Stop and Smell The Rosies
By Justice Petersen
Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, The Rosies are here to bring good vibes – and possibly melt your face off. Delivering authentic and fast-paced punk rock in its truest and most raw form, The Rosies play punk as it’s supposed to be played: electric, loud, and (as they say) “fueled by cheap beer”.
The Rosies released their debut full-length studio album “Welcome to the Rose Garden” on Nov. 11, 2022. They are currently playing a small string of Midwest shows, and they recently came to Chicago and played with local hardcore rock bands Atheena, Broken Demeanor and Totally Cashed on March 4, 2023 in Streamwood.
Chicago Music Guide had the pleasure of interviewing The Rosies, and vocalist/guitarist Jon Cropper spoke about how the band formed, musical influences and what keeps them going when times get tough (besides weed).
Justice: How did the band form? How did you all meet?
Jon: The band started early 2018. I met Ryan Riebe, [drums] and Joe Figueroa, [guitar/vocals] separately within a week’s span. It was definitely fate. I met Joe at a local taco joint we both worked at, and met Ryan at the coffee shop next door on the next day. I bonded with both of them separately over similar music taste and suggested we all jam together sometime.
We all met up and barely knew how to play our instruments but somehow managed to perform our first gig ever within a couple months. We played as a three piece until the pandemic hit, then Sal Corrao, [bass/backing vocals] joined us when live music came back to round out the four piece. Sal and I knew each other from back in the day through mutual friends.
Justice: Has music always been a part of your lives? What got you all into music and making music?
Jon: Definitely, my dad played drums, my uncles and older brother played guitar. I was always around music but did not start playing my instrument until my 20s.
Justice: You recently released your first full length studio album, “Welcome to the Rose Garden,” back in November. How has the reception been for the album? How do you all feel about the album after having it out for a few months now?
Jon: The reception for the album has been incredible especially in our local scene. We played a packed release show at The Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland and it was one of the best nights of my life. It really warms my heart when anybody comes up to me and shows mad love for the album. We are super grateful for the support we have had in the community.
Justice: You describe your music as “Lake Erie surf punk here to fill your ears with the sound of truth”. What is this truth?
Jon: Don’t do what they say just because they say so. Just be yourself and live life on your own terms. Also kill your tv.
Justice: The Rosies have such a great genuine punk sound that I love. How do you guys describe your sound?
Jon: I would describe our sound as loud, fun garage punk. I think we have a pretty versatile sound and have everything from face-melting rippers to slow ballads.
Justice: What artists influence you when it comes to making music? Who are your favorite artists, both new and old?
Jon: We are very much influenced by West Coast surf punk bands like FIDLAR, Wavves and Together Pangea. I also get a lot of inspiration from 2000s garage rock like The Vines and The Hives. Also anything that sounds like it could be on [the] Tony Hawk Pro Skater soundtrack.
Justice: It’s clear you all have a great sense of humor and you all seem like a cool and optimistic group of people. What keeps you all so positive when the world gets rough?
Jon: I think I speak for all of us when I say this band, family, friends, and a lot of weed are what keep us going through it all.
Justice: What is your favorite part about making music together and being in a band?
Jon: My favorite part is seeing all your hard work come to life and putting on sick shows with your best friends. Being in this band has had such a positive impact on all of our lives and we want to do nothing more than play shows together across the country. It’s addicting.
Justice: What is your least favorite or the most difficult part about being in a band?
Jon: I’d say the most difficult part of being in a band is the grind. You are working hard towards something with three other people day in and day out. That on top of all working jobs and personal life is hard to manage, but it is always worth it when the hard work pays off and we quite literally are making our dreams a reality.
Justice: In your song “GREED”, you say “I feel like a change is coming / In the form of a revolution / I want it all”. What is this revolution? Is it political, or a personal revolution for the band?
Jon: When we originally wrote the song it was overall about America’s culture of consumerism, over indulgence, and the greedy corporations/government that controls all of it. I think our generation sees through the BS and will be the change we need.
Justice: What messages do you ultimately hope to convey through your music?
Jon: To be true to yourself, accept others for who they are, and question the government and media.
Justice: What songs would you recommend for those who’ve never listened to The Rosies? Which songs are your most definitive?
Jon: Listen to “Wasted time” or “Prey” if you’re looking for some fuzzed out punk rippers with crazy guitar solos. Our most streamed song “Walworth Ave” has more of an upbeat pop sound and Joe’s vocals sound beautiful on it. If you want a slow ballad check out “Was I Right?”. We got a little something for everybody.
Justice: What projects are you all working on now? What is in store for the future of The Rosies?
Jon: We are recording a couple new songs that we are extremely excited about. Outside of that we have been focused on touring regionally in the Midwest and East Coast. Our end goal is to be touring coast to coast living our best life.
Justice: What do you want the world to know about The Rosies?
Jon: We got our foot on the gas and we are coming to your town. Come to a show, rock out and join the rose garden.
The Rosie’s debut album “Welcome to the Rose Garden” is out now.
Check out more great interviews here!
Feb. 25 – Cleveland, OH @ Brite Winter
March 3 – Bloomington, IN @ The Reef
March 4 – Chicago, IL @ Streamwood
March 10 – Columbus, OH @ Cafe Bourbon Street
March 11 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Roboto Project