ThebandIvory has just premiered their new song titled ‘Anthropocene’ right here on Jammerzine. And, we have a special surprise for all of you supporters of #indie in the form of an exclusive interview with the minds behind the music of ThebandIvory; Frankie DeRosa and Robbie Simmons.
The song ‘Anthropocene’ is about healing and overcoming the trials of life, shedding the turmoil while retaining the lessons, becoming a stronger person in the process. The definition of the word Anthropocene is ‘relating to or denoting the current geological age, viewed as the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment.’. And while the common definition is the effects that human activity has on our global environment, this can also be used to perfectly describe our personal environment as well. Couple that with a beautiful piece of music and solemn harmony, you have a message with the musical punctuation needed to drive the message to the heart.
In this interview, we get a glimpse of ThebandIvory as a coherent unit steeped in musical and human diversity that has that unique ability to combine the different styles and instrumentation of the music they love and make it something all their own.
From his first cloudy memories of Amazonian farmland and blurred faces, Frankie DeRosa – the creative force behind ThebandIvory – knew there was a cosmic secret that surrounded him. Though the memories of Venezuela are cloudy, the flight to America is clear. With many questions left unanswered, Frankie and his mother were pulled into an American family that, while supportive of his creative nature, forced them to abandon their cultural heritage and ignore the trauma they fled.
After years of exploitation of his talents, an ugly divorce left him with his manipulative, emotionally abusive adopted father, separating him from the only reminder of his roots. Dreading not seeing his mother for years at a time, Frankie armed himself with music and art as his coping mechanism. Though they both suffered depression in their own ways, Frankie says, “I knew this was the only way to be seen in a country that overlooks people who look and sound like me.”
“Cloaked in white privilege,” Frankie landed at Berklee College of Music, where he began to shed his facade (literally – there were hair clippers involved) and dove headfirst into Indian, Middle Eastern and Caribbean music ensembles, finding his “tribe” in the diversity of these groups and unknowingly drawing the connection of art and music, animals, and nature with his cultural and ancestral lineage. At Berklee, Frankie crossed paths with Robbie Simmons. A two-fold partnership began as ThebandIvory was born (Frankie and Robbie got married in 2019 – at their own show).
ThebandIvory’s debut album Anthropocene is the journey of Frankie DeRosa’s healing himself from a lifetime of wounds. Anthropocene represents shedding a life’s worth of pain and being born anew. “I want to bring my tribe with me on this journey. The tribe who is also hurting and lost and need to reintroduce themselves to their truth.”
Photo by Bob Sweeney.