Die Band, die sich um den Sänger Nathan Gray zusammengeschlossen hat – bekannt durch seine Arbeit mit Boysetsfire, I Am Heresy und seinem Soloprojekt –, hat aufregende Neuigkeiten verkündet. Nach ihrem Debütalbum im Jahr 2021 und erfolgreichen Tourneen in Nordamerika und Mitteleuropa unter dem Namen Nathan Gray and the Iron Roses tritt die Band nun als The Iron Roses auf. Anlässlich ihres neuen Albums „The Iron Roses“ haben wir Nathan Gray und Becky Fontaine einige Fragen gestellt.
Frontstage Magazine: Could you tell us about the creative process behind the new album? Were there any special inspirations or influences that shaped the songs?
The Iron Roses: Creating this album together really took a journey. It started with writing back in March of 2022, with a goal to hit the studio in February of 2023 if we felt like things were in place. In the time between, we transformed as individuals and as a group, and it felt like a huge shift really happened once we let go of the “Nathan Gray &” part of the band name. Becoming The Iron Roses allowed space for everyone to bring in their own individuality into what became a sound all our own, and by the time we were in the studio, every single one of us opened up in a way that showed us something special was happening together. This is the first album the 6 of us have written and recorded together, and we could not be more proud of what we have created. Thematically, we wanted to keep a message of revolution and autonomy, driven with a fast, powerful pace. This is an album that has a message for anyone who feels a bit lost in the fight. It’s a reminder that they aren’t at battle alone.
Frontstage Magazine: The lyrics in your songs are very political and engaged. How would you say the new
album responds to current global political developments?
The iron Roses: I think that it responds not only to the current global political developments, but to the ones that have always been there and somehow continue to thrive. Lyrically, this album stands as a middle-finger to all that aims to keep us in a place of fear and servitude. It is a firm statement that we will not be silenced, and we will not look away. Sonically, the album is wrapped in upbeat light, because nothing pisses off people trying to keep you down more than staying in
Frontstage Magazine: You’ve incorporated a unique blend of music styles, including Reggae and Hip-Hop,
into your music. How did this diversity come about, and how do you think it contributes to the message of your music?
The Iron Roses: It honestly came pretty naturally. We are a band that comes from such diverse backgrounds, that being able to reflect everyone’s natural influence within the album was very organic. When we listen to the album as a whole, we can hear each individual personality coming through – Nathan with their ska-leaning, forever-catchy melodic punk, Pedro with his own consistently hard-hitting, punk-driven style, Phil who brings in hip-hop and these huge, atmospheric guitar sounds, Michael whose bass lines are so incredibly intricate and technical that they truly stand out on their own, and myself who blends some very old school power-female vocals with moments of theatrics. None of it makes sense together which is exactly why it makes perfect sense. Being able to create space for everyone in the band to shine as they are is very much in line with our message of inclusivity.
Frontstage Magazine: The album seems to have a strong thematic message addressing social and political
issues. What core message do you aim to convey with this album?
The Iron Roses: This album as a whole really celebrates the power of the people. There are a seemingly endless amount of systems, parties, machines and ideologies that have emboldened each other to reduce the whole of humanity into non-autonomous profit horses. Those groups thrive on our anger, fear, self-hate and self-denial, and we are here to remind ourselves, eachother, and each of you, that you don’t have to participate in your own exploitation. You don’t have to make yourself uncomfortable in an effort to make others comfortable. You don’t have to stay silent, hide yourself away, or pretend to not be broken. If you have at all followed Nathan’s and my journey in the last few years, you will know that we are as messy as it gets.
Frontstage Magazine: Could you give us insight into the meaning of the album title and how it relates to the
songs on the album?
The Iron Roses: We decided to self-title this album since it is truly our first album as The Iron Roses. It is our introduction to the world, and it encapsulates exactly what we set out to accomplish with our first album together.
Frontstage Magazine: You’re known for your passionate live performances. How do you plan to bring the
songs from this album to life on stage, and what can fans expect from your upcoming live shows?
The Iron Roses: Our live shows are incredibly important to the experience of our music. We really feel that it’s where our message comes to life, and it is always a celebration of movement and elation. We approach the show as somewhat of a joyful protest – one in which the entire room is involved in the event. With Nathan and myself co-fronting the show together, the two of us are really intentional about drawing in the audience to be a part of what’s happening, as opposed to putting up that imaginary wall between stage and crowd that reduces them to just bodies who are there to consume the music. Aside from the performance itself, we really want to set a space where everyone who attends can come into that room, drop the mask they wear for the outside world, and be as messy as they need to be. Everyone deserves a place to be free and safe, and that’s what we want for people who join us for a live event.
Frontstage Magazine: In your opinion, what role does music play in combating injustices and social issues?
How do you hope your music can contribute to bringing about positive changes?
The Iron Roses: For many of us, music is the one place that sees us as we are, and doesn’t ask anything invreturn. It is the place that comforts, enrages, celebrates, romanticizes, or calms us. It speaks to the things we may not have the safety or ability to say out loud ourselves. Think about the Queer community, for one; being able to give a voice to those who may not be ready to use theirs, or even just being able to model what it can look like to survive as a Queer adult is invaluable. Punk should always be about being a voice for others. It is definitely a mission of ours to continue being that safe space, while providing a platform for diverse voices to speak to what matters most to them.
Fotocredit: Jared Bell