Music is a gift. The ability to create it and share your talents with the world is an even greater gift. After years in bands our recent discovery Scott Rocco has moved toward a solo career with new record Ignited.
We caught up with the talented singer and songwriter to get a deeper look into his inspiration and goals for the new record. Enjoy the interview:
First off, what drives you to create music?
I’m an artist. I love to create art. It’s what I was born to do. In one form or another, whether it’s drawing, painting, writing, singing, acting – I’ve been creating long since I was a kid. Specifically, with music, it’s a part of my soul. When I write, it starts with a feeling inside – usually a conflict that may need resolve or a happy period in my life that I need to express. I get inspired from family, friends, relationships I’ve been blessed to be in.
I’ll also listen to music, read books, watch movies to find sources of inspiration as well. The late great Bill Withers always said “We’re conduits.” As human beings, I believe we’re all meant to create. We get ideas and receive gifts from God or whatever you believe is the source to deliver enlightening messages to each other to grow. I sing and create music to help heal as many people as I can. It’s all out of love.
How would you describe the Scott Rocco sound?
I try to always make sure the pasta is never without the sauce. Aside from my Italian brain making analogies with food, I would say it’s very optimistic and hopeful. My music is cathartically uplifting rooted in rock with pop sensibilities. I would niche it as raw emotional heartfelt rock. It’s meant to be empowering and raise the human spirit.
Which artists have had the biggest influence on you?
Wow… so many. As far as classic rock goes, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Aerosmith, Journey, The Cure, and U2. Roger Waters and David Gilmour’s songwriting are just brilliant. Gilmour’s guitar sounds are extraordinary and continue to have a huge impact on me. As far as my generation goes, I’m heavily influenced by 90s grunge and alternative rock bands – Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, Goo Goo Dolls, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, and Our Lady Peace. As a teenager, Eddie Vedder and Kurt Cobain had a profound impact on me – Still do.
Their music is so emotionally powerful and sincere that the authenticity of it all drives me to always want to write and perform at that level of honesty and intensity. Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and Raine Maida are also among my favorite songwriters I draw inspiration from. To me, they have that underdog drive and storytelling that I can relate to best.
After more than a decade in bands, why the decision to go solo now?
As of now, solo just seems to be the best way to go. I love the personal exploration of it. You can’t really hide or blend in as much with the rest of the gang. You’re at the forefront of it all telling your story. There’s no excuses and very little room for error when playing live. You have to be your truest-self and I love that challenge and growth that comes with it. I feel with a band, where everyone writes songs and can do so much, you have to be more democratic. Sometimes you have to compromise to keep everyone happy and on board. With yourself, it’s much more transparent and less about band obligations. I’m certainly not opposed to playing in a band again if the right opportunity comes along. I won’t deny that the camaraderie and musicianship amongst each other is so special and just a lot of fun man!
The single “Ignited” seems to set a tone. What are you trying to portray to the listener?
Ignited serves as the title track and central theme of the album. I wanted it to be a warm anthem for love. A song that really speaks to and opens people’s hearts. It’s a testament to someone special coming into your life awakening the best parts of yourself that you didn’t even know existed. That theme alone ties into a thread or web of songs that ultimately become the Ignited album.
We hear the full album Ignited is set for release in the Fall. Tell us about the record?
It’s interesting… a few years back, I started brainstorming how I wanted to go about it. As I wrote new songs, I realized some of my older songs that didn’t have a place yet on an album tied into the new material I was fleshing out. The songs were beginning to tell a story about struggle, doubt, and the fear of not realizing your greatest dreams, all while having that special someone to keep pushing and making you a better version of yourself than you ever dreamed possible.
Much of the record is inspired by my past relationship with a beautiful person I hold very close to my heart as well as challenges I’ve had to overcome to get to this point. To make the album come to fruition, I collaborated with my dear friend and producer Russell de Luca who is just an extraordinary artist. We started tracking in late 2017, first giving the older songs that I previously demoed more of an updated feel while working on the newer songs and before long the Ignited album started to manifest. It’s going to be an 8 song record and the cool thing is, if you listen from song 1 to 8, it becomes a concept album of sorts telling the story of a man on a journey of both self-discovery and rediscovery. It doesn’t have to be played in that order to enjoy the album or the songs in general, but I believe it tells a compelling story if you do.
Share some advice for other artists thinking of a solo career?
Speaking from my own experience, if you’ve never done it, I would first try forming a band with your close friends. Give it a name as cool as Aerosmith, Pearl Jam or Journey. Record, perform, learn, grow, and have the best of times. Then, if or when you’re ready for another project, give your solo career a shot. You’ll have a lot more experience, confidence, momentum, and artist maturity to be your own entity and show people your truest voice the best way you can. When you do it, never compromise your art to please anyone and always honor your integrity by being yourself. Remember, no one can speak from your heart for you. Only you can do that.
What does the future look like for Scott Rocco?
I see a lot of sunshine, creativity, rock ’n roll, good times, and unconditional love.
Keep up with more from Scott Rocco HERE.