The Fab Three?

The Complaints’ new disc; plus, the Neutral Nation film
By BOB GULLA  |  June 17, 2008
The Complaints

The Complaints have been one of Providence’s true stalwart bands. Over the years they’ve stood steadfastly by their melodic, middle-of-the-road rock sound, a sound infused by the work of names like Lennon, Springsteen, Petty, Crenshaw, and the like, in which meaning and substance co-exist with danceable grooves and raw-edged guitars. The trio — Dean Petrella, Anthony Marotti, and Chris Cruz — is one of the city’s most underappreciated acts. And while that perception may never change, listening to the band’s latest album, Sunday Morning Radio, will call attention to how excellent they are. Here’s an interview with frontman Petrella.

How did you get the title Sunday Morning Radio?
“Sunday morning radio” is one of the closing lines from “New Face,” a track on the new album. The song is about the passing of my dad. He was a DJ for an Italian radio station on Sunday mornings. The cover is dad with my oldest brother taken in 1961.

What kind of thing were you going for when you went in to make the record?
 We weren’t going for a specific sound, but I feel like this record encompasses everything we do. You get some of the acoustic flavors, some of the funky, sexy stuff and straight-ahead rock ’n’ roll. The only criticism that we’ve had on past records was, “Where is the sexy, funky stuff you guys play live? Where is the live energy?” I feel like we hit our stride in the re-cording process and that this record will make old school Complaints fans very happy and be a great introduction to new fans.

Do you still have rock star dreams?
Well, after touring the country and spending some time backstage with some rock stars, you realize that being a rock star is a relative term. Me and my two best friends write and record our songs. We get to play them for people around the country in a live setting close to 200 times a year and we make a living doing it! I feel like I already am a rock star! But we’re going to continue making great efforts to make the Complaints a household name. The Fab Three? Maybe!

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