Canadian rockers Rose Cora Perry & The Truth Untold have recently released their debut EP, Other Side of the Story — an album that reworks four of Perry’s previous folksy acoustic solo songs into hard-edged rock ‘n’ roll, and adds a fifth song as a unique treat for listeners: a creative distortion-driven take on Adele’s iconic song, “Rolling in the Deep.”
For Perry, this is a return to her roots of playing raw, authentic rock music backed by a band; it also is a nod to a lesson she has learned throughout her 30 years of performing: Listen to your fans.
“I formed The Truth Untold because I wanted to promote my latest record from 2016, but I also wanted people up there on stage with me and I wanted to get back into fronting a band because, I hate to say it, as much as I endeavored and enjoyed evolving and challenging myself differently from a musical stance doing the [solo] singer/songwriter thing, my fans love me as a rock musician,” she says. “So you gotta give the people what they want.”
Being a fiery, electric guitar-wielding band leader is also where Perry feels most comfortable — and it took her many years, lots of hard work, and a journey through different phases as a musician and an artist to get here.
Perry, now 35, started training at age four in classical vocal studies, but found herself recruited into a rock band 14 years later after performing a song from Phantom of the Opera during a talent show. She joined the band “begrudgingly” because her best friend was in it too, but the more Perry learned about the rock genre the more she began to not only appreciate it, but also to feel frustrated with the confines of classical music, which she felt allowed no room for personal interpretation. “The thing that I think makes rock so unique and so powerful for both musicians delivering it as well as an audience hearing it is because it’s so raw, and so real, and it’s really authentic in that sense,” she says. “Once I understood that, there was no turning back.”
Perry’s musical influences cover as wide a range as she does in her music-making: She loves everything from classical to Celtic to Broadway, from metal to rock to grunge, and most any genre of music (except rap). Artistically, she admires the vocals of Alanis Morissette (“I’m a 90s child who grew up in Canada,” she says), the power and range of 80s rocker Pat Benatar, jazz greats Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, the vocal harmonies and melodies of the alternative band Veruca Salt, and the overall beauty of the music and vocals of Canadian harpist Loreena McKennitt. “I like to listen to a wide variety of things because you never know where inspiration is going to come from, what’s going to influence your songwriting direction,” she says.
Perry’s first band was an all-girl pop rock group named Her, after which she launched into the London, Ontario-based rock band Anti-Hero. Anti-Hero was signed to a major label and toured across the US and Canada for a few years before band parted ways. Perry then went solo, releasing albums in 2010 and 2016, both of which were more of the folksy, acoustic singer/songwriter mold. “But truly, after being a rock n’ roll frontwoman who’s slightly obnoxious onstage, I just found that it really wasn’t a good fit for me,” she says. “And truthfully, I missed that ‘We’re all in this together’ mentality with having bandmates with you. … I definitely think I shocked people when I tried to do the folksy circuit because there was a disconnect between my personality and the kind of venues I was playing.”
After recording her 2016 album, Onto the Floor, Perry formed The Truth Untold to tour the album. But there came a disconnect between the acoustic folksiness of the album and the hard-edged rock of the live shows. She says it was leading booking agents as well as fans to get confused – wondering which version of the songs they would be hearing at the shows. This led to Perry and bandmate Tyler Randall (drums and leads) and former touring member/soundwoman Amber Gorham (bass) to record Other Side of the Story. “It’s still my material but it represents the sound that the band delivers and our revisioning of my solo material and what the band is all about,” Perry says.
Since their formation in 2016, Rose Cora Perry and The Truth Untold have rocked audiences of over 200,000, sharing bills with SmashMouth and Platinum Blonde, and performing at some of the industry’s biggest events including Vans Warped Tour, Summer NAMM, and International Pop Overthrow. Following the group’s successful 2018 US breakthrough tour, which included a showcase at Hollywood’s legendary Whisky a Go Go, they released Other Side of the Story in September 2019.
True to Perry’s “old school” ethos, The Truth Untold’s debut “challenges modern production conventions: bucking autotune and overcompression in favor of raw authenticity, textured layers, and massive kick-ins you can both hear and feel,” according to the album promo materials. As Perry says, “There is zero auto-tune and there is zero sampling. If I couldn’t get it in one take, I did it again until I could. We wanted to give people something that’s really raw, authentic, and genuine, as that to me is what the genre is all about.”
Rock ‘n’ roll is also about having guts and taking risks, and the Truth Untold’s cover of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” certainly does that. “It’s a good song, and frankly I wanted to show people I could do it,” Perry says. “[Also,] the best way to demonstrate yourself in this day and age anymore with the age of the internet, if people haven’t heard your original material, a good way to get out there is do a ballsy cover of somebody who is extremely popular and prove that you can do your own interpretation that’s really unique and really cool too. That’s what we attempted to do and people really dig it, so we’re happy about that.”
In the end, Perry and The Truth Untold want to not only entertain people, but to show them that “rock is most certainly not dead; it’s alive and well. And just because something may not be mainstream right now doesn’t mean that can’t turn around. … There certainly still is a market for rock ‘n’ roll music and there are certainly die-hard rock ‘n’ roll fans out there. It’s just a different world and you have to reach them differently.”
Rose Cora Perry and The Truth Untold are currently on tour to the end of November and will be back on the road in 2020. To check out their music and find digital downloads, visit www.rosecoraperry.com.
Rose Cora Perry and The Truth Untold is backed by the support of the band’s instrument sponsors Daisyrock Guitars, Blackstar Amplification and Mapex Drums (Canada).
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