Interview by CHRIS MARTIN
Sons of Rico have been building up to this moment for a long time. Since the release of the EP Orange Skies back in 2007, the band has been working towards the release of their first album, Reactions. Engineered by Dave Parkin and mastered in New York by Steve Fallone, Reactions captures the songwriting partnership that is lead singer/guitarist Alex MacRae and drummer Adam Weston. MacRae explains that the album has been a long time coming. “A lot of these songs have been in production for the past year or two. Coming into this album we just threw together all the ideas I had lying around and put it all together”
While Weston is well known as a member of the all-conquering Birds of Tokyo, MacRae is still something of an enigma. So who is he and what does he listen to? Well, MacRae’s tastes are surprisingly traditional. “I was influenced by Dad’s record collection and CD’s we got for Christmas, The Beatles and other 60’s bands, as well as Elton John and Supertramp. In recent times I’ve discovered The New Pornographers, Radiohead, ELO and Led Zeppelin. There’s definitely a mish-mash of influences. I draw not only from music but film and my own experiences. ”
Of course, there are three other band members; guitarist Glenn Sarangapany, bassist Rob Stephens and keyboardist Brett Murray. MacRae however is still the core of the band and he states that he is the primary composer. “The way the band works is I produce the homes at home in demo form, then I take it to the others. But of course the songs aren’t 100% complete when I give them out so the others are adding their own flavour to the mix. Everyone in the band comes from different musical backgrounds, the songs can change for the better with more people in the room because you can get stuck in your own ways.”
Until recently, Sons of Rico were a four-piece, with Brett Murray the latest addition to the crew. MacRae explains why Murray was brought in.“When we were a four-piece, as I was writing material I was bringing in more keyboards and strings. I felt like when we were going to play live we were compromising the songs sonically, so I thought let’s bring in a keyboard player. Brett’s brought in a lot with his Macbook Pro, all the songs are set up in Reason, we can trigger a lot of different parts from his MIDI controller.”
MacRae is clearly happy to be able to release his latest collection of songs to an enthusiastic audience. So what can one expect to hear at a Sons of Rico gig? “You can expect to hear an ecletic mix of songs, we’re not going across genres. You can also expect some good guitar solos, good vocal harmonies and overall a good rockin’ time”.
Sons of Rico play the Rosemount Hotel on Friday November 12!