RootsCollider implements a studio producer's approach to writing original music by layering melodies, rhythms, and samples in the same fashion that a DJ does while composing. This methodology is a self-aware effort to super-collide multiple genres of dance music into a single unstoppable aesthetic force.
RootsCollider has shared the stage with these national touring acts:
Dub Trio, Conspirator (3x), DrFameus, Brothers Past, BioDiesel, Muscle Tough, The Werks, LouLou Ghelichkhani (of Thievery Corporation), RubbleBucket, Aqueous, Broccoli Samurai, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Sophistafunk
RootsCollider has shared the stage with these national touring DJ’s:
Kill the Noise, DJ Logic, Girl Talk, Diesel Boy, 12th Planet
RootsCollider has performed at these national festivals:
- Camp Bisco 11 (2012)
- Disc Jam Music Festival (2012)
- Disc Jam Music Festival (2019)
- Night Light's Music Festival (2019)
RootsCollider has been featured in these national magazines:
- “Bands on the Rise” - Relix (2011)
- “Unsigned Bands” - High Times (2012)
Sean Chimento - Vocals, Turntables
Wil McKenna - Guitar, Synthesizers, Vocals
Ben Chilbert - Bass, Synthesizers
Christopher Dubuc-Penney - Drums, Samples
Wil McKenna - Guitar, Synth, Vocals (2006 - Current)
Jimmy Grillo - Drums (2007 - 2013)
Bill Smith - Keyboards, Sax, Vocals (2008 -2014)
Dexter Redic - Bass (2010 -2014)
Sean Chimento - Turntables (2013 - 2014 and 2020 to present)
Sean Cilano - Drums (2013 - 2014)
Jamie Greene - Percussion, Samples (2018 - 2019)
Brendon Caroselli - Keyboards, Synthesizers (2018 -2020)
RootsCollider is an intense 21st century live drum and bass rock band from Rochester, NY.
In the summer of 2007 guitarist Wil McKenna, of the Mountain Mojo Authority, (1999-2005) began writing music on Abelton in Ithaca, NY using a former band mate’s (Jon Petronzio of J-san and Analogue Sons, now John Brown’s Body) computer after a rehearsal. The final unreleased demo was entitled “Procreation” and it would be the first recorded electronic attempt for Wil and his idea for the electronica act that he had always envisioned called DJ RootsCollider (2006). That act, however, never saw the light of day due to Wil not having any software of his own to make more music with.
That very same summer, at an open jam in the South Wedge of Rochester, NY, Wil was introduced to drummer Jim Grillo through mutual drum corp friends Jeremy Whiting and Donald Mercurio. Both Jim and Wil (on bass) immediately clicked and quickly had a strong natural and powerful chemistry together. After that first initial jam they both started working together building up live drum and bass tracks with classic “Amen Breaks” sped up to modern electronic tempos and original “Jump Up” bass lines that were reminiscent of 90’s D&B and Jungle. They were a duo for those first few months, and they rehearsed in Wil’s basement, also affectionately known of today as “The Dungeon”.
In an effort to fill out the sonic palette of the duo Wil reached out to an old friend he met in college by the name of Bill Smith. Bill, who fronted the local established funk act Astronomical Unit (1997 -2002), would bring his unique keyboard style to the duo, helping to flesh out some of the melodies that were already in development. The 3 then got together every week in 2008 and finally debuted as a trio in the Winter of 2008 at the Boulder Coffee Company in the SouthWedge of Rochester. They debuted as the live band RootsCollider (dropping the DJ from the title). The trio performed a couple more times before taking a break in 2009. During this period they released their trio freshman live recording called “The Future is History Now” which is no longer available to the public and is considered a rarity in the band’s ongoing saga. If one obtained this live show today, the listener would hear earlier different versions of their contemporary favorite tracks.
After awhile the trio decided to give it another go with a new direction in mind with Wil on guitar (instead of bass). Jim introduced his friend from college, Dexter Redic, to perform on bass with the trio. This would then solidify the old “classic” line up as it is known today.
In 2010 RootsCollider returned onto the scene as a powerful future rock quartet and it is within these two short years, (2010 to 2012) with this line up, that they were able to play hundreds of shows together throughout the North East, they graced the pages of High Times Magazine and Relix Magazine, as well as debuting at the international electronica festival known as Camp Bisco 11. They also added many local and regional festivals throughout the state of NY to their resume continuing to surge in popularity through the electronic and jam band underground scenes and beyond. These years of hard work saw them sharing the stages with the likes of: Dub Trio, Conspirator (Disco Biscuits, Lotus, & Pendulum members), Future Rock, Telepath, DrFameus (Disco Biscuits Drummer), Brothers Past, Jimkata, The Werks, BioDiesel (Johnny Rabb), Teddy Midnight, Psychedelphia, Fundimensionals, Broccoli Samaurai, The Manhattan Project, LouLou Ghelichkhani (Thievery Corporation), RubbleBucket, John Brown’s Body, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, ThunderBody, Sophistafunk, Roots of Creation. The band also shared the stage with national touring DJ’s such as: Kill the Noise, DJ Logic, Girl Talk, Diesel Boy, LudaChrist, 12th Planet, Terravita, Big Basha, GTA, Sammy Bananas and Skeet Skeet.
In the fall of 2012 their final show with this classic line up trajectory culminated with their highly popular “Live at the Purple Pig Music Festival” record that is still available online today. After that performance the band took another introspective break.
One year later, in 2013, RootsCollider would re-unite and return for a few more shows before their original drummer, Jim, would leave on amicable terms to pursue other musical endeavors. At this point in time Bill, Dexter and Wil continued to perform with a new drummer Sean Cilano and a new live scratch DJ Sean Chimento (aka DJ Sigma). This new incarnation of the band would only last until the Fall of 2014 when the act officially finished and disbanded after their final Halloween performance in Rochester, NY to a sold out crowd.
Thus ending the journey of an idea that started on a laptop in 2007, and then becoming a powerful 21st century rock band until the Fall of 2014. A 7 year wild ride indeed.
In 2018 Wil & Jim would get together to jam a couple times with bassist Ben Chilbert, percussionist Jamie Greene and keyboardist Brendon Caroselli. Jim would then depart shortly thereafter to drum tech on a national tour. Christopher Dubuc-Penney would then enter as the new drummer. For the next 2 years this new rhythm section would perform all over NY state and pick up right where the act left off in the fall of 2014. In the summer of 2019 Jamie Greene would exit the band after Night Lights Music Festival due to scheduling conflicts with other acts, and during the pandemic of 2020 Brendon would exit to pursue other endeavors.
In the summer of 2020, during the pandemic, Wil, Ben and Chris would start social distance rehearsing with vocalist, turntablist, and RC alumnist Sean Chimento. They are currently writing and recording for a new vision and direction that will be released as soon as the pandemic subsides.