What is your name? What is your genre of music?
My name is Ross Flora and I’m a southern rock/ country artist.
Give us a little bio about you.
I was born and raised just south of Roanoke, Virginia. I grew up playing music and singing, starting in church with my family and then with bands in my teens. I moved to Nashville in 2012 at 22 years old and began playing in town and on the road as a lead guitarist and singer. I’ve been here ever since, learning and growing as a musician and songwriter.
What made you go into music?
I grew up in a musical home, so there were always guitars and pianos around to play. My dad is a great musician and would take me to rehearsals where I would do my homework while they worked out parts. I was around 11 when I got into guitar playing and really began expressing myself through it.
Who are your influences?
Vocally, my biggest influences would be Gregg Allman, Chris Cornell, and Frank Sinatra.
On guitar, I would say Derek Trucks, Slash, and Ian Thornley.
Are you signed? You released your new single ‘Cannonball’, tell us more about the single.
Currently, I’m signed with Dead Horse Branding and DeadHorse/Checked label services. Cannonball is my first ever solo release, so I was pretty weary of all the business aspects that go into getting a song out there, but the whole process has been a blast!
What is the meaning behind the single?
I don’t know if Cannonball has a direct meaning; it’s more of a (fictional) story that draws on a bulletproof, unstoppable focus and drive.
What was the writing and recording process like?
Everything about this song came together relatively easily. I’ve had the first two lines saved in my head for years but never had a place for them until one night I came up with the guitar riff and the whole song kind of flowed into place within about an hour.
Recording went equally as smoothly as writing it; I laid down a scratch guitar and vocal part and brought it to Doug Gross and Jeremy Pearl, who played bass and drums. We’ve logged thousands of live gigs together and they’re practically my brothers, so they knew exactly what I was hearing on it and nailed it in two takes. I put the finished guitar, keys, and vocals on it, mixed it, and sent it to my good friend Michael Esser at Sundog Studio to have it mastered.
Describe the track in two words.
Reckless and loud
Who did you work with on the single?
This one was basically done in-house. Doug Gross and Jeremy Pearl played bass and drums on it, and Michael Esser mastered it. I wrote, engineered, produced and played all the other tracks.
Will we see a Music video for ‘Cannonball’, what can we expect from the creative process? Will we see an EP or Album and if so, can you give us a teaser of what to expect?
Right now we’re discussing a video for this song or one from my upcoming EP scheduled to be out this summer. The EP will cover a wider range of my influences, upbringing, and some stories like Cannonball.
Do you have any live shows or a tour coming up and if so let us know where we can catch you at?
I don’t have a tour put together just yet, but I’ll be playing 5 nights a week in downtown Nashville until I do! I play several places, like Cerveza Jacks on 2nd Ave., Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights!
What else can we expect in 2022?
I’m looking forward to the EP that will be out in a few months and some possible tours in the fall stemming from it and Cannonball. All the while continuing to perform 7 shows a week here in town and writing for the next album!
Will we see any collaborations and if so, can you tell us more about them?
For future projects, I have a couple of duet songs on deck. I can say for certain, if not on this EP than the next, I will have songs featuring Emilee Allan and Cash Crawford, who are two of my closest friends and world-class singers.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years? What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Not exactly a quote, but one line I have in my head before a show or a write (it’s even carved into the sides of a couple guitars) is an old bluegrass lyric: “Oh come angel band, come and around me stand.”
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Gear wise, first and foremost is the fan. Even if it’s below freezing, I have to have moving air around me.
In the first couple songs of a set, my main focus is on getting my vocals in the groove, making them percussive and almost over-enunciating the words. I’m a singer first, so when that locks in, my hands will follow
Stay open to learning and trying new things. It’s easy to fall into ruts and burn out, so try a song a different way or test out a new vocal run as often as possible to keep things fresh
When the gig is going rough for whatever reason (an empty bar, an inattentive crowd, fatigue or allergy season for my vocals, etc.), I visualize the stage I want to be playing on one day and practice for that moment. As performers, we’re used to feeding off the energy from a crowd, so having something to self-motivate during those moments is key, and will usually turn the room around.
Protect your ears. I’m pretty bad about this one and don’t realize I’m frying my ears until I dim out my in-ear monitors or the top end of the drums starts getting muffled. If you plan on doing this for a lifetime, like I do, accurate hearing is the most important thing