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Q&A with music composer and singer Alex De Rose

St. Petersburg, Russia-based musical composer, guitarist, and singer Alex De Rose composes every note, sound effect, and drumbeat in his home recording studio with feverish passion in complete isolation. Alex comes alive after midnight and often layers his melodies with perfectionistic zeal until dawn breaks through his windows and he collapses into sleep.

He loses track of time as he squeezes richer emotional intonations out of each second of his songs. He’s a tireless artist who doesn’t stop until he feels like each moment of his work conveys the rich emotions and passions that stir inside his consciousness.

See our exclusive interview with the singer below

How has your musical background helped shaped your sound?

There is a ponderous, humming, a vibration that permeates the air of St. Petersburg. It gets into me and it makes me search for ways to capture and express it to the world. I am very much a product of my environment and my music tends to capture this mysterious quality that this city has for me. My sound reflects the frenetic confusion of the port, the distracting traffic in the streets, and the danger of the subway (wherever is dangerous). Sometimes when I am playing I am drawn to rock and roll, pulled into water depths and the blues comes out, then I am excited and I include some rap.  I can’t say that I choose my own genre — the genre chooses me.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

I’ve started working with a lyricist from the Pacific Northwest in the United States named Chris Riseley.  We have so much in common.  It’s weird.  He sends me lyrics and I read them and I use a translator to make sure I understand them completely, and I always end up feeling like I could have written these words, they are so close to what I feel.I take the guitar, at the same time I just try something and read the text, looking for the mood and the general meaning. I catch the rhythm, try different chords and sing the lyrics. I finish this pretty quickly now. Then I do a rough demo and record vocals on it. All this time, I have heaps of ideas from different songs, from some specific styles, I try to take notes about everything. Then when there is a preliminary vocal – I do an arrangement. I try different sounds, instruments, different processing methods, effects. It’s like a journey. I seek and rejoice and do not know where this will lead. And then everything somehow magically develops and I bring it together. For me, it’s all quite mysterious… 

What are or were some of the challenges for you in producing or performing while keeping true to your vision of your music.

When I just start producing a song, I almost immediately hear in my head how the song would sound ready. The song materializes almost completely in my brain.  But it can be difficult to get this sound out of your head and make it real. I search my heart for the right elements and the right sound. There’s a lot of music in my head.  Trying to recreate individual elements. I’m young.  Everything is a learning opportunity for me.  If I need something that sounds like a scream coming out from under a rug — it can take five hours to make that sound exactly right but I find it.

Who are three musicians you think the world needs to hear right now?

I found this band a couple weeks ago – Wild Wild Wets. And I just love it.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

I’m a loner who loves to work until dawn perfecting a mood — but I also love watching the eyes of concert goers go wide when I perform. I like to see shock, surprise, and delight on the faces of the audience.

Any “strange tales” or things that may have happened during a show that seemed too weird to be true?

I play on the streets sometimes. There was this girl who brought a Gecko backstage and she showed me that the Gecko liked to kiss.  I’m not going to kiss a lizard for anyone for any reason. When I play on the streets something strange happens all the time.

Do you find that social media and keeping up with your fans has become overwhelming? Or do you rely heavily on others to take care of that for the band? Which platform would you say that you enjoy engaging with the most?

I’m just starting our so I am interacting with fans personally right now.  It’s usually pretty cool. Even though I like to be alone a lot of the time I always make time in my schedule to thank people who have something nice to say about my music. I am on Instagram mostly.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

Chris has fifteen songs for us and we are going to release them one by one. I will make the sound of each song different. About these songs: it’s the story of how pharmaceutical companies invented a pain killer but then shifted their marketing so that they could create an epidemic of addiction.  Chris watched the pharmaceutical companies kill two of his sisters so he is outraged.  I’m glad he’s five thousand miles away from me.  That guy is pissed.  If I were people selling Oxycontin, I’d be looking over my shoulder.  That’s all I’ll say.

Famous last words?

I’m really new to doing interviews with music media sites.  Can we call this Famous First Words? My famous first words are thank you for writing about Pink Cloud — if you have questions, please hit me up online.  I’ll answer.

Follow Alex De Rose online

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Interview New Music News

Interview with singer Charly Coombes

British singer/ songwriter, musician and filmmaker Charly Coombes has over 10 years experience in the music industry, he was a member of UK blues rockers ’22-20s’, long-time session musician for Supergrass and Gaz Coombes, and worked with many other bands and artists, supporting the likes of Foo Fighters, Kings Of Leon, Stereophonics and The Coral.

See our exclusive interview with Charly Coombes


How has your musical background helped shaped your sound?

We didn’t have many records in the house, growing up. But the select few we did have left a strong imprint – I would play “Sgt. Pepper” and “Thriller” in constant rotation. Those kinds of classic pop records definitely helped to shape me as a songwriter, focusing on strong melodies and a more accessible side to writing. But it was the years spent on the road with bands like 22-20s and Supergrass that would truly help me develop the sound that I wanted to produce.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

I never really follow any particular rules in the writing process. Each song takes you where it wants to go. I do think it’s important to not get stuck in the details. Instead of painstakingly going line by line, chord by chord, just get it down. Then you can go back and start to improve it. It’s so easy to overthink and get lost – sometimes you need to walk down the wrong road to know where the right path was.

What are or were some of the challenges for you in producing or performing while keeping true to your vision of your music.

I think staying true to your vision is a tricky subject for any artist. We all want to let go and really push the boundaries. But at the same time, we secretly want everyone to give it a listen. Finding that balance is an art form in itself. The art of releasing music – not just making it. I remember a year or two back, I was watching the documentary “Chef’s Table”. It dawned on me that the chefs enjoying the most success had abandoned their perception of ‘what people want’ and began to focus on what was right in their heart. I think that’s a good benchmark for any artist.

Who are three musicians you think the world needs to hear right now?

Joe Strummer, George Harrison and Johnny Cash. Frankly, we’re completely lost without those kinds of hearts and minds in modern culture.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

I never much enjoyed being a front-man. My place has always been in the studio. I love creating music, but also I’ve moved heavily into production. It’s there I feel most at home. However playing live is not just an important part of releasing a record, it’s the heartbeat of organic music and should never be ignored. So I’m trying not to ignore it 😉

Any “strange tales” or things that may have happened during a show that seemed too weird to be true?

Ten years on the road will give their fair share of bizarre on-stage events. I think I’ve been lucky to escape the worst of them. But yeah, off the top of my head, I’ve been electrocuted, fallen off stage, fallen on-stage, had the sound turned off mid show, worn surgical gloves, walked out.. and that was just on one tour.

Do you find that social media and keeping up with your fans has become overwhelming? Or do you rely heavily on others to take care of that for the band? Which platform would you say that you enjoy engaging with the most?

I’ll admit, I’m not a fan. Facebook sank its hooks in and we’re all being dragged along. I miss the organic approach, the EPKs, the dodgy shows in A&R hotspots. But I guess until the music industry finds it’s feet, this is the way it is. The upside and downside to social media is that everyone has a voice and we’re all trying to shout over each other. Gets a bit crazy, you know. If I had to choose a platform, it’s Instagram. For now, at least, it’s simple and effective. Photo and caption. Let’s hope they don’t ruin it.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

I love hearing that people are listening to the album on a car journey. That way, you know they’re giving it a good listen from start to finish. To hear that you were the soundtrack to a trip to Wales.. or provided the background music on that bus journey to the South of France – it’s amazing to be part of someone’s memory like that.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

The new album “ALL IN THE END IS HARVEST” will be out in April with new singles and videos on the way as well. It’s going to be a really special release.. but more news on this is coming soon, so stay tuned!

Famous last words?

Time to wake up.

Follow Charly Coombes online

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