The band are nominated for Best Rock Performance.
(TRR) – BONES UK kicked off their 2020 winter tour with Korn and Breaking Benjamin last night at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA. Merely 72 hours after the tour begins, the duo fly across the country to Los Angeles to attend the GRAMMY Awards. BONES UK nabbed a Best Rock Performance nomination for their single “Pretty Waste” from their self-titled debut LP.
Backstage before the show, Rosie Bones and Carmen Vandenberg sat spoke with The Rock Revival about the GRAMMYs, their current tour, and more. This band is definitely one that needs to find their way onto your new music radar, as they are just phenomenal. We can certainly see these ladies, along with drummer Heavy, tearing up the rock charts for years to come.
Their live performance is mesmerizing, as the live environment is where Bones UK truly shines. Check out our full interview below to learn more about their creative style, their mission statement, new music, touring and more.
Q: Congratulations on your Grammy nomination for “Pretty Waste”! How surreal was it when you got that phone call?
BONES UK: Thank you!
ROSIE BONES: She [Carmen Vandenberg] got a text from our label that said call me straight away, and he lives down the road so she thought maybe it was a car crash or something, so she was like ‘oh my gosh, is everything okay?’ So, then she called him and he said ‘I’d liked to speak with the Grammy-nominated Carmen Vandenberg.
CARMEN VANDENBERG: We didn’t expect it! We didn’t even know we had been submitted for it!
Q: So the whole thing came as a big surprise?
RB: It’s really nice because it feels like we’re going not just for us, but we’re going to represent a lot of new bands who kind of felt like they would never ever stand a chance of being on a program like that, so for us it’s bigger than just us, it’s like we kind of the poster kids for anyone can do it, you know, the underdogs.
Q: We were reading up on a lot of your mission statement on your website and it really hits home and we found it very touching. How important does that message continue to be through your music and art? We were like ‘hell yes, f**k fitting in’!
RB: It’s huge and we always have to say this because we want to speak to girls and boys alike. It’s so important for us to sort of get that cross section of, you know, although we are we are girls we hate the idea of boys feeling isolated from us because we’re girls as well it’s really weird. It’s about anyone who feels like an underdog or someone not represented or feels insecure or something like that … we want to be their spokespeople.
Q: Your unplugged album comes out 1/24. What led to your decision to release an unplugged album … was there a fan demand?
CV: Our label just asked us to do an acoustic rendition for a few of our songs and like with most things, we took it somewhere else and decided to make a movie out of it and then not just us playing acoustic guitars but we rearranged it for different instruments that you wouldn’t expect to hear on Bones tracks. And then Rosie had this visual concept as well, so we took it somewhere else and had a lot of fun.
Q: Speaking about the visual elements, we adore the fact that you have not forgotten the art of the music video. We love the black and white aesthetic, they look amazing. We love to see that visual side to the music.
RB: For me, I come from an art school background, so the visuals have always been as important to me as the music. I mean, obviously the music is important, but I think it all needs to be the same thing and it needs to be cohesive. It needs to come from us and building into the world. Everything comes from us! We work with other people and other directors, but it’s always like I’ve got an idea of something and then Carmen helps me make it happen.
Q: How long ago did you two make the transition from the UK to Hollywood? How much of an inspiration has that been, because Hollywood is definitely a different animal, all on its’ own.
RB: I think that song content wise Hollywood is a f**cking huge inspiration for that! A lot of the stuff that we talk about, we’re talking about naturally in London and it’s so much more amplified in Hollywood. You go to a party up in the Hollywood Hills to see like, what the beauty standard is in Hollywood and it’s f**king wild! We’re like a beast in Hollywood. It’s insane. Everyone is getting plastic surgery and all that, but despite all that everyone is still f**king cripplingly insecure. And then that’s such a strange tension for me and then we both agree that it’s a weird thing of sort of like all these people that look amazing, but haven’t done any work on their inside so they’re all like insecure and unhappy.
CV: What they want to be seen as is more important than how they actually are! Social media is sometimes all that they care about!
RB: They are patching up holes, but the water is still sprouting up because they haven’t actually stopped the leak.
Q: Absolutely! We laugh everyday at what goes down on various social media profiles. It’s not real life!
RB: I don’t want to be down on anyone. Some people like amplifications because that’s how they want to look, but for us, it’s like you can’t run from insecurities by patching up or putting on more make-up. If you want to deal with that stuff you have to work it out in an internal way.
CV: Again, we don’t want to criticize at all because if it make somebody happy and that’s what they want, you know it’s their choice. It’s more for the sadness it gives us when you see the people aren’t happy … they are cripplingly insecure, but we’re not here to tell anybody how to live.
RB: I think it’s just kids, well, not just kids, but adults and well, all of us, who think that there is this thing we have to be or way that we have to look and it’s chasing after that and you’re never going to beat it.
Q: You debut album came out back in July of 2019. Was it hard to make the cut for which songs would end up on the album? How long did it take to put together and Is there any new material in the works?
RB: First off, we never really wanted to do an album, well, Carmen wanted to do an album because she’s old school! I never really cared that much because it’s a bit dead, well, the format is a bit dead. When we met with the label, we had done a lot of singles and sort of like, psychologically, put them in a box and then say we can go move on and we felt like an album was really necessary. A lot of the songs had already been out, but we rewrote them to make them better and then picked up on other things we had been working on and made them kind of like Bones mission statement. We released it and the day it came out we started working on album number two, so that is what’s happening at the moment amongst another couple of things that are very exciting.
Q: How far along are you in the writing process for album number two?
RB: We’ve got quite a lot of songs. We went to Lake Tahoe the other day and did a big writing session and like with everything we are trying to write without judgment creatively. You can do a thing as a band, where you judge things too much and you kind of stifle the creativity, by going ‘is this good?’ And then you just stopped writing, you start worrying about like whether something is sh*t or good. So what we have been trying to do is just write and not rejudge things. Just stack it and then listen back to everything in a couple months and then you’ll know what works. I think that if you are too judgy too early, you start to get writers block and you just become blocked and it’s not cool.
Q: We are always curious if there is now more pressure on an artist because it feels like we are stuck in a singles market, where people don’t want to listen to a full album anymore, as they just want the next thing immediately.
CV: An album has become more like a collector’s item for fans that really care, at least the physical object. It’s doing single, single, single and then when the whole things up then you do a package with vinyl or something for the fans.
RB: People are going to pick whatever songs they want even if you do release an album. Most of the time these days with Spotify and stuff people are just picking whatever f**king song they like and putting it on a playlist. An album is really only relevant for people that really love a band.
CV: Or for people who come out to shows and what to buy something and be supportive.
RB: We can have real fun and that is what we are planning with the next thing and it’s going to be super cool.
Q: Does it ever surprise you with which songs fans gravitate towards?
RB: Yeah, there is that song that both of our moms like, with the big splashy solo, but usually it does come as a bit of a surprise. Also, we really, really like all the songs on our albums so there’s none where we are like, ‘oh, that was sh*t!’ and that comes back to us releasing most of them as singles.
Q: Are there some that you like more than others?
CV: There are some that you like performing more than others just because of the energy.
Q: We love that you cannot be boxed into one particular genre. You are unafraid to be experimental. Music is a universal language and it speaks to listeners in a variety of different ways. We love that you have made your own because we hate genre boxes!
RB: We hate them too! When you are first starting out we are like, we are something meets something and you are like ‘I don’t want to be meets like anything!’ They’re like Joan Jett meets Eagles Of Death Metal and we are like ‘I suppose’, but it’s easy for people to digest something they can categorize, but we always, from the moment we started this f**king band didn’t want to be categorized and we wanted to do something new so we called ourselves “future rock” because it’s rock and roll from the future. It’s not current rock, but where rock is going.
CV: That’s what we think at least, but we made our own box! “Future Rock!”
Q: Your cover of “I’m Afraid Of Americans” is probably one of the best covers we’ve heard of that song. So, that was put together by Howard Stern for a David Bowie tribute?
RB: Yes! Honestly, we didn’t even know the track and we were on tour with Highly Suspect when Howard Stern got in contact and said they wanted a new band to be on this record and they wanted us to be on it and it was one of his favorites and then once we heard it, we were like ‘oh, my god, it’s f**king perfect’, but then we always get sh*t for it because imagine when we first started doing it people didn’t know it was a Bowie cover so when we were performing it, people were like “F**k You! Go back to your own country’, so ever since I have to do a preamble before the song, and I get because imagine if we had written that song and it would be quite bold that two English girls come over to live in America and sing “I’m afraid of Americans”, so I kind of get it, so I always preamble it with ‘You guys don’t seem too scary though .. I’m afraid of some Americans … one American in particular!’
Q: Are there any other covers you’d like to tackle?
RB: We have actually started doing another one!
CV: It’s The Beatles song “Helter Skelter”, but we’ve changed that one a lot as well.
RB: We have made it a lot more heavy for this crowd [Bones UK is currently touring with KORN and Breaking Benjamin] I change the set around a bit to make it a bit more heavy. We did it at NAMM the other day with Jesse Hughes from Eagles of Death Metal, he came up and did a verse of it and it was amazing.
Q: We see that you have a ton of festival dates planned for this spring. It looks like you will hitting the circuit pretty hard. Are you excited?
RB: It’s the first year we’ve done a ton of festivals. Festivals are a fantastic opportunity to hang out with a lot of your friends who are in other bands. It truly is like rock and roll summer camp.
CV: We have been asking to do more festivals, but wanted to wait until the album came out and now that it’s out, we are jumping on a bunch of them. We are thrilled to be playing with so many of our friends.
RB: We are going to be touring with Royal Blood just before that and they are some of our very best friends and then we segway into the festivals so it’s going to be sick!
Q: So that will basically take you straight into the fall.
RB: That will be all of May and then I believe we are looking into a headline thing, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet. We can’t wait! We are so pumped.
Q: Is there any tentative time frame for when new music will be released?
RB: We are working on that along with another couple of secret things, so that’s all coming up soon! We are very very busy, but we like being busy so it’s fantastic!
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