Interview with Andalusia Rose: ‘Getting Close and Personal with Our Audience’

It has been a little while since I published any rock interviews on my blog, so it is time to present you another tall talent. Today this is a new American band called Andalusia Rose, and the tall connection is their bass player Jeff Klukowski, 6’2”. You can hear them on Youtube here: raw and emotional rock music in the traditions of classical rock and rhythm-and-blues.

How their describe themselves

“Dirty sweet haunting crimson blues, written by saints, played by sinners. We are all one, roses and thorns”.

How nice! They are being compared to Nick Cave and Patti Smith and have just recently toured the Southwest part on the States.

Their influences

Ike and Tina Turner, Aerosmith, Patsy Cline, Cramps, Gun Club, 13th Floor Elevators,Nazareth, Bessie Smith, Black Crowes, Stones, Howlin’ Wolf, Big Brother and the Holding Co, Small Faces, Humble Pie, Simon Stokes, late nights, starry skies, love and heartache, chocolate and cheese, flowers and weeds.

So, here they are on my blog in between concerts.

– Who are Andalusia Rose? As you are a new band, can you introduce yourselves to those who haven’t heard about you?
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J:  Andalusia Rose are Wendy Gadzuk on Guitar and lead vocals, myself (‘Jeff Vengeance’) on bass guitar, baritone guitar, guitar percussion and vox, and finally Paul Jarvis Hopkins on drums and vox.

W: We have all played in various bands over the years… I played in the 440s (from Philly/Tucson) and Suckerstar (LA); Jeff played with the Flesheaters; Paul played with Skinlab, who is currently doing a short US reunion tour. We all come from slightly different backgrounds musically, but have a common ground rooted in rock and roll that brings us together.
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– You are ready to take on the world. Are you ready to give up your privacy and become famous?

J: We have all been at this for 20+ years individually, so there is a realistic approach in that we try to maintain a balance between our private lives and staying busy with the nurturing and growth of the band. It gets what you put into it. Fame doesn’t factor into it, at least not for me, and I don’t think it does for the others, but I’ll let them answer that for themselves.

W: Well, with social media I don’t think one needs to become famous to give up their privacy! It’s a choice we all make on a daily basis… how much of myself will I expose today? Of course I would enjoy some recognition for what I do. In the past I may have had more of an inclination towards wanting fame, but for me today what I really want is to reach people with my music. To make that connection. I feel there is a level of stripping away boundaries and becoming vulnerable within the art form that is necessary to make that connection, so yes, in that sense I am ready to give up my privacy. Cloaked in a soft veil of mystery, though. But no, I am not ready to start the Andalusia Rose reality show or anything like that.

– Most bands prefer to issue an album and then promote it by touring and doing gigs. What you have done is issue an EP and tour the US intensively. Does this help you develop the material for your upcoming album? Or do you play simply for enjoyment?

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J:  We have only really done two short tours, one in the Southwest (LA/Tucson/Phoenix/Vegas) and more recently the Northwest (Portland/Olympia/Seattle) –  twice. These were more to cut our teeth in that environment, see how we function with travel, etc. Also to plant the seed for future longer trips. We live in an area that has a lot of options to put together short ‘jaunts’, four days a week at a time, and it doesn’t wear you out and you can also stay spread out enough to not saturate one area.

The EP is taking a while longer to get done, as we are waiting on final artwork. Unfortunately, vinyl will take even longer, as the process to get masters done takes longer. There should be a CD release much sooner though!

The reality is that we do play just because we really enjoy playing with each other and the material comes from life experiences of which we collectively have many!

W: We love to play, of course! We are hoping to get out there more and play to as many people as we can. That’s what this is all about, really. Material comes when it comes. As Jeff said, life experience is where the songs come from, whether it’s on the road, at work, sitting at home drinking tea and thinking about past relationships, or really homing in on a particular feeling or emotion and trying to paint some kind of picture with sound that reflects that.
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– You say that your live music represents the band more accurately. What is it that you like about playing live?

J: Always connecting with people and meeting other bands we would never otherwise come across. Playing live also puts us and our chemistry to the test, we really listen to the crowd reactions on the recordings of our shows. I record all of our shows.

W: There is nothing like playing live. I feel like we are really starting to gel as a band, and that is something that can only happen through playing many shows in different environments and working off of the energy of one another and the crowd. I really like connecting with people through music… The best feeling in the world is when somebody tells me that our music really meant something to them…spoke to them in some sort of meaningful way.

– How do you interact with your audience? Do you learn from them at all?

J: We jump out on the floor and get up close and personal with our audience when we can. Sometimes feedback from people afterwards is good to hear. We have a lot of musician fans that can be pretty critical.

W: It all depends on the night. When it is a smaller venue, I really like looking at certain people in the eye while I’m singing… pretending I’m singing to them personally. It can be a fun game, at times. Paul, being the drummer that people don’t see as much, will sometimes go up to people after we play, pretend he’s not in the band and ask them what they thought. He loves constructive criticism. It’s a pretty bold move that probably only he could get away with!

– Do you want to tell us more about your debut album?

J:  As I mentioned above, we are in the finishing stages of this release ‘First Stone’ and hope to have a CD out sooner than later, and vinyl a bit later. I’ll let Wendy speak on the making of the album a bit.

W: We have one EP out, a self-titled release that I actually recorded before the band was together. We have since really taken those songs and made them our own. ‘First Stone’ is the first release with this line-up. We are all really excited about having something that reflects who we are right now as a band. It’s a bit more raw, and we have included a couple sound collages by Jeff to add some depth and texture to the release. It will be out around the end of 2014, or early 2015 at the latest. We will be releasing a single from the EP before the album drops, with a video, so stay tuned!

And visit us here to stay up to date:

www.andalusiarose.com

Their official website

Their official Facebook page

Official Twitter

Youtube playlist

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