The Wokingham Paper

Beyond The Download presents: Getting to know roves


After the release of their seismic second single I Fear The Water, we caught up with the frontman (Ethan Morgan) of one the most exciting local bands around who go by the name of roves.

Hailing from Reading, emerging newcomers roves are life-long friends and brother combination who have an incredibly unique atmospheric and ambient sound with an infectious energy in their songs.

This can be heard in I Fear The Water; the track is an atmospheric masterpiece full of layered melodic guitars and a building tension which erupts into a euphoric ending. Talking about their latest single Ethan tells us it’s a track about “finding your feet after heartbreak, but maybe not doing the best job of it”.

You can listen to the I Fear The Water on Spotify but for now read the full interview with the Ethan below to get to know more about ‘roves’ and his thoughts on the Vinyl revival.

Let’s start with the background of the band. How did roves come around and how did you settle on the name?

roves came about from Coutts and I dusting off a couple of the old acoustic songs I had written and trying to reinvent them as band pieces.

We spent a while writing and recording some songs in our bedrooms and brought in Ellis, my little brother, on bass and Matt on drums to bring together a full line-up.

The name came shortly after that. We had been fumbling around with name ideas and then while driving roves came from the name of a Range Rover. The definition of rove is ‘a journey with no destination’ and that seemed pretty fitting to what we were doing with the band.

Who has influenced your sound as a band?

We come from pretty differing musical backgrounds and so all sorts really do influence our sound. Knowingly we really admire and draw influence from artists like Ben Howard, Jeff Buckley and Bon Iver but influence can come from anywhere whether it’s Matt’s more pop punk roots or Connor’s current love of Hip Hop/RnB.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

Currently I’m soaking in all the new stuff Ben Howard’s putting out. As said before, he’s a huge influence and a great musician. But I’ve also been listening to lots of smaller artists recently. We played a gig with China Bears a couple weeks back in Cardiff and I haven’t been able to stop listening since. Night Flight and Tors are also bands I’ve been giving a lot of attention.

If you had to listen to one album for the rest of your life what album would you choose?

It’s not a particularly well-known record but Repave by Volcano Choir. It’s a band that’s fronted by Bon Iver’s lead singer Justin Vernon and for me it hits all the right spots.
It’s definitely my most listened to album and because there’s so much going on I’m still noticing new things years later.

Are you collectors of vinyl? What are your thoughts on the vinyl revival and what is your favourite album you own on vinyl?

Yeah! I got a record player last year and so I’ve been collecting vinyl since. I think it’s really cool, I’m a huge fan of album artwork and it’s great to see it blown up to a much larger size.

It’s also allowed me to really enjoy records as a whole for the first time in a while.

With streaming services I feel my attention span has gotten worse and I’ve found myself floating between all sorts of music, listening on vinyl allowed me to really focus in on individual records again.

I’d have to say Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. Another cool thing about owning a record player was getting to go through all of my parents’ old records.

The record is from way back when and particularly The Chain is full of crackle which give it a sort of charm. Just showed how much they loved the song I guess.

What is your ultimate venue you’d love to play?

We have a personal goal of selling out Sub89 at one point, it’s super ambitious but after seeing so many of our favourite bands pass through there in the past, it’d be pretty cool to do it ourselves. Bush Hall in London and Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff are also some other personal goals.

What would signify to you as a band you’ve made it?

I think playing a proper stage at Glastonbury or Reading Festival would suggest to someone that we’re doing something of note and would forever be a great story to tell the future grandchildren etc.

Obviously we have big ambitions but really this is just a lot of fun and we’re taking each opportunity as it comes.

Finally what is next for roves? Where can people catch you live next?

This summer is largely about writing and recording although we’re definitely going to play as many gigs as possible.

We’re recording another single early July so expect that early/mid August and then towards the end of summer we’re recording our first EP which should be out before the end of the year.

We kick off this summer though with our first Reading headline show at the Rising Sun Arts Centre on June 29, with Dear Life, and Frames. This is our third time playing for Club Velocity and it’s always good fun so make sure not to miss out.

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