Roughouse Band Members Are in Tune With Each Other and Their Fans

Writer / Melissa Gibson
Photographer / John Bolinger

The men and women who make up the band Roughouse aren’t new to the rock-and-roll scene, but in the last five years they may have found the perfect combination for success. Roughouse

Sitting in the living room of drummer A.J. DeRose and lead vocalist Molly DeRose, the seven members of the band, including bass player Jim Corner, rhythm guitarist Randy Schumacher, lead guitarist Erik Harlow, and lead vocalists Kelly Ray Yates and Emily DeRosa, reminisce on the wild ride they’ve had over the past few years.

“We started out jamming in my basement,” A.J. says. “All of us have been in other bands or been solo performers, but once we had the core members and a few songs, we’ve enjoyed some success.”

The band has played for the Indianapolis Colts on the horseshoe stage and at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

“They have an exhibit there where you can go in and use their instruments,” Molly says. “We played a set in the morning and the guys told us to come back later, so we came back in the afternoon and played another set, which was really fun.”

They’ve played at the Madam Carroll in Monticello, the Ale Emporium in Greenwood, and this year they will perform at the Hard Truth distillery in Nashville, Indiana.Roughouse

Primarily based in Noblesville, it’s common to see the band perform at Wolfies, Federal Hill Commons, and the Noblesville Brewfest at Forest Park.

They’ve also played in their driveway for friends and family to enjoy.

“During COVID, we set up in the driveway and did a free concert for neighbors and friends,” Molly says. “They all brought out coolers and lawn chairs, socially distanced and listened in the streets.”

For Randy Schumacher, it isn’t the venue, but rather the thrill of the music.

“The bigger shows are exhilarating, but the variety we have, everything from holes in the wall to the Lucas Oil Stadium to a riverboat, is what makes it fun,” Schumacher says. “I’m a 60-year-old guy and I work like crazy, but for a few hours on the weekend I get to pretend like I’m a rock star.”

For now Roughouse performs covers, from “Born to Be Wild” to “All Right Now” to “Chain of Fools.”

Several members of the band are writers and they are working on a few original tunes.

Most importantly, they want to remain fresh and continue to work on their own versions of the classics.

“I think our ability to pivot is stellar,” A.J. says. “As we build a following, they know what we do and we have fans in all different settings, from the country club to the bar.”

He says rock and roll isn’t as big as it was back in the 1970s and ’80s, but the members who form Roughouse all have a deep love for the blues. It suits their talents, from singing to playing various instruments.

In the days of pitch correction, pre-recorded assistance and other such technology, these men and women love the exhilaration of playing live with no backing tracks or touch-ups.

“The old model of five to seven people who love to make music together is going away,” Schumacher says. “Music can be made by computer today.”Roughouse

Perhaps that’s why, in addition to their talent, the band’s audience loves what they’re doing. It’s a reminder of the concerts many people attended in the past.

“When the audience is in sync with what we’re doing, you can tell,” A.J. says. “People are clapping, moving to the beat, dancing, and that’s what we strive for.”

Their appreciation for the band’s skill and variety stands out the most.

“I love when we’re playing a show, and those people who have discovered us and taken the time to find us come out,” Molly says. “I think that’s great. When you first start a band, you’re pestering your friends to show up, but once word takes off, we have true fans coming and having a blast.”

Most of all, Roughouse has formed a family.Roughouse

“I like that we’re having more opportunities but I think our relationships are what makes us successful,” Yates says. “I think there are always going to be fights or disagreements, but I’ve been in bands that are very transactional. When you disagree with your brothers and sisters, you get over it pretty quick.”

While they hope to continue to grow, no one wants to lose the fun of what they are doing.

“We’ve all known each other for a long time,” Molly says. “We all get creative say. There’s no one particular leader. When you’re a family, everyone gets creative input.”

They aren’t sure what the future holds, but the connection they have with each other and their fans is sure to continue.

“We all have that common thread,” Schumacher says. “Everyone loves the magic when we play together.”

Follow the band on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Comments 1

  1. Angelia says:

    Love how Roughouse Indy rocks. They move people to get out on the dance floor to some of your favorite tunes.

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