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ROSELLAS

RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW ROSELLAS, WHAT HAPPENED?

Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

All of us at some point in our lives began to hear music differently and turned that into a love of an instrument. Some of us started younger, some of us were older, but I think when we all got together for the first time in the rehearsal room in Miles Platting on a rainy night in the summer of 2019, and just noodled through some ideas, we knew we had something substantial. It was then that the band as a whole became a real thing for us. 

Introduce us you / all to the members and your musical history?

I’m Drew, I sing and play lead guitar. I’ve been playing guitar for about 16 years and taught myself to sing around 14 or 15. I cut my teeth playing on the open mic circuit for about 4 years before we formed the band. Ollie the bass player and Euan the other guitar player both went to my high school. Ollie was in my year and we played in a couple of bands together in the early years of high school.

Euan was a couple years above us, so I knew of him. However we properly met and established a connection over music when we bumped into each other on the train home from a Blossoms gig in 2018. Luis, the keys player, and I met when I was 16 and we used to play open mics and covers gigs together before the band formed. Mark, the drummer, came along a little later when he met Luis at university.  

What was life like for you before music?

I was absolutely mad about football and Manchester United. I was obsessed with becoming a professional player and used to play 2 or 3 times a week for my school and club.

I Think when I discovered the wonders of the guitar, and realised I was much better at that than kicking a ball, football took a back seat – I still love watching and playing to this day, just not as often. I also used to love everything about space and the universe, still do. Brian May got it right when he went back and finished his degree in Astrophysics after Queen’s success.   

What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?

Not necessarily a song, but an album. My family are all massively into the Red Hot Chili Peppers, it’s like a religion for us. The album Stadium Arcadium was playing constantly when I was a kid. John Frusciante’s guitar playing and Anthony Kiedis’ melodies were the first musical thing that I can remember as having a real impact.  

Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?

We find a middle ground between indie rock and psychedelia / shoegaze. Having a keys player gives our music another dimension that our peers don’t have. Not many other guitar bands can produce both sounds as full and powerful, and also soft and intricate as us. Luis’ role on keys, along with what we all contribute, gives us real versatility in our music. Take a dive into some of our B-Sides if you want to explore those gentler numbers.

We also take our songwriting quite seriously and we strive to write lyrics that have real meaning. Both Euan and I bonded over our love for writers like Noel Gallagher, Michael Head, Neil Young and the likes of, who all use very clever and well delivered lyrics to paint a vivid picture when you listen to their songs. Not enough bands and artists these days realise and deliver on the importance of lyrics, too many songs are written with wishy-washy throw-away words. Sure the words themselves aren’t the be all and end of all the song, but for us in this band they are a huge part. 

What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry?

Professionalism. Touring with bands like Starsailor, Planet, Andrew Cushin, we have observed many ways in which these musicians have developed their professionalism. Having conversations with the members of these bands and learning from the ways in which they deliver when on stage, communicate with the audience, and carry themselves in different environments has been a good lesson for us in Rosellas.

A band who we have not met personally but have taken more than one page out of their book is ‘The War on Drugs’. These guys are a phenomenal band who centre their live performances around intros and outros, long psychedelic instrumentalsand segueing songs together. We do the same with our live set and make the performance more of a ‘show’ than a rush of songs. 

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you?

I used to buy my guitars and strings in the same shop as Johnny Marr. Our music has been played at Old Trafford. We’ve headlined a stage at Reading and Leeds Festival. 

If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?

A van. A bit of the joy is taken out of it when you’re cramped up in the back of a hatchback with amps and pedals on our laps for 6 hour drives to Scotland and The South Coast. Was alright the first few times!  

Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? 

Discuss….

Not from anything we’d say ourselves no. The same can’t be said for the people out there who will twist and distort your words to feed their narrative. We’re a band who have always spoken freely on our opinion of our own music and the music of people who have influenced us and helped us on our way to doing what we love.

We believe that we are up there with the best and have the potential to be mentioned in the same sentences as the bands we, and many of the population, adore. We don’t purposefully shout about bands and artists that we don’t rate because why would you? If not purposefully just trying to cause a stir.

If you don’t like someone’s music or it doesn’t resonate with you at all, that’s cool but you can get on with your life exactly the same, and so can they, without fishing for controversy in the public domain. It shouldn’t matter to you as much as your own music and your own ambition, right? That’s how we see it anyway. Our music and the music that made us form this band, is all that matters to us. 

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? If not why not?

Having a huge interest in space and the universe, I’ve always been infatuated with the studies of the existence of alien life. Don’t get me wrong, there are some absolutely laughable documentaries and stories out there that completely and utterly undermine the importance of the scientific work that is genuinely trying to answer the biggest question that has ever faced humanity.

But I have spent hours of my life reading up on, listening to and watching footage of people who claim to have had experiences with Alien life and some of it, you come away from feeling a little more convinced. Ultimately, I’d just rather believe that in an expanse as incomprehensibly huge as our universe, there is another civilization.

Whether that civilization has visited our planet in flying saucers and silver space suits, I’m not sold. But again, it’s more fun to entertain the existence of life on other planets, than be completely nonchalant about it.  

What was the worst experience on stage?

We’ve had a couple of laughable blunders in our time. A few moments in the early days where the beers have gotten the better of us, or moments of technical horror where we’ve just had to completely improvise and dig in, or even moments where craic with the crowd goes down like a lead balloon and you can almost see a tumbleweed blow across the back of the room. I remember one in particular, it was our first ever gig as Rosellas – brutal.

We were doing an ‘acoustic’ set (all of us, just without a drummer) at a local beer festival. We only had to string together a half hour set, not unmanageable. We already had some originals, we’d been doing covers in pubs for years.

But first song I remember Euan snapped a string on his only guitar, Ollie’s bass just completely stopped working by the second song and by the third song, Euan was on my guitar, Ollie was in the crowd, Luis was holding it together with keys and I was stood there like a complete lemon not knowing what to do with my hands while I sang.

If something like that happened to us now, it’d be a walk in the park – we’re experienced enough to just get on with it. But first gig man, that was awful. Can’t remember how many people that all happened in front of but it felt like 3000.  

Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about.

I (Drew) skateboard and snowboard (whenever there is actually snow) and have done ever since I was a kid. Euan once met Robbie Savage in Big Tesco, he was surprisingly down to earth and very funny. Ollie has a degree in engineering and can pretty much fix anything technological – he gets all of the faulty pedals dropped on his lap.

Luis is a very good impersonator, his most revered work is probably Marge Simpson. Mark has an obsession with coffee. The guy has one of those posh machines and adores all the tackle that comes with it.   

What makes you stand out as a band/artist?

How good we are live. We’ve spoken already about how we think our songwriting and our sound differentiates us from the rest of the pack, but the live show is really where we come into our own. We put more focus into the complexities of our live show than any other band at our level and we’re constantly striving to find ways in which we can give a nod to the influences bands like Pink Floyd, The Verve and The War On Drugs have on us. 

I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.

‘Is It Any Wonder?’ explores a more intricate and softer side to our sound than previous A-Sides. It’s got quite a romantic, orchestral and epic sound that is comparable to that of Verve tracks from Urban Hymns. The release will feature two B-Sides ‘Leaving for Chicago’ and ‘For Tonight’ which both also lean into the more gentle side of our sound.

We’ll be playing the new single live at Manchester’s O2 Apollo with a 25 piece orchestra when we share a bill with James, Starsailor, Slow Reader’s Club, The Farm and more on 27th Feb 2024.   

What was the recording process like?

We recorded the single at Milkshed Studios in Leyland back in summer 2023 with Oliver Shillito on production. We have a great working relationship with Oliver and the way our tunes progress from inception, to demo form, to final master is exactly the way we want it.

In a nutshell, a song will be written and recorded as a voice note usually with an acoustic guitar. I will then take this song and begin producing it into a fleshed out demo with recording sessions capturing drums, guitars, vocals etc.

Contributions from all members of the band, including Luis’ own production methods will help to give the demo some guts and elevate it to a place where we can listen to it all the time. We tend to do demos in album batches, think we’re on album 5 now.

Us 5 will refine certain songs and choose our favourites, then take these to Oliver for his influence and expertise – where they become a professionally produced body of work. 

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

I guess with the advent of playing live on stage at the Apollo with an Orchestra, and this single having important enough string elements within it to warrant its place in this performance, we should write more songs with string parts in! 

Would you change anything now that it’s finished?

Not a thing, we’re proud of this single beyond belief. From start to finish, all three songs capture something great about our songwriting. There’s indie in there, singer-songwriter, bits of jazz and psychedelia. It’s a full Rosellas package. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Rosellas, remember the name. 

FOLLOW THEM HERE

PRE SAVE THE NEW SINGLE HERE