Interview | Introducing…Roo Panes

roo panes2

Hello, please introduce yourself and your music to the uninitiated.

Hi, my name is Roo, and I guess my music is as good an introduction to me as I could hope to write. I would imagine my music would be described in the bracket of folk, but I try not to think about genres, I feel it limits where each song may want to take itself. Essentially it all begins with poetry for me, and the fact that every situation has a melody and lyric that expresses it. I love the art of trying to match a mood or situation with music and words.

Tell us a bit about your latest release?

This is my second release this year, and I’m looking forward to putting it out. It’s a mixture of old songs and new, as I’m still catching up with the release of songs I’ve had sitting on shelves for a little while. It’s always interesting to revisit, and remember your journey to date. It will be out December 2nd and I hope people will like it! It’s called Land Of The Living, which I guess frames the fact that it represents moments of my life over the last couple of years. Then I’m excited to work on my debut album!

What was your best ever gig?

I think it has to be my first ever gig. I can remember the adrenaline of just playing in front of people for the first time! Then it all went wrong, because I over-practiced and cut my thumb on stage. Blood went everywhere; someone fainted in the front row and disappeared. I just carried on playing with a ‘show must go on’ attitude, to the horror of the crowd. But it was full of drama and I loved it. Not the most glamorous show, but full of memories.

What’s the worst thing about being a musician?

I love writing the most, and perhaps I’m not naturally suited to city life. I write best when in nature, or a beautiful inspiring place, and don’t get to spend nearly enough time traveling or being in the countryside. That said, I think the toughest thing is sticking to your guns. I want to create music as me, without thinking about fitting in with any particular existing current – that can sometimes make life a little more against the grain, because it makes you harder to place, and takes time for people to familiarise with your musicBut it keeps it honest and personal, which is where I want it.

What inspires you?

It’s tough to explain, because in truth it can be anything, it just grabs you and you want to write about it. That’s one side of it, but I guess that there are places you put yourself to be inspired. For me, that’s in literature, or amongst people, or traveling. There’s literally so much to write about – it’s more about learning to keep your eyes open I guess. Often I forget and take it for granted,

If you won a billion pounds what would you do with it?

Hmm…Perhaps buy an island and turn it into a paradise for creatives, where people can live affordably and amongst other creative minds…that could either be a dream or a nightmare though, knowing us lot!

Which of your songs is your favourite and why?

That’s a hard one. I’m going to pick two: ‘Know Me Well’ because it has a lot of sentimental value to me, and ‘Once’ because that song introduced and encompassed a lot of different themes and elements to my music that I have gone on to explore with my other writing to date.

What are you plans for the future?

Who knows? That’s kind of up to the future. I just want to continue writing and putting it out there, it’s what I love doing and I’m really delighted to be attacking a debut album! I’m quite step-by-step with these things. Though I am also interested in writing a book…we’ll see.

Finally, we’re always looking to expand our musical horizons. Do you have any recommendations of bands or artists we should be looking out for?

Recently I’ve actually gone back to listening to the likes of Nick Cave, Johnny cash, Lou Reed etc. But I’ve also been tuning in to some classical music, in particular I’ve been loving Arvo Part and how he uses simplicity to create a huge atmosphere, that’s really interesting to me…Check out his cello piece ‘Frates’. As for new artists, I have a bunch of friends doing great stuff, Josh Flowers and the Wild, Dancing Years, Stokes William, Emily and the Woods, The Soil and the Sun, they’re all worth a listen!

Land Of The Living EP is out 2nd December on CRC Music
Catch Roo at his headline show at London’s Bush Hall on the 10th December.