Melbourne musician Gena Rose Bruce is a lover of sad-eyed, bluesy pop with a touch of twang. She writes honest songs with a bit of reverb creating that 90’s dream, West Coast sound. From a young age, Gena was obsessed with Dolly Parton; she was then inspired to write songs reflecting on her own hopelessly unromantic life.
What’s your name and what do you?
Gena Rose Bruce and I am a songwriter who likes to perform
What kind of music do you play? What best describes your sound?
Dream pop, alternative with a touch of twang. Just think 90s – Mazzy star, Pj Harvey.
What would you say is your biggest influence?
There are to many!!! but currently Angel Olsen.
Where’s the best club/venue you’ve ever played?
The BlueBird cafe in Nashville
And the best festival?
The best is yet to come- I am playing Happy Wanderer Festival this November and I feel that will be best!!
Where’s the most unique festival you’ve been to and what was so special?
Port Fairy Folk Festival- It’s the most personal and relaxed festival going around.
I remember busking at the festival when I was 16 with my band and it was our first ever time playing to an audience, and we ended up winning this busking competition, it was crazy! So this festival holds a special place in my heart.
What was the most difficult festival you ever went to and was it worth it?
One I had to play at The V8s in sydney, it was the strangest combination!! My heartfelt melodies competing with roaring, aggressive engine sounds!! But yes the experience was worth it!
Have you ever travelled somewhere that you feel has influenced your life and music that you play/produce?
When I was 19 I traveled in Nashville and that really open my eyes to music. Their is this contagious musical energy there!! I was inspired by the level of songwriting and musicianship and I think more than anything being around that hard working atmosphere gave me the persistence and determination for my musical career, I still have today.
Where’s your hometown?
Mitcham but I like to say Warrnambool ( a small coastal town in Southern Victoria) also, as I spent nearly every summer down their growing up and I still go down there every couple of months.
What’s your favourite local bar/restaurant/bar/club?
Tramway Hotel in Fitzroy North
Is there something you can’t travel without?
A toothbrush! I’m obsessed with brushing my teeth!!
What travel destination would you recommend our readers add to their bucket list?
I was in Israel recently and talking just from my own personal experience, there is a truly vibrant, spiritual and special energy that is there.
Where was the most surprising place you discovered a big music influence? (i.e. saw an amazing DJ set at a rooftop bar in Peru…)
I remember hearing jake bugg for the first time in a local bar in Rotorua, NZ! The song Broken came on over the speakers and I just completely fell in love, I shazamed it and wrote his name down in my notes and then the next day when out and bought both his albums, and have been obsessed ever since!
You’ve just released new singles ‘The Way You Make Love’ and Coming Down’ what location/city did you record them in?
I retreated to Warrnambool for a few months to write my album, both these songs came alive in that salty and sunny experience, I then recorded them both back at ELectric Dreams studio in South Melbourne.
Do you write either of these tracks while travelling or are any inspired by travelling?
When I travel I read a lot, and most of my songs are inspired by certain phrases or words coming from books, The Way you Make love was inspired by reading Carol Anne Duffy’s book of Collected poems, I remember reading this whole book whilst sitting at a beach in Varkala, South India.
When should we expect a full album from Gena Rose Bruce?
Where can we see you play over the next few months?
My next headline show is at The Grace darling August 1st with support from Moonlover and Real Feelings.
Any current travel plans for the rest of 2018 outside of touring or for touring?
I just got back from Israel, so I need to save money again! But Japan is my next goal!!