Living in a world of readily available music across a multitude of digital platforms it goes without saying that it can be difficult to stand out. Denver, Colorado rockers Rozu – the Japanese word for ‘rose’ – believe that standing out is reliant on the mantra of ‘content is king’ and have honed an exciting yet diverse post-hardcore meets metal sound.
The quartet of Tim Graham (vocals), David Sundine (guitar), Henry Navarre (bass) and Brian Robertson (drums) formed in January through a shared passion to create the same kind of music. As they explain: “We started talking to each other about our bands or previous bands and all had this same mentality within ourselves. We were always the guys really driving our other projects and came to the conclusion of let’s do this and do it the right way and in a unique way.
“The best part of being in this band is just being able to create the art we want to create and just having this awesome vibe that oozes energy and positivity. We weren’t all best friends, some of us didn’t even know each other, but how it was just instant family from the first practice to now is probably the best thing about being in a band – sharing experiences and creating art with people you want to be with.”
The unique Rozu way is not through being a band that simply churns out the same old sound or style time and again. They’re inspired by bands as varied as Underoath, Chiodos and Saosin through to Taking Back Sunday, Every Time I Die and Oceans Ate Alaska. But they have a great knack for mixing things up.
As the band tell us: “In the world that we are living in right now content is absolute king and we don’t feel we need to necessarily go the typical route of release album, tour off of album for a year, play the same songs over and over again, then write another album, repeat. We want to give anyone who appreciates our music something new every few months to continue being relevant and to be considerate of our fans and ourselves. Not that many bands have that kind of mentality and we truly believe that is what is going to separate us from the rest.”
The result is pretty spectacular, combining moments of melody with full-on hardcore and angsty metal in debut single Dissolve, which was released in June. An intro of guitar noise and a slightly creepy keyboard sound in the background gives way to a slab of chuggy metal riffs, then drops into eerie, feint opening vocals.
That’s smashed apart by a barrage of huge screamed vocals, then a little guitar riff feeds us into a chorus of clean vocals answered by more intense screams “This is the last time I’ll speak of this, You dug your own grave… This is the last time I’ll speak your name” over a driving riff. A huge drop-tuned riff kicks in over throat-destroying screams, then the creepy keyboard sound provides a pause for breath before diving back into the intense chorus. Check it out below:
On their intense sound, the band explains: “Instrumentally we kind of write just how we are feeling that day, which helps us be very diverse in the type of sounds and tones we get in our music while staying as true as we can to our post-hardcore roots. It is cool in that we are not pigeonholing ourselves to pushing out the exact same song over and over again.
“Lyrically, Tim is very good at putting his heart on a canvas in a unique way, talking about his own struggles, views, outlooks, and overall shitty situations and always trying to find that light at the end of the tunnel to give a statement of no matter how low you may get there is always going to be more happiness in life and to just fight for that happiness.”
Rozu are on a mission to, in their words, constantly release new content. They are currently working on a batch of singles and we’re expecting an EP to be released this Friday and one of their biggest goals to be in the UK next year, so stay tuned for plenty more from them shortly.
As they explain: “We just want to continue creating art, to be honest. We are very new and in development but we have this vibe between all of us that is amazing and we want to keep that vibe for as long as possible. Yes, of course, we want to and have full intentions of touring but we want to do things that make sense to us and not steer ourselves into the ways and problems we have all had with previous endeavours. Grind, grind, grind, and grind some more is pretty much our main focus and goals as a band.”