Gem, how’s it going, it’s been a while since I saw you. How have things been in the world of Gemma Rogers, I believe there is a new single coming soon and record next year?
Hello hello, it’s going well thank you. Hmm, you might have seen me during that Strummerville stream but sadly I didn’t see you. I think the last face-to-face was Glasto 2019 which is crazy. Oddly though, you always feel nearby. I blame smartphones! I’m sure like everyone, I feel like my world’s been shaded in so many different colours over the last couple of years; from dark red to the lightest green.
Lockdown forced a focus which got the album finished. In hindsight, it’s brilliant, of course, but we did struggle with the production side of things because once lockdown happened it all had to be done remotely. Everyone involved was in different time zones, different headspaces, and life stages so we had communication failures at times but, nothing worthwhile is ever easy is it. And I’m really really proud of what we’ve achieved.
The debut single, ‘Good day bad trip,’ was released end of June this year, the music video for it ended up winning about 10 awards at film festivals globally. Huge respect to the director Tone Davies (H28) for all his hard work. My second single ‘Rabbit hole’ is out on September 10th.
And the album ‘No place like home’ is out on vinyl and all the usual platforms in March next year via indie label ‘Tiny Global productions.’
How was your summer last year without Festivals, what did you miss? how did you use the year off, Work On the album? And what about your theatre work?
I missed the friends that I only seem to see in fields but because none of it was happening I settled into the quiet. Not that it was that quiet actually, There were 11 of us were living in a massive old launderette up until a few months ago. The space had a rooftop overlooking Ladbroke Grove so we spent lots of time up there over the summer months listening to music and helping to prop each other up. Our own little dysfunctional concrete festival family.
I have played a couple of times already. I’ve got a new band who are all incredible musicians, Turned up to the first rehearsal knowing all the songs type of players. Normally I meet them at a party, tell them I think the chords are G and F, and hope for the best!
Only joking – all the people I’ve been lucky enough to play with are always brilliant. But yeah as this current ( and hopefully ongoing ) version, we played a single launch at The Amersham Arms in New Cross last week and it went off Jamie. After 18 months of gig drought, I didn’t realise how hungry I was for it all.
I’m playing at The Archway Tavern on Saturday 11th Sept as part of the Islington Radio festival. Hanwell Hootie festival on Saturday 18th and there’s a Sofar Sound gig on the 23rd. Theatre work is my day to day so have had the summer off facilitating drama and writing workshops to focus on music.
Plus, I’ve got a couple of writing for theatre projects starting soon but all very embryonic.
When I met you way back you played with the Milmen, or by yourself, or whoever was about in some cases! What's your setup now? are you still writing With Alfie Jackson?
Exactly! I’d always work with whoever was around, a pool of players I’ve met over the years, up for jumping in as and when. Remember the story about me having to find a whole new band at Glastonbury about an hour before my Rabbit Hole stage gig
Miraculously it worked out.
Something to do with the power in those mystical ley lines perhaps. They became my regular band for a while. This new setup will undoubtedly change too depending on people’s availabilities, as it did with the Milmen. I freelance myself so it’s important to be realistic about the fact people are going to need to prioritise work when it comes in. It’s a more relaxed way of working and takes the pressure off everyone involved. We’ve got a bassist, keys player, drummer, violinist, guitarist and then me on the electric uke (sometimes.)
Alfie is my musical wingman, he and I wrote the album together alongside riff maker, guitar-slaying producer Sean Genockey. There are also 3 tracks on the album that my brother Nick and I wrote together.
I will always work with the three of them when possible. Alfie and I have a couple of music ideas up our sleeve. He’s actually really busy at the moment getting an EP of his solo stuff together… it’s sounding lush.
You’ve always been a supporter of The JSF, playing shows, helping out, and being a force of nature and we love you for it. any special moments over the years That stood out?
There are loads but I think the Hawley Arms as part of the Frank Turner’s Lost Evenings event was special – mainly because you were there J ( charming aren’t I ) and also because Frank’s a brilliant and supportive chap and that pub is iconic.
All the times you’ve invited me to play on your stage at Glasto has warmed my heart too because your audiences are spot on and also the location of Strummerville is gold; a magical tucked away gem of a spot. And I just always feel proud to play for you because of all the brilliant things you do as a charity.
Love you guys, always will.
Can we sort that 2021 face-to-face out now, please?
Check out Gemma’s new video and see what she’s got cooking for following her.
Stream, buy & support → https://gemmarogersx.bandcamp.com/album/rabbit-hole-2
Website for updates on gigs & releases → https://www.gemmarogersmusic.com
Instagram → @gemma_rogers_music_