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Guts and Roses

mus hurricaneHurricane Roses bare their souls on new record

Based in Santa Cruz and San Jose, roots-tinged rockers Hurricane Roses found a following with the earnest, revealing songs on their debut record from 2011. A quick follow-up would have made a lot of sense, but it also would have betrayed the authenticity that the band’s fan base appreciates them for in the first place.

In truth, the band members have been through a lot of changes over the last three years, and, true to form, they’re all reflected in their new album, Home to Haunt You.

“The process of writing this album took two or three years, because a number of us had children, one of us got married, and a number of people close to us passed on,” says bassist Ethan Sanchez. “All those experiences during this whole process really came through in the album.”

Sanchez’s description is apt because Haunt indeed covers a broad spectrum of experiences and emotions. The country-rock title track touches on the haunting quality of death, the folk track “Our Love” talks about the finer points of an enduring relationship, and the swelling, bluegrass-meets-country track “The Old Days” centers on that longing for more carefree times from the past. Like their debut, this album reads like an open book, but singer Angi Lemucchi confesses there was one song she was hesitant to share.

“It’s not overt, but ‘Heart Grows Tired’ is about suicide or thoughts that lead to that,” she says. “Because I was so brutally honest in the first album, I feel like that's what people wanted from me, from us.”

The band had a chance to find out what else the fans really wanted from them—and just how much—when they launched an Indiegogo campaign last year to fund the making of this album. More and more artists are turning to crowdsourcing these days to help them get albums made, but it wasn’t a slam dunk that the Roses would, could, or even should go this route.

“It was terrifying putting trust in people to fund your ‘baby’ and hoping people like you enough to even care!” Lemucchi exclaims. “But we knew we wanted to go big on this album and we couldn't do it alone, so it seemed like the only way.”

“We were apprehensive at first,” Sanchez adds. “We weren’t sure how it would come off. We didn’t want to seem like we were needy or entitled, or begging people to give us money or expecting people to give us money. So we decided to be ourselves and say, ‘Hey, we’re looking to make another album, and if you guys want to help us get it out, if you want to be a part of this, we’re really open to your support and help.’”

The band exceeded their fundraising goal, and Sanchez is still blown away by the outpouring of support.

“To know we have a group of people who want us to make music, who want to hear our music, so much that they’re willing to step forward and make an investment before even hearing the new songs, that is really breathtaking,” he says. “It’s humbling. It’s a huge blessing. We knew we wanted to put out an album, but it felt that much better to know there were people who were right there with us, and wanted to hear our music.”

Having felt the love from their fan base, Sanchez hopes this connection will continue to deepen.

“It is an amazing feeling as a musician, being able to communicate to a listener through our music,” Sanchez says. “That is as good as it gets.”


Hurricane Roses will perform at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 17, The Atrium at the Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $10/advance, $12/door. For more information, call 423-1338.

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