52°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Artist Interview: Anna Rose

Anna Roses Debut Album, Nomad, Released June 8th
Anna Rose’s Debut Album, Nomad, Released June 8th

Ms. Anna Rose is not your average pop singer. For one she plays an instrument, she writes her own songs, and her influences aren’t found on the cover of Seventeen magazine. Her first full-length album, Nomad, shows maturity as a songwriter but still has the fresh outlook of an aspiring musician. Her voice is calm, in contrast with the bustle of New York creeping in from the background, as we talked about her inspiration, her experiences, and the state of the music industry.   Mass Media: First off, how are you doing? Anna Rose: I’m doing pretty well. I got away from New York City for a day. I went to visit my parents and it was just nice to get out of the city, especially cause it was 105 yesterday. MM: How long have you lived out there? AR: Ohhh God…. I guess I’ve been back in New York for um… about 2 and half months. I moved to LA when I was 18 and I lived out there for about five years. MM: That was you trying to do your music thing right? That was the reason you went there? AR: Actually, I went out there for college. I ended up dropping out because I wasn’t really focusing on it; I was just doing music. MM: Ahhh, I see. AR: I moved out there and ended up staying after I left school cause the scene was good to me. It’s a lot of small clubs and people are really open to new music there which is really, really cool. It’s actually…. I don’t want to say less competitive but the atmosphere is different. It’s open for lots of new bands. It’s an entertainment community so I think there is a lot of support. MM: In terms of your career, have your looks ever hurt or help you? AR: My looks? (Laughter) MM: Yeah. AR: Um… I think… I don’t think it’s done either. I think especially in LA people look for attractive musicians and stuff like that. I’m not really into that. I don’t wear dresses and I don’t dress very girly and things like that. So, I don’t think it’s had an effect really…I guess not… I don’t know that’s a good question no one has ever asked me that.   MM: Now you’re going to look back and think about all the times it could’ve. AR: Yeah, I’m going to be hitting myself cause I probably could have gave a much more eloquent answer. (Laughter) MM: So, what inspires you to write your songs? AR: It’s a lot of different things. I know for me, at least on Nomad, a lot of it is travel. A lot of venues have become really good to us in New York so we (Anna Rose and her band) like hanging out there. When the EP was out I was out in LA, we’ve really been hitting the coasts. We haven’t had the opportunity to do a full tour yet but I really want to. MM: Is that coming down the pipeline? AR: I think it is. I’m working on the second record right now and I think probably in a few months after that records recorded we’ll start touring for that. I mean Boston is still a big show for me though. I’m super excited to get to Boston and you know play a venue I’ve never played before. I’m really excited; I think it will be a fun show. MM: Have you ever been to Boston? AR: Only once. I think it was like for a day so I really don’t know much about it. I’m really going to have to take my time, see the city, but the people are wicked cool I hear. (Laughter) MM: Your backing band is all guys’ right? AR: Yup. MM: So how do you think the traveling with them is going to go? AR: Oh they’re fine. We all went to LA together and stuff like that, they’re easy. I like traveling with them a lot more then I like traveling with a big pack of girls. I get to be the only bitchy one. MM: And no one can say anything to you you’re the star! (Laughter) AR: I guess so. No, they can still say a lot to me. I’m pretty open with my band and they are all extremely talented guys. So, I’m sort of in the place where I’m like “wow you guys are so great!” MM: How do you think you were influenced to make this CD by your favorite artists? AR: I think my musical influences are important and I come from a musical family but I didn’t really reference anyone specifically. I listen to a lot of classic rock, blues, and things like that. MM: Do you listen to older artists or more recent ones? AR: A lot of it is old blues like Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy; I’ve been listening to a lot of Son House lately, which I think will come out more on the next record, not so much on Nomad. As far as classic rock goes I like Fleetwood Mac, Cream, Jimmy Hendrix you know stuff like that. Now I’m kind of getting into Jack White, anything Jack White has done. MM: What do you think of the state of music today? AR: I’m hopeful. I think things are happening right now that aren’t so great, but I think that means we as musicians have to adapt. We need to take control. The larger labels just kind of don’t really know what to do with themselves; they’ve been so lucky that in the past artists used to just make tons of money. That’s not what’s happening right now. I think that it’s a good time period for musicians themselves. MM: Yea I’ve done some… (Random New York loudness) AR: Sorry! MM: It must be busy in New York. AR: I’m sorry, what? MM: I said it’s busy in New York. (Laughter) AR: Yeah, exactly. MM: Why do you think people react to your music? AR: I think the music people respond to is where the artist is challenging themselves. I did a cover of Jimmy Hendrix’s “Manic Depression,” and that was really a challenge for me. MM: How was the response to that? Usually with an artist like Jimmy Hendrix people are hesitant when someone changes his music. AR: It’s scary, but I’m so respectful. Jimmy is my guitar god, but it was a challenge for me it was good.  MM: It’s good to hear that artists are still challenging themselves. AR: Yeah, I think that’s what we need to do in a time where we aren’t selling as well. It shows that the artist is growing. There’s an artistry that sometimes gets lost in pop music. MM: Do you consider yourself a pop musician? AR: Well I would think that because I write strong melodies, that yeah, I fit in the pop genre in someway. On iTunes I’m classified as pop, and if iTunes says so. MM: Then it must be true. AR: I kind of take that as a challenge like “yeah, I can this I can make pop music meaningful.” MM: That kind of reminds me of The Smiths in a way. AR: Yes! Exactly. MM: I’ve heard your version of Jolene (originally by Dolly Parton) I’m hoping that you will do it in Boston, we will see right? AR: Well if you yell out Jolene I’ll do it and dedicate it to you; I’m a ham like that.   Anna Rose is playing at Great Scott on August 2nd at 9pm. Tickets cost $8 and the show is 18. Go support this rising artist’s first show in Boston!

About the Contributor
Ariel Rodriguez served as the following positions for The Mass Media the following years: Arts Editor: Fall 2011 *Music Editor: 2010-2011 *The position of music editor was developed in Fall 2010, and disappeared in Fall 2012. Elizabeth Dow served as music editor from 2011-2012.