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INTERVIEW: Los Angeles country duo Roses and Cigarettes

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Echoes and Silence”?

Jenny Pagliaro: Echoes and Silence is truly a collaborative effort. Directly following release of the first album, I was diagnosed with Stage IV Breast Cancer.

Angela Petrilli: Jenny’s cancer diagnosis forced us to shift our perspective with many things, including how we operated as a band, to the types of gigs we took. With the song “Echoes and Silence,” it was a song that started off as an idea I had come up with on my acoustic guitar. It had a very different feel than anything we had written before. Jenny came up with a beautiful mantra and this song was born!

Did any event in particular inspire you both to write this song?

JP: I woke up one morning with a voice memo from Angela, then I wrote down lyrics and it was all very different from what we had done before, but we knew we liked it!

AP: I remember writing the music for it very late at night. I think I had just come home from a gig. I was feeling pretty tired, but very very inspired. I grabbed my OM 28 V Martin Guitar, which is the guitar I like to write on, put my guitar in an alternate tuning I had never written in before, put the capo on my guitar, and strummed the first chord. I remember the feeling of how that first chord resonated with me. I wrote entire chord structure of the song in about 5 minutes.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

AP: Yes! We LOVE the music video for “Echoes and Silence.” We shot it on Cape Cod, MA during our most recent summer tour last Labor Day. Our pal Freddy Hernandez did a beautiful job bringing our words and music of the song to life through film!

How was the recording and writing process?

AP: Jenny and I love bouncing ideas off of each other when we write. We always say two heads are better than one! That’s one of my favorite parts about being in this band — the flow of ideas and perspectives is always accepted and welcomed.

JP: The writing and recording process is ALWAYS collaborative. Once when we get into the studio with our producer, Michael Lyons — he just makes us better.

What was it like to work with Michael Lyons, and how did that relationship develop?

JP: I met Mike from working in LA at a bar. We struck up a musical friendship, and from there that was continued to develop of course with Angela as well and his whole family. We are legitimately one big happy family.

AP: Simply put, Mike always pushes us to our creative limits. He’s got an incredible ear for hooks and dynamics and I know he has absolutely made me a better musician. He is so easy and fun to work with, and I always look forward to his criticisms and critiques about our songs and ideas for them. I’ll always be thankful for that.

How much does Michael Lyons get to influence the album?

JP: He always has a say, and we listen him a ton because he is filled with good options, but he always gives us the final decision as the artists.

AP: Mike has been in this business for a very long time. His perspective on music, production and the business itself has helped us navigate our career. During the making of this album, we spoke to Mike a ton about our vision, emotions we wanted our music to explore, influences of ours we wanted to develop, and he helped us make all of those things happen. It is always very collaborative in the studio with Mike.

What artists do you look to for inspiration, be it songwriting or career goals?

JP: Patti Griffin, Susan Tedeschi, Ray Lamontagne for me!

AP: I am a massive Led Zeppelin fan, their music inspires me to be a better musician and songwriter every single day. I also love Pearl Jam, not just because I love their music, but I admire their passion for music, their relationship as musical brothers, how they give back to the community, and how they treat their fans. They are so wonderful to their fans.

What role does Los Angeles play in your music?

JP: We think our sound has a vintage California-cool sound. It would definitely be a lie to say we have no country influence. We don’t force the music in one direction.

AP: I’m a Los Angeles native living in LA (rare I know! haha!) We do have references to California and Los Angeles in our songs, most notably “Laurel Canyon,” “Broken Down in Barstow,” and “California Going Home” from our most recent album. Jenny and I are inspired by what’s around us when we write. So I guess living in California has inspired a few things in our music!

Where did you find the inspiration for these songs and lyrics?

JP: Heartbreak, relationships….a long battle with cancer….

Any plans to hit the road?

JP: As soon as Jenny is feeling better!!

AP: Once she kicks cancer’s ass we’re hitting the road and playing the songs we love to play. Being on stage playing music is our life blood, and we are so thankful that we get to be on this crazy journey together!

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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