!!!US HARD 'N HEAVY!!!
We had a conversation with Annie (Vocals/Guitars). Enjoy!
Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.
1. Tell us a few things about ROPE (Members, Starting Year etc).
Right now Rope is myself (Annie), Margot (drums) and Max (lead and rhythm guitars). I'm the singer/songwriter/lead guitar/bass player. Planning to throw off a few of those roles for myself pretty soon. I am only one woman! Max and I have been tossing around my ideas for a few years, but we got Margot in summer 2019 and it's been moving forward pretty quick since then.
Max has been playing in PNW bands forever (check out ELKS BLOOD!), mostly 80s thrash style. Margot has played in a ton too, more death metal style (check out TERRA MORTA!). Sothey are both coming from a more death metal background whereas I am more of a classic rock/early heavy metal player. I've mostly played other people's music in rock bands in the past, so it's a new role for me as songwriter and showing more of my own guitar style.It makes for an interesting mix, I don't try to point the band in any narrow direction, everyone brings their strong suits to the table so I think it gives an interesting result. I love old, evil metal and I think the place for that needed to be filled a bit, so that is the goal.
2. You have recently released your demo ''Rope I''. What is the Feedback from your audience as well as from the Press?
It's our first demo and I've been very happy with the reaction so far! Being a new band is a great spot because people can like or not like as they please, but we aren't disappointing previous supporters. I have gotten very positive feedback and lots of asks for shows/etc. I'd like to keep increasing the visibility as much as I can, especially outside of Seattle. Kind of surprised (and stoked obviously) at how many people are listening to it!
3. Label or DIY and why?
Whatever gives us the most freedom to keep recording and making better recordings is the path we will follow. We just wrapped on Rope II and I'm so excited to get the final mixes out soon. We recorded it in Portland, OR with my crazy talented friend Ben Wills
( https://artifactindustries.com/ hit him up for recording/mixing/mastering wizardry) and I think it's a big step forward.
There's so much freedom to do things independently these days. The song Blackout on our demo was recorded by myself, in my garage!4. Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
I will always prefer vinyl, the whole ritual of digging through bins, finding something that you've been coveting - or hell, just looks cool, and then taking it home to see what you got. It's really how I learned about music as a kid, so they all have a sentimental value. I could probably tell you why and when I bought every record I own. I have spent a lot of time with my record collection! For new music, I buy a lot of CDs, I like to buy directly from bands and usually you get a digital format too. Since I listen to so many European bands, shipping is just way cheaper for CDs and I can listen to them in my car. But I'm horrible about treating them as disposable, albums I really love I have certainly bought at least 2-3 times in my life. And I'll probably lose them and buy them again a couple times. So it goes - vinyls tend to last me a bit longer. Digital format is great for convenience. I had a GREAT tape collection back in the day, but it got stolen along with my car having the tape player console and I just never fired that back up. I have no snobbery about x, y, z format. I just love music, so whatever the situation demands!
5. Your music style is Hard 'n Heavy Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
Lyrically, my absolute favorite is early Savatage (Sirens). So demented and totally unhinged. You will not hear something similar to that. Phil Moog is also so good at saying something nasty but indirectly; I love the whole UFO catalog start to finish. As far as songwriting, we are not trying to reinvent the wheel. I love the pop sensibility of Ozzy solo songs or Danzig. I just try to make my songs catchy. I could listen to the Quartz "Against all Odds" album a hundred times in a row and still be singing along. I want to make something that good! As a guitar player, I try to be flexible and able to play different styles, but I have probably spent the most time learning Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, and Dissection riffs, so that influence is probably embedded in my riffs. But another day you might find me singing and playing Graham Nash or George Harrison songs - I'm all over the place. A good song is a good song. Max says his main influences are Alice Cooper and Megadeth. As a guitar player he sure knows a lot of Death and Slayer riffs. Margot's favorite drummers are Sean Reinert from Cynic and Gene Hoglan from Death. She also loves Dissection and Tribulation. If I'm driving late at night I might be listening to Tribulation as well (The Formulas of Death is one of my favorites for that). I'm forcing 80s hair metal on her and I will prevail in that. How can you not love it?!
6. Which things, do you think, a Band should sacrifice in order to succeed? Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future of your Band?
It depends what you peg success on and what you have to do to get there! Personally, I haven't sacrificed too much - just some friendships, burned bridges and a bit of my sanity. In seriousness, it's just a time commitment at this point. It takes a lot of time and energy to write the music and lyrics and try to explain my ideas to other people in the band while trying to grow as a musician myself. I've had some bad experiences in the past, but I'm lucky now to be playing with people who are supportive, intuitive and can improve the songs with their contributions. I wouldn't do it if it weren't fun, and I wouldn't encourage anyone else to do that either. I play music because it's my life, I love it to death.
7. Describe your ideal live show as a performance Band. Have you already experienced that?
Our first live show is April 11, 2020! Super excited for that. I have never performed as a vocalist before, so that will be a trip. Honestly, I have endured so much Sturm und Drang just trying to put together this band, playing this show with old friends seems pretty good to me. In general for a live performance, just expect everything to go wrong and take it from there! I usually have fun playing out no matter what. If I've got Margot behind me, really I don't worry too much. That IS the ideal situation!
8. Which attributes, do you think, that a new Heavy Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
I love the theatricality of old heavy metal, so definitely bring some of that to the table visually. To make interesting music in such a saturated landscape I think you have to try to find your own voice in your instrument. I know it sounds trite, but so many bands sound exactly the same!
9. Do you believe that Bandcamp and other Digital Platforms help the new Heavy Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a Band to promote its work?
Bandcamp is great because it's more of a level field, anyone can put anything out there and try to find an audience. I definitely think it helps for exposure, and makes it easy to connect with your supporters. I do think most heavy metal fans DO actually still buy records, CDs, merchandise, whatever. So I don't think there is any inherent danger in allowing free digital access to music. People that were going to buy in the first place are still going to buy, but you just ease access to listening/sharing your music. The best way to promote your band is to play concerts and face to face with people! We're going to do that as much as we can in 2020. So hit us up if you want us!
10. Tell us a few things about the New Underground Metal Scene in Seattle, Washington USA (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
Ahhh, Seattle is changing a lot due to the huge influx of money. We have always had a lot of creative people, musicians and artists, but people are getting squeezed by the cost of living going up. We have fewer venues than in the past, but there are some rad places here for metal shows. I personally love to play at the Kraken because it's a house party atmosphere and the staff are super nice. The Substation is a newer club that is booking more metal shows and has a great sound system. I saw Sanhedrin just kill it in there last year. Right now it seems like nearby Olympia is kinda killing us with better metal (and rock) bands! Check out Quayde Lahue!
11. Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
Margot and I play in a black metal band, Blood Atonement, we are opening for Rotting Christ next month at El Corazon in Seattle! !!!
And if you're not talking exclusively about black metal, Mental Powers "Fantasy" comes veryyyyyy close to being something I would really love. I've heard Greek metal fans are really fanatical. I am trying to make my way to Albania and Greece in 2020 just for personal curiosity. So I will learn more!
12. What are your future plans?
We have a lot of songs written, we will keep recording and hopefully kick up the quality every time. We would love to do a full length in 2020 and hope to get out and play some shows!
13. Thank you very much for your time & Keep up the good work! The closure is yours.
Cheers to you dude, thanks for the interview! Hope to cross paths someday!
By Steve the Filthy Dog.