Back in February we were thrilled to report that Whitney Rose, a favourite of many of us on team Belles and Gals , was releasing her next studio album We Still Go To Rodeos” on 24th April. (https://www.bellesandgals.com/2020/02/09/new-music-from-whitney-rose/) and while the tour schedule we mentioned in that article has of course sadly been subject to certain cancellations, it’s great to hear that Whitney is proceeding with the album release as planned and is available to pre-order now via whitneyrosemusic.com
We were fortunate enough to get to ask Whitney a bit more about her new music recently in this exclusive interview… hope you enjoy what she had to tell us!
1.LH My first question to any artist when it comes to email interviews is “Where are you as you are replying to my questions?”. I like to set the scene and paint a picture like any great country song does, so can we start with that one please?
WR I’m at home in Austin beginning Day 18 of quarantine. I’m just doing my best to keep positive and stay productive in this very strange time. I’ve been reading a lot, listening to music, exercising and – as much slack as Gwyneth Paltrow got for suggesting it – upping my French game, ha ha!
2.LH I’d like to dive straight away by finding out a bit more about your forthcoming album which I mentioned in the introduction. How do you approach a new project… do you always write new songs specifically, or do you also look through your back catalogue to see if there’s any to include that will be a good fit?
WR I always keep a master list of unrecorded tunes I’ve written so that’s where I start when I’m beginning a new recording project. It’s always different, but this record is mostly made up of tunes I wrote last year.
3. LH A change of producer this time round… has that brought fresh ideas to things? I’ve heard you mention you don’t like to make the same album over and over again…
WR I’ve never had a negative studio experience and for that I feel very grateful. Paul Kolderie was incredible to work with, and I loved hearing his stories about working with so many incredible artists. There were some good ones!
4. LH It’s being released via your own artist/management company I notice. What more can you tell me about what sounds like an exciting venture for you?
WR The music industry is changing, it’s impossible to deny. I’d never released a record not on a label and I had an opportunity to do it so decided to take a stab. It’s definitely been a different venture, but a very educational one. I’ve learned a lot more about the process of releasing a record and whether or not I continue to release on MCG, I’ll take the knowledge with me. It certainly is comforting to know that I own 100% of the rights to this music.
5.LH What doesn’t seem to change is that you are a solo writer, which seems to be quite a rarity these days …..is there a reason you don’t chose to cowrite?
WR I just prefer it! I’m definitely interested in co-writing and have taken a few stabs at it but I haven’t recorded any of those tunes. It’s an entirely different skill, I think, and one that I’d like to improve upon.
6. LH Several have been made available so far, including the fabulous lead single ” Believe Me Angela”, which I gather started off as a revenge song ended up as a great story of female solidarity revenge song. How did that 360 happen?
WR That tune started out as a cheatin’, revenge song but changed course when I wasn’t feeling the anger. When I switched the overall sentiment to one of solidarity with the two female characters, it came to me so quickly.
7. LH Are there any tracks you are particularly excited for us to hear on release day that you can tell me a bit more about?
WR I dig “You’d Blame Me For the Rain” and “Don’t Give Up On Me” but my favorites are never “fan favorites”, ha!
8.LH I’m thrilled to see the album is being issued on vinyl ….for me, nothing beats watching that needle drop and I also love all the artwork and liner notes of a 33. What is your preferred way of listening to music these days?
WR Vinyl all the way! Apart from the “romance” of it all- which will never get old- it just sounds the best.
9. LH I’ve heard you tell of your love for artists such as Tammy, Dolly, The Ronettes and Judy Garland and I can hear their influences in your music to a greater or lesser degree, but as far as contemporary artists go ( female in particular!) who’s grabbing your attention at the moment?
WR Jaime Wyatt, Nikki Lane, Margo Price, Brennen Leigh, Lindi Ortega, Charley Crockett, Jesse Daniel, Kathryn Legendre, The Highwomen, Bonnie Montgomery, Mike and the Moonpies, Tami Neilson, Croy and the Boys… I’ll think of a dozen more after I press send on this email! There’s so much good stuff happening in music right now… even if it is “underground”.
10. LH You are a mainstay of the Austin music scene these days which includes ( in happier times!) regular shows at the city’s iconic Continental Club. What do you find so special about playing there?
WR It’s very much home. I moved here in 2015 for what was supposed to be two months and here I am today. Apart from the obvious history of the club, it’s just as much about everyone who works there, for me. We’re all friends and as I often tell our audience during our weekly show: it takes a village to put on a show.
11. LH Looking at your busy tour schedule, I see you are hoping to be over in mainland Europe in both July and September… can I be cautiously optimistic that some UK dates might be added on either/both of these trips if they go ahead?
WR This is very much up in the air now, for obvious reasons. The plan was originally to do Scandinavia for a couple of weeks of festivals in July then a month long tour of all of Europe in September (UK included). It’s too early to say how much of this will come to fruition but I can tell you that I love touring overseas and will do so again as soon as it’s safe for everyone. For now, all I can offer is love and good vibes to everyone.
LH And we send the same back to you and yous over there, Whitney!
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions… maybe the next interview will be conducted in French!
We Still Go To Rodeos Track Listing
1. Just Circumstance
2. Home With You
3. Believe Me, Angela
4. In A Rut
5. A Hundred Shades Of Blue
6. I’d Rather Be Alone
7. You’d Blame Me For The Rain
8. Through The Cracks
9. Don’t Give Up On Me
10. Better Man
11. Thanks For Trying
12. We Still Go To Rodeos
Interview conducted by Lesley Hastings (twitter.com/lesleyhastings)