Some time ago, PM interviewed the lovely (and steadily-increasing in stature) Blue Roses, AKA Laura Groves for a dinky piece in The Fly. Having heard her excellent debut album, it seems a good time to post the NEVER BEFORE SEEN (OMG) interview, of which only widdly extracts have been read by public eyes before. Whee!
You have a healthy approach towards collecting sounds for your recordings (“anything that looks fun” according to your MySpace) – where does this attitude come from?
I think it’s all intertwined with my love for collecting objects in general, and car boot sales and flea markets. My house seems to be filling up with mostly useless but interesting junk. And if it makes a musical noise then that’s even better.
You mention Jacques Brel amongst your influences, a notably fiery performer. Do you inject a similar verve and energy into your live work?
I don’t know if I’m quite as melodramatic as Jacques Brel but I definitely believe in the idea of being completely immersed in a performance, which is a quality I really admire in him. There’s a video of him performing Ces Gens La on YouTube which I must have watched a million times – its such an amazing song and his delivery is unbelievable! I always think that if you had been in the audience watching him you would be completely drawn in by the intensity, and I definitely aspire to do that.
Tell me a little about the subjects you focus on. They seem slightly to straddle the worlds of human emotion and natural whimsy?
My songs so far have been very much from a personal perspective- lyrics about personal experiences and relationships, and how my surroundings were inextricably linked to those things. I think I’m really affected by certain places so I often write about them too. I feel like I’m leaning more towards writing about slightly less personal situations with new things that I am writing, but the album is very much in that vein.
Some of the arrangements in your songs are very polarised – sometimes extremely sparse, sometimes very lush and expansive – how do you go about constructing them?
Usually I’ll just start off with a very basic idea, like a guitar or piano part and a melody. I’ll play these over and over again until other parts start to build up in my head and then start doing some recording. A lot of the parts don’t come into my mind until I’ve recorded the basis of the song- I find it much easier to build up layers, especially vocal harmonies, when there’s a reference there. Other times I will literally just start off with nothing at all and just build the whole thing up through recording. The first single Doubtful Comforts started out life like that..I just recorded a very simple and short idea on the kalimbas and it grew from there. I’m getting into scoring arrangements on paper a bit more too, its a bit of a regret that I’ve never really learnt how to do that properly so I’m trying to develop that a bit more!
Finally, would you mind plugging yourself a little bit? What’s coming up for you after the release of the single?
Hopefully lots of live stuff, especially over summer! I’m really looking forward to playing lots and trying out new arrangements of songs.
Visit Blue Roses here and listen to how well it’s all put together and thought-about. It’s the winner. Hopefully there’ll be a review of said debut album very soon…