Thursday, February 7, 2008
Spotlight: The Rosehips
For the past few years, Columbus, Ohio band The Rosehips have hit the local bar scene.
What they offer is something truly special in today's Midwest indie rock scene: A damn good all girl band that doesn't focus on trying to market their sexuality.
Because, honestly, if I see one more all-girl band dressed up in 1950s clothes and wearing wigs I may go insane.
The Rosehips offer no gimmicks, just straight up well crafted indie rock. If I were to explain their music to anyone, I'd say: Equal parts Veruca Salt and Dinosaur Jr.
The group recently graced the Columbus Alive as one of the 2008 "Bands to Watch" features.
The member also have their self-titled debut CD coming out on their own label Pillow Fight Records, with a CD release show at Carabar on March 1 with Dayton band Moon High and locals The Lindsay.
That's a pretty damn good show.
So I decided to get in touch with the members now, before the flood.
Lead guitarist Cassie Lewis was nice enough to help out:
PEOPLE WITH ANIMAL HEADS: I noticed you have a CD coming out in March. Could you tell me about that, in terms of who you recorded with, some themes the songs touch on, and any cover art?
CASSIE LEWIS: We began recording with Jon Fintel at Relay Recording at the end of May last year. We just finished mixing and mastering with Mark Himmel at Embed Records Studio and Brian Travis, respectively.
Rosehips was sort of born out of: "Ok, I just graduated college, now what?"
So, these songs carry an underlying theme of growing up. In a broader sense, the songs really just touch on experiences: life, love, and things in between. Lyrically, I have used some fairly personal aspects and experiences of my own life, so my lyrics tend to come out in a vague manner because of this. In this way, I hope for the listeners to be able to relate in a manner that allows them to get something out of the song that is dear to themselves.
PWAH: My site focuses on underground music of the Midwest, so I always ask bands where they grew up and how that may have affected their taste in music or the way they see the world?
CL: I grew up in small town, OH USA. Seriously, like less than 1500 people small. This was pre-internet, so I had the radio and my dad's kick-ass record collection. Fortunately, I was able to acquire at least some basic good tastes in music, specifically rock. This may sound cliche, but I am thankful to this day that Nirvana's "Nevermind" made it into the mainstream, as it was then that I picked up a guitar. When I moved away to college, underground and independent music became much more accessible to me and i delved into anything i could find.
I think a creative type that grows up in the middle of nowhere with a sort of homogenous group of people develops a hunger for the world: to see and experience it all. That's what it did for me anyway, and I tend to relate these things musically.
PWAH: How do you think the rest of the country perceives the Midwest music scene?
CL: Hopefully people at least know that there is one by now, and one that is good and diverse. Midwestern acts are emerging on larger independent labels. Columbus Discount has another showcase at SXSW this year, I think that is definitely saying something as well. Also it seems like every time you turn around lately, there is a new blurb about a midwestern band somewhere, like the recent "Spin" that had the Black Swans, Times New Viking, and Psychedelic Horseshit all in one issue.
PWAH: What are some bands signed/unsigned that you think people should know about that are from the Midwest?
CL: Church of the Red Museum, The Lindsay, Brainbow, The Slide Machine, Mors Ontologica, Moon High, Muscle Puzzle, Bird and Flower. Almost anything on Columbus Discount. Hotchacha from Cleveland. The Makebelieves from Athens. The Jellyhearts from Cinci/Columbus.
PWAH: How do you see your band fitting into the current Columbus music scene?
CL: As far as I know we are the only working all-girl band at this point in time. Putting the whole "girls playing in bands is hot" aside, I think it is important for there to be good female musicians in any music scene. Sadly, it seems there still exists a stigma about females and musical ability. In Columbus, I think we do a good job of laying that stigma to rest.
PWAH: I was first struck that you had a line up change. How did that come about and did it set you back in terms of making your upcoming CD?
CL: Well, our original drummer began traveling back and forth to Texas. We got a resident boy as a fill-in as we knew she would be gone the whole summer of '07. We laid basic rhythm tracks for the record before she left. When it became apparent that she wasn't sure when she would be coming back to Columbus, we all decided it was best for the band to get a new permanent drummer. We've also brought the new drummer in on the mixing, mastering, and decision-making to complete the record. It was a bit of a hard time for the band and everyone involved, but I would like to think we've emerged with no hard feelings, a strong line-up, and a strong record.