Marking their 15 year as a musical entity on this floating piece of rock we call Earth, Rosetta is continuing on with their blend of Post Metal, Sludge, and Slpace Rock with, Utopioid, which is available right now on bandcamp (Name Your Own Price). I had the opportunity to send a few questions over to founder and multi-instrumentalist, Matt Weed to talk about everything you need to know about Rosetta in 2017. Check it out!
Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview! For those that may be new to the band. Describe Rosetta.
We like the phrase "serious music by unserious people." Maybe "big sounds by small people" works too... or "giant barre chords played with Trump hands."
Out now, is the latest album from Rosetta, Utopioid. What has been the reception to the album so far?
Really great, actually. We were confident about it from the get-go, but I think we've been surprised by how uniformly positive the response seems to be so far. It's always gratifying when people are excited enough about a record to tell their friends about it.
With it being 2 years since the last album, Quintessential Ephemera, What went into the writing process for Utopioid?
It was a lot more intense. QE was a fairly relaxed process, where we were just experimenting and having fun, since we had just added a new member at that point. This time everything was much more focused and directed, and we had a lot more 'cross-pollination' of ideas between members, and many more rounds of critical feedback and refinement of the parts. We started with a concept and built everything around those central ideas. The compositions, tunings, instrumentation, lyrics -- everything flowed from the core concept.
Upon my listens to the album, it feels like a very ethereal record, with some hope thrown in at times. Stunningly beautiful and heavy at the same time (Neophyte Visionary being the perfect example of that). Was this an intentional direction for the album?
For sure. We wanted it to have peaks and valleys of mood -- really uplifting moments as well as really dark ones. The album has a kind of tragic narrative arc to it. Dynamics and texture were foundational to making that happen.
How was the recording process this time around? Any major changes?
We returned to Studio G Brooklyn, which is were we recorded 2013's The Anaesthete. Francisco Botero, the assistant engineer from The Anaesthete sessions, was the producer/lead engineer this time around. Studio G is a really amazing place to make a textural record -- Francisco in particular thinks really creatively about how to use production in subtle way that serve the emotional tone of particular songs. The whole process had a playful, celebratory, and experimental feel to it. We spent more time on the mix than usual, too -- 7 full days for mixing, versus 3 or 4 for most of our past releases.
Coming up in October, you will be hitting the west coast with North for nearly a full month. How does it feel to be hitting the road and promoting the new album?
We're stoked -- it's been seven years since we played on the west coast, so it's way way overdue. We had North along on our European tour last year, and we love spending time with those guys, so it'll be great to have another long run with them. It's also a good feeling to have a solid chunk of new material to play for people, although we're also going to be going deep in the back catalog for the live sets too.
What is next for Rosetta after the upcoming tour?
We're heading to Australia for a tour with Sleepmakeswaves, as well as some shows in Southeast Asia. After that, we'll try to hit some places in the US we've been neglecting, then maybe try to make it over to Europe again. Staying busy!
With Space and Astronomy being as important as ever (if not more so) how do you feel about the current state of how the world is taking into account everything beyond Earth?
It seems like it's fallen by the wayside. I mean, science in general is more important and more neglected than ever. It's such a weird moment right now, politically, that I think people are losing sight of some core things that humanity needs to collaborate on. Let's learn to treat our planet better, and maybe visit some other ones. It's an oversimplification, but these are things that the broad swath of thinking adults should be able to agree on and work toward.
What are you currently listening to?
I've been digging the California-based drone artist r beny lately, as well as the Jeremy Flowers album The Real Me. I've been spending most of my personal listening time with drone and experimental music these days.
What do you like to do when you are not focused on Rosetta?
The rest of my time is typically spent working on guitar amps and pedals. I really enjoy building and modifying musical equipment and electronics. When I get time off, I try to spend it camping in the wilderness.
Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview. I have been a long time fan of the band and love what you guys are currently up to with Utopioid. Before we are done is there anything else you would like to mention that I haven’t brought up yet?
Not that I can think of. Thanks a lot!
Rosetta- Utopioid is available NOW on bandcamp (Name Your Own Price)
That Drummer Guy: Radio DJ, Interviewer, Reviewer, overall...an OK guy.