PHOTOGRAPHY April Arabella
WORDS Nina Burrell
Nestled in the back of The Bodega’s beer garden in Nottingham on a hazy summers afternoon seems like a world away from the last time I saw Crosa Rosa; at their chaos enduring secret 2AM headline set at this years Dot To Dot festival, where the show was almost abandoned after a rouge crowd surfer managed to pour a whole pint over the band’s equipment. Despite the perpetual anarchist atmosphere, being able to fill a room with people who appear to have such an inherent interest in the future of the band in the early hours of a Monday morning just shows the support the trio have gained in the past few years. With a new EP release on the horizon, we spoke about the evolution of their ethereal, psychedelic sound and if being backed by larger companies will have any effect on their D.I.Y ethos.
So let’s start from the beginning, when did you all meet and how did you start playing together?
Joe W: Me and Joe met at college, and I just knew Kegan through a friend. I sent my songs into a local record label, and they were like “this is great, you should get a band”, and then I got a band, and he fucked off. So I was like, fuck this guy, I’m just going to carry on anyway. I suppose that’s how it started, just getting as many gigs as you can.
Did you have any wider influences that shaped your sound when you first began making music? Joe F: You kind of look at how your heroes do it, don’t you.
Joe W: We didn’t really base our sound on anyone, I do have influences but I wouldn’t say our sound is based around one thing.
Joe F: I’d say it’s kind of like if Cage the Elephant and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers had a baby. We all have very different influences, but we all come home to the big circle of nice stuff that we can put on the car stereo and no one will shout at each other.
Kegan: I think because we all come from separate music influences, it’s made it interesting in a sense.
Would you say Crosa Rosa fit into a particular genre?
Joe W: Erm, what was it again? Oh yeah, pseudo psyche.
Joe F: Wobbly rock lad psyche [laughs].
Kegan: Yeah because pseudo is something that’s not really what it is. Joe W: I suppose its garage psyche as well.
Joe W: I suppose its garage psyche as well.
Joe F: Garage psyche pop?
Joe W: Trashy garage psyche pop. Done.
You’ve just recently came back from YNOT? Festival, how does playing festivals compare to playing your own headline gigs?
Joe F: People at festivals don’t really give a shit about you, they only care about if there’s someone really good on after you. Wolf Alice were on after us at Reading and Leeds so it looked like we had a really big crowd, the pictures look great.
Joe W: I always prefer indoor gigs, there’s more interaction, the sound’s better.
Joe F: And there’s no one shouting at you pissed as fuck from the front row, well actually sometimes there is.
Joe W: There’s more room to crowd surf as well.
Joe F: Yeah we like to get involved with the crowd as well, we’re not one of these bands that just stare at our shoes all night. No we do like festivals, but indoor gigs are the one, you can’t beat a good indoor gig where it gets messy and beer goes everywhere. I like a sticky floor, you don’t get that with a festival.
You’ve previously chosen to release your EP’s as physical copies as well as downloads, is this something that’s important to you?
Kegan: Yeah I think a physical release was something we really wanted to do when we released the first one [EP].
Joe W: CD’s aren’t a big difference in price, but with vinyl’s you get so much more, they’re more collectable.
Joe F: It’s nice having something to hold as well, the art means just as much as the music to us. With a tiny CD you don’t get as much of it, but with this [holds up vinyl] you get the whole picture. It feels nice, it smells nice, it sounds great, it just is great.
Kegan: At the time as well, I was working at The Music Exchange [local record shop] and you could see how well local music was selling, because it was in a record shop, and we thought that if we could get into that demographic, it would be perfect.
Joe F: I think the best thing about having a vinyl for me is the fact that it’s so big so that when you throw it off the stage there’s a good chance it will take someone’s eye out [laughs]. I threw one at YNOT? when we were getting into the last song and it almost hit this kid in the face, and that was a really great moment for me. But yeah if you want it physically, you can have a vinyl, if you want it on your computer, you can have a download, and if you want it your tape player, you can go fuck yourself.
You’ve recently been backed by Fred Perry Subculture, a platform associated with debuting artists such as Black Honey, The Wytches and even Amy Winehouse. How did this make you feel?
Joe F: I think we’ll all agree that going from being sat in our bedrooms listening to demos to being endorsed by one of these massive companies who think you’re good enough to give you free stuff and make videos for you is pretty great. The guy that runs the whole thing is saying that we’re one of his top five bands from the past ten years, and it does make you feel good.
Joe W: It’s good because you look at the bands from the Fred Perry videos and think, “I’d love to do that”, and then you do it and it means that you’re up there with those people that you’ve always been watching.
Joe F: We all love Amy Winehouse, and she was very big within the whole Fred Perry scene, she’s always been a huge inspiration for us and we take a lot from her. But no, it is very exciting to be involved in a brand that’s such a big influence within clothing and music.
Are there any new bands or sounds that you’re championing at the minute?
Joe F: Autumn Diet Plans have a song called Kenneth that I think’s really good, like really good.
Joe W: I like this band called Gang a lot, they’re a Brighton band and they’re really good as well. No Nothings as well.
Finally, out of all the gigs that you’ve played, do you have a favourite?
Joe F: Ah that’s a good question. What’s the one that’s got the messiest?
Joe W: Definitely our Simper Smiler launch at The Bodega.
Joe F: At the Simper Smiler launch we had people jumping off speakers, which seems to have become a recurring theme for us, basically every time we play Bodega. At Simper Smiler we had no barrier, and it was the same with Dot To Dot, so thing’s just got mental.
Kegan: I think every single time we play Bodega it’s just like that.
Joe F: Yeah every time we play here it just gets hot and messy and sweaty, and shit’s got broken. I think at the next one, Rescue Rooms, shit’s probably going to get destroyed.
Kegan: Also the gig we played at Kosmonaut in Manchester.
Joe F: Oh yeah we played in Manchester for Dot To Dot, we didn’t think anyone was going to be there, but the room got to the point where you couldn’t get in it anymore, and then there was a fight in the middle of it, so we had to stop playing and wait for security cause there was guys just punching each other in the middle of the show.
Crosa Rosa’s biggest headline show to date is at Rescue Rooms on November 4th, tickets are available HERE.