In The Middle with Bang Bang Romeo

We caught up with Bang Bang Romeo to chat Spanish biker gangs, Quentin Tarantino soundtracks and collaborating with Hans Zimmer.

One of the first festivals you’re playing this year is Isle of Wight, but what’s your favourite festival to play and why?

We would have to say that Isle Of Wight Festival is our favourite and will always be special to us because it was the first major festival that gave us an opportunity on the Jack Rocks This Feeling Stage, and was really the launchpad for everything that has happened for us as a band since. The place is steeped in history with the likes of Hendrix and The Doors having played famous headline slots in 60s, and there’s real magic about the whole event. We were made one of the three festival highlights that year alongside Fleetwood Mac & Blur which was surreal, and they’ve invited us back to play a bigger stage every year since.

Who are you most keen on watching play on the festival circuit this year and why?

For us it would have to be Radiohead at TRNSMT Festival in Scotland, they have always been a massive influence on us, and we’ve drawn a few comparisons to them in recent times which has been a huge compliment. We are also touring the festivals this summer as part of the Jack Rocks 7, and we are looking forward to sharing the stage with some of the most exciting bands in the country with the likes of The Wholls, The Blinders, The Sundowners and White Room.  

Do you have a new single or album on the way?

We’ve been locked away in the studio since the turn of the year working on our debut album, it’s more or less finished and we’re really excited about it. Our first single ‘Chemical’ is due for release in June, and we’ve just finished finished shooting the video for it this week. We are all blown away with Ralph Ineson & Olivia Roach’s dramatic performances and the vision of director David Dutton bringing our weird and wonderful ideas to life. We can’t wait to unleash it.

Are there going to be many stylistic changes?

The album recording process has really allowed us the time to fully explore our sound and ideas. Because of this our sound has developed naturally and we are finally reaching a point where our recordings are sounding how we imagined they would.

Who are your greatest musical influences and why?

We are mostly influenced by the likes of Radiohead, Fleetwood Mac, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Shirley Bassey, Queen and Jefferson Airplane. We are all huge fans of dramatic and emotive live performances that take the listener on a journey and make you feel something. Music for the soul.

Who is your favourite band you have ever seen live and why?

We all got to watch Fleetwood Mac together at Isle Of Wight Festival after we had just made our major festival debut. It was really special, watching one of our biggest influences and one of the all time greats.  The performance was totally magic and Joel was in tears all the way through.

Outside the musical world, where do you get your inspiration from?

We take a lot of inspiration from movie soundtracks, and in particular Quentin Tarantino films. This wasn’t intentional and just came from us all being massive fans of the films. We hadn’t really picked up on it ourselves until it was mentioned in a couple of reviews and by Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1. We love the contrasting themes of love and violence, how the music adds to the tension and emotion in his work and try to emulate this drama in our songs and live performance.

What’s the strangest thing to ever happen to you on tour?

These are all completely true; we once had to rescue Rich from the boot of a biker gangs van in Spain, Ross clocked Serge from Kasabian in the crowd of one of our London shows, Starsie being grabbed by Abbey Clancy & Peter Crouch coming off stage at Leeds Festival and remaining friends ever since and finally the police having to fish Joel out of the River Thames at 5am one morning after a particularly wild London show.

What’s next for Bang Bang Romeo?

Hans Zimmer may or may not be performing an orchestral version of our album with us in space… We also have exciting touring and album news on the way very soon, along with a packed summer festival season, and we hope to see you in the fields! You can find out our latest info on our Facebook, Twitter, or just on our website.

Bang Bang Romeo will appear at Isle of Wight festival June 8th-11th. Get your tickets here.

Ellie Montgomery

(Image: Dawbell press)

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