The talent of Secret Weapons, a Rockville Centre duo that is set to release their debut album this week, is no longer under wraps.
After Daniel Rocco and Gerard Lange spent years writing music seven nights a week on top of their full-time jobs, the pop band officially entered the spotlight by releasing “Something New,” in 2015, which quickly climbed to No. 4 on Spotify’s Global Viral Chart.
“We were at the end of our ropes,” Rocco, 26, said about balancing his job as an attorney and writing songs. “It was definitely starting to take a toll with the amount of work we were putting in.”
His buddy Lange, 29, who he met in math class at South Side High School, was walking dogs and working at a nightclub at the time that they shared their first single with the world. “I was trying to do everything and nothing at once,” Lange recalled. “It was just a very interesting time and we would just write day in and day out. We didn’t even know what we were really doing with the music, we were just kind of making it.”
Deciding to share “Something New,” everything soon changed. Epic Records signed Secret Weapons to a deal, and the two were selected as nationally syndicated radio host Elvis Duran’s Artist of the Month, performing the song on NBC’s Today show about a month after
“Within days of our song blowing up and getting signed, our entire lives had changed,” Rocco told the Herald. “It was like a total life switch very quickly.”
The two began touring, and opened for bands like Fall Out Boy, Weezer and Panic! at the Disco, which Rocco said are groups he and Lange have strived to be in the same league as. Though playing in bands for much of their lives — performing shows at former Rockville Centre nightclub Backstreet Blues, now the Vibe Lounge — the duo decided to begin writing on their own, and since landing the record deal, have learned more than they could have imagined.
“You spend so long playing with local artists and everybody sort of has the same knowledge base and skill-set as far as the fine details that go into making a show incredible,” Rocco said. “You just pick up so much on the road both musically, performance-wise, tech-wise…and it’s just a real education.”
Though the group records a lot of organic elements, much of the band’s unique and rhythmic sound is mastered on their laptops, and will be on full display on Spotify beginning Aug. 18. In June, Secret Weapons released “Ghost,” a funky and refreshing tune, and last month followed it up by sharing “Comeback Season,” which has generated excitement for fans who anxiously await the rest of the album.
“We love pop music and alternative music and rock music; we love everything,” Rocco said. “What kind of gets spit out of that is many years of different backgrounds all coming together at once.”
Last September at Bumbershoot, a music festival in Seattle, Rocco and Lange met Taylor Hawkins, the drummer for the Foo Fighters. He asked them how they were recording the drums for their debut album, and the duo pointed to their laptops. Unsatisfied with that answer, Hawkins arranged for the two to record authentic drum beats from the Foo Fighters’ famous Studio 606 in Northridge, Calif., and for two days, Rocco and Lange did just that, peppering the finished product throughout their album.
The studio visit was the kind many artists never get to experience, and next month, Rocco and Lange will be performing up and down the east coast. On October 12, they will return to Long Island for a show at the Tilles Center.
“We get to live the dream every single day,” Lange said, “and I know that’s cliché, but it’s the actual truth.”