Prior to the release of their latest EP Secrets Don't Make Friends, out now, pop-rock band Rocky Loves Emily stopped by the J-14 offices. Lead vocalist Brandon James Ellis and guitarist Andrew Stevens gave us the inside scoop on their new record, the story behind Brandon's favorite track, and the busy year they have in store for 2012. J-14: Your new album Secrets Don't Make Friends is set for release on April 24. What's the album all about? Is there a common theme to the songs? Brandon Ellis: Well, the entire album is quite literally about Justin Bieber and his sweet purple shoes -- specifically his shoe laces.Â We just found a lot of inspiration by his choice of footwear and created an album based around it... Ok, I'm just kidding! It's really just a bunch of songs we wrote the past year, but we didn't intend them to have a common theme really. That said, the album does talk a lot about relationships and a few difficult things I had to go through the past couple years.Â So, I guess that is a common theme in some sense.Â I hope everyone digs it and can relate to the songs in some way!
J-14: How did you decide on the album title? Brandon: I was driving with our producer Matt Grabe in Arizona, where we recorded the album, and he was asked us what we wanted to call the CD. It hadn't dawned on us before that moment that we actually hadn't thought about a name yet.Â I randomly said, "Secret's don't make friends!" out loud.Â He was like, "That's dope." Cool story?
J-14: Do you have a favorite track off the album or is there a song that's most personal to you? Brandon: Yes, definitely. My favorite song is track seven, "Dream." I was going through a breakup last summer and was really depressed. In a feeble attempt to cope, I found myself sleeping all the time. My friends would call and text me to get me out of the house, but I would just turn my phone off. I basically sat in bed for like a month watching sappy movies and eating chocolate. But I got through that dark time of my life and I'm much happier now. I actually got a tattoo recently on my collarbone that just says "dream" to remind me of a time in my life that I never want to experience again -- minus the chocolate part of course, I love chocolate. J-14: How do you think your music has evolved throughout the years? Brandon: We were a lot younger when we wrote our last EP. A lot has happened since then -- extensive touring, relationships, family stuff. I guess we've just grown up a lot since then and you can definitely hear that on Secrets Don't Make Friends. J-14: What are your plans for 2012? Getting back on the road or working on new music? Brandon: We will be on the road all of 2012. We have a CD release tour called the Secrets Don't Make Friends tour coming up in April and after that we will definitely be hopping on different tours here and there. Touring is the most important thing to us, so definitely come see us!
Photo: Courtesy of Nicole Mazza/J14