Richey Rose is a Los Angeles-based musician, producer, and songwriter. Originally from Lexington, KY, spent the past decade in NYC/Nashville/Toronto, before moving to LA. Most recently played guitar/bass for many artists like High Waisted (Lean-To Records), Wendy James (Transvision Vamp) alongside Jim Sclavunos (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds), Tamaryn (Mexican Summer Records), Jennie Vee (Courtney Love, Eagles Of Death Metal) and performed in support acts for artists such as Echo & the Bunnymen, Manic Street Preachers, The Darkness, Le Butcherettes. As a producer, he also worked in the studio and produced tracks alongside Tad Kubler (The Hold Steady), Arun Bali (Saves The Day), Neil Codling (Suede), Paul Wilson (Snow Patrol), Twist (Buzz Records), Mevius. At the end of August, he released his album “LAX”, Inspired by Richey’s recent west coast relocation. And that’s how the album is born: he started doing a daily guitar improv exercise; making a beat in the morning and then adding instrumental parts during the rest of the day. Those sessions became these songs…
YMX: Can you tell us about yourself as an artist? Where are you now, how you started, and what are your goals.
RICHEY ROSE: I’m a Los Angeles-based musician, producer, and songwriter. Originally from Lexington, KY, spent the past decade in NYC/Nashville/Toronto… now in LA. Most recently played guitar/bass for High Waisted (Lean-To Records), Wendy James (Transvision Vamp) alongside Jim Sclavunos (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds), Tamaryn (Mexican Summer Records), Jennie Vee (Courtney Love, Eagles Of Death Metal) and performed in support acts for artists such as Echo & the Bunnymen, Manic Street Preachers, The Darkness, Le Butcherettes, and more. Worked in studio/produced tracks alongside Tad Kubler (The Hold Steady), Arun Bali (Saves The Day), Neil Codling (Suede), Paul Wilson (Snow Patrol), Twist (Buzz Records), Mevius, and more. In 2015 had the original song ‘Wicked’ (co-written with Jennie Vee) remixed & mastered by Chris Lord-Alge. Currently writer, producer, and instrumentalist @ Songs for Sabotage.
YMX: Some of our readers might not be familiar with you yet, how would you describe your sound?
RICHEY ROSE: “Heavily 80’s alternative influenced”… clean guitar tones a la The Cure and New Order juxtaposed with analog drum machines and synths. Peppered with influences from modern hip-hop/house production techniques.
YMX: Who have been your biggest influences so far?
RICHEY ROSE: My ex-wives, New York City, bad drug choices, and Depeche Mode.
YMX: You recently released “LAX”. Can you tell us how that project came about?
RICHEY ROSE: I moved across the country (from NYC to LA) a few months ago. COVID of course factored into that decision, but I’d be trying to transition out of NYC for a few years. I wrote a lot of heavy and introspective music while I was there and had been craving some sort of ‘pivot’ from that frame of mind. Once I got settled into the much more relaxed pace of California living, I started doing a daily guitar improv exercise; making a beat in the morning and then adding instrumental parts during the rest of the day…not overthinking or overplaying, just creating a mood and going with it. Those sessions became these songs. I, like many people these days, enjoy instrumental/chillwave/’study beat’ type compositions. LAX is just my own interpretation of those influences. Intended for the WFH crowd – to be enjoyed poolside, during leisurely dinner prep, or when you’re driving into the sun and suddenly hit with the urge to roll the windows down.
YMX: 2020 has been a hard year for everybody, but the music industry and arts in general took a heavy hit. How did you guys cope with that, musically speaking?
RICHEY ROSE: It sucks not being able to play live, but the people in the industry getting hit the hardest AREN’T the artists – they’re the venues, crews, techs, and other ‘behind-the-scene’ individuals – they are the ones who have had to cope the most, and that truly deserve our continued attention and support. To answer the question – personally, I have been just fine… I produce everything in my home studio and am still able to record a full album while in isolation… so if anything 2020 has given me a lot more time to do so. I am obviously very grateful for this.
YMX: Do you consider important working together in a team, or do you prefer working alone?
RICHEY ROSE: I’m very much an introverted control freak, so I much prefer working solo or just with one other person (my other project, Songs for Sabotage, is a duo). I’ve been in bands where there’s equal collaboration attempting to take place; it’s a relationship that requires constant nurturing in all sorts of directions, and is, therefore, more difficult than working alone, in my opinion. However, a team of individuals with the same common passion and goal(s) will always be the most efficient way to achieve success.
YMX: What are you looking for, in terms of promotion? What do you think could be helpful to promote your music around?
RICHEY ROSE: With this album, I’d really just love for it to be people’s go-to when they need interesting instrumental/background music. I think it would be helpful to connect it with younger, ‘inexperienced’ listeners who like bands such as Washed Out, Tycho, or Cut Copy, but aren’t fully aware of 80’s alt, post-punk, or shoegaze. I guess that’s what I’ve attempted to do with LAX – bridge the gap between everything I just mentioned.
YMX: What does playing live represent for you? a way to make yourself known or a way to express yourself?
RICHEY ROSE: It’s both and neither, all at the same time. Hopefully, I can explain what I mean… When I started playing in bands there were no social media, and we couldn’t afford to record ourselves for many years. Playing live was quite literally the only way to a) express ourselves and also b) attempt to make ourselves known. Eventually, we got to make records and go on tour… and the combination of the two was a dream come true; but nowadays artists don’t necessarily have to do either in order to gain a following (thanks, streaming services, and social media). The ones that adhere to the old school mentality of “make a physical product, drive around in a van for 6 weeks to hopefully sell physical product” are still going to be able to do that, but unless you’re someone like Tame Impala, it is almost always a financially draining method and therefore has become a niche. If you love touring then it could very well be worth it on an “express me” level. If you can find a way to gain fans from it, then it could very well be worth it on a “make me known” level. But again… for better or worse this protocol has all but become obsolete as of March 2020.
YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future?
RICHEY ROSE: In addition to LAX, I just put out an album with my project Songs for Sabotage, called Night of Joy. We’re also playing a live stream on Tuesday, November 3rd as part of the #iVoted Festival. Personally, I’m always writing, recording, creating… and I plan on doing that essentially forever, as it’s very grounding for me. Otherwise, I’ve started a mastering apprenticeship here in LA and am going to concentrate more on working in the TV/film/commercial avenues of the industry.