Interview With Rose Cora Perry and The Truth Untold
In light of their new music video Rose Cora Perry and The Truth Untold talks to us about the band’s debut EP, the filming of their latest music video for “Easy Prey”, and past shows such as Vans Warped Tour and opening for Smashmouth.
You are set to release The Truth Untold’s debut EP “Other Side of the Story” this year, can you tell us what to expect from the album?
When I formed The Truth Untold in 2016 with my partner-in-crime/drummer Tyler Randall, I was on the brink of releasing my sophomore solo album, “Onto the Floor”. That album had been written several years prior as a solo endeavour and so it reflected a singer/songwriter sensibility, rather than the sound of a “rock band”. Accordingly, when we started touring, there was a bit of a disconnect between the album’s “sound” and how we sound live as our live arrangements of my solo work are much heavier and much more rock-oriented.
With this in mind, we decided to select four of my solo works (two from my debut solo album and two from my most recent album) to re-record “The Truth Untold”-style so that we’d have an EP that didn’t merely reflect my musicianship, but instead our partnership as a duo. True to the raw energy of our live performances, we opted for a stripped down 90s-style production that reflects us both authentically, without auto-tune and without samples.
Your upcoming album is a collaboration with both Juno and Grammy celebrated recording pros. Can you tell us about who’s working on the album?
Absolutely! We’re so honoured we were able to recruit the incredible talents of platinum-certified engineer, mixer and producer Kevin O’Leary of Toronto, known for his contributions to albums by Walk Off the Earth, The Trews and Billy Talent and mastering engineer Roger Lian of New York whose client roster boosts Madonna, KISS and July Talk.
The album will feature a distortion-driven rendition of Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep”, what made you choose this song to cover?
For starters, it’s a damn catchy pop song. Right from the first time I heard it, I got the opening rhythm stuck in my head for days. It’s also a challenging song vocally so I saw it as an opportunity for me as a Singer, first and foremost, to really show a bit more of what I can do.
I love rock – don’t get me wrong – but as my songwriting has evolved over time, I’m the first to admit that my earlier attempts at the genre didn’t truly reflect me as a vocalist, let alone demonstrate my full capabilities. It’s a difficult genre to write in when you’re classically trained and I struggled over the years to find the balance of writing driving straight-forward rock songs that also allow my voice to shine.
We, as a rule, don’t do a lot of covers so if we’re going to do one, we really want to nail it and present it uniquely. My favourite covers are typically complete reinterpretations of the original tunes like Chris Cornell’s cover of “Billie Jean” or Storm Large’s cover of “Where is My Mind?” So, in other words, our version of “Rolling in the Deep” adds a rock edge, while staying poppy and pretty. We hope you dig it. Keep your eyes peeled for the music video release!
Your latest music video “Easy Prey” touches on the subject of cellphone addiction and the dangers of always being “plugged in”. Can you tell us about the song’s lyrics?
The song itself calls into question the notion of simply “accepting” all that is presented to us as “the truth” or “objective facts”.
In the age of social media and virtual realities, I feel this message is particularly important as misinformation and propaganda abound. Fewer and fewer companies control the mass production of the “news” and anyone – literally ANYONE – can find themselves in a position of MASS influence online. How that power is being wielded is questionable at best. What is frequently gaining viral traction is equally questionable and SHOULD be questioned. Long story short? Think for yourself! Don’t be “Easy Prey”
How was making the video?
Gruelling and cold! The outside scenes were filmed in the winter months here in Canada and for Tyler’s alleyway shots, in particular, we had to film for five minutes at a time then rush inside to warm up for fear of limbs falling off due to frostbite. Yes, it was THAT cold.
I ended up injuring myself really badly from my forest “spin” (for lack of a better description) too which resulted in not one, not two, but three hospital visits. True story. See…rock isn’t always “glamorous”!
So, in other words, please watch the damn thing as we put a lot of thought and effort into it! It’s really more of a short movie and social commentary, than simply a “music video”.
In magazines, your vocals have been said to be the “perfect blend of Alanis Morissette and Norah Jones” and on your latest Youtube video you’re being compared to Halestorm. What do you think of these comparisons? Are there any artists, in particular, you think you have a similar sound to?
I’m honoured by all of the above as each of the aforementioned female talents is tremendously gifted and unique. It’s funny…my biggest influence of all time – Veruca Salt – never seems to make the comparison list.
Given my diverse listening habits and unconventional start to becoming a rock musician, I suppose it’s not overly surprising that audiences hear such a wide range of influences in what I do. I definitely see it as a good thing though as I feel the best artists are those who evolve and don’t constrict themselves or allow themselves to be “boxed in”.
You were hand-selected by the founder to perform on the only Canadian date of the final Vans Warped Tour. Can you tell us about that experience?
Suffice it to say, it was a pretty tremendous honour to be a part of the grand finale! Warped Tour has been a cultural phenom for over 20 years and long before we took to the Warped stage ourselves, we both dreamed of attending the epic event. It’s been responsible for launching the careers of so many incredible artists. We feel truly blessed that The Truth Untold are now a little piece of that history.
You started performing at the age of 4 and had a record label & publicity firm at the age of 15. What got you started at such an early age?
I come from a family of entrepreneurs so starting my own business is kinda in my blood. My parents have both been incredibly supportive of my career endeavours so when I indicated at 15 I wanted to professionalize what my then band, HER, was doing, they helped me recruit a lawyer and accountant to get the ball rolling.
In truth, I never envisioned myself becoming a rock musician. I further never envisioned myself founding my own label. The impetus was quite simply the fact that my band was going into the studio to record our debut and we wanted to stick out from the rest of the crowd. In other words, we were still in highschool, but didn’t want to be seen as “kids” or another “highschool band”.
And so, as the story goes, I formed my own label, HER Records, so we could release our first album – on a label – in hopes of being able to take the band to the next level.
You’ve performed at some very notable festivals around the world. What are a few of your favourites?
Summer NAMM, Vans Warped Tour (goes without saying!), Great Canadian Kayak Festival, Jersey Shore Festival and Day of 1000 Musicians
You are the former frontwoman of major label signed grunge quartet Anti-Hero, what pushed you to move from that direction and form The Truth Untold?
I think my forming of The Truth Untold was/is in line with my natural evolution as an artist. I started out as a classically trained singer with notions of one day taking to the Broadway stage. Then at 15, I was recruited into my first ever rock band. Following that, I found myself fronting Anti-Hero, opening for several notable acts like Die Mannequin, Jakalope and Priestess, and touring for the first time. I then tried my hand at penning two solo albums and performing with just an acoustic in hand.
I’d like to think that The Truth Untold represents the best elements of all of these experiences combined: I’m now writing and performing material that showcases my primary instrument – my voice – while also being in my comfort zone on stage – fronting a rock’n’roll band. There are definitely still elements of “grunge” in what The Truth Untold does, but our style is more “polished” and more dynamic than what I did in the Anti-Hero days in part because I’ve become a more confident guitarist, but also in a bigger way simply because I’ve matured as a person and an artist – allowing myself not to be hindered creatively by genre or convention.
Can you tell us about MusicSaves?
MusicSaves is a non-for-profit organization that I founded in 2010. Its aim is to impart onto youth struggling with mental health issues the healing power of music. As someone who dealt with a number of mental health issues in my teenage years and has lost several friends to suicide and drug overdose, this is a topic that is particularly near and dear to my heart.
I think one of the biggest components missing from the educational system is teaching kids and young adults how to cope. Whether it’s stress or grief, few of us come equipped with healthy mechanisms for dealing with life’s difficulties from the get-go. Instead, these are behaviours we need to learn and adjust as we undergo different circumstances.
Unfortunately, when we’re kids, it’s very easy to feel all alone – as though no one else in the world could possibly relate to what you’re going through; it was in that time of my life that I discovered the healing power of music.
Through public speaking engagements and my columns, I aim to encourage teens to take to pen and paper rather than pills to get out the angst they’re dealing with in a healthy, productive way. It may just save their life. I know it saved my own.
Even though the band only formed in 2016, you’ve already shared the stage with acts like Smashmouth. Any stories from that show?
When we opened for Smashmouth in Pittsburgh, Tyler got lost parking our tour van and as a result lost out on a sweet photo op. Also, there may or may not be video evidence of me dancing like a ninny on stage with Steve Harwell.
Can you tell us about London’s music scene?
Well it’s certainly nothing like that of the “real London”, but it has a couple of charms – notably my fav childhood venue: Call the Office.
What do you think is the most played song on your phone right now?
I’m old-school – I like listening to non-compressed high fidelity audio a la cds 😉 I use my phone to you know, call people.
Who are a few of your all time favourite Canadian artists?
Loreena McKennitt, Alanis and Big Wreck
Do you have any advice for young artists looking to share their story?
Being a musician is not simply about making great music – it’s about finding a way to connect with people, it’s about finding a way to write about and reflect upon shared universal experiences, it’s about breaking down barriers of differences and speaking truths. Don’t take the power of music for granted. Do some good in the world. Write about things that matter and make a difference – we all can in small but meaningful ways.
Asides for the new album, what do you have planned for 2019?
You’ll just have to wait and see!
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