Melbourne singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Gena Rose Bruce sat down with XS Noize to talk about the release of her much anticipated second album, Deep Is The Way released on Friday 27th January.
For anyone unfamiliar with you and your music, who exactly is Gena Rose Bruce in a few words or a sentence?
What sets you apart/makes you different from the many artists out there in the world?
My songs are drawn from personal experiences and I’m very honest in my lyrics. No other artist can share my stories or sing them the way I do. I think honesty is the only thing that can set you apart in songwriting.
Tell me about your new album, Deep In The Way. Is there a particular theme behind the collection?
There are many themes but the ones that stand out the most are – - Love, grief, disappointment, pandemics, pursuing dreams and all that comes along with that.
Which song on the album is your favourite and why?
It changes a lot but currently I love Misery and Misfortune – it is so fun to sing but also the lyrics really sum up where I am mentally at the moment.
How would you say this album is different from your debut and how does it showcase your evolution as an artist?
I think I’m a lot more honest in this album, A lot more confident/experienced in what it is I’m trying to say. I think I’ve really grown into my voice and learnt how to use it as an expressive instrument.
Will you be touring to support the release? If so, what plans do you have in place or will share them soon?
Yes, the Australia tour is locked in for April and I’m planning to be in the UK/Europe from May –September this year – dates TBC.
Is there any particular venue in the world you'd most love to play when you head out on the road again?
I’ve never played in the UK or Europe before so honestly my I just want to get over there and play in any venue I can!! But if I had to say one it would be the Royal Albert Hall in London!
What can those who come along to a performance of yours expect from a Gena Rose Bruce set?
Moody/psych/cowboy vibes and elements of intimacy.
Which of your songs would you say tends to go down best with audiences and are there any, in particular, you absolutely love to play?
I think Harsh Light and I’d Rather Be Dreamer – and I absolutely love to play them because they have such great energy and a bit of wildness to them.
What are your thoughts on social media and what impact have the likes of Twitter and Facebook had in terms of helping you grow an audience? Do you believe it's at all possible for a band or artist to be successful today, in the long term, without being socially interactive and connected with people?
Good question. I’ve really had to learn to accept and like social media, my view is if I was not an artist I would not have a social media account. I think unfortunately yes to answer your question, especially as an emerging artist there really aren’t a lot of options to get your music heard besides touring but that is extremely expensive. I think however if you have developed a solid fan base then yeah I do believe it’s possible to be successful without using social media, so yeah I think it depends on where you are at in your career. I hope I get to that stage one day myself where I don’t need to use it.
Do you care much about what people say and write about you and your music or are you someone who makes music for you first and foremost and if others like it, that's a bonus? What is the nicest thing someone's said about you and your artistry across your career?
I think it’s more about what I value more – if you’re not really caring about progressing in your career then it’s a hobby and I want my music to be more than a hobby. However, I value my own opinion of my art over anyone else’s, I’ve learnt to not be defeated or disheartened when other people haven’t liked what I’m doing. My music has been rejected many times and yeah it hurts but it’s never enough to stop me from doing what I love. So yeah I make music for myself but I also do care about wanting people to like it. The nicest thing is when someone says I’ve made them feel less alone in what they’re going through, that it feels like they have a friend. That’s exactly why I listen to music to not feel so alone, to listen to artists sing and share stories about things I can relate to.
Finally then, aside from the new album, are there any other plans or projects you can tease for the year ahead? What are your goals for 2023 when it comes to you, your music and your life in general?
My music goal is to get over to the UK and play a bunch of shows!!! This is a work in progress but I will be able to announce some shows shortly! I’m not really into setting personal goals, I’m too hard on myself as it is, but I am always trying to set more time aside for reading books and I also want to prioritise drinking more water.
Deep Is The Way
27 January 2023
2. Destroy Myself
3. Foolishly In Love
4. Harsh Light
5. Misery And Misfortune
6. Deep Is The Way
7. Morning Stars
8. I'd Rather Be A Dreamer
10. I'm Not Made To Love Only You