Jonathan and Michael Rosen created Cones with open minds and open hearts. Their debut Pictures of Pictures is an epic indie LP with shimmering synth and soothing vocals. Released in on Dangerbird Records, the brothers recorded the album at Michael Rosen’s Honeymoon Suite Studios in L.A.
Read the entire interview with Cones below and click play on Pictures of Pictures
BTRtoday (BTR): What’s the evolution of Cones been like?
Michael Rosen (MR): We decided to start a band together while on a long tour with our friend, the great musician Eleanor Friedberger. I think we were in Vancouver when Jonathan started playing one of his songs on guitar and I told him we should start recording some material when we get home to L.A. We weren’t really sure what we were going to make, but it felt empowering to approach a project with complete openness. After recording five songs, we ended up releasing some singles with a couple of different labels, and thankfully people seemed to like it.
That was a couple of years ago. After the initial recordings, we explored our process a bit, releasing a couple more songs along the way. After some trial and error, we arrived at our first full LP [released this past September] on Dangerbird Records. We recorded it in my studio near DTLA, called Honeymoon Suite.
BTR: What’s your favorite experience with Cones so far?
Jonathan Rosen (JR): There have been a lot of great moments so far, and hopefully many more to come. What comes to mind right now was our first L.A. show at The Bootleg. It was the first time everything seemed to click in a live setting and the energy was contagious.
BTR: If Cones had a life motto, what would it be?
JR: Live. Laugh. Love.
BTR: Nice. Do you guys pursue any other artistic outlets?
MR: Jonathan is an animator and creates all of the artwork and animated videos for Cones. He’s done videos for artists like Toro Y Moi and, of course, Eleanor Friedberger, among others. He worked for the famous animator Bill Plympton in New York for a number of years.
My interests have always been in sound, but not confined to Cones. I’m a producer and engineer at a studio I started in L.A. called Honeymoon Suite. Additionally, I’m a programmer/creative technologist and have been recently exploring sound programming and design for video games and VR. I actually made a Cones 360/VR experience you can find on the iOS store called “Bob’s Room.”
BTR: What’s been your experience within the music world so far? Is there an aspect of it you wish you could change?
MR: A big part of the music industry, possibly the hardest, is counting your blessings. We have been very fortunate to have a lot of support from a great team, including our label, manager and publicist. It’s important to keep in perspective that you are not owed anything—it takes incredibly hard work and luck.
That being said, it’s a very tough and often disheartening industry. I guess we wish a band’s immediate worth wasn’t so much connected to the numbers on a Spotify page. It can be easy to compare yourself to others, when we should be supporting each other instead. You have to be steadfast in pursuing your vision.
BTR: Do you have a favorite song you guys have written so far or one you feel the strongest connection with?
JR: I think the song we connect to most is one of our first, “Echoes On.” It’s the only song we self released and it set a great tone for our project as a whole. I wrote in like 15 minutes, which is rare. It felt like it came to me rather than me chasing it.
BTR: What should we keep an eye out for in the future of Cones?
MR: We’ll be doing a West Coast tour at the end of February and hopefully more touring through the spring and summer. We’re also starting to put together new song ideas to record for whatever our next release maybe, probably sometime late 2020.