Last December, Roof Doctor lead guitarist/vocalist Mark Harper looked to his friends’ bands for “the best musicians he knew,” and borrowed them record his own material. It was evident after only two practices with Alex Stackhouse (guitar), Chet Williams (bass), Sean Reilly (bass), and Kevin Paschall (drums) that the group possessed enough chemistry to identify as a band in its own right. Last week I sat down with Harper to discuss Roof Doctor’s path – from starting out at the notorious North Philadelphia Maggot House where Harper and guitarist Alex Stackhouse live, to the band’s current plans, and their recently crushed dreams of beefing with Conor Oberst.
TK: Have you been working on anything new since the release of your EP I Am Going To Die back in July?
MH: Yeah, yeah. I Am Going To Die was recorded from February to May in the basement of Maggot House, but we’ve been pretty busy playing and writing new stuff.
TK: Did starting the band inside Maggot House influence your style?
MH: Absolutely. I never listened to punk at all, I was totally new to the whole DIY thing. The people there had a big effect on me. I want to keep playing house shows—I’m not really big on playing a lot of bar gigs. When you play at house shows and colleges people are more enthusiastic.
TK: What’s your favorite show you’ve played?
MH: Oh, just last weekend we played a show at Rowan University. It was really crowded and super energetic. It was just cool because you could see all these kids from the suburbs who had never experienced shows like this, whereas in Philly kids are used to these kinds of shows and places.
TK: What do you love about smaller performances like that?
MH: When the energy of the band matches the energy of the room Continue reading