Rolo Tomassi formed in small villages north of Sheffield around the start of 2005. Almost immediately recording a demo of the only material they had, the band set out with the aim of playing as many shows in as many different cities as possible around a schedule of high school and exams.
A series of split 7”s, tapes and self-released music on any other format imaginable, the band put out its first landmark EP on the UK label Holy Roar in 2006. A relentless touring schedule followed and this momentum saw a deal struck with Hassle Records to release the band’s debut album Hysterics in 2008. Recorded with a modest budget with producer Jason Sanderson (65daysofstatic, Brontide), this album would push the band out to the mainstream press with the full length receiving positive across the board.
After a performance at SXSW early in 2009, an unlikely partnership was struck with producer Diplo (Major Lazer, MIA, Die Antwoord) who came to a late night showcase. The band wrote the record Cosmology over the summer of 2009 and flew out to LA to record with Diplo and engineer Ariel Rechtshaid (Vampire Weekend, Haim, Usher) later that year. The record was released in May 2010, again on Hassle Records, to critical acclaim with Rock Sound scoring it a 9 out of 10 and describing it as ‘”the sound of a band at the top of their game”. Support slots on huge tours with Biffy Clyro and Enter Shikari followed as well as the bands first appearance in Australia at Soundwave Festival, second stage appearances at Leeds and Reading Festival’s and a slot on the second stage at Download.
2011 saw the release of Eternal Youth, a 36-track anthology of non-album material on the bands own Destination Moon Records and vocalist Eva Spence gracing the cover of Kerrang magazine as part of their ’50 Greatest Rock Stars In The World Today!’ feature. After a UK headline tour including a sold out show at The Garage in London, the band embarked on a two-week tour of Russia and the Ukraine, which ultimately followed with the departure of two members for ‘personal reasons’. The band immediately resumed normal service with Chris Cayford and Nathan Fairweather joining to fill the vacant positions of guitar and bass respectively.
Over the first few months of 2012 the band set to work on third studio album Astraea. With the band now based primarily in Nottingham, the album was recorded in various locations around the city (including keyboard player James Spence’s house) with Jason Sanderson taking the helm at production again. The record was put out on Destination Moon in November 2012 with NME describing the band as “one of the most adventurous, forward-thinking and inexplicably overlooked bands in the country” alongside a very favorable 8 out of 10 review.
Following UK and European headline tours in support of Astraea, the band would make their debut appearance in Japan in September 2013 as part the Zankyo Festival in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya having released Astraea through the Zankyo label. Those shows led into the bands first Australian headline tour which would last for 3 weeks and wrap up the Astraea touring cycle. Upon returning from this the band parted ways with drummer and founder member Ed Dutton under amicable circumstances.
Almost straight after returning, the band got to work on their fourth record, recruiting Tom Pitts to play drums. 2014 was a relatively dormant year for the band with various members relocating and writing being the primary focus. A handful of intimate shows took place in October to road-test new material ahead of the band going into the studio with Lewis Johns (Gnarwolves, Funeral For A Friend) to begin work on Grievances. The album will be released through Holy Roar Records (UK/EU), Ipecac Recordings (North America/Japan) and Shock Records (Australia/NZ) in summer 2015.
At 10 years in, the band are arguably at the most exciting place yet with eyes firmly set on the next 10 years and beyond.
Chris Cayford – Guitar Nathan Fairweather – Bass Tom Pitts – Drums Eva Spence – Vocals James Spence – Keys/Vocals