Rose Windows

Joshua M. Miller on November 8, 2013

“I always just played for other singer/songwriters or played in metal bands, but hearing Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs got me interested in writing songs,” says Chris Cheveyo, the songwriter/guitarist for Seattle band Rose Windows. “I liked the way he wrote lyrically and the way he would dress the songs up and play them really simply live.” Using Rain Dogs as a launching point and inspiration for the title of Rose Windows’ Sub Pop debut The Sun Dogs, Cheveyo started writing songs that draw as much from Persian, Indian and Eastern European influences as they do from acts like The Band, The Doors and Black Sabbath. “A lot of the Middle Eastern-type sound in the record I got from [legendary Turkish guitarist] Erkin Koray,” Cheveyo says. “And our producer, Randall Dunn, happened to have friends working with Erkin, and he flew in, and it just happened to be the day I was recording guitar.” Featuring the stirring vocals of singer Rabia Shaheen Qazi, the seven-piece band creates diverse sonic landscapes with an eclectic range of instruments, including flute, piano and organ. Cheveyo writes the lyrics as if he were working on a singer/songwriter project and gives them to Qazi, who adds to the song’s exotic mysticism with her own spin on the lyrics. “Typically, the way she interprets it vocally is a little bit different than how I would do it, but it’s always been a welcomed thing.”

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