Rose Gonzales Music

the E'ville Experience

Found: The Next Level

I’ve been so stressed. Everything happens all at once, and our previous drummer (Chris) taking off put very real pressure on me. I’m proud of how I’ve handled this particular challenge. Not all of my recent challenges, but I did help find us a kick-ass drummer. And, oh man, she is SO kick-ass.

But, first, the failure. Before my drummer jumped ship I had the FINAL shoot for our music video organized for last weekend. I was so excited to finish up this video I had been imagining for months now. Then, when Chris left, I went into a super-focused mode. Unfortunately, it wasn’t super-focused on the video shoot.

My videographer has also been very busy, and she didn’t have an opportunity to meet with me ahead of the shoot. We tried to digitally figure out the shoot as much as possible, but I didn’t give the shoot OR my videographer enough attention. Predictably, it didn’t go as well as I wanted. My videographer did what I wanted, because she’s a professional, but we didn’t get it as polished as we could because I had heaped everything on her last minute.

It wasn’t fair. I should have cancelled the shoot as soon as Chris quit, but I wanted it so bad. I’ll definitely remember this lesson for next time I have a huge project thrust upon me. Focus on what needs your focus. Push back what you can. The people around you will appreciate you whole-assing one thing vs. half-assing two things (thanks, Ron Swanson).

Parallel to this frustrating shoot, was a success story. I worked so hard on drummer auditions. I wanted Nick and Elliott to feel confident in my ability to keep this band running, but I’m not sure they were. One of my band members suggested we ask Chris if he would consider coming back, just for the 1 gig.

Ouch, my pride.

Especially because I had already asked Chris if he was out for the 1/24 gig at Milk Bar, even though he had previously agreed to the show. He was out, he stated. and I didn’t argue, people have a right to quit and that’s fine. But I do struggle with the idea of chasing a drummer that obviously wasn’t interested in playing with us anymore. What would he contribute to the show at that point? Would he care?

I wanted to be angry, but there wasn’t time. Instead, I let another band member reach out to Chris (my pride wasn’t worth not having a drummer, and there’s no harm in asking) and I went into overdrive finding someone NEW to be our drummer. If my team wasn’t confident we could find someone, that was on me. I needed to prove that I am a leader that can find someone. And not just someone, someone that will bring us to the next level.

My BFA is in Theatre, Acting/Directing, so I know a few things about auditions. If you want great people to audition, you have to make those great people aware of your auditions. I went to Gig Salad and found some local drummers that looked promising. I asked them to come to auditions, and they agreed. We had 2 drummer auditions signed up before we had posted a flyer anywhere.

I did post a flyer on our social media, asking for drummers, and I was so grateful to all of my music friends! Everyone I know that has music connections in the area shared it! It was an awesome reminder of how great the community I’ve found is. We filled out more audition slots, and I felt reassured in my own abilities. I also couldn’t believe how amazing the talent we had auditioning was. Suddenly, we had a full night of professional auditions coming up, when previously the band was worried no one would audition at all.

The auditions were such a success! As soon as we arrived for the auditions and set up, I knew we would find our drummer that night. We had an extra audition show up early because they enjoyed our music and wanted to make sure they had an opportunity. We played with talented musicians and struggled at the end of the night to talk through all the pros and cons of each drummer. We landed on the perfect candidate, though. Genesis Valentine.

She’s incredible, a true professional. I feel the pressure lifted from my shoulders because I trust her completely. The rest of the band knows how great she is, too. Hopefully we all learn, improve, and move to the next level as a band. While we won’t have Genesis forever, we definitely could work with her on our EP! Come to the gig and let me know how great you think she is!

Check out our calendar for more information on our gig at the Milk Bar in SF! I’m so proud of the work we’ve done and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Eville Poster Milk Bar.jpg

Where Art Takes Us

I just read a really inspiring post from Patton Oswalt that addressed what steps we can take to fight the new status quo in a helpful, productive way. He recommended tuning your TV to ANYTHING other than the inauguration, and then he recommended supporting small and local struggling arts. It is a beautiful gesture of love and support for anyone that isn't marching or protesting in another way, but wants to.  I loved the idea of art taking our country in the right direction, with or without a crazy person at the steering wheel.

I realized I should release something new on January 20th to give people wanting something else to tune into a Rose Gonzales option. Of course I would love it if you bought my music on iTunes or added it to playlist on Spotify (they even have "Scorch the Earth" with the correct spelling up...finally :D), but you can also find my music on YouTube. I'll post a video of me singing a cover I love tomorrow morning. 

You'll be able to find that here

I think I'll spend the 20th writing lyrics. I can't stand feeling useless right now, and trying to put my angry energy into productive creativity has been helping me prep for Rose Gonzales, Pt. 3. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, friends! Be safe out there, no matter what your plans are!

This picture WOULD be very realistic. Except my work space is almost never that clean ;)

This picture WOULD be very realistic. Except my work space is almost never that clean ;)

2016 Wrap Up!

While my entire Facebook feed has informed me that 2016 was, in fact, the worst year EVER, I hope I look back on it as the beginning of something great. I launched my music out into the world this year. Not all of the world heard it, but I did it. I've sold songs on iTunes. I've streamed music that people actually listen to on a regular basis. That's really awesome! 

It can be easy to look at people successful in the music industry and think that you haven't accomplished anything at all. Ariana Grande is 23 and she's been nominated for 4 Grammy Awards. I just turned 29 and finally have 7 songs up on iTunes. It's not a good comparison.

But the most important comparison is the one to myself. And I have 7 songs released from my first album this year, as compared to 0 songs released from the dream album in my head last year. That feels like a huge accomplishment and I'm really proud of myself. I'm also very excited to have that number increase next year!

In addition to more music, which is always goal #1, this year I hope to have more content up for you here. I have some videos of me singing that I want to get up. I hope to turn this into a weekly blog where I can tell you about my process, my music education, and what led me to music in the first place. I will probably do some live performances this year too, so keep your eyes peeled for dates. However, My first goal for 2017 will be the 3rd part of my album release. But that may take a while. I want to put 5 songs out this time. We'll see if I can make that happen.

One final note here, "Scorth the Earth" is still up on Spotify ;)

Scorth the Earth

I listened to the tracks in Rose Gonzales, Pt. 2 so many times. I wanted to make sure they were perfect.

I double checked each track I uploaded. I had to make sure everything was correct.

After looking at the title "Bullet in Flight" for too long, I had to look the word "bullet" up to make sure I had spelled it correctly.

And yet, it was not careful enough. 

I was up at midnight, waiting to put my music on RoseGonzalesMusic.Com. I uploaded the music, made sure it worked, and then went to iTunes to see if the music was live and available for purchase yet. It was up and available for purchase, but something was not right.

"Scorth the Earth"

"Oh no." I said, to myself, in the dark, at midnight. "Oh no, no, no, no, no, no...."

It was an excellent Shia LeBeouf impersonation, but my heart was beating so fast I thought I might be having a heart attack. I wasn't lying in my last blog post when I said that I don't have a handler, a manager, a PR person, none of those extra, super helpful people. This was all my fault. I immediately took all the music down from iTunes and all the other stores and re-uploaded the music under the proper titles. Double checking, triple checking, quadruple checking the spelling of everything. Sleep was ruined for me. I couldn't get over how much I had messed up.

Of course, the incorrectly titled song didn't come down immediately. iTunes still had the "Scorth the Earth" version for sale well into the morning hours. Luckily, by that time I was able to see the humor in the situation. Anyone that downloaded "Scorth the Earth" would have the ultimate Rose Gonzales easter egg. 

It isn't on iTunes anymore, but you can find it on Spotify under the WRONG title as of this posting on 12/15/2016 :)

Check out "Scorth the Earth" on Spotify here:

Rose Gonzales, Pt. 2

As the second release inches closer, I am going through those normal, horrible, artist fears. Was I critical enough with the editing? Did I do too much? Not enough? Do these songs make sense released together? Will anyone listen far enough to hear "Stand in the Rain" (my favorite song of this release). Will the completely different feel of "Trains" confuse our genre? 

Ultimately I can rely on a certain amount of security by obscurity. I don't have a fancy handler, a PR person, a manager, it's just me and my collaborators. I know my audience is small right now. Sometimes that's a comfort to me. As an extroverted introvert, I have very conflicting feelings about anyone being able to hear my music, which is incredibly personal to me.

What I found after the first music release was a great sense of unease, but also a huge feeling of accomplishment. I don't always know how people will interpret the lyrics I write, or if they understand why I chose to sing a line the way I did. Every time I get feedback about a song being stuck in someone's head, I feel pretty cool. But ultimately, I don't know how my music makes people feel. There are only 3 songs out there.

That's all about to change, the more music that gets out, the better the picture of me as an artist will come together. There are a lot of things I can't wait to share, but generally I'm terrified of so many of my personal feelings and thoughts being shared. I think it's the good kind of terror though, the kind that makes you feel nervous, but in a way that makes you work harder, prepare more completely, and really kick ass.

Enjoy Pt. 2 of my first album, Rose Gonzales.


The First Release

I have so much music I can't wait for you to hear.

I have music that, when it was written, felt like it didn't quite fit the respective music culture. Now I see its relevance all around me.

The first release, Rose Gonzales, happened immediately after the election, and that was intentional. November 18th was the soonest I could get all the pieces together after my collaborator and brother, Jesse Gonzales, sent me a text message with a song lyric I had written years ago. There's nothing like getting a message from yourself (and extremely helpful brother) that your music is relevant. "Leave Them to the Night" (LT2TN) captured my frustrations completely. There were truly no people at the upper levels that cared. And there was no one person to blame. Just like that, the first song we knew we were going to release was chosen.

I wanted to have a few more songs released with "LT2TN", and I had a lot to choose from. There was some updating work to be done, and I wanted to get everything out quickly while the climate was right. I decided on a small first release, to be followed by a Pt. 2 and Pt. 3 release at later dates. The second song in Pt. 1 I wanted to release was "Apocalypse".

"Apocalypse" was a much harder release decision for me because that song feels so personal. I'll go into more specific details in a later blog post, but this was an early collaboration song in my music career. It is also, unfortunately, ringing true. Lines like, "The counter-culture is the culture" and "All you people look the same to me" were supposed to be outdated ideas that died, and this song would go out of date. Now there are discussions of a Muslim registry in the USA? I'm disappointed this song feels so relevant, but glad I have a way to express my anger.

Finally, "Light Speed". The third song in the release. If the other two songs were my most pessimistic, "Light Speed" was the hopeful note I wanted to end on. Evoking David Bowie, science fiction, and themes of deceit, forgiveness, and hope, this song is one of those that you sing at the top of your lungs. 

Thank you so much for listening to my music. Tomorrow I release Pt. 2, and these tracks are amazing! Pt. 1 had a heavier, alt rock feel. The first of my new releases, "Bullet in Flight", is right in line with Pt. 1, but then the songs take a different direction. There is a much more relaxed sound to the other tracks that show another side of my music. We're only 1 day away!