Feature Interview

Secrets: A renewed self-awareness

Secrets’ latest self-titled album dropped at the end of last year and the response has been more enthusiastic than their critically lauded debut “The Ascent” but it’s not hard to see why.

It’s been a long, bumpy ride for the post-hardcore group since their formation in 2010, one of which clean vocalist and guitarist Richard Rogers is obliging enough to acknowledge straight-off-the-bat during our chat.

Tecla Ciolfi: It’s been a good 3 years in between records and to say a lot has happened within your ranks would be an understatement. Is this maybe the reason behind self-titling the new album – does the group finally feel like a cohesive whole?

Richard Rogers: Yeah, we’ve definitely been through a lot over the years but it’s all part of growth and these little struggles helped  shape us. We feel like we finally figured out who we are so it just seemed fitting to self-title this record.

TC: I was super surprised when I saw that Michael left because he’s been there from the beginning so I can imagine that must have been tough, what’s the energy like onstage since he left?

RR: Mike’s departure was a rough one since him and I started the band together and he’s been one and will continue to be one of my best friends, but we still hold it down on stage. We’ll always have intense shows. It’s kind of our therapy. [Laughs].

TC: So, I want to chat a bit about the latest record. First off let me say I think it’s your finest work to-date. It’s an amalgamation of genres and the lyrical content is introspective and quite moving. Was the writing process any different on this album to your previous 3?

RR: This record was written much differently than our previous albums. Wade, Connor and I worked out the whole record together and one of the biggest differences lyrically is that Wade and I share so much in common when it comes to life experiences, so writing about meaningful topics was a breeze whereas before I didn’t relate to the other vocalists so some of our songs felt forced lyrically to me.

TC: The first time I listened to ‘Fourteen’ is almost killed me. My parents are still very much together so I’m not 100% sure how I’d feel if they ever split, but I felt that little kid’s pain of having to play mediator. Do you hope that tracks that have a strong message like that will resonate with people that are going through something similar and feel a bit lost?

RR: Absolutely, it’s not the soul purpose we write about things like that, because we come first when writing our songs and then it hits us that these songs will help others just as much as it helped us to write them, maybe even more and that’s a very rewarding feeling when someone connects with your art that way.

TC: If there’s one thought or feeling that you’d like someone who listens to “Secrets” to take away from it, what would that be?

RR: I can’t say really, I want listeners to just feel anything that they need to feel at whatever point they’re at in life. I guess I would want our listeners to feel what I felt when listening to all of my favorite bands growing up, which is an indescribable feeling.

TC: Why the decision to move from Rise Records to Made In The Shade? Was it just a case of a contract that ran its course or were you looking for something a bit more specific from a record label?

RR: Rise was great to us, but we didn’t feel we would get the budget we would need to create the best record possible and made in the shade gave us everything we needed to make this record something special.

TC: I’m so excited to watch you guys live when you play in Cape Town, I think you’re going to be mad surprised by how many people love you here. What as your first thought when you were approached with the prospect of an entire South African tour?

RR: Thats amazing and I can’t wait to see the turn out. This tour is a dream come true for us, because most of us come from nothing and never had the opportunity to do things like this growing up so we are very fortunate to get to live out our dreams and see the world while playing music. We are beyond stoked to visit your country.

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