Q&A Interview: Rome Will Burn Talks New EP and Finding the Perfect Sound
Since the recent release of their self-titled debut EP, Alyssa Suede and Manifesto of Rome Will Burn have been making their rounds across the blogosphere and leaving a lasting impression on die-hard fans and new listeners alike. With Alyssa on the vocals and Manifesto leading the production, the Los Angeles-based electro-pop duowhipped their 6-track EP into shape by stirring in the perfect amounts of electronic funk and glamour pop. The overall sound throughout the EP is crisp and glitzy, giving the public a great glimpseinto Rome’s wild world of rhythm.
Continuing on with promotion for the EP with explosive live shows and exclusive appearances, the pair is gearing up for a several city tour in the month of April. We had the pleasure of catching up with Rome Will Burn to get the details on their creative process while making the EP as well as how they found their sound, their favorite tracks on the EP and more. Check it out.
Starting out, did you know what kind of sound you wanted for the EP? Do you think you captured that sound and feel?
Rome Will Burn: Starting out, we had a general idea of the sound we were going for, but since we had just gotten together as a band, we were still discovering ourselves. Especially since we were coming from two different worlds – Alyssa was coming from the singer/songwriter world and Manifesto, the deep house/trance world. Luckily, a lot of our initial instincts just sort of worked, and that became the sound of Rome Will Burn.
Were there songs you loved that just didn’t make the cut?
Rome Will Burn: Not really. We’re saving a few songs we love for our next album but not because they didn’t make the cut. There were definitely songs we wrote and worked on that we liked but when push came to shove, they just weren’t good enough. Maybe we’ll pull them out of the closet later down the line and try and spruce them up.
During the process of making the EP, did you two work together on each song or take some individual time to write/produce then come back with ideas?
Rome Will Burn: We feel like we work best when we individually come up with stuff and then meet up and try out all our ideas. Being in the creative zone is such a personal thing that we think it’s best to be able to have that time alone to just sit with oneself and create without having to explain oneself to others or talk about what you’re doing.It gets in the way of the process.But we definitely do work together on each and every track.So it’s a combination of self-discovery and creation and then taking those gems and coming together to turn them into something.
How would you describe the creative process of making the EP? Was it fun? Stressful? Exciting?
Rome Will Burn: Fun funfun!Being in the studio is one of our favorite places to be.And we’ve created such a great, workable team that how could you not have fun?Plus, being our debut EP, it was very exciting seeing it all come together.
How long did it take for you two to complete the EP?
Rome Will Burn: About two years.We started off with about 3 or 4 songs and then went out and performed them all over – clubs in LA, public high school lunch breaks, rehearsals, etc.And once we felt we had a good grasp on the songs live and it was really working, we then took the songs back into the studio and reworked them.Some songs fell off and new songs came into existence.
The EP incorporates a great selection of live instrumentation throughout. Did you plan on including these elements from the beginning or did the idea to add them hit you during the making of certain songs?
Rome Will Burn: We always wanted to include lots of instrumentation throughout.We both came from the classical world in one way or another – Alyssa with figure skating and Manifesto with classical violin growing up – and feel it really adds something special to the tracks.Also, our executive producer, David Campbell, is a genius when it comes to orchestrations, so why not use it?It’s a new twist on EDM/pop that isn’t being taken full advantage of out there.Adds a unique sound that is really us.
Which song on the EP is your personal favorite and why?
Rome Will Burn: The last track we wrote to fill out the EP was “Body Language” and it is, to this day, our favorite.Mostly just because it’s such a fun and funky track.At one point, we recorded a friend freestyle rapping on our iPhone in the kitchen and that turned into the breakdown rap.Manifesto freestyled crazy gypsy violin stuff that’s throughout the track.I guess we just love the throwback ‘70s fun mood it has.
If you could get any artist in the world to remix a song on the EP, who would it be and on which song?
Alyssa: I’d say Skrillex and either “Body Language” or “Chameleon.”I knew him when we were both kids and think it’d be fun to collaborate on something today.He’s also a total genius and I really respect his work.
Manifesto: Either “Waging Romance” or “Body Language,” and the artist that I would want to remix it would be Armin Van Buuren.
What kind of music do you each listen to on a daily basis?
Alyssa: A wide range of stuff.Everything from Top 40 to Beethoven to The Beatles to Alanis Morissette’sJagged Little Pill.I would say my favorite music eras were the ‘90s and ‘60s.
Manifesto: I listen to a lot of chill and downtempo electronica as well as atmospheric glitch hop and overall weird music. I like things that catch my ear. My XM station is always on chill.
So what’s next for Rome will Burn? Any new projects in the works, or a tour for the current EP?
Rome Will Burn: We’re prepping to head out on tour beginning of April.We are also working on our next album.Lots of fun and exciting things ahead of us!
For more Rome Will Burn, visit their official website at www.romewillburn.com
Tia Renee Scott is a professional freelance writer/blogger and self-proclaimed music junkie who will go the extra mile to find the perfect song and adjective. She resides in Michigan with her teenage daughter and awesome collection of vintage Rolling Stone magazines.