They may only be on their second single but the prolific duo churned out 100 songs last year – and they’re just getting started…
Sometimes a connection comes along that feels so cohesive, that it’s practically serendipitous. That certainly seems the case for Los Angeles duo Pink Roses; Nate Tepper and Dave Fontenot first connected as tech entrepreneurs working on artists including Drake and BTS, but the pair quickly found that their similarities extended beyond their jobs.
Nurturing their passion for songwriting over their friendship saw Tepper and Fontenot pen over 100 songs in the previous year, quite literally in their bedroom. It seemed silly not to take a punt on their work and get serious. Following up their debut single ‘hollywood’ with their latest outing ‘westside’ – a charming outing so sweet, it’s almost sickly – Pink Roses have happened upon a sound that is simultaneously contemporary and upbeat whilst also being nostalgic. We grabbed Nate of the band to dig into their new single…
We love your new single ‘westside’ – can you tell us a little about the story that inspired the track?
I remember going home from college in the summers. My friends and I would drive around aimlessly and ride our bikes through our hometown. Sometimes we’d have girlfriends and we would take them to all of these special spots that were ours. There was this romantic and nostalgic feeling to all of it, especially now when I look back on it. It was a young and innocent time in our lives when we would stay out all night and make out under the stars. I wanted to create that feeling in a song.
How did you bring ‘westside’ to life sonically?
It started with the guitar chords in the verses. I wrote and recorded it in my bedroom, put the guitar on loop, and within 30 minutes had all of the lyrics and melodies to the song except for the hook. Next time we were in the studio, we literally used the exact recording from my bedroom as the foundation and verses of the song. That same recording from my bedroom is still in the song today! We then wrote the hook in the studio and our producer, Cameron Hale, brought the whole thing to life with synths and drums. Right before we finished, we decided to add a big guitar solo at the end. It took one take to do the guitar solo and I’m so happy we added it!
There’s a definite rose-tinted romanticism in the track – what are your favourite romantic songs and did they have a subliminal influence, do you think?
Totally agree, 100%. This song originally was inspired by ‘Eastside’ by Benny Blanco, Khalid, and Halsey. I wanted our own take of that song. Hence the opposite name ‘westside’ 🙂
Another song that inspired the sound and feeling is ‘Made In Hollywood’ by LANY. I wanted to create a young, innocent, and romantic dreampop anthem.
‘westside’ is only your second single, but you sound as if you’ve honed in on a “Pink Roses sound”. What is it about pop music that you love so much?
I love when a song both lyrically and sonically brings out a nostalgic feeling and creates a visual in your mind. We want Pink Roses to give you that sensation of driving down the Pacific Coast Highway, with the top down, the ocean breeze in your hair, and the sunset over the horizon line.
There’s a definite nostalgic tone to your music that still manages to sound fresh. What inspires you?
We are inspired by sunsets, passion, making out, feelings, our hearts, love, life, youth, emotions, beauty, the ocean, nature, and music that brings all of this to life.
You may be friends as Pink Roses, but you’re also colleagues as part of a tech business. How did you begin writing music together?
We lived together with a group of 14 other tech startup hackers in 2015. Everyday after working on our own startups, we would have acoustic jams. I would play guitar and Dave would sing. Everytime, all of our friends who lived in the house would come and watch us. Ultimately, after playing covers we started writing songs. We literally wrote 100+ songs last year. It came so naturally to us, we would write three songs in a day sometimes. (This was all before we were even technically a band.)
Did your musical tastes coincide or were there a few more questionable preferences?
We each grew up listening to different music. I would listen to a lot of emo and indie music and Dave would listen to a lot of pop and rock, but now our music tastes very much coincide with current pop music.
What else do you have in store for 2019?
We have an amazing new single coming out very soon called “don’t give up on me”. It is an extremely emotional song, it is probably our best song yet. We are so stoked on it! We are going to write 30 more songs over the next two months and are set to record a five song EP later this year. We also have music videos planned for ‘hollywood’ and ‘westside’ so far! Outside of that, I can almost guarantee that we will be playing some shows in L.A, New York City, and San Francisco.
‘westside’ is available now.