INTERVIEW: Bang Bang Romeo

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Amidst their longest ever streak of UK shows, on the This Feeling – Alive Tour, I caught up with Stars, Ross and Richard from Bang Bang Romeo in their home city of Sheffield. They played at Plug that night along with The Shimmer Band and Blackwaters. I managed to catch them for a minute during the day to get to know them and have a chat…

So, you’re currently on the This Feeling – Alive Tour with 3 more dates including today, how’s the experience been so far?

Stars: It’s been great, it’s our longest amount of running dates so far on a tour and we’ve been able to visit new places like Cardiff as well as places that we’ve had a great reaction from in the past like Glasgow. Every band has been at the top of their game-The Shimmer Band, Blackwaters and all the This Feeling support bands. It’s been a rollercoaster but it’s always been up there *pointing upwards*, so it’s been brilliant yeah.

How does it feel to be back in your home city of Sheffield performing?

Richard: Yeah it feels great, I think it’s been a while since we’ve been in Sheffield, we played tramlines last year and we supported Echobelly here a few months ago but that was a last minute show. It’s the first time we’ve had all of our family and friends down for a gig and it feels like we’ve come home a little bit and we always love playing at Plug anyway.

Where was the first gig you ever played in Sheffield?

Stars: I think the first gig I ever did was at The Leadmill with This Feeling.

Was it busy?

Stars: Yeah it was!

Ross: Pretty good first gig there

Stars: *laughing* Yeah it’s not bad actually, I’m quite chuffed with that.

So now looking back and seeing how far you’ve come since then how do you feel?

Stars: To be coming back to Sheffield and Doncaster and all the surrounding areas has been really lovely, and to see that we have that backing from, not just friends and family, but I think we can finally now, after a few years, say fans in a weird way. So it’s really cool to get that reaction and we know people are there and it feels really good yeah.

Ross: Yeah just messaging round the usual suspects and saying “do you fancy coming to our show in a few nights” and them saying “Ah we’ve already bought tickets don’t worry about it”

Stars: Yeah that’s been an eye opener hasn’t it. It feels so good. To come home no matter how far you’ve gone or not and that local support’s always there and they’ve always been there for us which we’re so thankful for because we’ve been away quite a bit and not really played our home town probably as much as we should.

Your music is refreshing to hear in this day and age, you have quite a classic 60s rock sound but with your own twist, what music inspired you and your sound?

Stars: I think we’ve all got our own different inputs like we’ve all been bought up on different music. But we love The Beatles, we love Queen, Michael Jackson and as a band we’re really inspired by movie soundtracks. We love our films so when we’re all listening to Django sound track, or Pulp Fiction or Bond or anything like that, it really inspires us because the way Ross writes as well takes you on a journey, like we’ll be listening and writing a song and we’ll be like “Aw this song makes me feel like we’re in the woods somewhere” or something and that’s how we always scope around. Our Dads’ are a big inspiration as well, they bought us up on great music so hats off to them. It’s the Zeppelin vibe, Shirley Bassey, Bond, Beatles, all that kind of stuff. So that’s where it stemmed from, just listening to these legends and just going right ‘love that’ and listen to the soundtracks and just put it together and that got us.

Ross: It’s better that we stick to our Dads’ inspirations because we’d probably sound like Neil Diamond meets Boyzone if it was all of our tastes.

What about now, who are your favourite artists to listen to at the minute?

Ross: We’re big fans of Radiohead, I’ve always loved Oasis, I’m loving what Noel Gallagher’s just bought out, and Liam,  just indie classics really. We always tend to look back really and listen to like Zeppellin, Mamas and Papas or whatever, a lot of Arcade Fire at the minute too.

Stars: Yeah at Isle of Wight Festival where we played this year, they were just this big banging band and everyone was all stood there having a drink and then we all turned round and there was like everyone from the festival just in this little group and we were like “Oh it’s Luke from Paves” or “look at that it’s Tom from The Blinders” and we were all just like stood in exactly the same area just dancing our heads off to Arcade Fire it was awesome.

So away from musical artists, where does most of your inspiration for your music come from?

Stars: We don’t really stick to one thing, like a lot of bands will concentrate on politics or on a certain subject but I think our music is broad in that kind of way. Whether it’s love, hate, happiness, whatever’s happening in the world. Especially in our debut album, we touch upon pretty much everything. Whatever’s going on in our lives as well, a bit of a diary entry kind of thing.

Richard: I haven’t written any of the songs that we’re doing at the moment but for me, being able to listen to some of the songs from an outsider’s perspective in that respect, I can make my own interpretation of some of the songs and I think that’s what the audience can take.

Stars: It’s good to leave the door open. Ross wrote our latest single Natural Born Astronaut and me and Richard had completely different interpretations to what we thought the song meant but it was great because we made up like this story behind it in our heads and Ross was like “it’s actually about this” and we were like “aw god it’s so broad”. Anyone can put their personal touch to the song. Like I listen to Radiohead Creep or anything like that and go “that takes me back to that time” and that’s what that’s about, but it’s probably not about that at all.

That all links into my next question, is there anything specific you want people to take from your music, any messages or themes?

Stars: I think that’s it, just take yourself on your own journey and attach yourself to that song and if a meaning jumps out at you then that’s the meaning for you.

Yes, love that. So the end of 2017 is in sight now and it’s been a big year for you guys, you played Isle of Wight festival and received high recognition across multiple platforms, so what’s been the highlight of this year for you guys?

Ross: That’s hard!

Stars: God I know yeah. Aw it’s been a mental year for us and I think to go back to the whole eye opener thing, you know like Chemical. Ross wrote that years ago and we’ve been sat on it for years, it’s been like a baby to us and we didn’t want to release it but we just put it out there and to get the reaction it did on Radio 1 and Radio X was just mental. Then to go to TRNSMT Festival in Scotland and have the crowd sing a song back to you, it was really quite bizarre. We got brand new management at the beginning of the year and like even just for the morale, that boosted us and we’ve actually not rested all year but we’re happy for that like it’s good busy you know. Oh and Natural Born Astronaut coming out ahhh I don’t even know what to say the highlight is!

Richard: Getting Ralph Ineson in the Chemical video was special too, that was pretty bizarre.

You must reflect and be like woah what a year…

Stars: Yeah we were saying that in the van on the way in like we just said something as if it was normal and then we’d go “hahahaha” kinda thing and it is quite bizarre. I think our partners and our families keep our feet on the ground and we do with each other, we’re our biggest critics for everything and sometimes we step out the bubble and go “actually we can pat ourselves on the back, we’ve had a good year” *laughing*.

Ah that’s pretty amazing! So in terms of future plans where do you hope to see yourselves this time next year?

Stars: We’ve got a lot of stuff behind the scenes that we can’t really talk about but we’re dying to! But yes, the album will be coming out next year so that’s really special for us as it’s our debut. Just keep your eyes on our social media.

Richard: We could be anywhere in the world

Stars: Yep we could be anywhere, but keep your eyes on Facebook, Twitter and all that. We’re sailing at the moment and we don’t want to slow down.

Aw exciting times ahead then, and in terms of long term goals, what would be your dream festival to play at?

Stars: Ah it’s Glastonbury isn’t it, it’s always Glastonbury and I think we just really want to headline it like um next year *laughing* but obviously they cancelled it and they cancelled on us and we were like ahh fair enough *laughing*. No but yeah Glastonbury, I think that’s the one for every up and coming band, the Glastonbury dream. We’ve never been to Glastonbury so we’re deliberately saving it, quite a lot of self belief there but yeah.

What a way to lose your Glastonbury virginity ay?

Stars: Hahaha yeah exactly but yeah that’s the dream festivals wise and also to go to festivals outside the UK, I think we’d love to do that.

Ah well at the rate you guys are going, anything could be achievable! Thank you so much for chatting with me, it was really great to meet you guys! Good luck with the show tonight!

Bang Bang Romeo: Thank you, thank you, it was great meeting you too!


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By Maisie Green

Featured image via Bang Bang Romeo and This Feeling

Khushi and Hannah are your entertainment editors

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