Stuck indoors, crying out for something exciting to happen? I’ve got you covered. As now’s the ideal time to sink our teeth into some new tunes, it means we’re captive audiences for up-and-coming artists. And wow, I’ve got a recommendation for you. Grab a cuppa, put your feet up (as they were) and meet Manchester rock band, ROLLA.
Hi guys, it’s really great to interview you. First and foremost, how are you doing during these strange times in lockdown?
Hiya, not a problem, it’s a pleasure! I think we’re doing the same as everyone else really. It’s weird that no matter who you are; we are all living through the same serial episode and we’re just getting on with it and doing our bit.
Tell me about ROLLA — how did you guys form, when and where? How did you meet?
It started in Huddersfield, where James, Luke MC and Tom went to uni and lived together for a year. James had a few tracks written with his brother, Luke, and Luke MC and Tom were in a band for a uni module. James came to watch us in our final year exam and, straight away after, asked if we wanted to form a band of our own. We then asked Mars — who we also knew from uni — to play drums, because he was also performing that night and we agreed how mint he was. Once he heard the tunes, he was well up for it!
Before that time — apart from Mars, who’s from down south but now lives in Manchester — we all went to the same school in Audenshaw, a town outside the city.
Who have been your biggest influences as a band?
It’s quite obvious to say, but being from Manchester means the main bands that influenced us growing up were Oasis, Stone Roses and Joy Division. But we all bring our own flavour. James is a big fan of DMA’s, while Luke MC likes to riff it out like Johnny Marr.
Most of us did a production-type course at uni/college, so there’s even hip-hop, disco and house influences, too. As a whole, though, we all love rock ‘n’ roll and we want to harness that, mix it with punk and, ultimately, create our own sound.
Your single ‘Thinking of Tomorrow’ is ace. Are you working on new material during lockdown or taking some time to reap the rewards of the single launch?
Cheers for that, we appreciate it! We have loads of stuff written — it was a battle to choose which song we wanted to record and release first, to be honest, because they are all belters, so it’s hard to pick which is best. It always splits the band on opinion, but we have plenty up our sleeve and we’re just excited to get in the studio and show more of what we’ve got.
What we can say is that we’re planning to do a two-track EP next, so watch out for it!
Excellent, I’ll keep my eyes peeled! Now, although the festival and gigging scene has been interrupted, do you still have events on your horizon this year?
Well, April was gonna be our biggest month yet. We had gigs lined up, including a sold-out headline show over the bank holiday weekend, so we’re gutted about everything being cancelled. That being said, we very much plan on playing as much as we can, as soon as we can! It’s what we love to do the most — it’s a massive buzz, and anyone reading this should definitely come and watch us and have a boogie when this is all over.
Count me in, lads! Are you planning any live-stream gigs in the interim?
James has done a few acoustic live streams since the lockdown began — he always likes to play a cheeky love song for the ladies. But, as a band, we are planning to put together a little video of us playing something, maybe a cover, though we haven’t decided yet!
Cheekily, can you tease any other new music?
Hahaha, you know what? We’re all desperate to tease more music. We talk about it every day but, at the same time, we want everything to be properly refined, and good things always come to those that wait! We’re constantly working on new stuff and we may have something in the pipeline. You’ll just have keep your ears open — you might be in for a treat…
There you have it — an energetic, on-the-rise five-piece to get into. If rock and punk are your bag, search for ROLLA on Spotify and get following these fab chaps on Instagram at @rolla_band, too.