When the first “Ice Age” movie came out, I was pleasantly surprised by a group called Rusted Root who contributed a song to the show (when the motley crew was traveling along through ice and snow) — they can also be heard in other movies like “Twister” and “Matilda.” Over the years since, songs of theirs have been popping up all over the place, such as television shows like “Charmed,” “Chuck,” “Ally McBeal” and “New Girl” (and most recently on the Enterprise Rent-A-Car commercials); not to mention AOR radio. The group is made up of founder, front man, songwriter, singer/guitarist Michael Glabicki; Liz Berlin on vocals and percussion (the only other original member), Zil on drums, Dirk Miller (guitar, penny whistle and vocals) and Bobby Schneck Jr. on bass and vocals (who has been with the band about a year now).

In a recent phone interview that found him calling from his home in Pittsburg, Glabicki chatted about his band and what’s been happening since they began a quarter-of-a-century ago.

Q: You have played in Maine before, have you not?

Glabicki: Yeah, we’ve played a few times there — at a few festivals and a couple of times down in Portland, but I don’t remember the venues.

Q: Well, I think you’ll probably remember the Waterville Opera House after you play there. It’s a great sounding room, for sure.

Glabicki: Fantastic!

Q: Now the latest release that you have out right now is called “The Movement,” is that correct?

Glabicki: Yeah, and we’re working on a new album now.

Q: Oh, that was going to be my next question because that Shanachie Records CD came out in 2012.

Glabicki: Something like that, yeah. And we’ll actually be playing some new songs off the new record when we’re up there.

Q: Just how long has Rusted Root been around?

Glabicki: Twenty-seven years.

Q: And in that time you’ve released eight albums — soon to be nine. The thing that I’ve enjoyed the most about your music is the fact that over the course of each album no two songs sound alike. You know that they are Rusted Root, but they are all presented with their own vibe and spirit. You know what I mean?

Glabicki: Yeah, we definitely do that. I don’t think we try too hard at it, but it is a consideration. I think it’s just more following the songs that come and for some reason, whenever I’m writing, they keep taking different avenues and places I wouldn’t think of going. So I think it is the writing style, where we got the information from. It’s not up to us, sort of.

Q: Are you the sole songwriter for the group or do the others contribute?

Glabicki: Umm, 95 percent is me.

Q: Very prolific on your part, I must say.

Glabicki: (Laughter) Thanks!

Q: Is the making of the music as much fun now as it was 27 years ago?

Glabicki: Good question. I would say fun for different reasons. I think before, when things were happening for the first time, it was fun to kind of celebrate more, back then they were kind of mind-blowing. Nowadays it doesn’t have that kind of youthful bewilderment whenever a song comes around, mainly in the band. I think I kind of act like a little kid, but I think everybody’s kind of used to it now. I’d bring in a new song, then we would play on it and it would turn out great.

Q: Now, after you write and record a song, does it change a lot over time as you play it live?

Glabicki: Normally, it does. Now, especially with the old material, when we perform live we are aware that it could go anywhere, and that’s a brand new song or an old song or whatever, and we just sort of trust that now. We don’t overthink it or second-guess it when it happen, because we do feed off the crowd so much. And there’s an infinite amount of ways to play each song, so the energy that the crowd brings and the energy that we bring that day sort of combines into this magical concoction, and that affects the music. That is what drives the music. So we’re just totally relaxed in that process now and so now, more than, ever any song from the past — or any new song — could be completely different every night.

Q: And that makes for an incredible concert experience — living in the moment is the way I’d put it, I guess.

Glabicki: Yeah, I’m surprised five times a night that we sound like we do. Five times a night I’ll be like busting out a smile going: “Wow, I’ve never heard it sound like this!” I love it, and it drives our new music, too. Playing some of the old songs in a new way makes us rethink what we’re doing as a band and who we are as a band, and that kind of drives the new material.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to pass on to the readers of this article concerning your band’s upcoming show at the Opera House?

Glabicki: Just that I’m looking forward to it. We’ve been up to Maine enough so I respect the crowd, they’re a musical audience. You go to a lot of places and they react to you like the show they saw the night before. So, when we come to these places that are really appreciative of music and are actually tuned in 100 percent that’s a special night for us.

Lucky Clark has spent 45 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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