Roach: The WL Interview

Purveyors of: Tasty angst-filled daydreams for your ears.

File Next to: Alvvays, Soccer Mommy, Snail Mail.

Playing: Sunday May 19th @ Arraymusic with Mary Ocher + Your Government and Lake Versions. Get Tickets Here!

Indie-rock group ROACH is invading the Toronto music scene! Although they haven’t been a band for long, they’ve already found a unique voice. Their fans are multiplying quick and they won’t be squashed. Fresh off the release of their debut EP, Taste Test, Carly, Violet, and Jackson chatted with Asa Berezny about their time in the studio and how they’ve grown as a band.

You’ve just released your first EP. What was the experience like recording it? How did you approach it in the studio?

Carly (drums): It was probably the most fun experience we have ever had recording before. We had prepared before visiting the studio and fully recording, but I know all of us while playing added our own last-minute touches to the songs because we felt so energized and into the songs. Of course, some things came easier than others. We have a saying for how Michael can execute everything perfectly on bass, “One Take Michael.” For Violet, Jackson, and I, we took a lot of time with perfecting what we could and doing touch-ups. We are so happy with the way it turned out overall, and so happy about getting to work with the producer Zac.

The songs on your EP, Taste Test, have a very identifiable style. What inspires your sound?

Carly: All of the lyrics have been written by Violet and her past experiences with situations. Some of the lyrics you can infer, but it’s nice because we have gotten feedback about how people can relate to what she is talking about. As far as guitars go, I feel like they really play well off each other and the bass just follows and adds what’s needed to fill the sound. Drumming is probably the last thing we work on. When I’m shown the songs I tend to follow Jackson’s guitar or the main guitar riff to get a feel of what we want the songs to sound like.

Which of your songs are you most proud of writing and why?

Carly: We all hold a special place in our hearts for “Bite” in my opinion. I also think we have a lot of artistic inputs on that song and we all have favourite parts in the song where we all created interesting parts to incorporate. The reason we made it our single is because we all felt like it was the song that showcased us the best.

What drew you guys to being in a band in the first place?

Jackson (lead guitar): We have all been musically immersed even before we became friends as well as band members. I play in a second band called Frankie The Pig and have been with them for a while now. Violet had songs written for years that she wanted to release, and around 2016/17 we decided we should try playing around with starting a band. Violet really wanted to showcase her songs with talented people who she thought would fit for the band. First we recruited Carly and she was interested in drumming for us. We started playing and we played our first show together as a three-piece. We then thought about how Michael would be the perfect bassist for us and a year later we were all playing shows together the way we are now. I think we are all looking for the same thing out of this band. The focus we all seem to stick with is playing shows together and writing music. I think that’s the best part about this band, ‘cause you can really tell when we’re all into the sound we create and we’re pretty open with each other about artistic directions and stuff like that. We just seem to have a nice spark when we play, that we each vibe off of from one another. We also respect each other as musicians and are looking to push each other further when it comes to where we can get as a band.

How has ROACH developed since you first started as a band?

Violet (vocals): We’ve developed our sound a lot. We are still trying to figure out exactly what genre we are and what kind of music we want to create and play, since we’ve been playing for almost two years now, and since we draw our writing a lot from the music we listen to, our sound has changed as our influences have changed to different musicians. So now we are closer to developing a more solid sound and to figure out what we want to play, whereas when we first started we were just kind of playing any songs we wrote, rather than picking and choosing the ones that fit our band the best. We’ve also become more confident as a band so that affects our sound a lot since it makes us tighter and more together as a unit.