After hearing All American Rejects’ 2005 hit “Dirty Little Secret” while driving his tomato red Toyota Camry down the streets of Atlanta, Tim became a rocker. Defying what he calls the “heavy stereotype” that black people are exclusively hip-hop, rap, and R&B fans, Tim Dooley decided to venture into the world of rock and pursue his music career in Minnesota. Thus, the band Timisarocker was born. Next month, they’re uniting with three other black rock bands on Feb. 20 for a “Black Rock Matters” show at the Turf Club.
“A lot of the time I feel as though I’m pigeonholed in a situation where I don’t get booked because of my skin color, or I do get booked because the venue wants to show how progressive and inclusive they are to a minority,” Dooley said. “It just feels as though it’s only for show and not for the actual growth that we need in our current situation.”
He said the goal with this show is to get black and brown alternative rock artists to be celebrated rather than looked at as the “token black and brown band.” A lot of the time when he’s in a show, that’s how he feels. “I’m more like the sprinkle of color, and I don’t like that,” Dooley confessed. “It feels icky sometimes.”
Moving from Atlanta to Minnesota was a breath of cold, fresh air for Dooley as he was often criticized for his big personality and supposedly over-the-top performances. Always told to calm down and stop his kicking and flipping, he made the move to the north with hope for more acceptance of his style at McNally Smith College of Music.
“Moving to Minnesota, I never wanted to be told that I can’t do anything anymore,” Dooley said.
Leading a band self-described as punks with “a sound similar to the 1960s but a look from the 21st century,” Dooley says that overall he’s been pleased with his experiences on the local music scene. “I didn’t want to go back to Georgia because I have such a great time up here. Minnesota has been amazing to me and my music career,” Dooley said.
The band’s 2017 sophomore album includes songs revolving around issues of mental health, a topic Dooley has been open about. The band are working on their next album, he says.
Black Rock Matters will also feature Athereal Rose, Blvck Madonna, and the Smokes. Dooley hopes that the show will be an inspiration for young kids — of any ethnicity, race, or background — who might feel as though a certain profession isn’t for them.
“If I saw more black rock stars when I was younger, I wouldn’t have felt so alone or so confused,” he said. “I’m really excited to show that…just like black lives, black rock matters.”