Alt-Nation Presents: Hot Women Of Local Rock

Roz

For several years around this time, the staff at the Alt-Nation desk has put together a “Hot Women of Local Rock” piece that has profiled talented female musicians. Last year there was a bit of a stink over the cover image and the whole concept came under fire. The last thing I would want is to offend anyone, especially people so passionate in their objections to the 6th annual edition of the column. So I wasn’t going to do the column this year. Then I decided, why the hell not?

Elese Morrone – For The Love of Sloane -vox
Now we’re ready to meet our first musician (drum roll please) – she’s the lead singer of a local alt-rock band that was the 2009 WXIN Rock Hunt Champions as well as a finalist in the 2009 WBRU Rock Hunt. This band has played everywhere from neighborhood bars to the big stage of Lilith Fair. They have recently finished their full length debut CD, Spells, Curses and Charms, which is tentatively set to come out around the beginning of April. From the band For The Love of Sloane, Elese Morrone come on down!
MC: Who would you say are some of your biggest musical influences?
EM: The first big musical influence is Blink-182. They were the first band that broke me from my typical teenage girl music: for this I am eternally grateful. The second biggest influence is Say Anything. I am absolutely in awe of the singer, Max Bemis, and his lyric writing as well as live performances. He makes writing sound so easy and he captures moments lyrically I would never imagine to. Also a fan of Motion City Soundtrack and I still rock to old school No Doubt.
MC: You’ve recently finished your debut full length, Spells, Curses and Charms, which I’ve heard and it does a remarkable job at capturing the energy and intensity of For The Love of Sloane’s live shows. How would you describe the process of making the album?
EM: The process has been a pain the butt. Our first studio (Whitenoise Records) has since shut down. We were told by another studio that they didn’t really dig our sound (yes, really). We replaced our second bassist with our third so some tracks still have Nick and others now have Michelle. Our producer, Mike Poorman, closed Strangeways Recording and moved to Vermont in the middle of recording so there was a lot of back and forth over email and it was all around more difficult because there was little in-studio time. In studio is where you really get to hash things out and we all had to do it separately, combine forces, and call upon Captain Planet just to agree and get on the same page. One thing after another just kept throwing us off trying to get everything recorded.
MC: Has anything surprised you with the music or in general?
EM: This April, FTLOS will have been together six years. I don’t mean to say that is surprising, but for a local band I’d say we’ve given this whole thing a good run. While not every song can be a hit, I’d like to think that quality over quantity, in our case, really shines through on our upcoming CD. We rerecorded some stuff off our first EP and you can really hear how we have changed and grown and found our sound.
MC: What’s your favorite show you played and also your favorite show attended?
EM: Favorite show we played had to be Lilith Fair because it was the closest we have been to living the dream along with it being an honor to meet so many of the great artists who we got to open for. Favorite show I have attended? Say Anything a few years back in CT. I was up front and Max sang some lyrics at me and the blockade fence fell and I almost got trampled to death. I would have died happy.
MC: What does For The Love of Sloane have planned for 2013?
EM: 2013 is our year to get back into the scene. We are looking forward to playing new venues and reconnecting with other local bands, old and new. We will be having a CD release show, which we expect to be huge. We’d like to do a minitour
and maybe get on the bill for some bigger festivals. We’re going to keep
writing and recording new stuff, but we’re still focused on pushing the CD as a whole. We’re hoping for recognition, like any original band, but we are also celebrating getting this far and all we
has accomplished.
For The Love of Sloane will rock The Parlour on March 16 with Jazz Bastards and Briar Rose.

Roz Raskin – Roz Raskin & The Rice Cakes – vox & keyboards (among other things)
Our next featured artist is Roz Raskin of 2012 WBRU Rock Hunt Champions, The Rice Cakes. I describe the Rice Cakes as indie pop played with the intensity of Motorhead. I remember watching them in the first round of the WBRU Rock Hunt at the Spot Underground and thinking, Geez they should just get it over and cancel the finals because nobody is going to stop the Rice Cakes coronation. I caught up with Roz Raskin to find out a little about her musical interests and what’s next for the Rice Cakes.
MC: Who are your biggest musical influences?
RR: It would be impossible to point to even a few to give a bigger picture. What inspires me? Soulful music, friends, fucked up life experiences, family, the future, the immediate, the past. It’s all connected for me.
MC: You have a new seven-inch coming out, which is something you don’t see a lot of bands putting out. What made you decide to put something out on vinyl?
RR: You’d actually be surprised to see how many bands are still releasing seven inches. When we’re out on tour, hitting mostly DIY spots, we see a lot of bands are still putting out vinyl like that. We also put out a 10” record a few years ago; so cool to hear our music on vinyl. There’s nothing quite like that sound, very raw and beautiful.
MC: What’s your favorite show you’ve played or attended and why?
RR: There have been way too many to count at this point; every show we’ve played has been a good time. Essentially, every time I get to play my music out, it feels like I’m living the dream. In terms of shows this year, playing with Passion Pit at Lupo’s for the WBRU Birthday Bash and playing with our friends the Low Anthem at the Columbus Revival show were both great. We’ve also played some great shows with our pals at the News Cafe and Firehouse this year, to name a few.
MC: What do the Rice Cakes have planned for 2013?
RR: This year has already been kick ass. We’re recording for our full-length and will be touring as much as we can. I’m super excited to be hitting SXSW on our next tour. Austin is a fun city (and it’s nice and warm there too). We will definitely be playing rad local shows with some of our fav national acts too. I wish we could announce it all now. We will be releasing the 7” at Firehouse 13 on March 30, with Boo City, Mike Decosta and Nelsonvillains.

Jess Moroney – The Nymphidels –vox & guitar
Our next artist is from an alt-rock band that just released their debut EP, A Band in Places. She handles both the guitar and lead vocals in The Nymphidels. Jess Moroney step up to the microphone!
MC: Who would you say are some of your biggest musical influences?
JM: My earliest memories start in kindergarten with Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Julio Iglesias and “oldies but goodies.” Then after that it was Bon Jovi to Guns N’ Roses. After that, Faith No More grabbed me, and Mike Patton was huge for me. Then at a Mr. Bungle concert, Gish was the house music between bands and I fell hard into that sound. And then Pearl Jam opened for the Pumpkins at the Palladium and I fell hard again. Fast forward to Radiohead, Sigur Ros, then rewind to revisiting the classics, like The Who, which holds tight. I know I am leaving out big ones here that are my favorites, but the list is endless.
The ones that startle me out of whatever musical box I might be stuck in at the moment stick out the most, and if it’s truly good and has lasting power, it is something that keeps me and I keep it. The Beatles for me are timeless, and even now, I will hear a song that moves me in a new way, making it feel like it is the first time I ever heard it. That is the magic I love and believe in about music across time and genres. So anything that contains “that thing,” for whatever reason particular to me, is I guess the simple answer to the question.
MC: How did The Nymphidels start? Was it always the plan to be a two-piece?
JM: One thing I can say that is 100% accurate, Nymphidels as a two-piece was never a plan or even thought of as an option at the beginning. And it started with me deciding to start a band with my original songs for the first time, and had no idea how to go about it, even though I have joined many bands that had someone starting it, but it seemed daunting – so much so it took me awhile to actually do it. Initially in my mind I was picturing a five-piece actually, or at least a four. I didn’t put an ad out, just started asking around to fellow music friends. Pat and I didn’t know each other at the time, but had friends in common. One night he came to an open mic, heard my songs and liked them. So I sent him a message. I was ready to get something started, and it was hard to find ready and able musicians at the time whose schedules synced up… it was like trying to solve a difficult logic question on the GRE or something.
The first “practice” I arranged ended up being just me and Pat in my friend’s basement using what they had for equipment because we didn’t have a space yet. I didn’t even have an amp or electric guitar I could use at the time (my songs were played acoustic beforehand) and that was our first time playing. Other people played with us early on, and we never set out to keep it a two-piece, but there definitely was a musical chemistry from the beginning between the two of us. That along with life events have in a weird way steered us towards keeping it this way for now. My planning of the band had issues at the start, but somehow the way it started is the way it still is.
MC: What’s your favorite show you’ve played or attended and why?
JM: I love every show for different reasons… even the weird ones. We played a few benefit shows early on where we met great people and bands, and they all now still come to shows, support and promote our music, and have become our friends. So those shows were special to us – getting a chance to help raise money for good causes, and gaining new friends and fans that are still with us now.
MC: What do The Nymphidels have planned for 2013?
JM: Keep the momentum going. More shows in more places; hit the studio again; keep writing; go to shows; and for some strange reason I want to have a huge show somewhere with other local bands that warrants all of us and friends renting a tour bus for a weekend or something… but that might be lofty. We’ll see. The Nymphidels will be playing a benefit for the organization “Rock For A Cure” at The Oasis in Providence on March 15 with Satellites Fall.

Coming next issue:
Rock Has Some Hot Dudes Too!

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