Stranded In Stereo: The Stranded Q&A: The Rosebuds

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Stranded Q&A: The Rosebuds

Night Of The Furies is not your Mom’s Rosebuds record. Gone from this record are the 60s beach party that is “Boys Who Love Girls,” the lazy Sunday grooves of the amazing EP The Rosebuds Unwind. Instead, the listener is treated to a darker, more subtle Rosebuds. On Furies, their third album, the husband and wife duo of Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp trade in sand castles and guitars for make up and synths – and lots of them. Drum machines back up the seductive tale Kelly sings on “I’d Better Run,” while Ivan apparently looked to the most well-known “Smooth Operator” of the 1980s on "Silence By The Lakeside."

Kelly Rosebud took a few moments to answer some questions I had, much thanks to her.

So it seems that there is a concept running through
Furies, from the opening moments of “My Punishment For Fighting” to the closing trance-like beats of the title track. Please do elaborate on what the listener’s are in for.
The Furies are Roman goddesses who avenge crimes that go unpunished, especially crimes against women and animals. We summoned them during a tropical depression last summer and they came into our little music room and helped us write the record. The record covers themes of punishment and fear mostly.

Some people might say this is a departure, but I think it’s more of an extension on what you have been working and building on for the past four years. Yes the music and themes are much darker and show an influence on 80s synth pop and dance, but it’s still some of the most accessible music out there today. What inspired such a shift?
Ivan started writing a lot of these songs with a bass guitar and he writes a lot of Bill Withers-esque type basslines which lend themselves to dance songs well. He's always been a big Sade fan and I think vocally, it made sense for him to go in that direction. So they seem very smooth but the content is apparently disturbing to some people. We just did the best we could to reconcile the two--the jagged topics with beautiful songs.

For your upcoming tour, you guys are touring as a five-piece for the first time. I’m sure this is to augment performing the new songs, but how will a bigger band bring a change to the older songs live?
We've been rehearsing and playing some small runs with the five-piece band. We just played a special show in Moscow with the guys and then we did SxSW. So we're getting used to touring with that many people and we're falling in love with the bigger arrangements and the freedom that we now have on stage. I used to play all the bass parts with my left hand and Ivan used to sing and play guitar on every song. Now we are both more free and it helps the songs to open up as well. The old ones sound great with the band because our guys have so much good taste and understand our motto about less being more.

Most of the world knows that you guys are married (you do go by Ivan and Kelly Rosebud and all – ha!) How does it feel to have to spend all that time working together on top of living with each other. Do you think it has made you guys stronger as a married couple as well as a working unit?
We are suited to this kind of thing because we're not normal people so we're great at being a not-normal couple. And I guess you have to have certain flexibilites with the touring lifestyle, but being around each other (all of us) all the time is not as awful as you'd think. It's like people ask how it is for me being a girl on tour with so many boys. It's fine because I really like being with them. I'm just into that kind of bohemian lifestyle so it's okay with me.

I read that some rather cool people (Portastatic, Dean & Britta, Roger O’Donnell of the Cure to name a few) are remixing songs from Furies. What kind of topic secret project might this be for?

These are people who responded to the music and thought they'd like to be involved. We started having so many people interested that we thought, "We should do something with these!" We still don't know what that is yet though. But we do have a lot of kick-ass remixes over here.

You guys have played shows in the past with some great bands (Yo La Tengo, Teenage Fanclub to name some bigger names.) Is there anyone The Rosebuds would love to tour with, and if so who would it be?
I'd love to tour with a perforance artist--like a trapize artist or something. I always thought about writing a one-act play and casting my friends in it to be the opening act. But shit, that would take so much time and money to get together and just try to imagine the people. Knowing my bozo friends, it would either be a catastrophe or pure genius. Maybe both. I'm still thinking about it though so nobody better steal that idea.

Night Of The Furies is out today. Go buy it.

Stream: Night Of The Furies [Here] /// [Buy Here]

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