Rock music in its many varying forms has been played right around the world by an abundance of different bands and artists, but you’re about to be taken by Screamer Magazine to the Middle East for an insight into a new band who are reaching out to the rock music collective. Through the heat of the Israeli sun we’re about to venture into a world of copious enthusiasm and genuine talent. Welcome to the melodic sound of Red Rose, a band formed during the year of 2010.
Currently a four piece which use session drummers for their output, these guys are for all intents and purposes no straight forward rock band. “Honestly we never had our drummer, we always worked with session drummers because we couldn’t find the 5th Red Rose true member, especially in Israel find a good drummer is like win a lot of money in the casino” explains rhythm guitarist Elnur Aliev with an informed insight. They come from a country where rock music isn’t high on the listening agenda, and when you hear their music and realise they are resplendent in smooth, polished progressive yet highly melodic rock music, they are playing a style that isn’t recognised as fashionable within the mainstream tastes of the rocking fraternity either. Aliev points out how their style and sound came about, “The sound came from us naturally, we making what we feel, of course we have a lot of influences but we didn’t make it planned.”
In 2011, the year after they formed, these ambitious melodic rockers released their debut album Live the Life You’ve Imagined and began to build their profile from hence forth. Aliev clarifies “We are playing together as a band since 2010, but Leve Laiter (vocalist), Deion Kristen (keys) and Eli Reeve (bass) was together since they start to play. We played at the same studio but with different bands, I always like the sound and their music style, and when previous band was disbanded I got a suggestion from the guys to replace their guitarist. I accept the challenge and we start to play and write material for the first album.”
“I think we learned a lot of things, we learn how to make right all the production of the album, how to prepare ourselves to the recording, how to make the song sound like we want, choose the right sound” Aliev points out regarding the recording experience of their debut album.
So how does an Israeli boy get interested in playing the guitar? “The funny thing is that I had always guitar at my home because my father playing not bad on a guitar and he always tried to push me and my brother to play…” Aliev continues, “…when I was 16 years old I went to a trip from my school and my class mates bring guitar with them and play some riffs of Deep Purple (Smoke on the Water). I heard that and ask them to teach me how to play it, and I played the riff from first try. For me it was a big success because it was the first time that I played ever on guitar, and from then all the rest is history.”
With a name like Red Rose, it conjures images of romance or gestures of sentiment perhaps, why give the band such a name? “I can say that it was really not easy to find name for the band, we think a lot and can’t find anything that really represents us, but our vocalist came with a suggestion of “Red Rose” and we all agree immediate…” Aliev then elaborates a little further, “we playing melodic harmony (some kind of romantic) music like the beauty of the rose but in hard way with strong sound like the thorns of the rose, and this name is catchy.”
Live the Life You’ve Imagined was produced by Tommy Hansen and by the positive overtures from Aliev, the partnership proved very enjoyable. “He feels and understands our music, what make the songs sound with love and creativity” and then Aliev pauses before adding, “he made the sound we want, it was really fun to work together!”
It makes sense then that Red Rose would tap the production talents of Mr. Hansen for their latest studio outing titled On the Cusp of Change. “He understands our mind and it’s easy for us to work with him, he helps us a lot with the first one and with the second help us much more” Aliev shares.
This second album continues to show the inner confidence and growth of the band as it kicks off with When Roses Faded which clocks in at seven minutes and fifty-five seconds in length. Fading into life and then providing bursts of symphonic melodic energy, this song prepares the listener for what is to come with the following seven tracks. With this opening song sounding highly charged, the momentum continues with the subsequent Chasing Freedom and then King of the Local Crowd. Check out the virtuosity from the lead guitar in the latter song.
“I changed the sound of my rhythm guitar, the sound is less metal sound and more classic something between metal and hard rock” says Aliev when reflecting over his performance on this new album. “I can’t tell you that my style was changed but I always try to make interesting riffs and give a touch of creativity when I make new riffs.” He then provides a little more insight by sharing some examples. “I recorded fender classic sound in the rock n’roll song The king of the local crowd and sitar sound on When Roses Faded beginning and more different types of sound and styles in this album.
What according to Aliev has changed from this album in comparison to the predecessor? “The difference is the sound of the album was changed, the material was improved and we feel that the song sound like we heard them in our minds and want to make. Also the colors of songs you have mixed styles and in my opinion is really great.”
On the Cusp of Change as a title sounds like quite a profound statement, and could be relevant to various aspects within the band or the world we live in, but what does the title mean to Aliev? “Every day I feel that the whole of the world standing in the front of some big changes, because there is so much dead ends in so much areas in our lives that we really need it. Today everything is hard and the life is not simple, but we need to seize the day and enjoy from every minute in our lives.”
Regarding live shows and promotion of this latest studio release, Aliev explains “We want satisfy all our fans but we not always able to do it. We hope make tour first in Europe and after make concerts in different areas.” With some demanding arrangements within the structures of the songs, how do they translate in the live environment? “There is a few songs that not simple to play live at all, like King of the Local Crowd, When Roses Faded and others that have complicated sound mixes and instrument changes. We try to play similar as possible to the recordings but with more power and performance in the live shows!”
Being creative in the studio is one thing, and then translating these songs in the live arena is another, but what does Aliev prefer between these two concepts? “I like the process of creating and recording new materials, work in the studio is great and fun, but there is no compare to play live and make the crowd feel the energy of the music, and feel the true love that we put in the creation of our songs or the guitar parts. If you see us one day live you will see how much feelings we all transmit to the crowd when we play, because we really like what we do.”
So there you have it, a melodic progressive and enthusiastic new band which originate from the Middle East bringing their own sound to the rock scene of the globe. By no means finished or exhausted Aliev with a proud smile highlights, “like you can see, three years and two albums I think we did a nice job together.” With that in mind, if you’re partial to lush produced, interesting melodic arrangements, Red Rose might well have something to satisfy your palette.
Before the guitarist Aliev leaves, he shares his thoughts about what is so good about being in Red Rose. “Sharing the same feeling when playing with all the band, it’s come from the heart.” That sums up the core of this band, from their musical output to their attitude towards their live shows, to their songwriting which pushes the arrangements and structures of their songs, and their discipline within their respective talents and the relationships with their instruments. It all comes from the heart.
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