Monday, October 10, 2011

Hey Rosetta!

With their last two albums both nominated for Canada’s prestigious Polaris Music Prize, HEY ROSETTA!guitarist ADAM HOGAN talks toRACHEL BARNES about positive recognition, rushing through the recording process of their latest release Seeds and the power of coffee shop gigs.

Recently missing out on the Polaris Music Prize for a second time, Hey Rosetta! guitarist Adam Hogan says that the recognition is “kinda crazy”. Not expecting to win, Hogan says that just being shortlisted was enough for the band.

From their humble beginnings in 2005, the six-piece Canadian band started out as a bunch of songs in frontman Tim Baker’s head. With four members playing the stock standard rock instruments, Hey Rosetta! mixes it up with a two-person string section. “Right from the beginning there was six, I don’t think we ever performed as four,” Hogan says. “So right from the get-go there was a cello and a violin in the band.“ Though they have been through a few line-up changes, Hey Rosetta! has had a consistent member base for the past two to three years, and Hogan says it’s, “nice to be in that place”.

Since the release of their last album the band has spent the majority of their time on the road playing shows, so when it came to making the new album, Hogan explains it was kind of a rush. Despite being drastically less prepared then they had been with records in the past, they were much more relaxed when it came to making Seeds, their third studio album. Hogan remembers that as little as two months before the band hit the studios they had songs that they were working on, but that they only actually “made into something” during those finals moments. Less nervous this time around, the band was more familiar with the studio and engineer. “It was easy, I think, it’s kind of a blur, I can’t even remember it really. We had a little more time, three and a half weeks or something in the studio. I think we all felt a little more confident in achieving the sounds we wanted to get and just performing under the gun,” he says.

With a six-piece band it’s interesting to hear how such layered music can sound so pure. But Hey Rosetta! pull it off beautifully, both on their albums and at live shows. Though Hogan likes both those worlds, he says he prefers live shows more. Having recently found themselves in a small coffee shop in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, Hogan says it was one of their most powerful shows.

Soon to bring their sound down under for the third time, Hey Rosetta! were already planning their return to Australia during their last visit in April. While on tour with City & Colour, their manager was excited at the idea of a possible tour with The Jezabels. Though they weren’t familiar with The Jezabels, their manager quickly began organizing dinners and meet-ups.

“It was just one of these things where our managers were kind of talking to each other and we were putting each other on guest-lists or whatever and I guess they kept talking over our summer and kind of got this tour,” he says. “It’s a pretty amazing opportunity, I went to their show in Melbourne and the crowd was just crazy,” he laughs.

With both bands producing albums that pull listeners in and live shows that captivate audiences, it’s easy to see that this tour is going to be a doozy.

HEY ROSETTA! support The Jezabels at Byron’s Great Northern on Wednesday Oct 12, Toowoomba’s Uni Club on Thursday Oct 13, The Tivoli on Friday Oct 14 (sold out) and Sunday Oct 16, plus the Cooly on Saturday Oct 15. SEEDS is out now.

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