What were main influences for your self-titled album?
There were so many influences all over the place. And I hear that feedback from fans all the time. I never stopped and said “wait, what would Coldplay do? Or what would Blink 182 do?” It was just me making music I would listen to and appreciate. Listening back, there are parts and sections of songs all over the album that I’m like “that’s so Deathcab, that’s so Boxcar..” and that just comes naturally when those bands are in the triple digits on your play count. But sometimes I see myself doing things I wouldn’t catch my heroes doing but it works for the song (such as the spoken word part in Quicksand).
What was the recording process like for the record. Did you have every song mapped out or did you experiment with ideas?
There was a lot of parts overall. Most found their place, some didn’t. The demos were pretty bare bones with obvious diagnosing in the prepro. When we got to tracking we had free range to try three part harmonies, different tones/takes, layers, re-amping etc. Then in mixing/mastering we had a lot of fun with dynamics and specifics with automation. All those little things take so much time but pay off and I’m glad we took the time to experiment.
How long did the recording process take?
It was a good year and a half of writing, pre-pro, tracking, mixing, mastering. All the while touring pretty constantly in between. A lot of the writing and pre-pro was done from the road. Even some tracking was done for strings during a couple off days at a studio in Philly.
How was the reception to your album?
The reception has been great overall. The hardest part has been building the amount of reception. Getting it viral seems impossible. I think as much as people post my lyrics and cover my songs, there still isn’t a whole lot of pride within most Rosedale fans. They don’t go around telling all their friends about how great the album or upcoming show is. Some do. But for most it’s pretty obvious that my music is a lot of people’s guilty pleasure. For whatever reason. Maybe it’s because I’m not signed, or that its not tough or electronic or trendy.
What do you think appeals most to people, about your music?
It’s real. I’m writing music I enjoy to listen to and things that actually matter to me. So there’s a strong magnetism to it because I love it so much and have so much fun performing it. I also put a lot of time into the quality of my music. It’s very thought out with care.
What were some things you wish you did differently on the record, if any?
I wish I could have recorded a real orchestra or at least ensemble. I programmed about 80% of the strings and it took about a day per song to make sound just right. But I think an actual full 64 piece orchestra would just be that much more moving/rewarding. It probably would have tripled total costs, though.
How important is gear/effects to your sound?
Gear is definitely important to my sound. I have a lot of influences that use a lot of different gear so I have an open mind to a lot of different amps and guitars. Sometimes I’ll see a deal that I can’t pass up and it might influence the direction I take with writing. I think it kinda naturally happens to every artist that way sometimes. But the majority of the time I’m looking for toys that will compliment my music. I’ve got a pretty gnarly LED lighting addiction going right now. The abilities of those lights also kind of play a role in how I write too. Sometimes I’ll make something thinking “and my lights can do this!” Same goes for live automation. It opens the doors to bigger ideas with vocals.
Do you have a favorite piece of gear, if so what is it?
I love my red ES335 Hollowbody so much. I’ve been through so much with it and its never givin me any problems. Such a solid guitar. I guess I can call my laptop part of my gear too. I’ve logged so many hours making music and videos on that thing it’s insane.
What is your favorite place to play, in the area you are based in?
Probably Kitchener/Guelph/Hamilton area is the closest market I can appreciate. Some long time fans in those markets that never let me down. And decent venues too. I also love going out to Montreal/Sherbrooke. French Canadians love good music.
What was the reason for writing the song “To My Father”?
I wrote that song during the short couple last minute weeks of writing I did in studio B before tracking the record. I wanted an upbeat acoustic song so I started playing some happy chords to a fast tempo. When I went minor in the chorus I had a big flashback to hanging out with my Dad in the hospital when my appendix had burst on tour in Long Island. I starting thinking of everything he’s done for me as a kid playing sports and how I owe him so much for his sacrifices. He always saw that I wanted to be something great and would support my dreams as crazy as they were. He’s all about making everyone he loves as happy as possible. Those lyrics came to me so easily and it’s still definitely one of my favorites to listen to and play live.
Interview By: Alex Roth