If you’ve been paying attention or keep up with music at all, you’ll notice that SECRETS have been rapidly taking over the music scene. The post-hardcore/rock outfit from San Diego is the total package as a band. Grooving drums, catchy guitar riffs, ear-melting melodies and crushing vocals are just a few of the things you’ll hear when listening to SECRETS. I got a chance to catch up with clean vocalist and guitarist, Richard Rogers, to talk about growing up, tour and SECRETS’ new acoustic EP, Renditions.
AMN: Jumping right in, what made you guys started in music? More specifically what got you started in post-hardcore music?
Richard Rogers: I had always wanted to play guitar and my math teacher in middle school would bring a guitar and a mini amp to school everyday and offer anyone to come in at lunch to jam. One day I decided to and he taught me how to play some stuff. After that I got a guitar of my own and just started learning songs with tabs. I had always been into classic rock and punk like Rancid, Bad Religion and the Dead Kennedys because that’s just what my main group of friends listened to. Then there was my other group of friends who listened to bands like Underoath, Atreyu and Silverstein. I thought that they were super lame for listening to these bands at first, but finally gave it a chance little by little and ended up loving it! We started a band together called I, The Skyline and that was my first venture into the post hardcore scene.
AMN: That’s really awesome to have had a teacher like that. Is there anyone else who influenced you as an artist? Growing up, is there a particular song or moment in music history that stuck out you?
RR: Growing up I was influenced by so many different artists like Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Then it turned into Adam Lazzara, Ben Gibbard and Anthony Raneri. A moment that sticks out to me is the first time I ever heard “Title and Registration” by Death Cab For Cutie. Best. Band. Ever!
AMN: Ben Gibbard is definitely on of my favorites too. Not only for Death Cab but also with The Postal Service. You guys have signed to Rise Records just one year later after forming the band. Tell us more about that. What was it like when you found out Rise was interested?
RR: We actually signed to Velocity Records which is owned by Dave Shapiro and is an imprint of Rise. Getting signed was pretty crazy. It’s something that I never thought would happen. It was one of those moments where the first thought I had was how proud my mom would be. That after all of the hard work I finally got a chance to really do something.
AMN: Since signing to Velocity/Rise, it seems like you guys have blown up! I see your name on so many flyers and so many tours. Do you have a favorite tour or band you’ve gone out with?
RR: We shared a bus with This Wild Life on warped tour and they’re two of the best guys I’ve toured with. We had a blast. My favorite tour is probably the Asking Alexandria tour we did in Europe. It’s the biggest tour we have done so far. We had the pleasure of sharing a double decker bus with The Ghost Inside and Crown The Empire. It was just a really cool experience.
AMN: You guys recently released an acoustic EP titled “Renditions”, which in my personal opinion is absolutely incredible! What was the idea behind the album? Any particular reason you guys decided to make an acoustic album?
RR: Thank you! We titled it Renditions because the songs are acoustic renditions of our other songs. I have been wanting to make an acoustic album for a long time, because I love softer music and I wanted people to see that we are a versatile band. I also wanted something else my mom could listen to (she doesn’t like screaming). We also knew it would be a while until our next full length would be released so we wanted to give fans something to hold them over.
AMN: Rendition features three acoustic versions of songs from your “Fragile Figures” album and a brand new song titled “What’s Left Of Us”. Lyrically that song hits deep, and you can feel the emotion pouring out of it. Is there a story or specific meaning behind that song?
RR: “What’s Left Of Us” is one of the most personal songs I’ve ever released. It’s about a low point in my marriage where it really felt like it wasn’t going to work out. I have been with my wife for almost 7 years. Touring and being away from the one you love can really weigh heavily on a relationship.
AMN: Thank you so much for sharing that and for sharing you time with me.
You can check out “What’s Left Of Us” from Renditions, which is available on all major digital outlets.