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“With everything that’s been happening politically these past several months, we wanted to make a video with real, prescient purpose. While we don’t believe in forcing a particular viewpoint down anyone’s throat and are always open to hearing and engaging with different perspectives, we do believe in standing for ‘human values’ and we believe that’s exactly what this video does.”
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For those readers of ours who aren’t familiar with Rodes Rollins yet, how would you describe your sound to them?
I like to refer to my music as cowgirl poetry. It’s indie rock with a tinge of vintage Americana.
How did you start making music?
I started writing songs and recording when I was 8. My sister wanted to take guitar lessons, and stopped after about two weeks. So, I picked up the guitar because it happened to be sitting around.
What inspires you to write and what does your song-writing process look like?
I am most inspired by personal experience and moods. Lighting really affects my ability to write too. I like the room to feel dark and moody – candles and all. I usually write early in the morning or late at night. Generally, I’ll compose an instrumental track first with guitar, drums and a bass line, and then I’ll start writing lyrics.
What can you tell us about your latest single “Wes Come Back”? Who’s Wes?
This EP features two songs about Wes, who was my first love. Wes was an amazing person who was dealt a very unfair hand. When he was just 20, he was thrown in jail for something he shouldn’t have been punished for. It turned his world upside down, and broke my heart. It’s been many years since the incident, but I’ve always felt a burning need to tell his story. So I did it the best way I knew how through this EP.
“Wes Come Back” is the second song about Wes on the EP. I decided to weave different layers of his story throughout this project. This song focuses more on our young relationship, and my worries of being in such a serious relationship at a very young age, knowing that there was a whole world I had yet to explore.
Does Wes know that this song is about him?
We are no longer very in touch. But if he’s heard it, I’m sure he does.
And how did you get Electric Guest’s Matthew Crompton to play drums on the track?
Alex Goose, the producer of this EP curated an amazing group of musicians to play with me. I was lucky to have such an amazing group help me bring this music to life.
And as for the video, it’s quite an epic short-film. Can you tell us more about the making of and how the idea came about?
I met Jose María, the film’s director, when I was in Mexico City. I saw his work and was truly impressed with his artistry and film making. His ability to tap into such chilling emotion moved me. I knew I wanted to collaborate with him. This film is by no means a literal interpretation of my song, but rather Jose María’s departure into a story inspired by the song. The protagonist’s suicide attempts are an agonizingly painful metaphor for the feeling of loosing oneself when loosing a loved one.
Are you planning on releasing more short-film type of videos or is this a one off?
I hope to do many more short-films inspired by the music. To me, a visual interpretation can look like so much more than a typical video. In fact, I think it’s powerful when it morphs into something unexpected and seemingly-unrelated.
What is it about Rodes Rollins that people should focus on? What sets you apart from the rest?
I don’t know how different I am from anyone else. But I think people can connect to my stories. Sonically and lyrically, I try to tap into things that people can relate to.
Which other band/ act would you like to collaborate with and why?
I would love to collaborate with Rodrigo Amarante. I can listen to his music anywhere, anytime. He’s a true inspiration to me.
And what’s next in store for Rodes Rollins? Any new releases in the near future?
Yes, the whole next project is written and in the works. Excited to share it!
Last but not least: one thing you’d change in the world right now and why.
That’s a very difficult question to answer with just a single thing…Not surprisingly, Syria has been at the forefront of my mind. I wish the horrific violence would come to an end. I’ve been thinking about how maybe my family can help a family there find refuge in the states. I really can’t stand how disconnected we become from these tragedies. In a world that is seemingly so connected, we turn our backs on those in need far too often.
Thanks to Talia (aka Rodes Rollins), for the kind support and interview.
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