Rockville Centre’s Gerry Lange and Dan Rocco named their new band Secret Weapons because its start was very hush-hush.
Even when they released their first single, “Something New,” nobody knew they were behind it. When the song topped Spotify’s Global Viral Chart and racked up millions of streams in 2015, only a handful of people had learned their true identity.
It only became known when one of Rocco’s co-workers at Epic Records, where he was working as an attorney, told then-CEO L.A. Reid about the song and Reid quickly signed them.
“I was about to quit and sign somewhere else,” said Rocco, sitting on the roof of Secret Weapons’ Brooklyn rehearsal space, with Lange and drummer Will Tully. “But when L.A. heard about the song, he said, ‘This can’t leave.’ ”
With the release of the band’s debut, “As the Setting Sun Comes Crashing Down on Me” (Epic), in August and its current tour, which stops at Tilles Center on Thursday, the word is getting out about Secret Weapons. And before the band hit the road on the first leg of its tour, the guys revealed a few more of their secrets.
SECRET NO. 1: Lange was seriously ill throughout the recording of the new album.
“I was living in a place that had black mold, and it made me very sensitive to other places that had mold,” Lange said. “I was very, very sick when we were making the record, and we were trying to keep it quiet. Once there’s a complication, everybody gets spooked out, right? It was hard doing this record. Everything about this record was really hard.”
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SECRET NO. 2: The song “My Blue Heaven” has a nod to its Long Island roots.
“The end of the song goes half-time, and it sounds like something Taking Back Sunday would do,” Lange said. “Someone said, ‘This almost sounds emo.’ ”
“We were born of that era,” Rocco added. “We’re trying to recontextualize it.”
“It took a year to make that song,” Lange continued. “I think there are 40 versions of that song.”
“We almost drove the guy we produced it with insane,” Rocco added. “We just kept redoing and redoing. We didn’t get it right until we started doing it live. It really found its home there.”
SECRET NO. 3: A major-label deal doesn’t change your life.
“We don’t really fit in a lane,” Rocco said. “Are you alt? Are you pop? Are you this? Are you that? We just don’t really think about it when we make it . . . You get one shot to make your first major-label album and do what you love. The odds are still against you, whether you chase the trend or don’t chase the trend. You might as well just do you.”
“Getting on a label is great validation, but it definitely doesn’t guarantee you made-in-the-shade success,” added Lange. “You still gotta work for it the way you did before you were signed.”
WHO Bleachers with Secret Weapons
WHEN WHERE 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Tilles Center, 720 Northern Blvd., Brookville
INFO $38-$48; 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com