1985 Sounds Interview

Published 02/11/85

“Rose Hips” Neil Perry listens to the mountainous rumblings of the Rose of Avalanche

Submission time. “LA Rain” the debut single from Rose of Avalanche shot me pretty close to vinyl heaven. A heady mix of melancholy sleaze and rock ‘n’ roll glamour, the song is swathed in sheets of guitar and fuelled by a talk alonga-Lou American drawl, very close to the mark indeed.

You want a clue? OK. The opening voice on the interview tape intones just three words “Stones, Stooges, Hendrix.”

They must be a bunch of West Coast space cadets…

Well not quite, Rose of Avalanche are four sensible, down to earth lads from Leeds, plus one drum machine. We meet before the bands gig at the Croydon Underground, only the seventh of their career.

Leeds? Who would have thought it…vocalist Phil explains, rather warily.

“The American feel is international. During gigs, my accent’s…erm…slightly different to what it is now. It’s part of the entertainment”

The band listened to what I had to say about LA Rain. They showed no reaction. Cool customers, eh?

Phil: “You’re talking in a cult sense, but I imagine it appealing to a really big audience, people who are into pop music as well as other stuff. There’s a lot commerciality about it, it’s hard to explain”

Are you your surprised at the early interest in Rose of Avalanche?

Bassist Alan: “We’re not surprised, no. We thought there would be a bit more”

These Rose-hips are arrogant, from their curly manes to their black pointed boots. The attitude to get you places?

“We don’t trust anybody in the music business,” Phil continues, perhaps looking at me through his shades.

Alan “We’re expecting more than other people get, so when we get pissed about it really annoys us”

Guitarists Glyn and Paul drink and watch, and say nothing. On to a thorny subject which should be cleared up as soon as possible. Is it difficult living in the shadow of the Sisters?

Gyn: “it’s just because we’ve got a drum machine. The public in Leeds regard us as Sisters of Mercy rip offs, but we know we’re good so we’ll pull through”

“The Sisters are adored in Leeds”, laughs Alan. “Even the grannies love the Sisters. But we like them as well. They’ve done it themselves, you know?”

Inevitably we return to LA Rain. Alan sighs and attempts to give some sort of thesis.

“There’s no pride in music anymore, and that’s something we’ve all got. We’re all influenced by stuff from the late ’60′s, when songwriting was a big thing”

A grim sort of smile registers of Phil’s face. “Although”, he adds, “LA Rain has been called the song that Andrew Eldritch never dared to write!”

The gig that night was a success, although live Rose of Avalanche have all the stage presence of a bunch of scarecrows. They can cut it, for proof witness of their definitive version of “Gimme Some Loving” which is on the flip side of their latest single “Goddess”

Poseurs, rockers, what the well. I’m impressed. Well are you experienced…?