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Eddie Bouchard (vox/guitar/piano) from Rogues On The Sea interviews my questions. Cool act, worth checking out and buying their music.

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https://www.facebook.com/roguesonthesea

1. For someone unfamiliar with your music, how would you describe Rogues on the Sea?

“Engaging rock songs driven by purposeful melody, rhythm and performance”. Well that’s what my friend told me. I’m kinda having trouble describing it myself. I guess I’d describe it as Alternative Rock driven by a pounding rickety upright piano and raw guitar riffs, with stories narrated over the top in a bar room baritone voice. At its core, our music is guided by old school rock music values, but with a lot of twists and turns along the way to keep it interesting.

2. Tell us a little bit about your writing process. Do you labour over songs or prefer to let things flow naturally?

Well it’s a bit of both really I guess, before I got a band together I would write the songs myself and labour over them, but then when I started jamming with the band, sometimes the piano player would come up with a little piano lick which I thought was cool and we took the whole song from there and almost in one jam we would have the full song fleshed out. We gradually got rid of older songs to make way for the fresher songs that came quicker and more naturally. I think songs that come naturally that are not laboured over too much are always cooler for some reason. But in having said that, I do labour over lyrics a lot and as you can see I’m even labouring over this interview. It seems that writing lyrics is a lost art nowadays, almost an afterthought to the music. I don’t think I’ll be in the same league as Tom Waits or Leonard Cohen anytime soon, but hey, I am trying.

3. As far as breakout success is concerned, is it all about the strength of a song or does being in the right musical climate at right time make all the difference?

Again I think it is a bit of both. For instance, if at the beginning of a musical trend you wrote a great song in that musical style and it was marketed effectively, you would almost be guaranteed ‘breakout success’. However, write that same great song at the tail end of the current trend of music or when there is no trend for that music, and you will have moderately less success or no success at all, unless however you are the one of originators of said trend. SEE Nirvana. But in having said that, even Nirvana’s initial ‘success’ probably has a lot to owe to the ‘right musical climate’, i.e. people eventually boring of the shallow 80’s disco synth music and glitzy big haired lets wear lipstick and tight spandex glam rock trend. Which I myself kinda liked when I didn’t know any better. It WAS fun!

3. How important is social media to you in regards to engaging with an audience?

Well obviously for a band without major label backing or a big Indie behind you, it’s extremely important these days and a very useful medium for a band to make themselves known, not only in their own backyard but also to the world. However, in my opinion for it to work for you, you need two things: you still need GREAT music and spend A LOT of time in front of the laptop; posting vainglorious photos and mindless jabberings, engaging with other music loving users and music websites and not forgetting twitting, twotting or tweetering or whatever its called. Or alternatively you could just have a song go ‘viral’ which is of course the preferred option, much less neck pain and eye strain like I’m experiencing right now.

4. What inspired you to take music more seriously?

Well to be honest, I take music as seriously as U2 probably would, I always have. Even though my band is clearly nowhere near as popular and as validated as they might be. I really don’t know what inspired me to take it more seriously, I was born that way for good or bad. It might sound silly to some but music is one of the only things I take seriously. Why? I have no idea, I mean its only music after all, I get that! I guess it distracts me from the big question: “What the hell are we all doing here on Earth?” And it’s quite a big relief not to think about that sometimes!

5. What’s spinning on your playlist atm? Any guilty pleasures?

At the moment I’m listening to a lot of Jack White, However I’m having a hard time getting into his more country-esque songs, but I’m trying. His albums are a little hard to get your head around, but once you do, it’s well worth it, its music that has a lot longer shelf life. His albums have led me to listen to a lot of blues artists now that I haven’t listened to in a while such as Jimi Hendrix and B.B King. I’ve also been listening to Kyuss again lately. And Kyuss is an example of great music released when there was no current trend of similar style for them to ride. Unfortunately/fortunately they were ahead of their time and they just weren’t marketed effectively, if at all.

Guilty pleasures? Well I’m also listening to the Black Keys latest album ‘Turn Blue’ now and I think its great, maybe not their best in my opinion but still damn good, but apparently they aren’t ’cool’ anymore. When did listening to the Black Keys become a guilty pleasure? Oh that’s right, when they became very successful. Cruel world isn’t it!

6. Are you a fan of keeping the album format alive or do you think there’s more benefit to release singles or EPs with the influence of streaming platforms arguably shortening attention spans?

Oh I’m a huge fan of keeping the album alive, but unfortunately I think that’s a fools’ errand. To know an amazing artist, is to know an amazing album, not just an amazing song. Its getting harder and harder to find the heart of things.

It is true also that nowadays people don’t seem to have time nor the inclination to really listen to an album, most young people (with all disrespect of course) probably don’t even know what an album is let alone listen to one. But that’s not to say it’s entirely their fault. It’s hard to really determine who’s driving this phenomenon, the market, the consumers or social media for that matter. People these days don’t even have time or could be bothered to even type in a pin number at an eftpos machine. It’s all about the paywave. Ahhh GUILTY! I’ll be surprised if anyone has maintained enough patience to get this far in this interview. Hang on a minute… ok I’m back! Was just twotting something on twitter, whilst taking a selfie of my duckface and posting a photo of my gorgeous tanned legs by the poolside on instagram… now where was I? Oh that’s right, shortening attention spans!

8. When not consumed with all things musical, what do you do tune out or reset?

Well I go surfing a lot to unwind, when I’m not thinking, playing or writing music…. but come to think about it, even when I’m surfing and waiting for a wave, which could sometimes take 10 minutes or more, I’m thinking of song structures, riffs or melodies. Being with an amazing lady does help me tune out however… for a little while at least. Oh yeh, working also keeps me for most of the time distracted from music, however for the most part I’m listening to my iPod! And yes! I’m working as well, why? Because no one is buying ‘albums’ anymore, everyone’s getting into ‘streaming platforms’ such as Spotify, even my friends are streaming my music. And at around 0.7 cents a stream the artist gets from say ‘Spotify’, you’ll understand why I’m still working a ‘real job’ as well. You do the Math!

9. You have a great piece of craft with your first album, what does the immediate future hold?

Well thank you! … At the moment we are trying to get a full band together to start playing live and touring to give the album the promotion we think it deserves, and well its always fun to play live! As we speak, we are also in preparatory stages of making our first film clip to accompany the first song on the album, ‘City of Gold’, which should be released soon, with the hope that we achieve ‘breakout success’ or any kind of success really! I’m also working with a friend/ex guitar tech from my previous band that will be a part of our live lineup, demoing new songs at his home studio, which I’m finding really exciting!

10. Lastly, Prince or Michael Jackson?

Well I’d have to say Michael Jackson (Thriller period only), since I’ve actually just recently listened to the album and the fact that I’ve never really listened to Prince. Should I? Is it good?

Michael Jackson’s Thriller album is amazing. I don’t really know what happened after that! ? BAD? Ok, not too bad, DANGEROUS? Well………

 

‘Rogues On The Sea’ out now via Firestarter Distribution

www.jbhifi.com.au/music/browse/alternative-rock/rogues-on-the-sea/508722/

2 Responses to Rogues On The Sea Interview

  • Browny says:

    Cool interview Eddie
    Always a great bloke to be around
    Great album and yes I paid for it and listen to it heaps (and everyone knows I’m a metal head)
    Smooth groovy sounds
    Bring the boys to Geraldton the grommets will love it
    Peace

  • Gerard says:

    Great interview with a surprisingly humble artist, considering his multi-talents and great sense of groovy songs.

    Even as an electronic music lover it’s a pleasure to listen to songs like City of Gold, while riding my bike in the busy streets of Amsterdam. It feels like all the ‘one-day-tourists’ were never there and cycling has never been that easy!

    Eddie make a stop over here while you’re touring!

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