|Secret Someones is a New York-based alt-rock band composed of singer/songwriters Bess Rogers, Hannah Winkler, Lelia Broussard and multi-instrumentalist Zach Jones. Last fall, I had the pleasure of sitting down with them to ask them a few questions before their show at New York City’s Stage 48!
Well- a year has gone by since that first interview and now, I had the pleasure of getting to chat with one of them again. I spoke to Bess Rogers about their newly released self-titled album, upcoming tour and what life as a member of Secret Someones is really like!
MT: Nice to talk you again, Bess! So since we last spoke, Secret Someones has done a lot but the most exciting thing is that you’ve released a new album! How did your last EP shape this new album?
BR: The album was finished really around the time that we released the EP. But we were doing one more song that we added that became our single “Headfirst.” We wanted to give people a little something to hold them over until the album. They happened simultaneously. We picked a few songs that we thought represented the album well.
MT: Take me through the production and songwriting process for the new album.
BR: We had all been playing music together for a while. We had toured together a bunch and had played our own solo music but were backing each other up. After that, we decided to start writing together and doing a project together. We really had a pretty amazing connection right away. We came out with six or seven songs immediately. All the songs that are on the record were written in the first few months of us becoming a band. They all have a connection that way. The songs all sort of come from a very specific place in time for us. All the songs feel very connected.
MT: So you’re going to be heading out on tour shortly, you’ve just announced a tour with Marianas Trench this fall. Are you looking forward to any of the cities in particular?
BR: Yeah! We are playing in Chicago and I’m excited about that. We love L.A and San Francisco. This month, we had our CD release show in New York and we are playing in D.C and Philadelphia as well.
MT: I think I heard that you are playing CMJ Music Festival in New York this year which is a really cool event that showcases free music all over New York City for a week.
BR: Yeah! We are actually playing with four of our favorite bands which is really cool.
MT: How does an event like CMJ factor into your career and the band?
BR: There’s a staggering amount of talent in New York. It’s a really great community and we met each other here. We get inspired by things like this and being surrounded by all these amazing musicians. And CMJ is like that times a thousand. Everyone is playing that one week and packed into a tiny space. It’s so exciting to get to be a part of it and see so much good music. It’s a really special thing.
MT: I also read that some of your upcoming shows will have Secret Someones covering Green Day songs....
BR: Yeah! So our friends Jukebox The Ghost who we toured with this past winter. They are doing a Halloween show in New York and Boston called Halloqueen where they are covering Queen songs. They asked us to open as a different band so we chose Green Day! We’re really stoked about it.
MT: Are there any artists in particular that influence your music?
BR: We had a specific idea of what we wanted the band to sound like. Our main influences were Weezer and Nirvana, 90s rock. Things like Radiohead and Kimbra. We love The Talking Heads, Tom Petty, Wilco, just a big variety of music but I think the main thing was the sort of rowdy 90s rock like Weezer mixed with these harmonies that we loved in a lot of our music.
MT: What has been your most interesting or most surreal experience as a musician?
BR: This past summer, we got to open 7 shows for Ingrid Michaelson’s tour. Definitely some of the biggest venues we’ve played. We played Summerstage for the second year in a row. That’s pretty magical. We love her and are good friends with her. It’s great to get to play in front of crowds that big, it’s so so fun. And also getting signed to Cherrytree Records. That happened fairly quickly after we started the band. We were such a big fan of that label. It was incredibly exciting to hear that they were interested in signing us. It was a memorable life moment.
MT: If somebody had never heard of your band before, how would you sum it up in a sentence?
BR: Ingrid Michaelson described it as “Weezer with boobies.” That’s our Twitter bio and it will probably never go away. Weezer mixed with harmonies a la the Dixie Chicks or Fleetwood Mac is a pretty accurate description. We like to bring the rock and we also like to bring the harmonies.
MT: Where do you want to see the band go in the next five years?
BR: We love playing shows. We love the energy from audiences and making those connections. That is our main priority right now. We hope to be on the road as much as we can. We are very proud of this record. And we are excited to meet all the people!!
MT: Any advice for aspiring artists or your fans out there?
BR: I would say work really hard. It isn’t easy. It’s a tough road. Keep trying, keep trying, keep trying! You have to remember that things just don’t happen right away. Being a nice person and being good to work with is key. If you are kind to everyone you meet and you work hard, you will have success, I really do believe that.
MT: Thank you for talking with Musiqtone once again!
BR: Thank you!