Name: Roses & Revolutions
Members: Alyssa Coco, Matt Merritt
Occupation: Singers, songwriters, producers
Recent release: The new Roses & Revolutions EP Keep A Little Light On is out September 19th via Nettwerk. This is the first harbinger of the duo's debut full length album, tentatively slated for release in March 2023.
Recommendations: Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr; Lord Huron - Strange Trails
If you enjoyed this interview with Roses & Revolutions and would like to find out more about their work, visit the band's official website. They are also on Instagram, Facebook, and twitter.
When did you start writing/producing/playing music and what or who were your early passions and influences? What as it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?
Both of us started playing music early as kids and started writing little songs here and there. Producing came later.
We worked with several different producers for the first couple EPs and over time, finally got the confidence do to it ourselves.
When I listen to music, I see shapes, objects and colours. What happens in your body when you're listening and how does it influence your approach to creativity?
We’re the same way!
We’ve often discussed how, while writing and producing songs, each of us have a very specific color in our mind at all times. Sometimes they match up and sometimes we’re totally opposite.
The colors definitely influence the artwork and visuals we create too.
How would you describe your development as an artist in terms of interests and challenges, searching for a personal voice, as well as breakthroughs?
We’re always trying to grow and explore new sounds. We started off very much as singer/songwriters and explored a little bit with electronic/alt pop elements in a few songs.
It’s always been a challenge to incorporate new styles that you’re listening to in your music without losing your “sound” and lane too much.
Tell me a bit about your sense of identity and how it influences both your preferences as a listener and your creativity as an artist, please.
We both very much identify as musicians and songwriters at this point. It’s always refreshing to get together with other musicians that are going through the same struggles that you are. Our friends and family are all very supportive, but sometimes can’t relate to our day to day.
As listeners, making music has caused us to overanalyze everything we listen to. We listen more to podcasts and audiobooks to relax.
What, would you say, are the key ideas behind your approach to music and art?
Be authentic. It’s so hard to make anything “successful”. So at least make something that you love and that is true to you, so you can stand by it regardless.
How would you describe your views on topics like originality and innovation versus perfection and timelessness in music? Are you interested in a “music of the future” or “continuing a tradition”?
We used to be more obsessed with perfection in the studio. Now, we are trying to capture more of a feeling and moment. We tend to use full takes these days in the studio.
Over the course of your development, what have been your most important instruments and tools - and what are the most promising strategies for working with them?
We pretty much always write on guitar and piano. They’ve never failed us and always have every element we need for the early stages of writing.
If we start there and get it sounding ok, then we’re in a good place.
Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work, please.
Every day is honestly different. Sometimes it’s a month of really nothing exciting and tons of self doubt. Then if we’re on tour, it could be non-stop craziness.
But if we’re home ... it always starts with coffee. Then checking and answering emails. Then throughout the day, we might take a walk, read a book, watch a movie, and always pick up our instruments here and there to see if anything comes out.
Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece, live performance or album that's particularly dear to you, please?
Anything Lord Huron is what we strive for. Their albums take us to another world, introduce new fictional characters that we feel we know, and are just so well crafted. You can’t help but to be inspired.
Listening can be both a solitary and a communal activity. Likewise, creating music can be private or collaborative. Can you talk about your preferences in this regard and how these constellations influence creative results?
We love doing writing sessions. It’s always great to get a look into another artists world and how they create. In general, though, we pretty much write most of our music alone.
How do your work and your creativity relate to the world and what is the role of music in society?
Our music is our world. We live in it every day. It’s always on our mind.
Art can be a way of dealing with the big topics in life: Life, loss, death, love, pain, and many more. In which way and on which occasions has music – both your own or that of others - contributed to your understanding of these questions?
We definitely associate music with all those occasions. We’ve been asked to play our music for first dances at several weddings, and also to play at a funeral.
Hopefully the music can help provide a needed soundtrack for those occasions. Whether it’s healing or celebrating.
How do you see the connection between music and science and what can these two fields reveal about each other?
Both can be super complicated and have endless ways of exploring them.
Sometimes we get very “scientific” when producing and recording a song. Sometimes that’s not the best approach.
Creativity can reach many different corners of our lives. Do you feel as though writing or performing a piece of music is inherently different from something like making a great cup of coffee? What do you express through music that you couldn't or wouldn't in more 'mundane' tasks?
You have way more opportunities to connect and speak to someone with music than you do when making a cup of coffee. You have melodies, lyrics, rhythm, dynamics, and so many more tools to create an experience.
I mean, I’ve cried over a good cup of coffee, but not sure anyone could say the same! (laughs)
Music is vibration in the air, captured by our ear drums. From your perspective as a creator and listener, do you have an explanation how it able to transmit such diverse and potentially deep messages?
It has the ability to take you make to a memory and almost relive it again. There’s nothing more nostalgic than hearing a song that you loved from your childhood.