” as big as “Allister”? Is this the end of Allister!?

This is certainly not the end of Allister.  It’s hard for all 4 members of Allister to regularly get together though and since I have to keep playing and writing music, I formed Hot Alice.  It’s a bit more rock n roll but definitely has elements of punk rock.  We don’t have any plans for Hot Alice except to write, record, and play music we love.  

Being from Chicago, as well as Fall Out Boy, I heard you took them on their first little tour! Do you guys still keep in contact?

No.  We do not keep in contact with them. 

If we were to hang out with “Tim Rogner” for 24 hours in Chicago, What would we expect? 

I would expect a trip to the bar to watch a Cubs game.

You are obviously a music fan, personally my music taste has a huge range! What 5 songs would you recommend that I listen to?

oh boy this is an impossible question to answer but I will throw something out there.  I’m going to say (in no particular order) these songs:  1.  A Remark You Made – Weather Report;  2.  Fool in the Rain – Led Zeppelin;  3.  Come Sail Away – Styx;  4.  Speculative Fiction – Propaghandi;  5. Best Thing That You Never Had – Butch Walker

The last time you came to Scotland I was absolutely stoked for it! Unfortunately my girlfriend was rather heavily pregnant at the time so I couldn’t attend! Do you, Hot Alice or Allister have any “near future” plans to visit Scotland again!?

Unfortunately we have no plans to visit Scotland again any time soon.

Musuk is Scottish based, It was made it Scotland! From previous memory’s what has been your best experience here! 

one of my favorite memories from Scotland was selling out the Garage in Glasgow.  That was truly awesome.  We also got to see Donatur Castle up by Aberdeen.  That was really neat as well.

When you toured the UK with Allister you guys played the “Last Stop Suburbia” Album, which was released before “Before the Blackout, Countdown to Nowhere and Life Behind Machines”. Is “Last Stop Suburbia” the best known or best selling album? Is that why you were playing that Album?

Yes it is the best selling Allister record but the reason that we were playing it had more to do with the fact that it was the 10 year anniversary of that record and it just felt like the fun thing to do.

Since hearing “Somewhere on Fullerton” and the album “Last Stop Suburbia”, I started a band and started writing songs, I know it sound soppy as sh*t but its true! I listened to your music to help me write music! When you get down to writing a new track, How do you do it? What is your inspiration as such?

I always write melodies first.  Once I come up with a melody and chords I try to find words that fit to go with it.  Sometimes it all comes together quickly and easily and sometimes it’s a painfully difficult, unnatural process.

Scott Murphy has been doing a few side projects, as well as yourself. To me you just seem to be a guy who loves to make and play your music. When not recording, giggin’ or playing, What do you do!?

I have 2 kids that keep me very busy.  Between football and baseball games and working as a Training Coordinator for a life insurance company, it’s amazing I find time to write and record sometimes!

 I said if you do this I will buy the Hot Alice track “Fly The W” (which I would do anyway even though we use £ rather than $ here but ill work it out) and send you a one off Musuk T-shirt! Which I will do even though I cant find any Allister merch anywhere!!! This question is easy, What UK size T-shirt will you be???

probably a Large

Ever since hearing “The Legend of Pegleg Sullivan” I have always wondered if that a true story, It might sound stupid to you! What is or how was that track wrote?

The track is actually a (true?) story about the great Chicago Fire of 1871.  In October of that year a fire burned the city nearly completely to the ground. Legend has it that a cow kicked over a lantern in the barn of the O’Leary family, but after doing some research on it, there’s more truth to the story that the fire was started by a man named Pegleg Sullivan.  I’m a fan of all things Historical and thought the subject might make for an interesting song.

Overall as a musician, You’ve played a hell of a lot of shows, hung out with heaps of bands, recorded a lot of stuff! To this date what would you say your biggest accomplishment as a musician is?

Honestly, just being able to record music and have fans tell you it has made a difference in their life.  I know what it feels like when a song or a band changes your entire life and to be able to do that for someone else is truly a special feeling.

 I’am a movie fan as well as a music fan, especially Star Wars…..Not a total Star Wars geek but I liked the films and get some merch, have you watched “The Force Awakens”!? What is your most favourite movie of all time!?

Back To the Future

This is the most questions I have every asked in an Interview, I hope you feel privileged Tim! (lol) 99% of the time I end on the same question, which i’am away to do again. Is there anything you want to say to any “Tim Rogner, Hot Alice or Allister” Fans and us at Musuk!?
Thank you for the support!  Keep listening to music and supporting those that make it!

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