INTERVIEW: TIM GRAHAM OF POST-HARDCORE OUTFIT ROZU ON NEW SINGLES AND UPCOMING ALBUM.
“Faceless tells a story of a man coping with depression and feeling alone in one’s one skin. A key lyrics is ”I need to let them in” which speaks to seeking help or comfort from professionals, peers or loved ones. If you are ever feeling alone or lost feel free to reach out to us. We are no experts or professionals but we have been there before and are phenomenal listeners. We love you all”. Tim Graham, ROZU.
ROZU and their motto “A ROSE WILL BLOOM”.
Such is the band we introduce today, and such is the solidarity offer and the positive message they spread out with their own music, posted on social media as regards new single Faceless.
SICK AND SOUND has the pleasure to introduce you to ROZU, a brand new post-hardcore outfit from Denver, Colorado lining up Tim Graham on vocals, David Sundine on guitar, Brian Robertson on drums, and Henry Navarre on bass. Taking their own name from the Japanese noun for Rose, they have just released a new single called FACELESS on September 15th, 2018 which is following up the release of lead single DISSOLVE in June as part of their forthcoming debut collection of songs.
Our editor-in-chief Alessandra had the opportunity to sit down and have a chat with vocalist Tim Graham to get to know more about the outfit, explore their singles and discuss their unique slogan: “A Rose Will Bloom”.
Photo Credit Dave Gaslin. Right to use permitted by courtesy of Stencil PR.
- Hello Tim, it’s a pleasure to have you here at SICK AND SOUND. So let’s introduce ROZU: the background, the origins and the music influences that have impacted the band’s career into music.
First and foremost, thanks for having us! Rozu pretty much was just an idea between DJ (David) and myself and then a bunch of pieces started falling into place. We wanted to have the right members and really only go to people to talk to about it rather than holding open auditions. Brian and Henry HAD to be the guys and luckily enough after some long talks, visions shared, and a few beers we had our guys. Without them this project would never be a thing. We came together and solidified the lineup only in January of this year and just started writing and writing a lot! We range from so many different musical influences that spread across the board from Oceans Ate Alaska to Underoath to Relient K, which brings a super cool diversity to our writing sessions.
- When I bumped into your outfit I’ve been fascinated by the positive message and solidarity offer I found on your social media towards people who are experiencing depression and loneliness, spreading the concept of hope and light at the end of the tunnel from a personal point of view. I would love to discuss more the message you wish to spread with your music.
Yeah absolutely you know, it is a subject that has influenced a lot of my lyrics in my career. I normally was really writing about these moments that were happening at that moment or stuff that was just really eating me away from my past, and for these singles/EP I wanted to change things up on a couple. I’ve battled from depression and anxiety for so many years and really have just hit a lot of super low points last year, which now I’ve actually been pretty happy for a hot minute. I always tell myself though that with lows there has to be highs coming and sh*t always does get better with your outlook on situations. The only thing we can control in the world is our outlook on those situations, so I always try to add that outlook within my lyrics to hopefully connect with people that feel the same way I do.
- What’s been the inspiration leading to the choice of Japanese noun for Rose “Rozu” as a name for your outfit?
We really wanted something unique and not very long. We wanted it to be like one to two syllable and something just really easy to remember. Rozu was on a list of like 50 DJ and I had that we pretty much shopped around to some people, cut it down to 10, shop it, and then Rozu came out the winner. It really was the winner from the get go but we needed to go through these trials to really give us time to sit on it and know we weren’t settling on a name.
- Who are Tim Graham, David Sundine, Brian Robertson, Henry Navarre outside of their Rozu outfit?
I (Tim) outside of Rozu have a management company with a friend of mine called Engage Management and manage a few developing bands around our hometown of Denver. DJ is starting to really come into his own with design work and is doing a lot of out graphic design and starting to get a good client list. Brian plays in another band called Saints of Never After and is currently doing a musical where he is one of the leads. Henry is a man of music and has like so many other bands he plays in and is just always creating music check out his band Sorry Sweetheart.
Photo Credit Dave Gaslin. Right to use permitted by courtesy of Stencil PR.
- What are the most important aspects to focus on to achieve unity as a band and deliver the great vibe of being together doing what you enjoy the most, playing music?
I think really what it all comes down to his having that same mentality and like mindedness. We all want one thing and that is to create art to share with the world. For us it is just that trust that we all have for each other to always be pushing the envelope for this band. We all have our own things we are good at and bring something different to the table that all aim for the exact same goal. Also, just writing whatever we want to write and not restricting ourselves to one sound or genre per se.
- Let’s talk about the sound you have crafted evolving around a flawless balance between heaviness and melodic. The metal imprint is very evident but fury is wisely diluted with melodic inclined to disquieting atmospheres and driving melodies. Describe your sound and its strongest assets.
I think the strongest asset to our music is our diversity. Everyone to this point has only heard one song and we have like 16 fully finished songs and still writing. We want to stay true to our Post Hardcore roots and love for that 2007 era of aggressive melodic music. We write how we are feeling that day, so we’ll release a heavy ass song then maybe have an acoustic standalone to be the next release, you’re never going to know what you are going to get from us in some way but will always have that Rozu sound. It’s fair to us and our fans to not just put the same sh*t out time and time again.
- You are about to release this year your debut EP which has not been disclosed yet. I wish to sneak peek into the lyrical themes it will discuss.
Yeah, it’s weird with the EP. That thing kind of came out of nowhere and really isn’t going to be an EP but just a collection of singles while we finish an album. We had a couple ideas for songs then I was linking up with a friend of mine and up and coming producer Tyler Ruehl and really brought him into a collection of songs including Dissolve. The topics are spread all over and wanted the songs to be their own entities from Love, Failure, and as far as to the state of our society in America.
- I would love to talk more about DISSOLVE, which is the lead single for your forthcoming EP out last June 1st, 2018. This is a massive piece of post-hardcore combining sharp razor riffs and bold bass lines with eerie synth atmospheres and a dark texture on the backdrop. Mid growls leaning towards high screaming with some nice lows after the rocky breakdown combined with clean vocals.
Dissolve is a cool one to us and shows how much we all trust one another because it wasn’t intended for this band. I was really just wanting to right a super heavy post hardcore song with Tyler Ruehl. I was just going to honestly throw it up on SoundCloud or something until Brian was very persistent of it being one of ours, in the end it really worked out. The song was written and recorded in like a two-day span in a makeshift studio we put together and just went at it and really led to the rest of the songs done with Tyler.
- Let’s also discuss your brand new release FACELESS, out on September 15th, 2018 and the slogan which is introducing the track online such as: “A Rose Will Bloom”.
Faceless talks about a man who is going through an inner battle with himself, and really fighting against these inner demons. Talking about these coping mechanisms that are common in our society being alcohol and drugs. The main message is really to let the voices in to your head being outside voices from friends, professionals, and loved ones instead of defaulting to these vices. We all have gone through sh*t and we have lost so many talents this year alone to masking these issues with drugs and alcohol and it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve put on the mask and reached for the bottle to cope a lot and it’s just not healthy, it’s not a fun drunk and I’ve learned in my time that it is always better to talk to people you trust about this sh*t that is eating you alive and it’s honestly the best vice I have found. We just want you to know you are not alone and if our music can be any sort of comfort.
A Rose Will Bloom really speaks upon. The band as a whole and is kind of our bands’ slogan as a whole.
- What are the most challenging aspects you have faced while working on this upcoming album and what about the most memorable and easiest moments?
This was a very smoothly running machine when recording these. I think the biggest challenge for it was doing all the final tracking and actual writing one of the songs in a week. That sh*t was brutal on the voice, but it couldn’t have gone any better by having that sense of urgency. We released Dissolve the day I actually started tracking vocals for these next 4 songs and got the opportunity to have an absolutely amazing guest spot on one of the songs was the most memorable moments. Also, would like to give a shout out to PBR and Bullet Whiskey for really helping us get this done.
- Any sneak peeks for our readers on upcoming shows and this release you wish to anticipate?
Shows we are working on for sure along with a couple small runs of tours! That is for sure but at this point all we can really say. If anything, listen to Faceless because there is so much more to come with this project and this is just the beginning!
Thank you for your time and all the best for your upcoming album we are very thrilled to listen to. We are keeping an eye on more singles to be dropped by Rozu and supporting you into Europe and US!
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