Earlier this year Sterling Heights, MI pop-rockers Rocky Loves Emily released their much anticipated debut full-length ‘Secrets Don’t Make Friends.’
It’s a collection of vibrant pop-rock numbers that are ideal for the summer ahead with tracks like ‘I Don’t Like You’ and ‘Drivin’ Me Crazy’ showcasing the bands insatiable catchy sound.
Having signed with Tooth and Nail in 2010, for some ‘Secrets…’ has been a long time coming but nevertheless the quartet have delivered a charming and appreciative take on pop-rock genre.
Already Heard recently spoke to guitarist Andrew Stevens to discuss the new record, how the band has changed since their ‘American Dream’ EP, their forthcoming US tour with Sparks The Rescue and more.
Already Heard: To begin with could you introduce yourself and your role in Rocky Loves Emily?
Andrew Stevens: My name is Andrew, and I play the guitar.
AH: You’ve recently released your debut full-length, ‘Secrets Don’t Make Friends.’ What should both new and old fans expect from the album?
Andrew: Old and new fans will definitely not be disappointed with where we have progressed. We have never been more proud of a musical endeavor as we are of ‘Secrets.’
AH: How has the bands sound developed since the ‘American Dream’ EP on ‘Secrets Don’t Make Friends’?
Andrew: To put it really plainly, we just feel like we wrote much better songs. The AD EP didn’t really capture who we wanted to be. ‘SDMF’ is very eclectic and diverse, which reflects who we are as people. Not to say that our album isn’t a pop/rock record, it definitely is. But a lot of the songs delve into different tones, sounds, and genres while (we hope) still staying in the “pop” vein of music. If you combine the musical influences of all 5 members of the band, it’s safe to say that we literally do listen to EVERYTHING.
AH: I understand you were originally planning to use more electronic elements on the record. What was the decision behind this change?
Andrew: Yeah, when we flew down to Phoenix to record, we were prepared to take a much more electronic approach to the songs. Our producer, Matt Grabe, was actually the one who pushed us away from this idea. From the first conversations we had with him, he had a vision for the demos that he had heard from us. He imagined a more organic and rock ‘n roll approach to the songs. In the end, he pushed our musicianship to a new level and I’m really thankful that he had a hand in this record. I think the songs turned out way cooler than we could have ever imagined.
AH: Despite the bands upbeat pop-rock style, your lyrics are rather introspective. Could you tell us more about this?
Andrew: A lot of the lyrics on this record are based off of Brandon’s (James Ellis – singer) recently ended relationship. It was a really unhealthy relationship for him and a lot of the songs are inspired from that. I think the up-beat feeling of the music combined with the lyrics of disdain for someone really create an interesting vibe. You can listen to the songs with your windows down driving around town and have a good time, but at the same time, if you’re going through similar problems in a relationship, the songs can really connect with you on a deeper level.
AH: Are there any songs in particular that have struck accord with fans?
Andrew: ‘Dream’ I think is the song that people are really digging lately. It’s the slow piano ballad on the record. The lyrics are, in short, about wanting to be a better person. It’s one of the songs that we’re most proud of on the record.
AH: How have fans responded to the album as a whole?
Andrew: So far it’s all been pretty positive! We’ve been really blessed to have all the support we’ve had so far.
AH: Musically what bands influenced you while you were writing the record?
Andrew: That’s really hard to answer. A lot of 90’s and early 2000’s bands. I’m just going to say, I love Led Zeppelin all the time.
AH: You’re heading out on a US tour soon with Sparks The Rescue soon. How would you describe a typical Rocky Loves Emily show?
Andrew: Now that the new record is out, it’s definitely going to be a lot of fun because we have a lot more musical options. Our live performance is very visual, we move around and head bang a lot more than most pop bands. We just try to have a lot of fun. We usually end up having so much fun, that we break lots of guitar strings and drums sticks, and we knock over lots of stuff. haha, our shows are usually pretty intimate, so don’t be surprised if you get pulled on stage if you come see us play.
AH: After that tour what does the band have planned for the rest of 2012?
Andrew: We have another tour lined up for the summer with some label mates of ours on Tooth and Nail. But we can’t say more than that right now. Other than that, we plan on touring as much as we can in 2012 and take over the world!
‘Secrets Don’t Make Friends’ by Rocky Loves Emily is available now on Tooth and Nail Records.
Words by Sean Reid