INTERVIEW: ROLLA on their new track, Sweet Lullaby
Well, shit. This song is really fucking good.
Sweet Lullaby is the latest release from Manchester-based rock n roll outfit, ROLLA. Imagine what would happen if the Gallagher brothers respawned into 5 members of gen z? It would be utter chaos, first of all, but if you want to know what it'd sound like, this is definitely your best bet.
Following their debut single, Thinking of Tomorrow, the new track brings authentic and self-assured Mancunian swagger at every level. It's the kind of beefed up, crunchy guitar music we crave; and it'll leave you wondering how the fuck you've not heard of this band before. But don't worry, you've not been missing out for long - and we've drafted in the boys to get you up to speed.
Can you introduce us to the band - which of you does what and how you all know each other?
We are ROLLA, a 5-piece rock n roll Band from Manchester. We have Mars Robinson on the drums, James Gilmore singing, Luke Gilmore on the bass and Tom Paddon and Luke McConnell on the guitars. James and Luke are brothers of course, and Tom and Luke went to the same school and then college. They then moved in together at uni, which is where we met Mars! Tom and Luke then ran into James at university - they recognised him being a year lower at school, and then we ended up all moving in together and the band just sort of fell together from there.
Which musicians have inspired your sound the most?
We all bring our own influences to the band, but our strongest influences are Johny Marr and Richard Ashcroft. They are both unreal songwriters and guitarists, and we suppose both lyrically and musically we take a lot of inspiration from those guys.
How much do you think being from Manchester has impacted your sound?
Being from Manchester will always be a big thing for any band - growing up around the rich history, you can't really get away from it. It's 100% influenced our sound - the attitude and aggressive nature is definitely something common with Mancunian music, and we're proud to represent that and be a part of the thriving music scene here in Manchester to this day. We feel like the UK is the main hub of music for around the world, we produce masses of talent for such a small island so we are glad to be in good company.
How have you found making music during the events of the past year?
It's been tough making music this year, you know. We have had problems meeting up with each other because of COVID, but in summer after the lockdown 1.0 we managed to get in the studio and recorded three tracks. One of which is Sweet Lullaby, and the other two we have in the bank ready to hit you in the face with when you least expect it. We always write stuff at home and send each other ideas and that, so it's a constant chain of writing - we're just biding our time until we can get back to playing properly.
What's the story behind Sweet Lullaby, lyrically?
The lyrics are about interactions with people that make you feel good or fill you with hope - especially in the verses we recite these kind of moments, the chorus then follows with having that someone who helps you get back up and going when times are tough and tells you that it’s going to be alright. The overall concept of the song stems from the idea of festivals - 50,000 people can be listening to the same song in a muddy field and yet all hold different views for why they love it, music is incredibly contextual and personal.
How would you describe your sound in 3 words?
Massive, aggressive and soulful.
What are you looking forward to as a band in the next year or so?
We are mainly looking forward to gigging. It seems like the obvious answer, but we started the band because we love playing together, and it feels like forever now since we did! So getting that fundamental buzz back is the main thing because that's what we love, and then whatever comes from it is a bonus, just as long as we're making big tunes and playing that's all we want!
Interview by Courtney Myers