As indie pop duo Roses & Revolutions – aka singer Alyssa Coco and guitarist Matt Merritt – prepares for the release of their brand new EP, Torch, on July 14th, we decided to ask them a few questions about their upcoming music, the success of “Take Me With You,” and writing on the road.
AMMO: What’s your AMMO?
R&R: Our AMMO is the connection between an artist and their listeners. Making music has always been a passion for us, but many people have passions that they can entertain in solitude. It’s all about reacting and performing for other people. It’s the most inspiring thing to have people singing along to one of our songs at a show. Or to have a song appear in a TV show and set the right mood for the scene. When these things happen and people react to them, it makes us run to the practice room and try to write something brand new so we can continue to replicate that feeling.
AMMO: From what I understand you’re both from Rochester, NY and that’s where you recorded most of the new EP. However, it’s been said that the album wasn’t written in Rochester but behind the wheel of a car as you guys traveled from show to show. What was that process like? Were the writing sessions spur of the moment or did you guys collaborate on a strict regiment? I can’t imagine penning lyrics while driving.
R&R: Yes! The majority of the EP was written while driving. It wasn’t premeditated or anything. We were traveling a lot and it was the only free time we had to dedicate to writing. We also realized that it worked better for us to write the initial blueprint for a song without our instruments in hand. We all have our “go to” riffs and progressions that we fall back on when we pick up a guitar. Eliminating the instruments allowed us to use our imagination and just create. The rest would come later in the studio.
AMMO: The single “Let Go” has an indie folk, windows down type of summer vibe. Was that intentional? Or did that sound come naturally as you guys wrote lyrics on the road?
R&R: “Let Go” came very naturally. We had the lyrics and melody first. Once we got back home we played around with a Keith Richard-ish guitar riff and then the rest just fell into place. Drummer Paul Amorese came in for a drum session and brought the song to life.
AMMO: Who does most of the driving?
Alyssa – she’s aggressive.
AMMO: You have seen commercial success with the song “Take Me with you,” which earned praise from various outlets as well as appeared on soundtracks for MTV, VH1, Showtime, etc. Take us through your reaction when you found out your song was gaining some traction? What was that moment like for you two?
R&R: We wrote “Take Me With You” last year and we’ve been so grateful for the positive reaction! When the video came out on USA Today we were over the moon! We had several celebrities tweet about it including Kevin O’Leary and Chris Daughtry. We were so excited! We still find it making it’s way into TV shows and some commercials. Recently we found out it was used in a Bounty and Volvo ad!
AMMO: “Take Me With You” features quite a bit of visual pop-culture commentary, with animated caricatures of celebrities like Bruce Springsteen and Miley Cyrus. Which I must say, is really interesting, especially since I’m a big fan of that song. I know Nate Merrit created the video, but what say did you guys have in the artistic process of the visuals? Were you satisfied with the final product?
R&R: We had the best time making that video! Nate (Matt’s brother) drew everything by hand and then animated it manually. No computers. It was a painful process for him, but we wanted that “old school” vide. We gave him a list of which characters and venues we wanted to appear in the video. Some of the venues we have played before and others were ones that we wanted to play. The funny thing is one of the venues that we’ve wanted to play finally booked us after they saw the video!
AMMO: Your music has been compared with that that of The Lumineers and Colbie Caillet. You’ve shared stages with The Head and The Heart, Sheryl Crow and Ingrid Michaelson. When you hear comparisons like that, do they bother you? Or has the company you’ve been linked with seem suitable?
R&R: We’re so flattered to be compared to such great artists like that. Maybe it’s because we’re too close to our music, but we don’t see the resemblance too much. “Take Me With You” is a folk-pop tune but the majority of our songs are more in the pop alternative genre.
AMMO: With your new music coming out, what can you say was your favorite of part of recording the EP?
R&R: The best part is always once it’s all done. When you get the final mixes and masters back and you’re happy with it all, it’s such a relief!
AMMO: If you could describe yourself (individually) by 1 type of food, 2 colors, and one animal what would you pick?
Matt: wheat bread, blue and black, giraffe
Alyssa: black beans, pink and white, puppy 🙂
AMMO: Finally, what’s next for you after Torch is released? Will fans get a chance to see you on tour?
R&R: We’re already back in the studio recording a new single that will be released shortly after “Torch”. We have a remix by Little Daylight coming out for “Let Go” as well. We aren’t going on tour, but will be playing shows in Rochester, NYC, & LA.
For more on Roses & Revolutions go to, www.rosesandrevolutions.com.