With a goal to dig "as deep as the ocean," one local band focuses on internal battles as they release their cover of Jane's Addiction’s “Ocean Size” on Nov. 4.
On Tuesday night in May, Velvet Rouge (velvetrougeband.com), previously Zo, decided to set down a journey to reinvent themselves. Combining lead singer and The Voice competitor Gina Zo’s experience as a woman in the music industry with the band’s passion for young artists, inspiration struck in the shade of red—specifically red rage that’s fueled by betrayal. Diving into their new era of gypsy soul rock-n-roll, Velvet Rouge is reintroducing fans to “Ocean Size,” but with a twist. Here, Zo dishes on the band’s new release and what fans can look forward to in the future.
1. How does Velvet Rouge's version of “Ocean Size” differ from the original?
“Our song doesn't sound anything like the original. The special thing about this song is that this song is so explorative, which allowed us to bring in different elements of our styles of performing and storytelling. The lyrics can be told in a wide variety of ways, which allowed us to craft our own messaging throughout it. . . When we finished the song, we all agreed we had just discovered our sound in a way we had never noticed before.”
2. What was the recording process like for this song since it's a cover?
The process of working on a song as a cover is much different than working on your own tune. You have to really dive into the original version and look at why the artist did different things throughout. From there, you look at what your own signature styles and sounds are and see if they fit. This goes all the way back to picking the song though - we knew we wanted something we could craft, not something that already sounded like us. . .
3. What is it like recording and performing a song that was not written by you?
“Recording a song that wasn't written by me was nerve-wracking because I wanted to do it justice, but instead of creating more worry for me, I was brought back down to earth by the ease of working at Miner Street.”
4. What do you love most about the song?
“There are two things that I love most about this song: One, the new style of background vocals that we crafted during this song . . . This gives a nod to my classical training that has allowed me to soar in a way that many vocalists cannot . . . Two, the second half of this song brings me such joy, especially playing on stage. This was the first song that I started playing guitar live on and I have not turned back since.”
5. The song is being released about a year after the band's initial EP. How has Velvet Rouge's sound evolved since then?
“We have truly evolved a lot as a band since that initial EP, heavily because we really didn't know what we wanted to sound like when we first wrote those initial songs . . . It is throughout the song when you put your headphones in that you really get to experience the new reality that is Velvet Rouge.”
6. Following the release, what else is coming up for Velvet Rouge?
“We are not stopping here. We have a string of singles that we are going to continue to release. We have some incredible shows coming up, radio play and we are starting to step into other cities which is one of the most exciting things of it all. To know that our music is stretching across state lines is just one small step to our big future.”
Photography by: Hunter Caricco