The third offering from powerhouse songstress Rose Carleo Time Is Now is a rockin' dynamic release that will firmly establish this incredible vocalist as one of the most vibrant singers on the Australian music scene today. Rose's career is already well-documented, she's had a string of hits in the country music scene and is revered as one of Australia's strongest songwriters. Her tenacious vocals have always meant that she could sing anything, but it is with the rockin'-country-blues influenced tracks on her new album that Rose has really found her niche.
The first single, the title track – Time Is Now – smashed its way onto airwaves at the end of last year and certainly made music fans sit up and listen. It was something different for Rose's fans – a rockier, edgier sound that aptly demonstrates that this soulful songstress has found her home musically. She is the quintessential female performer – a strong, proud woman who isn't afraid to wear her feelings on her sleeve and belt them out with such emotions that her songs evoke goosebumps.
For the first time in her 20 year career, Rose says she feels the most comfortable musically that she has ever been, and it shows. Time Is Now is jam-packed with hits, from the first track until the last, there are so many layers in each song that this isn't a record that you can listen to once – it demands multiple plays and every track just keeps on giving. It is essentially a window into Rose's soul and she has left no stone unturned when it comes to baring it all in order to be true to herself.
'When you start planning a record, it has to be yours, as such," Rose says. 'Whether you've had a hand in writing the songs or not, you need to own it. I'm in a really great place musically and am making the music I've always wanted to make – raw, honest, and with heart and soul. Not that the others weren't, but these are just more so… I think [the album] says that I've lived a whole lot more life since my first release and that's a fact! I think it also shows I'm more confident in myself, especially musically. It's an honest album, warts and all – and I'm not afraid to say it!"
The time was right for this effervescent songstress to step into the rock domain. 'I definitely wanted to write a rockier album, more than the previous releases – it was a conscious thing," says Rose. 'The rest just fell into place. I guess I did what came natural - writing four-on-the-floor songs with groove and heart, and then a combine that with strong messages or stories. The elements of blues, rock and country came together well. You can't always please everyone, although that's the aim, but I think it's important to be true to yourself and then, that in turn will show in your music."
Time Is Now was two years in the making. While Rose co-wrote the songs on the album with different people, she actively started storing up ideas in the lead-up specifically for the new album project. 'I wanted to write this album about my life experiences over the last few years – good and not so good – with honesty," says Rose. 'There have been lessons learnt, some the hard way. The thing is, we all pretty much experience most of the same things in our lives, just at different times in our lives. Sooner or later, you'll all go through it or something similar. I guess that's the aim, to make the songs universal so that all ages can relate on some level. All albums have a -theme', mine this time was making the most of every day. The Time Is Now… don't put off anything you can do or plan today. Some songs are reflective, some have a little angst too… someone said they felt it was a motivational album – hey, that's positive, so I'm good with that!"
To help pull together that formidable vibe, Rose found some of the best players in the country to perform the album. With Mick Adkins on guitars [Rogue Sharks / Raise The Flag], Paul Woseen on bass and backing vocals [The Screaming Jets / Rose Tattoo], Ben Ashwood on drums [Rogue Sharks] and Steve Adkins on backing vocals [Rogue Sharks], the tight sound they created was exactly what Rose had in mind. 'I wanted more of an energetic live feel," she says. 'So even though the musicians on this album have their own projects also happening, we sounded like a rockin' band. And now, subsequently, they'll be coming on the road with me."
Recorded and produced with multi-ARIA award-winning producer Mark Opitz, Colin Wynne and Mick [Adkins], Time Is Now marks a defining moment in Rose Carleo's career so far. It's an album she is intensely proud of, and rightly so. The album has so much to offer, as does Rose, and music fans – rock, country and blues alike – will all find something to delight at with this release. Don't wait to listen to this album, the Time Is Now.
Time Is Now is released through WJO on Friday 27 March 2015. For more information, please visit www.rosecarleo.com
Question: How would you describe Time Is Now?
Rose Carleo: Time Is Now is about seizing the moment. It's about making the most of your life without too many regrets. Get out there and do it!
Question: What was the main motivation for Time Is Now?
Rose Carleo: As you go along in life, you meet a lot of people from many walks of life. I thought, I don't want to be at the end of my life thinking -I wish I'd done this' or I should've tried that'. Life's already too short so don't put off what you can do today!
Question: Did you have any pre-conceived ideas about the music industry?
Rose Carleo: Not really.. I always knew it was hard work and I-m ok with that. The greatest things are always worth the effort.
Question: Do you write your own songs? What's your inspiration?
Rose Carleo: Yes I do. Life itself is my greatest inspiration. You can't buy experience either so it's a great subject matter to draw on.
Question: What music/artists do you listen to when you are not playing your own?
Rose Carleo: I have a really eclectic taste in music. From Emmylou Harris to Buckcherry to AC/DC to Norah Jones
Question: What's next? Tour/Album/Single?
Rose Carleo: We've just started the tour to -Time Is Now'. My vision is to tour for the next 12 or so months – one or two weekends a month. It's hard organising so many people's schedules but so far so good! We're planning a new single and video clip for July.
Question: Was there a moment you contemplated throwing in the towel?
Rose Carleo: Yes, there have been a few times to be honest. I've now realised it's mostly when you let others get to you. So the last time it happened we wrote a song that's on my new album called -Keep On Rollin' - inspired by that feeling.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Rose Carleo: That's a hard one. I love both. With live performance, the buzz you get is incredible and the energy is electric. The recording studio is my special place where you get to bring your creations (songs) to life. It's a very energetic place too, just different – probably more emotional of the two.
Question: What/who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Rose Carleo: I always loved music when growing up but I'd have to say my Mum was the catalyst.. she dared me to get up and sing with a band on stage when I was 13. So I did!
Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success?
Rose Carleo: To stay focused on what I'm doing and not worrying about everyone else
Question: What's a typical day like?
Rose Carleo: Breakfast, emails, phone calls, cooking dinner, nightly walk and then chllin' with my family.
Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?
Rose Carleo: Being creative and sharing music with the world.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Rose Carleo: Too many to name... Bonnie Raitt, Josh Todd (Buck Cherry) or Bon Scott for starters.
Question: What message would you like, this album, to say to your fans?
Rose Carleo: Make the most of your life and live it! Seize the day and be happy!
Full Name: Rose Marie Carleo
Star Sign: Aquarius
Favourite Food: Seafood.
Favourite Film: Too many to name
Favourite Actor: Al Pacino
Pets: None at the moment
Person You Would Most Like to Meet: Robert Plant, Emmylou Harris, Bon Scott
Hobbies/Interests: Guitars, Reflexology, Beach, Song writing
First Job: Sales Assistant at a Jewellery Store
Are you a Pub, Bar or Club kind: Pub
What Can You Never Leave Home Without: My phone and guitar picks
What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning: Coffee
Interview by Brooke Hunter