ROSEN BRIDGE (from l-r): Marcus Williams (guitar), Eddie Edwards (guitar), Antony Jones (vocals), Rowan Jack (drums), William Roberts (bass)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Since the release of their debut EP ‘Entropy’ two years ago, Welsh metal five-piece Rosen Bridge have seen both their reputation and fan base grow on a monumental scale, and it currently looks like the next couple of months will only see that expand further, with the band embarking on a UK tour later this month, and the release of eagerly-awaited follow-up ‘Dreamcatcher’, which is also being streamed in full by Metal Hammer.
I chatted recently to the quintet, at what is in no doubt an exciting time for them.
How did the band get together initially?
MARCUS WILLIAMS (guitar): A few of us had all been playing in other bands since we were young and over the years, we all met at parties and became great friends, but then, we wondered why we were not all in a band together and the rest is history, really.
EDDIE EDWARDS (guitar): As Marcus just said, we were all friends first and I couldn’t believe it took us so long to realise we should be playing in a band together!
Where did the name Rosen Bridge come from?
MARCUS: We underwent a few names before finally deciding on Rosen Bridge. We didn’t really want a super metal name. In our downtime, we always watch a lot of documentaries, mainly about the universe and space and it just felt right to us. It derives from “Einstein-Rosen Bridge”; which is another term for wormhole, a theoretical idea proposed by physicists Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen.
EDDIE: I think it’s a pretty unique name in a way, compared to other metal band names, that’s for sure.
In your own words, how would you describe your sound?
MARCUS: Melodic, catchy, somewhat technical at times, and groovy.
What are the band’s musical influences?
EDDIE: It’s really hard not to just reel off a massive list of obvious influences. A big thing for us when we sit down and write, is to just write without an aim to sound like anybody else. Our influences tend to just come through in our music naturally, anyway.
MARCUS: We all listen to a lot of music that’s not necessarily metal. We’re all pretty open minded, but when we’re together, the main thing we listen to is that kind of stuff, as it’s obviously what kind of unites us. Though, it does vary from stuff like Bjork, Paramore, SikTh & Architects.
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
MARCUS: Our songwriting is the accumulation of what we love about music, from the note selection to the vocal hooks and drum grooves. It’s what we want to hear out of our music. The riffs and compositions vary on how we feel, be it melodic or heavy. We put a lot of ourselves into our songs, and I think it shows. We sometimes do start writing on a computer, in a programme like Guitar Pro or Cubase. Though we all have bits and pieces of songs in different formats, like videos/voice clips and in our memory! The challenge is to get all these parts together into a coherent song.
EDDIE: We’ve been used to all living a fair distance from each other for years (at least two hours’ drive), so we’ve got used to writing and recording songs on the computer. However, we tend to get our best material down when we’re in a room together and really feeling the moment. It’s hard to not be really self-critical when you write alone, so it’s much more likely an idea will stick if we’re all in a room together and being constructive.
Your sophomore EP ‘Dreamcatcher’ will be released on May 12. How has it been recording it?
MARCUS: It’s been amazing. We got to record it at a very reputable studio (Outhouse in Reading) that we were all at one time or another were hoping we would get to record at. I’m really happy and proud of what we have made and the way it has turned out. There’s no better feeling than hearing everything come together in the studio and making music with your best friends.
EDDIE: The experience of recording was easily one of the best times of my life. We were staying in a campervan in Oxford together and commuting to the studio during the day. We had loads of fun just playing stupid games in the car on the way. We played loads of frisbee, and went to a festival too. Making the record was an awesome experience, as we just didn’t have any real preconceptions of how it was going to turn out, and it just turned out so much better than we thought.
How will your forthcoming release be different to your debut?
MARCUS: I think we have all grown in a lot of ways since then as people and as musicians and we will continue to grow as we go forward, and I’m really looking forward to that.
EDDIE: It’s vastly different in a lot of ways, I think we’ve definitely honed in our sound. Listening to the records together though, it’s still quite similar. I can’t make up my mind to be honest, but it definitely sounds like “us”.
How, for the band, is the experience of playing live and touring?
MARCUS: We love to play live and love interacting with the crowd. It’s the one place where we all feel confident, I think. There’s honestly nothing I’d rather be doing than travelling around the UK in a van with my best friends playing shows every night, apart from travelling the world doing the same.
EDDIE: Touring is just a different world of living, and some people aren’t really into that. I could understand that, if I wasn’t with my best mates. However, playing live is just always so worth it. It always just means so much when people are singing the words back at you. The lead-up during the day to playing and afterwards is just a big emotional event. It really is amazing.
What is your long-term aim?
MARCUS: Just to be able to keep on the road playing live and to always be progressing musically and as people.
EDDIE: Exactly that. We want to keep on the road, with a hope that people are taking something positive from our music and our performance. We want to be always pushing ourselves and the band to be the best it can possibly be. This is something we’re always going to be doing. It’s who we are.
‘DREAMCATCHER’, THE SECOND EP FROM ROSEN BRIDGE, WILL BE RELEASED ON MAY 12.
ROSEN BRIDGE ARE ALSO GOING ON A UK TOUR LATER IN MAY, BEGINNING IN MANCHESTER ON THE 18TH AND CONCLUDING IN BANGOR ON THE 30TH.