Tone Talk with Rose Cora Perry

Rose Cora Perry - Photo by Mystery Man Photography
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We recently released our highly anticipated debut EP, Other Side of the Story (hope you’ll check it out!). Listen to our EP HERE:

We had a 2019 North American Tour with highlights that included performing at the final Vans Warped Tour, Summer NAMM, The Whisky a Go-Go, Music is Art Festival, and opening for SmashMouth at Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Regatta.

What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?

As a die-hard ‘90s child, I like to incorporate dynamic changes between clean and gain in my songwriting. I’m a huge fan of using dramatic tone changes to differentiate parts in a song by their emotional content. For example, an intro to one of my songs may start out with clean palm-muting or picking, then when all the instrumentation kicks in, so does open strumming with heavy distortion. The song will then continue to get “bigger” instrumentation and tone-wise until it reaches its peak, takes a breather to go back to clean, and then goes out with a bang.

As I’ve become more confident with writing rock melodies and allowed myself to not be constrained by songwriting conventions, I’ve become more experimental in terms of how I approach using dynamic in my songs. As a songwriter, I really want people not to just “hear” my music but to “feel” it too and for them to “feel” like they’re being taken on a journey as each song progresses – a journey to which they can personally relate and have experienced/are experiencing themselves.

Rose Cora Perry live – Photo by Mystery Man Photography

Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?

I am proudly endorsed by both Daisy Rock Guitars and Blackstar Amps. In fact, I was Daisy Rock’s first-ever Canadian endorsee and have been playing their guitars for over a decade. As a petite female with a small handspan, discovering Daisy Rock changed my life as a guitarist. I had struggled to balance the weight of “traditional” guitars on my frame and found that I was frequently experiencing shoulder and back pain following gigs. My current axe of choice is the Venus Elite. She’s a beautiful golden guitar with a trebly tone that pairs perfectly with my Blackstar HT Soloist 60 combo.

My relationship with Blackstar began in 2017 following my band’s showcase performance at Summer NAMM in Nashville. I am their first-ever Canadian female sponsored artist. Prior to discovering Blackstar, I had been a dedicated Peavey user. But when I found I wanted to be able to incorporate more dynamic contrasts with my music, the tonal separation wasn’t distinct enough between channels (i.e., there was bleed over) which lessened the effects of what I was trying to accomplish.

Blackstar, on the other hand, has equally crystal clear cleans and heavy chugging overdrive. My amp is more than sufficient to achieve the sound I’m looking for, and I don’t require any other pedals than my trusty footswitch. I’ve always been a proponent that if your amp on its own can’t achieve the sound you’re after, it’s not the right amp for you.

Rose Cora Perry – photo by Kenny Harrison Photography

Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?

I always stand when I’m playing guitar which apparently is not the norm – most people sit. But for me to get into the right mindset, I want to feel like I’m performing on stage. It allows me to play with more energy and emotion as I much prefer playing live to playing in a studio. Equally, when I’m recording vocals, I stand in the middle of the studio (rather than in an iso booth) and have the instrumentation cranked as much as possible (right to the point it’s about to bleed into the mic) so that I can feel like I do on stage.

How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?

True story: In 2017, I grabbed a sharpie and lovingly made marks on the front of my amp which denote my settings. That way no matter how much of a time crunch I’m in, I can quickly and easily get my amp ready to go. The only thing that fluctuates is my on-stage volume depending on the size of the venue and whether it’s indoors or outdoors.

What does your practice consist of?

Guitar-wise, I independently practice exercises to improve my technique and parts of songs that are more complex. When we practice as a group, we go through our regular set to ensure we’re tight as a unit and brush up on any areas of concern that might need some extra attention.

What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?

Don’t rely on your looks alone to get attention. If you want to be a musician and be treated respectfully like your male counterparts, hone your craft. There is absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating femininity and confidence with your appearance, BUT if your musicianship falls flat, you’re inadvertently buying into the notion that “women” should only be “seen” not “heard” which does not help to empower your fellow female players nor does it help to combat the sexism that already exists.

You shouldn’t have to exploit yourself sexually to get attention and if you do, you should ask yourself what kind of audience are you attracting? Those that care about your music OR those that only see you as a piece of ass. I’m not interested in the latter as a fanbase.

To learn more about Rose Cora Perry and her band, The Truth Untold, please visit:

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