RENDEZVOUS: A Quick Catch Up With City Rose
“I know that when we perform there’s undeniably something we’re ridding from ourselves, and leaving on stage or in the room. I hope that for those watching and listening, it is the opposite.”
Sydney four-piece City Rose recently released their brilliant new single ‘777’, a track that spans almost nine-minutes in length, boldly manoeuvring between various jarring, rhythmic soundscapes and intense vocals. It’s a beautiful dark mystery that we wanted to know more about. So, we caught up with bass player Pat McCarthy, fresh off the back of their Sydney support slots with fellow punks, IDLES.
As always, please press play below to enrich your reading experience.
Alright, first things first. You recently supported IDLES (who are undeniably one of the most exciting bands in the world right now). How did that come about? How was the show?
My imagination more often than not gets the best of me. I emailed their manager Mark, with no realistic expectations whatsoever. It just so happened that he really liked our music, eventually we were emailing back and forth as he wanted to know more about us. If it weren’t for Mark, we wouldn’t have gotten these supports. The amount of likes we had on Facebook was clearly irrelevant, he just liked our music. It was relieving to meet someone in his line of the industry who genuinely cares.
All three shows were beyond anything we’d ever seen. IDLES are notorious for their live performance, but even with the knowledge of that there is nothing that can ever truly prepare you for it. The performance aside, they’re lovely people and they’re doing something important. They set a great standard for men inside the music industry and outside of it.
Can you tell us a bit about how City Rose came to be?
Andrew and I met at a Halloween party in 2016, we became quite enamoured with each other very quickly. We were up until the early hours of the morning talking about everything, but mostly we spoke about music. I think we both walked away from that night knowing we’d make music together. It only took a few months for us to get something together, Andrew introduced me to Hunter and I brought along Lucy from a band I’d quit months prior. Andrew and I had both wanted to make music, we’d been living on different sides of the same city for several years with similar ideas. It took us a long time to find each other.
You just released your brilliant new single ‘777’. I’ve always felt like there’s something so magical about songs above the seven-minute mark. How do you decide the length of a song? How does making a long sing differ to making a shorter one?
That is a good question, as it seems the length of songs are usually governed by how long people can pay attention, three minutes is the general standard for radio I think. I’m not sure if this is any real answer to your question, but when you visualise something in your head for so long, the structure, and with it the duration, becomes quite permanent. Quite often we end up with something not so radio friendly. 777 is for those who are paying attention past the three-minute mark.
What’s the City Rose creative process like? Who writes the songs?
I’d say most of the bone structure of our music is written by myself. Hunter, Andrew and Lucy give flesh to what is only a stubborn outline in my head for sometimes weeks on end. Once Andrew, Hunter and Lucy add themselves to it, it becomes something else entirely, like giving your ideas to artists much more capable of translating them than you are.
Your EP is set for release in the coming months. Can you tell us a bit about the recording process for that?
We’ve had the pleasure of working with Tim Bandit Powles, and he is like no other. We recorded the EP’s-worth of songs about a year ago at Tim’s studio over two weekends, we record live as there is a lot of push and pull in our music and recording to a click track has always made the music feel robotic when we’ve attempted it in the past. We aren’t sure when the EP will be released, or if there will even be an EP. What we do know is that the songs will see the light of day soon, and we are very much looking forward to moving on to our next piece of work. We have a lot of songs to get out.
Your music is quite dark at times. Would you say that creating music is a means of therapy for you?
I’d say it absolutely is, but you’re rarely conscious of it at the time. I’d say It’s more out of necessity, out of the awareness you’d likely pull your own teeth out if you didn’t.
What do you want people to feel when they walk away from a City Rose gig?
I know that when we perform there’s undeniably something we’re ridding from ourselves, and leaving on stage or in the room. I hope that for those watching and listening it is the opposite. I’d also like them to feel comfortable coming up and talking to us. We are very easy to talk to.
Who are some local acts that you’re loving at the moment?
Our friends Cold / Heat are always the first that come to mind when I get asked that question. HOTEL, Behind You, Shady Nasty, Party Dozen, Repo Man, I’m sure there are more but I’ll remember when it’s too late.
Finally, you obviously have an ear for music. How do you go on the dance floor?
We’re all horrible dancers. Except for me, I’m an incredible dancer.
City Rose head to Melbourne this month:
Tuesday 19th February - The Retreat Hotel - Brunswick (w/ Rays + Cold/Heat + Disco Junk)
Wednesday 20th February - Old Bar - Fitzroy (w/ Cold/Heat)
Friday 22nd February - Grace Darling Hotel - Fitzroy (w/ Eyesores)