Helping music lovers find new acts to obsess over is kind of our thing. With so many emerging artists to choose from, we wanted to let you, the fans, in on who’s going to be everywhere soon. That's why we're excited to announce Big Break, a new feature that highlights everything you need to know about the fresh faces turning the industry upside down. From the secrets behind their viral tracks to their big plans for the future, read on for the 411 on the industry's most promising up-and-comers.
Bones’ industrial rock is not for soft landings—nor was it intended to be. To spin up English duo’s tracks is to be doused by gritty, screaming riffs and a pounding rock pulse that pulls no punches. Singer Rosie and guitarist Carmen mean to kick ass, and they have. You may be familiar with 2015’s “Pretty Waste,” featured on the trailer for the third season of Orange is the New Black, a feisty introduction to the pair’s noise and attitude. Since then, they’ve dropped numbers like “Beautiful is Boring,” "Happy," and “Limbs” that elaborate on their thrash-worthy palette and bold intent to take rock'n'roll into the 31st century.
And the band has the visuals to match that mission. Heading up the design and direction of their own presentation—from music videos to Instagram photos—Rosie and Carmen have crafted a strong black-and-white aesthetic worthy of Hedi Slimane. Those visuals don’t just support the duo’s sound, but amplify the Bones’ inclusive, liberated universe. Just check out their monochromatic video for “Creature,” which finds the ladies behind the wheel of a hearse, ferrying an array of unique, expectation-smashing individuals (i.e a guitar-wielding nuns and a junk food-eating ballerina). As the lyric goes, “I’ll still be me.”
Fresh off an America-spanning tour and in the midst of prepping their full-length debut, the duo are gearing up to break big and loud. Before that happens, we caught up with Rosie to talk all things Bones, from their empowering sound to their Dr. Martens-indebted style.
Tell us about how you met. What were your first impressions of each other and what have you since learned from each other?
We met in a blues jazz bar, so my first impression was, “Fuck, she’s great at guitar.” We chatted for ages and got to know each other that night, and decided we should make music together. We have learnt a lot of things from each other. We have very different personalities, so always have something to teach each other.
Bones’s sound is absolutely earth-shattering—literally and figuratively. How did you arrive here? Was it a conscious decision that drove you toward rock?
Our producer Filippo, who we work with, exclusively shatters the earth with his production, so that helps. A lot of industrial stuff influences us. And always trying to make something that’s new and exciting for people to listen to, something people haven’t heard before. FUTURE ROCK.
We’re also loving your industrial-tinged cover of “I’m Afraid of Americans.” What prompted you to cover the song and how is America really treating you?
We are huge Bowie fans and also love America. We moved to LA a year-and-a-half ago and love so much of America. There is obviously Americans who are terrifying… as well as English people who are… and people from all over the world that send shivers down our spines. We feel like the lyric in that track, “I’m afraid of the world, and I’m afraid I can’t help it,” is the one that resonates most with us. The world is a scary place sometimes… but within the darkest of times there is always light that brings people and the good people together for the right reasons.
Your tracks—from “Creature” to “Limbs”—are such empowering statements on selfhood, identity and defying perceptions. Why is it vital that your songs be this positive and inclusive?
We have always been of the mindset that music is the most powerful of platforms to say something. To bring people together. To make people listen. So we feel a responsibility within that to say something that we feel is important and will help others. We both suffer with self-confidence issues. I don’t think there is anyone amongst us these days that doesn’t. So we do what we can to use our platform to help in any which way we can.
The band also has such a cohesive aesthetic. Why is it important to you that you both oversee Bones’s visual presentation?
We make every piece of Bones artwork and visual content that goes out there. We feel that it’s so so so so so so so so so so important that the visuals of what we do match the music. So we will always be in control of all the elements we can be to make sure it all works cohesively and enhances each other.
What inspires the band’s gritty, black-and-white visual identity?
Sex, drugs, tequila, rolled cigarettes, electric guitars, broken strings, DM boots, grazed knees, bloody noses, and rock and roll.
How would you describe one of your live shows? What’s the view from the stage like?
Hopefully, inspiring and fun. Hopefully, we make you feel pumped and excited about rock music in the way rock music should make you feel.
Your partnership is pure lightning in a bottle. What are some of your favorite rock duos and why?
Well, OBVS Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers is our MAIN duo inspo. Carm is Dolly and Rose is Kenny. Lighting in a bottle.
What do you hope the future holds for Bones?
We don’t look at destinations… we enjoy journeys. So… hopefully just a lot of great memories.
What first comes to mind when you hear the phrase “Big Break”?
A TV show that was on in England about snooker.