Fred Perry Subculture caught up with experimental math-metallers Rolo Tomassi for a brief Q and A, having freshly completed the final leg of their 2012 UK tour (dressed as The Adams Family for their London set on 31st Oct) and about to embark on a number of European dates. James Tomassi's answers are below.
The new album 'Astraea' is out now – what can we expect to hear from this album?
It's a more direct and cohesive version of ourselves. We haven't lost any of the intensity in our sound but it feels like there's a lot more direction in the music. The extremes in dynamics are much more marked and have allowed us to explore the melodic side of our music more which has a greater impact when put against the heavier side of what we do.
You guys replaced two band members a few months back. How much has this changed the direction the band is going in?
Nathan and Chris joining has had a hugely positive effect on the band. They both come from great musical backgrounds and are fantastic players so their addition to the band has been welcomed by Eva, Ed and myself. With them joining with changed the way we write music so the output is slightly different without straying from what we do.
Tell us about what the latest tour has been like? How many headline tours have you done before, and have you got any good stories about adventures you've had along the way?
We've had a fantastic time. As I write this, we've just finished our UK headline dates and are in Amsterdam at the beginning of our run of European shows. I've lost count of the amount of headline tours we've done but this recent one is certainly up their with my favourites. In terms of stories, last night we dressed up as The Addams Family for our Halloween show in London which is definitely out of the ordinary and was a lot of fun!
If you could have anyone, dead of alive, cover one of your songs, who would you most like to do it?
I'd like to hear what Dave Longstreth from Dirty Projectors could do. He did a cover album of Black Flag songs allegedly from memory which was interesting and he's an incredibly innovative musician so it would be cool to see what he could do.
ROLO TOMASSI'S third studio album – ‘Astraea’ is out now. It is released by Destination Moon Records - the band's own label that has already released records by bands including Holland and Kappa Gamma as well as last year's Eternal Youth ROLO TOMASSI anthology album.
‘Astrea’ is the band's first album since Nathan Fairweather and Chris Cayford joined the band at the end of last year, and was recorded by Jason Sanderson. Jason was the man behind the band's debut album ‘Hysterics’, and has worked with a host of other bands including 65 Days of Static and Brontide. ‘Astraea’ will hopefully cement Rolo Tomassi's place as one of the most exciting and expansive bands in the British rock community.
The album includes some of the most direct, heaviest tracks the band has ever written including album opener Howl and Echopraxia, which sees the band at their most technical, as well as a number of songs that showcases the band's melodic progressive side including Illuminare, which highlights the lighter beauty of Eva Spence's vocals. The band will also release Ex Luna Scientia ahead of the album.
"At the first practice with Chris and Nathan, we demoed ideas for what would make a few of the songs that ended up on the album. It was a worry that it would take time to bed the new members in but the chemistry between us with writing was unbelievable. This album is exactly the direction I wanted to push the band in post-Cosmology and
I don't think we could have done it without Chris and Nathan," said James Spence, Rolo Tomassi keyboardist and vocalist.
Lead singer Eva Spence said: "I've never felt this focused and involved with my input into a release as I have with this one. I've had more direct and certain ideas with the way that the vocals fit in each song and the melodies I've worked with, and the lyrics are more centered around one theme."
"A lot has changed for me in this time, I felt like I'd made a big transition. In this time there had been a lot of ups and downs and big changes in all aspects of my life. I finished writing the lyrics to this album in the most positive state of mind I've ever been in. The themes I've written about are centered around light, positivity and growth through situations which seem far from hopeful," she added.
Tracklisting for ‘Astraea’:
02. Ex Luna Scientia
03. The Scales of Balance
06. Prelude II (Echolalia)