Four years after bringing Rescue Me to a close following seven successful seasons, Denis Leary is returning to FX on July 16 (10 p.m. ET) with a new TV series that’s a bit of a departure from the firefighter drama.
Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll finds creator/writer/producer/star Leary playing a washed up rocker who tries to make one last go at success after reuniting with his estranged daughter (Elizabeth Gillies). But don’t think Spinal Tap — while Leary’s show certainly has fun with the burnt out narcissism of rock stars, this isn’t broad parody. It’s as much a show about dysfunctional families (both rock and biological) reconnecting as it is a bawdy, incisive comedy about the music world in 2015.
“My experience was, every band I’ve known — famous and not famous — have a family dynamic,” Leary tells Billboard in the video below. “I come from a big Irish family. I’m used to bitterness, resentment, grudges and screaming at each other. That’s normal to me, so I thought, if we’re looking at a family, we need that level of feeling and emotion.”
For co-star Gillies, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll was a welcome opportunity to break out of the Nickelodeon mold after spending four seasons on the teen series Victorious.
“I’m happy to do something that’s such a departure,” Gillies tells Billboard. “It’s exciting. It feels much more ‘me.’ The cast is so cool and so collaborative, the project is so cool — it does not feel like work. It feels like hanging out. It’s the most fun job in the world.”
Case in point: According to Gillies, jamming on Beatles songs would sometimes derail work on the show, much to Leary’s ire. “We would jam and you’d get mad,” she says to Leary, who just sighs. “We’d start playing Beatles stuff. When you’re in a studio with such incredible musicians who know every song, you want to jam a little bit.”
As for those songs, Leary wrote two by himself (including the fist-pumping title track) and tapped Chris Phillips — who helped write his seminal ’90s hit “Asshole” — on two others. And the show brought some real-life rockers into the mix: Both Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli pop up in the pilot, with the latter contributing vocals and guitar to the theme song.
Check out Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll when it premieres on FX Thursday, June 16, at 10 p.m.
Victoria Justice stopped by the J-14 office to discuss new music plans!
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Yesterday, Victoria Justice was seen arriving at LAX Airport. I’ve added to our gallery 22 high quality pictures.
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