Coming from Los Angeles Arrica Rose And The …’s are a wonderful dark folk band with a difference. They have a wonderful dreamy note to their music which can be heard in most of her songs. Arrica’s music has a wealth of difference that you won’t hear anywhere else. Grave Concerns Ezine got chance to catch up with Arrica and here is how it went.
Phill – Can you tell us a little bit of a background about yourself and where in this beautiful world you are from?
Arrica – I was born right outside of Los Angeles, CA. in the San Fernando Valley. The rest of my family is from New York but my parents headed west right before I was born.
Phill – Do you take any influence from your surrounding ie Los Angeles for your music?
Arrica – We’ve often been described as California folk-pop. I myself have wondered exactly what that means and concluded it might be that breezy, whimsical nature of our music – maybe that’s the influence of surf, sand, and sunshine. Dark as the music can be at times I think there’s still a dreaminess to it and a things will all work out eventually perspective.
Phill – Musically are there any advantages of living in Los Angeles?
Arrica – Because Los Angeles is one of the major entertainment capitals there are so many creative projects and people surrounding you. Of course, that can also make it more difficult to be heard, but I think for the most part it’s inspiring.
Phill – At what point in your life did you decide to form your band and why?
Arrica – Music always played an important role in my life but when I was 15 I decided I wanted to play guitar (it seemed much cooler than piano to my younger self) which led me to joining a band with some friends of mine. When my friends and I moved apart come time for college I continued playing music as a solo project. I really missed playing with a band though so post college I began putting together The …'s (the dot dot dots) , creating a backing band for my solo project.
Phill – Why the name of The …’s?
Arrica – We used to go by several different “and The _______” names. Often changing it every show. Eventually one of my best friends suggested The Dot Dot Dots spelled The …’s, to incorporate all those many names. We tried it out and it stuck.
Phill – What was your first band’s name and did it ever go anywhere?
Arrica – My first band was called Uxby. We parted ways before we even had a chance to record as we all headed in different directions when we graduated high school. We did play some great shows though opening up for bands like Commander Venus, Still Life, Uranium 9volt, and Jimmy Eat World.
Phill – Who besides yourself is in the band and what background are they from?
Arrica – I've been fortunate to have a lot of great musicians participate in The …'s but the core participants are:
Marc Thomas (lead guitar) - from Los Angeles, CA.
Steve Giles (bass) - from Eugene, OR.
Ryan Brown (drums) - Denver, CO.
Laura Martin (joins us live on backing vocals) - Chadron, NE.
Kaitlin Wolfberg (violin) - Cleveland, OH.
Dan Garcia (producer, mixer, engineer) - Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Phill – What background musically are the rest of The …’s from?
Arrica – Ryan, Marc and Kaitlin went to school for music (Ryan - Indiana University, Marc - University of Southern California, Kaitlin - Berklee School of Music). Steve started off playing in rock n’ roll bands in his hometown. Laura comes from a musical family, as her father owns a music and archery store in NE. Dan started off working in music in Nashville and then headed west to work at Schnee Studios before opening his own Radio Hill.
Phill – What are your musical influences?
Arrica – My biggest musical influence is probably time, which I always find passes too quickly. Also melancholy, hopefulness and a combination thereof. On the musical front, I have many influences but I'll attempt to narrow it down a bit: Elliot Smith, Velvet Underground, Harry Nilsson, Dusty Springfield, Mazzy Star, The Beatles, Big Star, Tom Waits, Billie Holiday, The Andrew Sisters…and so the list grows.
Phill – How does the passage of time influence your music lyrically?
Arrica – I think I tend to come up with lyrics that have a nostalgic quality, that bittersweet longing for what once was and might never be again.
Phill – What song that you have written do you feel is the most emotional and what emotion is the prevalent strongest?
Arrica – That’s a really hard question to answer if I think of all the songs I’ve ever written but I’ll try and choose from the Lucky ep since it’s our most recent. I guess I’d say Paper Days. I think it conveys that sense of melancholy coupled with hopefulness best. It’s about how often when we’re very young we tend to think we get it, that we’ve got things figured out and then as we get older often we realize we don’t quite have it figured out and that there’s so much more room for growth. It could probably be best summed up in the line “The older I get, the less that I know. The longer I live, the more I hope to grow.”
Phill – How would you describe the music you make?
Arrica – If asked for a short description I refer to it as indie-folk-pop. If there's room for a lengthier description I'll describe it as part dream pop, part Americana, and part vintage rock.
Take a listen for yourself: "Paper Hearts"
Phill – Where do you see your band in five years and what are your hopes for the future?
Arrica – I try not to imagine too far into the future. Embracing a 'you never know what tomorrow brings' state of mind gives me a sense of hopefulness that good things could be around any corner. I do know that I'd love to expand upon the audience we already have and reach more ears that might appreciate our music.
Phill – What do you feel is the greatest tool you have to take your music to a wider audience?
Arrica – I’d have to say the internet. Though some times modern technology is my nemesis I must acknowledge it as a great tool for getting your music to a wider audience. I love that I get to ship albums off to places I’ve never been.
Phill – Is there anywhere in our lovely world that you think your music would go down great?
Arrica – I’m not quite sure, but I do know recently we’ve been selling a good number of albums in the UK, Italy , Greece and Australia, which I’m real grateful for.
Phill – Is there any place or venue you would like to play at and why?
Arrica – I'd love to tour outside the US regularly. I love to travel far from home and to me playing shows is the best reason to travel.
Phill – Describe your ultimate gig?
Arrica – My ultimate gig is not so much at a specific place but just about a certain kind of energy - feeling like you've connected with the audience and they've connected with you, that you're playing with fellows musicians you really admire - the kind of gig that makes you feel real lucky to be a musician.
Phill – So do you prefer a smaller gig rather than a bigger one?
Arrica – It doesn’t necessarily have to be a small gig, though it could be. I do feel like you can still feel connected to a larger crowd. Sometimes when you see crowds of thousands all captivated by what’s happening on stage and the performer giving it their all – that always seems magical to me.
Phill – What do you feel when you are playing live, what is it like for you personally?
Arrica – At first the thought is ‘what the hell am I doing up on this stage, this is pretty nerve-racking sharing my music and hoping people will give a damn’. Then once I get start a ‘there’s nowhere I’d rather be right now, I effing love music’ feeling kicks in. I find it funny that I usually can’t just jump to the second feeling and bypass the first, even after many years of performing.
Phill – Without giving too much away is there any instrument or program you wouldn’t be without and why?
Arrica – First thing that comes to mind is my acoustic Gibson '73 Dove even though more often than not I play electric. It's the first guitar I saved many pennies for and it somehow represents to me making music my main focus. Also, I might have to include my reverb pedal for good measure.
Phill – Have you given a name to your Gibson 73?
Arrica – It’s an obvious one. I call her Dove.
Phill – What was the first thing that you ever wrote or played on your Gibson 73?
Arrica – One of my first memories is of writing a song called I’d Love to Miss L.A. on that guitar. It’s a special one for me as it’s about the underbelly of my hometown, and also about how if I got away I’d miss not only what I love but also what I hate.
Phill – Thank you so much for giving Grave Concerns Ezine this interview, is there anything you would like to add?
Arrica – Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Much appreciate you helping us spread the word.
On the web: Arrica Rose & the ...'s
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