Merseyside six-piece Rongorongo have a mesmerizing new single out titled ‘Black Rain’. Having released two acclaimed EPs, the band have made a name for themselves in the thriving Liverpool scene, most recently opening up for Zola Jesus at this year’s Liverpool Music Week.
‘Black Rain’ combines hazy, psychedelic pop arrangements with a post-punk sensibility that perfectly captures the symbolic nature of the song. It’s a promising first taste from the album that the band has on their way, and a second single is set to drop in January.
We caught up with Rongorongo to talk about their influences, their new single, and future plans.
How did you guys meet?
I met Jonny through Bido Lito (Liverpool Mag) at a LIARS gig and the rest through music in one way or another. Myself and Jonny talked a lot about what we wanted and I think we’re not far off what we were blabbering on about. I met Ourkeith (bass) on a music course trying to figure out signal flow on a recording desk where we had a mutual level of never being able to quite get it. The mystery of scientific calculators lost us both. It was an expensive way to learn how to use basic compression. Phil (guitar) at university and then on Merseyrail a few years later proves vehicular romances can actually happen. Alex was in bands around Liverpool that i always had a big soft spot for. Sam (drums) was in the Wild Eyes who we shared a practice room so it was a natural slip when they went on hiatus. He saved the band from a singing drummer which was frankly no fun, not as much fun as Karen Carpenter made it look anyway.
Are your musical tastes similar and how does that affect the sound of the band?
We do share the love of things for sure. Tastes vary though which enables us to get round the alleys of all genres. We did have to say no to the Les Claypool signature bass guitar though.
Could you explain the idea behind ‘Black Rain’?
Sometimes it seems like the inner world is wearing thin, the outer world is caving in. This feeling is probably enhanced by our growing reliance on tech and new and emerging modes of communication added with crisis after crisis in capitalism. It can take a heavy hit on the personal. we are probably acclimatizing to the “now” but it does have its cost. Troll bots, algorithms, perpetuated confusion. Everyones fair game in the data age. The internet is great but it is a toddler that is still learning to walk. Its potential hijacking is a worry for all. Black Rain is the psycho geographical micro climate that people live with on a day to basis. The recognition that mental health is a major issue has to be one of the plus points of recent years but with the far right being emboldened across the planet we need to remain vocal and keep pushing for ideals that we know are possible. Black Rain, representing both the inner and outer worlds is only temporary. It’s my way of saying that it won’t last forever, the clouds will clear and we will eventually push back against austerity and all the horrors it brings.
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How did you try to express that musically?
Music, melody and feel come first then we work towards/backwards to what it will become and then just see if it comes out agreeable or not. The idea grows until it has definition. Lyrics obviously help here. I end up viewing things as pictures and feel. Just because its mostly there doesn’t mean it is anything until you as a group have defined it.
Should we expect something similar from your upcoming single?
Well, Black Rain is the current single. We are releasing another track in January, Euclid which is different within its musical sphere. Its a longer drawn out affair about the mental wars within ourselves and the real tempestous political climate that we currently have. But it’s also YEEAAAHHHHHH! Because we need a bit of that too.
What has been the most exciting moment for the band this year?
Supporting Zola Jesus and playing on the same bill as Perfume Genius at LMW was good fun.
Is there anything else you’re working on?
Apart from an album for 2018 there’s a colourless rubix cube half finished somewhere.