The Rocturnals

Written by Randall B. Jones


Nine5Four The Magazine - July 2009 Unsigned Band Feature - The Rocturnals


Las Vegas is quickly becoming more than a tourist destination with all its lures of hotels, casinos and night life.  The music scene there is beginning to make some noise and I don’t mean from the routine shows available on the strip.  Vegas is shedding its image as the burial grounds for artist who no longer have a main stay in main stream music.  Believe it or not, it is quickly becoming known as the “NEW” Hollywood or “Desert Hollywood”.  With bands like The Killers, Panic At The Disco & Neyo, the transformation is beginning to take shape.  The next band to keep this movement evolving is The Rocturnals (formerly known as KansasCali).  They have created and dubbed their sound as “Urban Rock” which fuses “Aggressive Soul” with “Alternative Rock”.  They have been called the urban version of Linkin Park and have created a strong following in the sin city.  These guys have tasted some early success on some big name projects and are now looking to put it all together to make a serious push into the consciousness of main stream music.  This is hands down one of the best bands that you have never heard of…but all of that is about to change.  Just remember where you read about them FIRST after they “Blowupchuate” (Jamie Foxx term meaning: the perpetuation of ones blow up-ness).  Get ready to “Get Amped”!!

Let’s begin with letting the readers know who the band members are.  Give me your name, position in the band and where you are originally from.

Pittboss – Lead Vocalist / Singer / Guitarist (Chino Hills, California)
Novelist – Lead Vocalist / Rapper / Keyboardist (Topeka, Kansas by way of Ponce, Puerto Rico)
E. Borders – Drummer (Los Angeles, California)
Adam Crow – Lead Guitarist (Pasadena, California)

How did you guys hook up and how long have you been together?

(Novelist) - We’ve known each other for about 10 years and came together in 2000 shortly after producing & working on the Tupac album. We had all been with various situations and groups that didn’t work out but had relentless drive to achieve and amongst our situations, we noticed that about each other and wondered if we were all on the same team, what would that be like? So we did it and here we are!
(Pittboss) - It was at the same time we worked on the Tupac “Better Dayz” album I was one of the selected producers along with Novelist to work the record. Although I did like 14 songs for Pac the one that makes the album we almost didn’t get credit for which was the Acoustic Version of “Thugz Mansion” feat Nas.  While the label had me and Novelist up in Modesto, California recording the Tupac record, it was there when we decided we wanted to change music.

(E. Borders) - Pitt & I met soon after I moved to Chino a lil over 10 years ago then met Nov a few yrs later. We were all in other groups prior to, but we knew of each other & respected each others work.

(Adam Crow) - I’m the new dude even though I’ve been with the band for almost 2 years. When we met, they were already established as KansasCali. I was just a fan of their music and liked listening to it and playing it. But when the day came and I found that they were auditioning for a guitarist, I jumped all over it. I had been with local bands but nothing like this, the good thing is that when we met, we hit it off smooth and Adam Crow was born.

Nine5Four The Magazine - July 2009 Unsigned Band Feature - The RocturnalsYou guys have experienced a lot of early success.  But before I get into that, why did you change your band name from Kansascali to The Rocturnals?  

(Novelist) - The name change was to reflect a new image and a new direction in which we were planning to take music. In the beginning KansasCali was only reflective of me and Pittboss, even though E. Borders was and had been on board already. With our name change we wanted to be inclusive of all the members and not just me and Pitt. With me being from Kansas and Pitt from Cali, it still could have worked but the name realistically didn’t look out for and or represent the other members. So our goal was to find a name that would be catchy, cool and historical all in one. So when we researched our musical genre we noticed a few things; 1. Bands that started with the word “The” in the front of them had long careers. Such as The Beatles, The Talking Heads, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, & The Who to name a few.  At that point we knew we had to have “The” at the beginning. 2. It had to represent what we do, “Rock all Night!” 3. It had to be a name that would stand the test of time so we chose “The Rocturnals” and in doing that we also started and trademarked a new genre and movement in music, “Urban Rock Music”.

(Pittboss) - In choosing “The Rocturnals” we wanted something that reflected our forward vision. Most people look at us like “Huh? Brotha’s and they’re doing rock?!” even though Novelist is Puerto Rican and Black and Crow is Mexican and Native American. When u look at us you see “Black Rock”, especially with me and Novelist being in the lead positions. We took Rock and drop the “K” to represent our music choice and infused the word Nocturnal meaning “Active at night” for how we get down, but then dropping the “N” ending up with The Rocturnals meaning “Rock all Night!”

(E. Borders) - Our name change represents a new vibe with new songs & a new movement, the “Urban Rock” movement!

(Adam Crow) - When it came down to it KansasCali was being looked at as a multi-genre group meaning we could do anything. By changing our name and making it bold we wanted people to know who and what we are without having to guess.

How would each of you describe the chemistry of the band members?

(Novelist) - Our chemistry is unlike any other group I’ve been in. In other groups everybody wanted to do everything and be the ultimate point man. In The Rocturnals we all know our roles combined with our strengths and weaknesses. We approach the music game as a team and play our position because it is as a team you win and that’s with anything.

(E. Borders) - Our chemistry is what it appears, United! Nov is hip hop thru & thru, he can deliver it to u however u need him to & he can do it every time. Pitt is like my grandmothers gumbo, just a lot of good stuff all mixed in there together A great singer, incredible writer, and a true talent. Crow is a great performer & the spark plug, he really gets the crowd going. Me, well let’s just say I bat clean-up. I usually tie up the loose ends & make sure everythang is what it should be. I hold the groove in place or pretty much the 1 who stirs that pot of gumbo.  

(Pittboss) - This is the band I have been waiting to be in, my entire life.

(Adam Crow) - They are very organized when it comes to business. Always ready for the new obstacle and are determined to make things reality.

Las Vegas is now home to you all.  Tell me why you feel that the area is becoming this “NEW” Hollywood?  

(Novelist) - For a long time it was widely known that Las Vegas was the place where stars that were musical icons at one point, would go and finish their careers. A fan knew that if they really wanted to see some of the greats, all they would have to do is go to Vegas, until now. The youth movement in Vegas has begun to reshape the face of the city with Vegas becoming not only a city that lay careers to rest, but births them to. You have us The Rocturnals of course, The Killers, Neyo, Panic At The Disco and Otherwise just to name a few.

In the last 10 years Las Vegas has shifted its focus to becoming a more family oriented and a modern day entertainment friendly city. Building condo hotels like in New York plus the networks have moved in to capitalize on its growth with T.V. Shows (Vegas), Award Shows (Billboard, Latin Grammy’s, B.E.T., MTV Music Video Awards) and other big time sports venues (NBA All-Star & The Las Vegas Bowl) to big time concerts. Like Hollywood, Vegas is also known for its bright lights and stars. Like Hollywood, in Vegas on any given day you can see your favorite actor/actress, athlete and or musician parading the streets.

The Vegans have taken to you and compare you to an urban version of Linkin Park.  Give me your description of your music and how you feel about the comparison to LP?  

(Novelist) - Well Linkin Park has sold over 20 million records and for our name to even be mentioned along side them is not only a compliment but a true testament as to how far we’ve come and how close we are.

(Pittboss) - I think it’s a cool and a fair comparison.

(E. Borders) - I think the comparison 2 LP is a fair one also, both our styles are aggressive with great melodies & good songwriting. Our music incorporates the moods & attitudes of where we’re from and where we are headed. Plain and simple, dope lyrics with them dope beats!   

(Adam Crow) - We bring out harmonizing soul vocals with catchy old school rap while still basing our sound with rock.

Nine5Four The Magazine - July 2009 Unsigned Band Feature - The RocturnalsHow did you score the opportunity to be featured on the soundtrack and DVD of the 2005 Academy Award winning movie “CRASH”?  

(Novelist) - In 2004, we had did a joint-venture with an independent record company that strictly specialized in soundtrack distribution. Our goal at the time was to have more control on our album from a creative standpoint. The label executive at the time had 3 soundtracks that were going out, (Hostage, Crash & Mr. & Mrs. Smith) we were originally slated to appear on the  “Hostage” soundtrack with the L.A. Philharmonic. We did the song but it just didn’t work out. Then the record company asked us to sit down and watch this independent movie, “Crash” and right from the opening scene it grabbed us. At the end of the movie we were asked if we want to be on the soundtrack and with no hesitation we said yes and that night “If I…” was born and it was the last song to be added to the soundtrack but put as number #1 then selected for a video, not by Lions Gate Films but by the record company. In a bold move, we shot the music video and then presented it to LGF and they included it on the DVD not knowing that the movie would be up for so many awards let alone win!

(Pittboss) - Yeah the minute me and E put that musical melody together, we knew we had something. The cool twist to this is that the woman who’s record was actually in the movie got nominated for an Oscar and was upset we were reaping the exposure on the DVD. The record company told us that she complained to LGF (Rightfully so) and wanted our music video removed from the DVD and they actually removed us from the “Directors Cut” but this was after over 6 million DVDs had already sold from winning the Oscar. That was a historical moment for us and possible trivia question later on in the years to come.
(E. Borders) - Yeah over 6 million was sold though! Imagine if we would have some real promotions from our side by the label that was directly involved

What effect did the exposure have on the band?

(Novelist) - That was the biggest problem we had with the label, while we were being criticized by the media whom was upset that LGF on the DVD didn’t offer more to the consumer in bonuses, the label didn’t really do enough to capitalize off of the exposure and we were pretty much shackled and really couldn’t operate outside of the label to run with it ourselves. I mean, come on, the movie won the OSCAR for BEST PICTURE! I am sure we could have got an interview or two or three, you know what I am saying. We have a compelling story of how we were linked to “Crash” similar to the movies theme and it would’ve been great for people to have heard and or read it.

(Pittboss) - We were an Independent Band distributed by an Independent Label featured on the DVD of an Independent Movie that won Movie of the Year! Don’t you think we should have been a lot further than we are? No radio, No Magazine, No advertisement, No nothing! The only thing was the actual critics that happen to browse the “Special Features” section of the DVD likened our music video to “MTV Garbage”, haha! We took that as a compliment because that just meant we belong on MTV. Other critics shot it down because they couldn’t really grasp the concept of our “Urban Rock” because it was new to them and at the time they couldn’t compare it to no one. So they do like 80% of the critics who understand something, they’re tear it down. However, the fan mail we have received had been overwhelming, a lot more consumers had seen the video than we anticipated and we gained a lot of fans oversees in the UK, Austria, Germany, China, Australia, Sweden and more… go figure!

(E. Border) - But imagine if we would have had some real advertisement! I mean just ask yourself prior to myspace, had you heard of us? Seen the video? Read a previous article? At all…? Exactly my point! People are just now finding out we were apart of that movie and loved our song so we would say that exposure is now picking up. You’re the first to interview “The Rocturnals” you should mark this day down… hahahaha! Because we are not stopping!

Tell me about the other soundtrack opportunities you’ve received.  

(Pittboss) - Well the most recent soundtrack, well movie score was Jamie Kennedy’s “Kickin’ It Old Skool” where our song plays at the end of the movie right after Jamie Kennedy’s “1984” song with a song called “The Life”.

(Novelist) - Yeah we were also on the “Haven” soundtrack which was Orlando Bloom’s first produced movie through LGF. We were on the “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” (International Version) soundtrack and “Once In A Lifetime” an ESPN Movie that featured the story of the Legendary “New York Cosmos” which had Pele play on the team.

Not only did you appear on soundtracks, but you also were featured on the debut album of KCi Hailey (former lead singer of Jodeci) and Aaron Hall (former lead singer of GUY).  What songs did you contribute to their projects and how was it working with KCi and Aaron?

(Pittboss) - On Arron’s album, we produced and wrote 3 songs with the third song being a bonus track. The songs were tracks: #3 Serve That Body featuring KansasCali; #10 All I Think About Is You and #15 Betta Watch Your Girl feat. KansasCali (Bonus Track).

(E. Border) - On K-Ci’s album, it was three tracks as well: #3 It’s All Love feat. KansasCali; #13 Soldier and #18 It’s All Love (Remix) feat. KansasCali.

(Novelist) - Yeah working with them was an eye opening experience at the same time historical because these guys are major icons in the world of R&B music. So to do songs with them was a pleasure.

Nine5Four The Magazine - July 2009 Unsigned Band Feature - The RocturnalsHow often does the band perform and what do fans have to look forward to when they come out to see your show?  

(Novelist) - We perform every moment we can and the fan support has been steady and if you’re new coming to our shows, expect to be taken to the next level.
(Pittboss) - It is what it is and we just make it do what it do. Fans always come in and leave either shocked or overwhelmed because they didn’t expect it.

(E. Borders) - Like I said, I’m the stirrer of the Gumbo Pot! Now that we’ve finished the record, we’re performing as much as possible. What you can expect is an energetic experience and a live show that rocks hard. You’ll probably tell your friends!

(Adam Crow) - They should expect to be blown away and entertained and not be ready to just stand and watch because we don’t do rehearsal gigs…we perform!

Now, let’s talk about your new debut album entitled “COMPLICATED”.  Why did you decide on this title and what does the album have in store for the fans?  

(Novelist) - “Complicated” to me is everything that a man wants to say to a woman in person but can’t. With this album, he will be able to play it for her to get his point across. It has a lot of emotions tied into it.

(E. Borders) - “Complicated” began as both a look at relationships & (as) a description of the group and the music. The fusion of Rock, R&B and Hip Hop & their relationship with each other and then over the 2 + years it took to make it,  it turned into a description of the process & most of who and what surrounded it.   

Who produced the album and how was the chemistry during production?  

(Pittboss) - Well me, E. Borders and Novelist represent the production team called “The Bookeez” and we all know and understand our roles. Our production team can cover any genre you can name, from Hip-Hop to R&B, to Rock!

And did you guys write all of the song?  

(Novelist) – Yep, everything we do is in house.

Which track is going to be the first single off the album and why?

(Novelist) - First single is going to be “Get a Lil Back”. It’s a combination of something Lenny Kravits would do combined with a Beatles type of chorus that melodically keeps you locked in. Why? Because it is what a lot of men want to say to their woman meaning “I give you the world, can I get a lil back?” hahaha!

(Pittboss) - The song will be accompanied by various remixes for the different markets to maximize the exposure of it. I believe that the songs funky beat and catchy hook is what’s going to do it and it’s what gets the crowd going in concert.

(E. Borders) - Yeah the song is funky, the singing is on point, melodic and delivered with a bang and the rap is brought hard and creative.

(Adam Crow) - Yeah when I look out into the crowd when this song comes on, the fans energy goes to another level. This is the right record and will bring a lot of fans over that had some reservations about us.

I saw your video for the song “U’re Not Ready” on your MySpace page.  GREAT song…ideal for sporting events.  It definitely gets you AMPED!! Is this one of the songs from the new CD?  

(Pittboss) - Yeap! “U’re Not Ready!” is definitely from the album and designed to get you amped because we were amped just doing it. Ha!

(Novelist) – Yeah, we have that and a song called “Jumpin” that’s going to send all the amped enthusiast into a whole different arena! It’s AAAAMMMPED!
It’s really hard to believe you guys aren’t signed to a major label right now.  Have you received any interest from them and would signing with an Indie label be an option?

(Novelist) - We used to say the same thing too until you get to experience the music business from the other side and realize that going the indie rout is the best rout “IF U CAN AFFORD TO” or find someone “WILLING FOR YOU” because when you understand the numbers it’s really not to an artist advantage to sign with a major. The only thing a major really does and that’s “If” a big “If” you happen to get a hit record they could automatically put the big dollars behind it with no problem. Where as with an independent, they have to maximize minimal spending dollars to achieve the same goals as a major and it has been done.

(Pittboss) - To make a long story short! We wouldn’t say no to nothing! If signing to a major label situation was an option we would take it, knowing we would have to work our ax off.  With an Independent we would take it, knowing that we would make more by working our ax off.

Nine5Four The Magazine - July 2009 Unsigned Band Feature - The RocturnalsPoint well taken…what type of promotion do you have set up once the album is released?  

(Novelist) - We have a three phase tour that is being put in place right now set to begin hopefully later this month that would carry us over into Canada. We will be on a mad promotional blitz not only introducing our sound but promoting a new Genre in music that we have trademarked. “URBAN ROCK MUSIC”.

(Pittboss) - We are also starring in a cartoon set to debut this year as well called “Da Jammies” Co-Created by Novelist and DBI with Ralph Farquhar (Moesha, The Parkers) on board as an Executive Producer along with Novelist. I serve as one of the co-stars by the character name of “Seven” and Novelist plays himself.

I have to believe that you guys would kill on the international scene.  Have you tested the international waters yet?

(Pittboss) - Not yet, but we definitely want to! Majority of our fans are there! We’re coming and I can’t wait!

(Novelist) – Yeah, the International markets loves music period, no matter who you are. Gnarls Barkley proved to the industry that the people dictate the future of music and not the so called experts.

I’m sure our readers will help expand your fan base once they listen to your music.  How can they find out more about the band and cop the CD?

(The Rocturnals) – They can check us out at and and support our movement.

Thanks for sharing guys and I look forward to hearing BIG things about the band real soon.  Do you have any final words or shout outs you would like to leave with us?

(The Rocturnals) - A big shout out to the Almighty man upstairs for making it happen day in and day out! Our friends and families, Management, Las Vegas, United Students of America.Org, Las Vegas Music Alliance, Our club brothers from BCMC, Da Jammies, DBI, Kenny Green, The Mass Men, Jalor Entertainment, FarCor Studios, Toon Farm Animation, Stevi Madison and most important our families that truly come and support every show no matter where it’s at. We love ya’ll!  One more thing, there is a group of kids out of Lucerne Valley called “The D.C. Crew” that we want to thank them and Naomi for having us.


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