London jangle-rockers The Roves have just released their second album All Those Freaks. Reminiscent of sixties Merseybeat, the four-piece band seems to be unstoppable in their delivery of new material. And with plans to go out on the road again soon, we caught up with the boys to talk about their new record.
When was The Roves formed?
Tom Wing (vocals/lead guitar): My brother and I have been involved with each other musically since we first got turned onto rock and roll in our early teens.
It’s such a long, drawn-out story of how we actually formed. It’s quite boring. This current incarnation of the band was fully realized when I joined two years ago. Ever since then, we’ve gone from strength to strength.
Do you usually improvise or deliberately sit down to write music?
Tom: We rarely improvise. Certainly not to write material. In fact, I don’t think we’ve ever jammed. Life’s too short for jamming!
We don’t deliberately sit down to write music because that doesn’t work either. It’s generally just if and when the inspiration takes us, and that can be very inconvenient, but you gotta grab that idea. What will happen is that someone will come along with a song that they’ve written, usually my brother, Rhys or I, we play it to the band, then explain what we want arrangement-wise and come to some sort of understanding.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Tom: For James Wing (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), I think he writes about his surroundings. It could be a political or social comment he’s making. Or it could be something about our generation he’s observed which annoys him. He sometimes writes from a different perspective too. Like a character.
I write about things that have had a direct personal effect on me. I’d like to be as sophisticated as my brother in what I write about, but I can’t seem to execute it as well, which means I should probably read more. Read books, kids!
You’ve just released your second studio album All Those Freaks. Are you happy with the outcome?
James: Yes, I am. If I wasn’t satisfied it would never have seen the light of day. I got my starter, my main and dessert all in one sitting. And I feel all the better for it.
Is there a story behind it?
James: Well, there just might be. It sounds quaint but the story remains a mystery to me, although I’m fully aware that there is a hidden narrative.
Do you believe that an album is a total musical journey?
James: Now this I do strongly believe in. I’m not a big fan of the EP as it neither has the shock of the single nor the scope of the long player format. I don’t want to go on a fifteen-minute toboggan ride down the drive. I want to shock or awe, baby.
Tom: I disagree with the EP thing. I dig it.
Do you record and mix in analog or digital?
Tom: All in analog. I’m not anti-digital but The Roves record and mix the analog way.
You’ve just finished your European tour. Any plans to go out on the road again this summer?
Tom: We will go out on the road again this year, but I can’t reveal anything yet.
What have The Roves got planned for 2019 and beyond?
Tom: We are working on a new single. We just need to put the finishing touches to it this month then it should be ready to go this summer.
Apart from that, more gigs, more videos and much more music.