Since he was just a young chap, Roy Rose knew music was going to be a part of his life, spending his earlier years playing in concert bands and touring up and down the coast.
He then made the move to Melbourne, where he played for a few more years before putting the brakes on. Ten years on he’s back touring, playing local and festival gigs with his dirty Blues and Folk inspired songs.
Roy uses variations of acoustic guitars, slide, stomp box and harmonica; his music will have you moving your body and wanting more …
Take us back to the moment in your early life, when you first discovered music as a passion …
I’ve always had music around me. My grandfather was a drummer, my great grandmother was a pianist and Dad was an avid Blues fan, so I guess it’s in the blood. When I was seven, my grandparents gave me a saxophone, and from there I got a taste for performance and sound.
As a young musician, did you do a lot of travelling around for gigs? Playing in bands? What’s your story?
I started off playing woodwind for the school orchestra and shortly after joined the local marching band. I was only seven or eight years old, playing shows from Sydney to Brisbane. Halfway through high school, I began gigging with bands up and down the coast, and finally I made the move to Melbourne.
You’ve had a big break in between; how has your music progressed from then until now?
I came home from MeIbourne and gave it all away for nearly ten years. I was moving in a different direction in life and felt like music had already played her part, until a good friend persuaded me to do a show. I picked up a guitar, and what came out was completely different to what I’d done before. It was Folk and Blues driven, and I was now flying solo.
In terms of writing, where do you draw your inspiration from?
I listen to a ton of music and draw topics and stories from life itself. I’m always playing and experimenting with sounds at home. Some writing sessions can be quite relentless, driving me and all those around me crazy. Other times, a song will be done and dusted in an hour or two. I think staying open to different ideas and genres is key; however, I have a soft side for old school Delta Blues and Appalachian style music. It’s so raw and honest, and it can be haunting and quirky at the same time. Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson and Son House are on high rotation at home right now. It’s the type of music that has survived fads and phases, and it will always have an audience.
Many will recognise you from playing around the place. You’ve also been on the bill for some great festivals, and this year you’ve nailed a set at both Lakeside Festival and Akoostik – you must be stoked?
I love the festival vibe and mixing it up with other artists on the bill. It’s always a cool thing to be invited to these types of events.
As these festivals are within the same region and only a couple of weeks apart, there are a lot of keen festival goers who are likely to attend both. How will you mix up your sets to keep them fresh?
I tend to play a set by ear, so no two are identical. You only have a short set at a festival, so I like to go out there with energy and sweat it out for 45 minutes.
Who are you looking forward to seeing and listening to at these festivals?
Wingham Akoostik Festival has a fantastic line up. I’ll be keen to watch Ed Kuepper (from the Saints). Also Joe Camilleri, Black Sorrows and the Backsliders will be great. Caravãna Sun will be at Lakeside, letting the punters show off their dance moves.
Tell us a bit about the EP you’re set to release this year?
I’m aiming for a hard copy release before the end of the year – five tracks of original Blues and Folk driven songs. It’s been a (slow) work in progress, but I’m getting there! If I didn’t procrastinate so much, it would’ve been done already.
And lastly, where can our readers follow your journey and listen to your music?
Catch a show or check out the website: www.royrose.net for songs and info. I also have a Facebook page: www.facebook.com/royrosemusic.
Don’t miss Roy Rose at Lakeside and Wingham Akoostik Festivals. Check the websites for details: