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Thursday
Aug182011

For The Love of Music w/ Rose Hill Drive

 The Band:
 Rose Hill Drive

 The People:
 Dan, Jake, Nate, Jimmy

 Current Project:
 Americana

 Hometown:
 Boulder, CO

The guys in Rose Hill Drive have seen a lot in the 11 years that they’ve been bandmates. They’ve become local rock Gods in their hometown of Boulder, CO. They’ve turned down major label deals and shelved work with super producers. They’ve toured as much as humanly possible (250 shows a year for five years) and jammed on stage and toured internationally with The Who. They’ve played dates with the likes of Van HalenAerosmith, and Queens of the Stone Age, and just wrapped up their second tour with the Stone Temple Pilots

 
So, what has it all taught them?  That while staying independent is inherently more work, retaining total control of their career has allowed them to make decisions that may otherwise be unavailable to a major label band. Whether it was going on hiatus for 18 months because things didn’t feel right or rushing the release of their latest album Americana before hitting the road with STP, the band has made decisions that could prove once again that you don’t need a label to call the shots. Watch the band’s interview with Ben below, and then check out their awesome stripped down versions of  “Birds Against the Glass” and “Pictures of You” after the jump!

Rose Hill Drive Quick Tips

  • If your hometown provides a good level of musical opportunity stick around and make the most of it! There’s no need to move across the country to a more saturated market like Los Angeles or New York City if you have room to grow at home.
  • There’s no science to generating buzz, but performance frequency, local connections and creativity all have a lot to do with it. Rose Hill Drive played in Boulder and Denver as much as possible, played annual new year’s eve shows in which they covered a classic album in its entirety, hooked up with a local booking agency, and even recorded in local Coupe Studios to continue growing the local buzz.
  • Don’t let relentless touring get in the way of your mission. The guys in Rose Hill felt like they’d lost their momentum and weren’t playing the kind of music they originally set out to play, sentiment that ultimately led to the band’s 18 month hiatus.
  • If the direction you’re heading doesn’t feel natural, there’s nothing wrong with re-assessing and / or taking a u-turn with new material.
  • Running out of creative ideas? Think about adding another member to the band. By adding bassist Jimmy Stofer and moving previous bassist Jake Sproul to guitar, RHD were able to experience a creative re-birth of sorts.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of DJs or sound guys at clubs. Rose Hill Drive ended up on the Stone Temple Pilots tour because STP heard their album playing before they hit the stage at a show in Colorado.
  • Whether you’re playing a small club show or opening for a national act at an arena, always try to solicit your band in every way possible. Talk to everyone who comes to the booth, be as outgoing and friendly as you can.
  • This one goes without saying, but don’t let big time label types seduce you into signing a contract. If you think a contract might be whipped out at any point in time, make sure there’s a lawyer on hand.
  • One thing that’s great about forming your own label is the ability to throw all conventional practices out the window and do what you want. RHD is able to record and release material whenever they want to, something that prevents them from getting sick of their songs before they even go on tour.
  • Controlling your own material also allows you to be more on hands with other aspects of your business, from ideas for music videos to collaborating with whatever artists you want. Even if you fail, you’ll have a lot more fun on the journey if you’re controlling your own destiny.

“Birds Against The Glass”
Recorded: August 4th, 2011 at Strewnshank Studio in Charlestown, MA
Recording engineered & mixed by: Chris Thomas
Video directed by: Chris Thomas & Joe Mahoney
Video edited by: Chris Thomas

“Pictures of You”
Recorded: August 4th, 2011 at Strewnshank Studio in Charlestown, MA
Recording engineered & mixed by: Chris Thomas
Video directed by: Chris Thomas & Joe Mahoney
Video edited by: Chris Thomas

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