Roses And Revolutions Talk Of New EP and The Writing Process Interview+Photos: Roses And Revolution @ Troubadour 6/28/18
LOS ANGELES, CA- Roses And Revolutions are Rochester, NY based duo of Alyssa Coco and Matt Merritt who are gained a considerable amount of attention when they independently released their recording “The Pines” back in 2016. Having amassed over 1,500,000 Spotify spins, they used that momentum steadily create, record and release new music to satiate their growing fanbase.
Their performance at The Troubadour was an inspired celebration of music at the conclusion of a national tour as support for Gin Wigmore. They played all but one of the new songs they plan on releasing on their forthcoming EP which is schedule for release in August) and as their big sounds filled the venerable venue, they definitely earned a few new fans with their performance.
Prior to their performance, Alyssa and Matt were kind enough to spend a little time with Blurred Culture to talk about their forthcoming EP, their writing process and music they’ve been listening to.
How long have we been playing together?
Alyssa Coco: We’ve been playing together… Matt and I have been playing together for a while, about 10 years now. But with Roses and Revolutions, it’s been about 3 years, about going on 4 years here. 2014?
Matt Merritt: 2015? Something like that? Yeah…
Alyssa: Wow! It’s already 2018, that’s sick.
How did you two come together for Roses & Revolutions?
Matt: So, when we first started doing this project, we were playing together in a big band. We were members of the band, and the two of us were writing songs. So we left and just kept on writing songs under the name “Roses and Revolutions” and that was more like singer-songwriter. acoustic stuff. We were writing songs for syncs and TV stuff, and then in 2017, we released a song called “The Pines” It was kind of like an alternative thing, and we put it on Spotify. It connected on Spotify, went viral on Spotify and since then we’ve signed with Nettwerk and we released two other singles.
What’s the recent recording you’ve put out?
Matt: “Big Bad Wolf”
It’s a real heavy, down-tempo track. Really vibey stuff.
Alyssa: Yes, that’s where were at.
Matt: Yeah, the EP, it will be “Big Bad Wolf” will be on there. The song “The Pines” will be on there, “Moment”…
Alyssa: “Get a Feeling” and a couple new ones.
Matt: “Get a Feeling” and some new songs we’re excited about. So it’s going to be a lot of vibey, high energy…
Alyssa: … But in that vien, like you said.
Is there a common theme, or source of inspiration, that runs across all your recordings?
Alyssa: Our inspiration comes a lot from nature. It sounds silly to say, but we live pretty happy lives and as far as inspiration, we have to kind of pull it from other things.
Matt: We did use the same producer on the whole thing though, expect for one tune.
Maybe that’s why I got the sense of that.
Alyssa: For sure.
The newer tracks definitely kind of felt like they had the same kind of vibe.
Alyssa: The same vibes, yeah, for sure!
Matt: It took us a while [to find] our sound, and I feel like in the last year or so, we definitely found that alternative, little bit rock, but definitely moody vibe.
When you’re writing music, how does it begin? Does Alyssa come up with lyrics first?
Alyssa: He’s actually more the lyricist. He’ll typically come to me with like an idea or a couple verses` written out or a chorus written out and he’ll show it to me and then we’ll sit down and I’ll work on the melodies and we’ll work on the core production together. Matt does a lot of the lyrics and I think it’s something people don’t really know.
Matt: It’s definitely a collaboration though.
Alyssa: Yeah, I do [add] a woman’s perspective. He’ll like come up with ideas and we’ll chat them out, and whatever, work them out, and then I’ll put them out through my perspective.
Is there any song in particular during the live performances that that gets people really pumped? Or their reaction surprises you maybe?
Alyssa: For sure. A couple… I think mainly it’s been “The Pines” just because that one has been out the longest and it’s the one that’s got the most recognition.
Matt: “The Pines” is fun because we close with it and it’s usually the drummer’s going nuts and there’s a lot. It’s the last song so you go nuts on that. But “Big Bad Wolf” we put second, because the first song is just kind of like vibey and a lot of people don’t know our music, their kind of like, Alyssa’s voice, I feel like intrigues them and then all of the sudden, “Big Bad Wolf” comes in and then their just like, cause we do it even heavier live, so I think that kind of hopefully wins them at the beginning. That’s our goal.
Is there any song that you guys have written together that means something special?
Alyssa: Yeah, I think they all do.
Matt: All of them. We’ve been playing this one new one, on some new shows, and it’s like… Sometimes we do it and sometimes we don’t because it’s just [Alyssa] and the keyboard, maybe a little guitar swells, but it’s completely stripped down. It’s the only song we do without drums and if the crowds right, we’ll do it. There’s been some nights where it’s been cool cause you can hear a pin drop. And that one’s probably got the most vulnerable and personal lyrics, I think.
Alyssa: Yeah, it definitely does. Vulnerable, to say the least.
What’s the name of the song?
Alyssa: It’s called, “I Don’t Have Feelings Anymore.” It’s a song about being pretty void of feelings, which is something that a lot of people, as we’ve seen, , deal with. And it’s a song that I feel really [expresses that] and it kind of brings people together. And they’re like, “Oh, yeah, I’ve felt like that. It felt like shit, but I’ve felt like that!”
This tour, and your EP that’s coming out in August, what are your next steps for you this year?
Alyssa: We’d love to tour the EP. Just obviously get as many people to hear it as possible, I think that’s the goal, but, I think from this month alone, I’ve learned how much I love touring. We both would love to be.
Matt: Playing live is definitely our favorite.
Alyssa: Playing live is huge for us. I feel like it’s a strength of ours and we enjoy it and it’s a good way to connect with fans and new fans, so that’s the goal. We want to definitely tour more.
Matt: And keep writing.
Alyssa: Yeah, after this EP comes out, we’ll be in the studio right away. You know, you can’t really rest for a second. I think this was a really inspiring tour. I’m actually really inspired to write.
What do you guys have on your ipods or any vinyl that you picked up on the road?
Alyssa: That’s a good question. I have had a couple of bands on repeat. Paul Simon, which is really odd, but I love my Paul Simon. Paul Simon, Lord Huron and Bon Iver have been mine and Matt’s been all over the place, you’ve been all over the place!
Matt: I mean, we’ve been listening to so much because there’s so much driving, but like newer stuff, there’s this band I was just excited to see, they were on the Troubadour calendar, called “Now, Now.” They’re really good. We’ve been listening to a lot of them and it’s cool to see they’re playing here. I’m trying to think what else we listen to.
Alyssa: Honestly, we’ve driven cross-country, so we’re like “What else can we listen to that we haven’t listened to yet?” We put out a bunch of playlists on Spotify, a lot, a lot, a lot.
Hopefully, a Roses & Revolutions track will make it into one of your new playlists.