Interview: Rococode

Rococode @ Horseshoe Tavern, 20-03-12

Rococode just finished off a cross-Canada tour with their debut record Guns, Sex & Glory. When I sat down with the band, it was just before their pre-CMW show at the Horseshoe Tavern. The Vancouver band had the previous day off, but they were just starting up 7 days in a row of shows, plus the band was playing twice in the same day for CMW – quite the intense stint of shows before heading back out West.

While Rococode hasn’t been around for very long, each of the musicians that make up this 4-piece have already been making music.

Vocalist/keyboardist Laura Smith says, “I was doing a solo project for a long time before, so for me it feels more like a progression from what I was doing before to here and with a great team of people.”

The band agrees that the music they listened to growing up is more of an influence than their previous projects. Andrew Braun (vocals, guitar) names Radiohead as a major influence, while drummer Johnny Andrews offers up The Yellowjackets as an influence. When Shaun Huberts (bass, vocals) says Jeff Buckley as an influence, everyone seems to be a little puzzled. Andrew asks, “Really?”

While their previous projects haven’t really influenced the band heavily, having toured before has certainly made an impact. “It helps you to be professional about things, just kinda know how to approach certain situations and such,” Johnny says.

And then, hilariously, a fan interrupts the conversation. We joke about transcribing the conversation, but I won’t divulge the details. I’ll just say a Sharpie was required, and it wasn’t for an autograph.

Shaun jokes, “That’s what Laura learned from being on the road with other people – always carry a Sharpie.”

Laura explains, “When we were on tour with Mother Mother, they have a pack of Sharpies every night and they never use them all, so I have a big collection.”

Shaun then says, “Thank you, Mother Mother.”

As the fan walks away, apologizing profusely about interrupting, the band admits that doesn’t happen very often.

Johnny interrupts, “I mean, it happens all the time.”

While the band is still relatively new to most of Canada, Vancouver has had the privilege of seeing the band quite a bit.

Andrew says, “It’s a little different because we’ve been playing around Vancouver a lot in the last year and we really haven’t played here. We played Toronto once before, so it’s kind of nice to be here with an album out and with a bit of press and things like that, which we didn’t have when we started playing in Vancouver. I think people sort of have a different impression because we sort of ‘grew up’ in public, so to speak. We were figuring out how to play our songs at first with all the people around and we did this whole radio contest when we were a brand new band, so it’s fun to come out here and sort of leave behind the preconceptions or whatever of what we might be to the people who have seen us over the last year and a half.”

Having been part of other great projects and being surrounded by this burgeoning Vancouver music scene, Rococode enjoys being a part of the music community in their city.

Andrew says, “It’s a fun time to be a band in Vancouver because all of our peers are having a lot of success right now and it’s really awesome to see your friends and sometimes your collaborators out there kicking ass. And it brings a lot of attention back to the city and its music scene. I think it’s pretty fun to be a part of something where there’s some really cool stuff happening and when the music is being made by really great people who we really like, it makes it that much better.”

Shaun refers to the community as close-knit and Johnny says there really isn’t much competition. “I think everybody is actually happy for the success of other bands.”

For those who have never heard of Rococode, Andrew starts to describe the band. “We’ve got a really good looking rhythm section. We dress sharp. We are pretty sweaty.”

Laura interrupts, “That sounds horrible.”

Shaun then says, “No, it sounds awesome!”

Johnny agrees and says, “We’ve got lots of energy!”

Andrew continues, “I think from the record we turn up the rock a little bit and it’s a little on the heavier side of things than the record.”

With such a heavy touring schedule to promote the album, the band admits their short on drinking stories. Andrew says, “Maybe the best story is how many drink tickets we have leftover. It’s kind of pathetic. Normally, in life, I think Laura and I would be the bigger drinks in the bunch.”

Laura interrupts, “But we drink less on tour.”

Andrew continues, “Yeah, it’s such a toll on the voice and for both of us that we try to almost steer clear. We’re not much of a party band.”

Johnny, who actually doesn’t drink at all, says that early morning drives is also a factor in what stops them from partying.

Laura says, “It makes for a difficult tour. I’ve drank too much on tour before. It’s just too hard.”

“We’re actually keeping track this time of all our leftover drink tickets, make a little collage at the end,” Andrew then says. “The collage of lameness.”

Since the interview, I have actually seen a photo of the leftover drink tickets and it’s actually pretty impressive.

When the band does do shots, they say they can do anything but Jager.

Except Johnny, who requests a cranberry shot. He says, “I hear cranberry puts hair on your chest.”

As far as what the band has coming up, the band will soon be releasing the video for “Ghost I & II”. In the meantime, check out their video for “Empire”.

Oh and buy their vinyl because they’re really stoked on having the album out on vinyl!


Categories: Interviews


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