Photos by LDO Photography.
By Sonia Schnee | Posted Friday, April 6, 2018
TODAY, Northern NJ country-rock duo, October Rose, released their new single, "Closer," on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music, to name a few. Learn about Leanne Weiss and Derek Allan's journey to becoming "October Rose," their musical influences, and the inspiration behind their hits, in our interview below:
What's your name, where are you from, where are you based now?
We are country music duo October Rose, Leanne Weiss and Derek Allan. Leanne is a native North Jerseyan while Derek is a Pittsburgh transplant to the NYC area. We are based out of Northern New Jersey.
Tell us about your music. How would you describe your sound? Where do you record? Who are your influences, musically?
Our sound is modern country with a rock edge. We consider our musical influences to be a combination of Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood with some 80’s hair metal. We’ve created a musical sound that we feel is unique, and contribute that to our producer, Chris Badami, at Portrait Recording Studios in Pompton Plains, New Jersey. We admire the sounds of so many musical artists, namely Lady Antebellum and Florida Georgia Line, but growing up were influenced by Celine Dion and Bon Jovi.
What's the meaning or inspiration behind some of your songs? How do you want people to feel when they listen to your music?
We want our fans to feel a whirlwind of emotions from listening to our music. We wrote these songs based on experiences or emotions we’ve had, which we feel are universal, like heartbreak, uncertainty in a relationship, taking a chance on love, and escaping the day-to-day grind. For instance, “Bonfire” was written after a weekend trip to rural upstate New York, where we found ourselves sitting around a firepit singing for guests at our hotel. “Heartbreak Song,” the first song we ever wrote together, was written from the point of view of two people starting a new relationship. “All In” is our duo’s anthem, highlighting the passion we feel about pursuing our dream together.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get started with music? What's been your personal journey? Are there any artists, bands, or producers who you'd love to collaborate with one day?
Leanne: We’ve both been involved in musical endeavors for the majority of our adult lives, but started our musical journey around 2013, way before our paths crossed. Derek was working in finance in Pittsburgh, PA, while performing in and around the city. He recorded and released a solo EP and opened for local country acts like The Stickers. Meanwhile, in New Jersey, I had recorded and released a solo EP and was performing with my band around the New York City area.
Derek: In January 2016, I moved to New Jersey, not knowing anyone in the country music scene. A little online searching led me to Leanne’s Facebook page, where I came across her music video and thought “this girl’s legit.” I saw she was performing at Maxwell’s Tavern in Hoboken and messaged her that I would stop by. At the show, I got to talking to her Mom, who as you would imagine talked her up pretty good, and after her performance, Leanne and I met. We decided after that to hang out and write songs, but we discovered that God had a plan to bring us together to form a duo. The minute we started singing together, we were in harmony.
We decided to form a duo in October of 2016, and since then, we’ve gotten some great opportunities, like opening for country acts like Jordan Davis and Russell Dickerson. Our single “Heartbreak Song” is gaining momentum on country radio as well. We’d love to collaborate with Carrie Underwood or Jason Aldean in the future.
What words of advice or encouragement would you give to someone who wants to follow a similar passion, or is maybe facing obstacles similar to what you've faced?
We know what it’s like to face rejection, so we’d say “never quit.” We believe in having a plan, having goals, and taking action, and we’ve shared that advice with others. Also, playing your music in front of people is an excellent way to test whether it’s well-received or may need work.
What's next on the horizon for you? Do you have any shows coming up? Plans for your next album?
We are releasing our first EP “All In” on May 4, promoting the EP, and continuing to perform shows in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida this Spring and Summer. While we continue to write new songs frequently, we don’t have any plans to record a new album in the near future.
Finally, how can people find you online? Bandcamp? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, etc.?