Sometimes you’re lucky enough to get interview answers which tick all the boxes. Sometimes that just happens to coincide with a band who have had a meteoric rise over the last twelve months or so. Sometimes, introductions needs very little. The interview explains it all. Better than any introduction could.
Bang Bang Romeo have been around for a while, granted. But the platform they have created themselves throughout the years of gigging, practising and getting out there has served them well. It’s deserved. Now, they’re heading off on their most extensive list of shows with the This Feeling Alive tour and, well, here’s what happened when Northern Exposure caught up with them recently.
Bang Bang Romeo, pleasure. You’ve just brought out your new single Natural Born Astronaut which has just been Radio X’s Track of the Week. Where were you and how did you find out that this was happening?
We saw that Mike Walsh had tweeted that we’d be TOTW (Track of the Week) and so of course we instantly jammed our phone networks trying to get in touch with each other at the same time! (laughs) We got the confirmation call from our management and proceeded to do a little dance in the kitchen. It was a very happy band day that’s for sure, and we’re still over the moon about it.
It must feel like another of those monumental milestones in the rise of the band: was there a listening party? Joy Division style, car crammed soirée radio vibe or…?
A. Yeah – it was very special for us, we’ve got track of the week before and numerous plays on Radio X, but something was different this time. We’d gigged our arses off all summer and relentlessly not stopped behind the scenes either. So when word got out that our latest single was getting its radio debut on Radio X and was TOTW, there was a genuine buzz behind all of it, people hadn’t heard it till that moment either and the response blew our minds, man. Think we found out it was the best response for a song in the eight months they’d had TOTW? I mean, fucking what? (laughs) We were actually recording a video at our Ross’s clothes shop in Doncaster whilst tuning in. Special moment indeed!
Obviously, it’s massively important that your songs translate from show to recording, recording to radio: how’s the feedback been? Surely you’ve afforded yourselves the chance to keep tabs on social media reaction?
Yeah, we’ve just finished recording our debut album, and being able to relay what’s in our imaginations onto a record has been a dream. We feel like our sound is there now, if that makes sense? When we really sit down and think about it, we’ve only ever released 2 singles – Natural Born Astronaut being the third like proper release with a plan behind the music. So to have the response and the feedback and the small but respectable following we have is an eye opener and a high five moment. We don’t read TOO much in to kind words from people on social media, we use them as little injections of morale, and to remind each other ‘Hey, we’re doing what we love, and people just so happen to dig it too, happy days eh?’ The support from friends/family/fans has been so powerful for us.
Speaking of milestones, it’s been quite the summer. Probably the biggest yet and a couple of celebrity fans/friends in the bag as well – the Crouch/Clancy clan included. How surreal was it to see them at the side of the stage for the first time ?
It’s been one hell of a ride. Ya know, we’ve been so lucky to play the stages that we have and the festivals we have. Each show has its special moments that always stick with you, one of those is definitely the surreal moment of seeing Abbey and Peter stage right, dancing and going fucking nut! (laughs) The stages keep getting bigger and the crowds keep getting larger and our fire burns brighter each time. What a buzz this summer has been, man. We’ll certainly never forget it.
They’re bang in to their tunes and discovery of new bands, how much does it help with people of such clout giving you the sort of support they have? Be great to see more celebrities championing new bands…
Abbey and Pete are both so in tune with their music and use their awesome power to support up and coming bands, I mean, how fucking cool is that? Using your power to help bands? Legends. When we got told our latest single Chemical was getting played on BBC Radio 1, I got a text off Abbey congratulating us, saying how awesome it was and that they’ve got our back. I was in Primark at the time and tripped over a pair of leggings in pure shock and happiness, I kid you not. Also we had Ralph Ineson from The Office, GOT and The Witch star in our music video. What a legend he is too, he’s been supporting us since day one and to have him in one of our videos was euphoric. Think we also got a video from Callum Best once too? Weird, but wonderful. Megan Fox, if you’re reading this, crack on, love …
Any tips from them on how to handle the stardom? You all seem to be doing just fine!
I suppose it’s just those supportive comments of: just do you and ignore the negative attitudes that can circle this industry at times. Take constructive criticism and use it, and don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks. Be real, and more importantly, enjoy the journey.
Peter had a brief stint on Radio X and, Anastasia, you were on This Feeling TV alongside Abbey. This Feeling are doing great things aren’t they? A real togetherness, as things should be. Surely it’s a matter of time until it hits the telly?
This Feeling are a force to be reckoned with. The work they put in is not only passion-filled and real, but it’s 24/7. They don’t stop and have no intention of slowing down. They’re getting huge brands like Jack Daniels, Red Stripe, Lyle and Scott, Scott’s (to name a very small few) to get involved too and it’s just brilliant. It really won’t be long till This Feeling are also gracing our screens, mark my words.
Maybe a bit of ‘tv out of window’ practise first though?!
I (Stars) threw a TV out of the window for This Feeling TV and came second to Carl Barat, so we’re happy with that!
The This Feeling Alive Tour isn’t too far off, have you ever played such an extensive run of shows?
This is our first major venture in the UK in terms of consecutive dates. We’re itching for it! We’re involved in the guitar music revolution, and it feels so fucking good. We wanna be able to look back and go “We were in the midst of that, living and breathing it, what a brilliant thing”. Of course doing this along side The Shimmer Band and Blackwaters is awesome also!
And a chance for a shot at some new towns, new venues. Favourites on the list?
We’re looking forward to revisiting Glasgow. Scotland always shows us a good time so that’ll be great. And of course doing the shows a little closer to home will be fab, the majority of our shows are in London or down south these days. I’m actually sat in the car on the way to London right now for a show supporting The Struts at Electric Ballroom, so this is quite fitting! But yeah, seeing northern faces also will be great. We’re Yorkshire and proud of it of course.
Surely dreams of Europe to follow, The United States too?
Funny you should say that…
You’ve been doing this for a while now and one of the standout shows for you this summer looked to be Doncaster Pride: Anastasia, going back to Donny and as a member of the LGBTQ community, how heartwarming is it to feel the love back home? Do you feel like you’ve got this great platform to spread it further now?
It was honestly magical. You know, the fact that in 2017 we’re in a way having to put Prides on is bollocks isn’t it? Why would anyone want to discriminate LOVE? Why would anyone want to be against happiness? And that’s why Prides continue, because you’ve still got judgmental, thick as pig shit fools not intellectual enough to understand that love is love. I’ve been very lucky to not be subject to homophobic judgment too harshly, but if I had, I’d break noses left right and centre, and I know my boys would too. No matter what happens in the future with the band, I’ll always be proud of who I am/we are and promote love and happiness till the day I die. Big love to Doncaster Pride, keep doing what ya doing guys – thank you for having us!
And you’re also involved in the MAH Soccer Sixes. If you can, could you draw comparison to where the band is to any of the great/present footballing sides?
Yes, we played yesterday for Soccer Six! Was a great day, and the support from everyone was awesome. We’d have to say Donny Rovers, they’ve been plodding away for the last few seasons but in the same way they got their promotion this year, we feel like we have too, and really made that step up! See you in the premier league soon … haha (fingers crossed)
And one to finish – a lot of bands get asked where they drew inspiration from when forming but, inspiration-wise, is there anything out there that’s really getting you going that we might see a little influence of in your stuff moving forward?
We write songs to take you away on some sort of special journey. The destination could be whatever your heart desires or repels, that’s up to you. But the way the world is today, the bleak times we’ve had are merely shadows in our time, so on our debut album, we visit the emotional impact the world has had on us, and at times we blindfold you to the world and take you away to somewhere else. It’s music to dream to, baby.
And of course – films. We really dig our films and movie sound tracks and we take inspiration left, right and centre from them. Our music video for our latest single Natural Born Astronaut has a bunch of movie ‘nods’, so keep a look out for them!
Bang Bang Romeo embark on the This Feeling ALIVE tour with The Shimmer Band and Blackwaters, starting on October 1st!