Anna Rose is rock n’ roll. Raw and unfiltered only begins to describe the petite-blonde’s persona; so don’t let her looks fool you. After her sophomore album Behold a Pale Horse, Rose has evolved deeper with her upcoming release, Strays In The Cut. Rose sums Strays In The Cut into one crisp breath – bravery. Stripped of its fat and fluff, tracks like “Bury Me Deep” coarse through your veins with depth and rock energy. Rose is unconcerned with conformity and hones in on feeling. The six-track EP is a defiant revolution that pushes both personal and musical boundaries for Anna Rose, check it out for yourself.
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Sean Ritchie: So, I know you’re based currently in New York, is that where you grew up?
Anna Rose: I was born in New York City, in an area called Hell’s Kitchen. It’s an actual area. Then, my parents moved up state, so I kind of have an equal mix of city and country in my blood. I lived in [Los Angeles] for five years. I, also, have spent a lot of time in the Caribbean. On an island called Saint Maarten.
AR: Awesome! Yeah, St. Maarten’s great because it’s not pretentious and there’s a lot to do. There are some great restaurants, great nightlife. It’s close to Saint Bart’s, but it doesn’t behave like St. Barts, which makes me happy.
AR: My parents always went to the Caribbean. It was the place where they would take us on family vacations. St. Maarten was just the island that we all sort of fell in love with.
SR: I see. Have you ever stood by that fence where the planes come flying in?
AR: Oh, I’ve been very rocked by that fence! I feel like it’s sort of like a rite of passage. I’ve gotten a lot of drinks at Sunset [Bar and Grill] that’s right there. One of my favorite places though is in the middle of the island called Pic Paradis. It’s sort of a nature preserve. It’s the tallest point on the island, and since St. Maarten is one of the bigger island’s [in the Caribbean] you can really see out over a lot of different islands. It’s a nice little hike.
SR: That sounds amazing up there. So, to tie it into music a little bit, how did you first get your start? What was your first real inspiration? How did the doors open for you?
AR: You know, it’s funny. In terms of doors opening I think I probably kicked them all open.
AR: Yeah, you know. In terms of the first time I really fell in love with an instrument or felt compelled to write, I picked up the guitar when I was five. I just fell in love with the instrument. I was already singing at that point. It was something that came naturally to me. I’m from a pretty musical family. I just kind of fell into that. Being able to play the guitar married it together. I then began writing songs.
SR: Now, how does music and travel fit together in your life?
AR: I’m really inspired by different places, different cultures. It’s a real source of inspiration for me. That aside, I love being on the road. I love being on tour. There’s something about living out of my suitcase that feels like home to me. Even just getting to travel across the [United States] or Canada, there’s always something new that you see. You can always find this cool new restaurant or weird bar. I love being a musician for that reason. I get to go see this whole country and really realize how big it is.
SR: Shifting towards your music, what do you have in the next couple of months that you’d like to highlight?
AR: I had a record that came out about a month ago called “Strays in the Cut”. It’s an EP. I’ve been promoting that this summer at some festivals. I played Summerfest and some smaller gigs across the country. Starting in September I’m going to be doing about two and a half months of solid touring, from the East Coast, Midwest, West Coast, Pacific Northwest and Southwest. We’re going all over.
AR: Yeah, we’re really trying to get as much as we can in that time. Some of the shows are going to be acoustic, some are going to be full band. It’s great, every city will get something different. I’m so excited about it. I’ve spent a lot of years, or at least the last three-or-four years really opening for other artists on their tours, and this is the first time I’m really going to be able to dive in and take the lead on some stuff. It’s really exciting for me. I’m proud to be doing it.
SR: That’s really cool. So, one of our core objectives at SCP is to bring people together while traveling. I know there is a lot of parallels between music and travel in that regard. Obviously, music intrinsically brings people together by its nature. How special is it for you to put on these shows bringing people together across the country?
AR: It’s amazing to go from city-to-city and realize how similar we all are, and at the same time how different. Every city is unique. At the same time, people connect with the songs in the same way. There’s a really human element to it, where you get to connect with people all across the country who may have the same problems or thoughts. I do like to, more than anything, celebrate the differences in all of us. But, music brings people from all walks of life together in a common bond. For me, getting to see that, and getting that proof of love in different cities every night is amazing.
SR: Couldn’t agree more. On a broader level, I know everyone has a list of destinations that they haven’t been to, but still want to see, what are three on your list? Why?
AR: I have the travel bug. My sister is about to go to Iceland and I’m a little jealous. I actually went to Spain this summer which was amazing, because I had never been outside of Madrid. So, I got to go and see a little bit of the countryside. I really want to go to Australia and Bali. I would love to go to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. I’d really like to go to Cuba. I’ve never been to Hawaii or Alaska. I’ve just never had tours that took me there.
SR: Out of all those destinations that you’ve reeled off. I’ve only ever been to Alaska. I actually took a cruise when I was younger through the Inside Passage. Pretty much there’s a strip of islands of the coast and it creates this almost river-like feel, but it’s open water. So, at times, you don’t really see any land, and at other times it’s as if you can reach out and touch a branch. This was on a big cruise ship. It’s definitely a cool way to see Alaska if you’re trying to do that.
AR: Oh wow! Also, one of my favorite places I’ve been is Botswana.
AR: I really believe in the anti-poaching movement strongly, and anti-trophy hunting. Botswana has one of the strictest laws for poachers and punishments for poachers. So, they really take care of their wildlife and you can see the results of that. Botswana is just this beautiful, diverse, happy, incredible country. I can’t say enough about it. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
SR: I’ve never been to Africa, but that’s definitely one of the continents that I need to hit for sure.
AR: If you’re going to go I would seriously consider Botswana, because it’s just a beautiful, but friendly place as well. It’s very welcoming. You’ll get to see a lot of wildlife. The people are very proud of taking care of the animals.
SR: Lastly, to warp this up, I’m always interested in how people approach a longer flight. What do you really do to prepare yourself? What do you have on board?
AR: Yeah, I’m pretty real about my flying. I like to make sure I always have lotion with me – face lotion and hand lotion. They both can get very dry. I’ll bring like a spritzer of rose water for my face as well. I always make sure I have a lot of water. I’ll bring a huge bottle of water on the plane with me. In terms of entertainment, what I usually do is download movies, because sometimes you just can’t trust what they are going to have on the plane. I also find being on an airplane a form of peace. It’s the one time where you really could shut off technology and everyone would be okay with it. Sometimes I’ll just make a whole playlist of music I haven’t heard before.