The unapologetically fierce Bang Bang Romeo, craft anthemic blues-rock enhanced by Anastasia Walker's soaring, soul-infused vocals. Completed by Ross Cameron (guitars), Richard Gartland (drums) and Richard Cook (bass), the band are a force to be reckoned with. In the past 12 months, Bang Bang Romeo have performed in stadiums and have also sold out their own UK tour, increasing admirers and aptitude along the way.
The UK rock band is set to deliver a special set presented by Live Nation. We caught up with the band to chat about their origins, rise and musical inspirations.
Hi, folks! Thanks for taking the interview. Can you introduce yourself? E.g. where are you from, music background, where do you live?
We’re Stars, Ross, Rich and Cook and we’re from the heartland of British music that is Doncaster. (Although, Stars was Born in Essex and moved up to the Donx when she was seven. She insists she’s a Yorkshire lass through and through though) All of us have started out in bands before coming together. Bang Bang Romeo isn’t our first Rodeo but we know it’s our end game in terms of where we want to end up as musicians.
We are interested in how you all got together and formed the band. Please tell us more!
I (Stars) met Ross (guitar) originally at a local music festival when we were both looking for new projects and immediately had this connection and bond. We fell in ‘musical love’ if you like! We immediately started writing songs together. Rich (drums) came in a year or two later when we wanted to tour and take the next step as a band, and Cook (bass) is the newest member, joining up at the end of 2019 just in time for our last UK headline tour. It took a couple of tries but the 4 members that you see now feel like the ones that were always meant to wave the BBR flag. We’re a happy band!
Any special meaning of the name Bang Bang Romeo?
Bang Bang Romeo was thought up, four tequilas in, at a tapas bar on Ecclesall Road in Sheffield. We wanted a name that would stick in your head and capture what we were about. Lyrically, we tightroped across love and death, anger and life so naturally it went with the Shakespeare vibe, and live, we’re a big ball of energy. Also, we woke up the next day with sore heads and still liked the name, so jobs a good’n.
Who/what inspired you to start a career in music?
Stars: My Dad has been my biggest inspiration when it comes to wanting to sing and write music. He always played me such a plethora of great artists like the Beatles, Zeppelin, Little Richard, Nina Simone, Oasis, Shirley Bassey, Queen, Simon & Garfunkel and so on. It’s hard not to be inspired by that and he knew my eyes lit up and ears pricked up when he played me music.
Ross: My inspiration was very similar to Stars. My Dad played guitar and wrote his own songs, so there was always a Guitar around the house that really intrigued me, he introducing me to all the great bands, playing their albums on vinyl. My cousin was a great guitar player and I looked up to him a lot too, so it was definitely all in the family.
Rich: I got into drums when I was luckily offered a handful of free lessons in primary school, always loved music anyway. Like the guys, my Dad always had the classics on in the house, everything from Adam & the Ants, to Queen, Springsteen and Billy Idol. I took to drums straight away and spent every moment I could sneaking into the practice rooms when I shouldn’t have done. Missed a few science classes because I was too busy making my way through Led Zep back catalogues. Always played in bands, as many different types as I could. I just wanted to play music, whatever it was. Even joined marching bands when I was training to join the Marines Band Service however I found my home with BBR.
Cook: When I first started playing guitar it was just a hobby that was inside and didn’t require much exercise but then I somehow ended up with a band and gigs, got the performance bug and never looked back. It’s been a strange trip.
How would you describe your music to someone who's never seen you play before?
Unapologetically fierce Tarantino-edged rock and roll, but with a pop side.
What is your most favourite track released so far and why?
Stars: I'd have to say for personal reasons it’s You and I. I wrote that for my LBGTQ+ community so it holds a special place in my heart.
Ross: Chemical will always hold a special place in my heart, it was one of the first songs I’d written and the first song Stars and I played together. There’s always a special moment playing that live.
Rich: I love Beautiful World, last track on our debut album. It was a moment in the studio when Stars laid down the vocal in one take, but Ross’ lyrics tell such a story in this one. Really gets me, and we’ve only played it live once, but I think it shows a real vulnerable but powerful side to us.
Cook: I really love Shame On You. It’s a massive pop tune and to go out to and open shows with it is like an instant shot of adrenaline into the room.
We know you have toured sold-out stadiums with P!NK. What was it like working with the pop icon?
She’s an inspiration and it was an amazing privilege to get to tour with an artist working at the top of their game like that; selling out arenas all over the world and owning the stage every night. We came away with so many ideas for things we wanted to incorporate into not just our music but also the way we present ourselves in performances and offstage. If only we had the same kind of stunt budget! She’s just as full of class off stage and she is on, as is her whole team, management, agent, band, crew etc. They really were the real deal and we feel blessed by the opportunity.
Which artist would you like to collaborate with in the future and why?
We all have different answers for this and it changes all the time, but the two constants seem to be Hans Zimmer and Radiohead. We’re already into trying to make huge dramatic music that could soundtrack a film, so a collab with Hans would be perfect. But Gaga, if you’re reading this, Hi…
If you each had to select an album that means the most to you, what would it be and why?
Stars: For me it’s Radiohead’s OK Computer. My Dad played me it years ago when I was just a kid and I fell head over heels for the band. That album in particular blows my head off, it’s my desert island album for sure.
Ross: Always a tough one this but I’ll go with the White Album by The Beatles. There’s so much variation on one album, the songwriting is unreal, going from Blackbird to the heavy Helter Skelter and the epic While My Guitar Gently Weeps. I could never get bored of this album.
Rich: Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin. Easy. First album I learned top to bottom, my first introduction to rock drumming and I LOVED the artwork. Good Times Gone Bad, Dazed & Confused, I Can’t Quit You Baby. Bonham is a big inspiration from me, ever since I pulled the album from a Woolworths Bargain Bin and pestered my Dad to buy it for me.
Cook: ‘The Woods’ by Sleater Kinney. Not a pop record at all but totally redefined my teenage sense of making exciting rock music without being technical, and doubled it when I saw them live that same year. Still the best turned-to-10-and-the-knobs-ripped-off rock production I’ve ever heard on a record.
We are very excited about your Virtual World Tour. What should our followers expect?
We’ve all been pent up waiting for gigs to start again, so we can’t wait to get back to performing. It’s going to be fierce, sassy, emotional and real. We’ll be bringing what BBR is all about straight to your living rooms. We honestly can’t wait!
Catch Bang Bang Romeo’s performance on Live From Home:
Tuesday, June 30, 7pm *local time*
• Live Nation China - https://www.livenation.cn/livefromhome
• Live Nation Hong Kong - https://www.livenation.hk/livefromhome
• Live Nation Taiwan - https://www.livenation.com.tw/livefromhome
• Live Nation Malaysia - https://www.livenation.my/livefromhome
• Live Nation Singapore - https://www.livenation.sg/livefromhome
• Live Nation Thailand - https://www.livenation.co.th/livefromhome
• Live Nation Japan - https://www.livenation.co.jp/livefromhome
• Live Nation Korea - https://www.livenation.kr/livefromhome
• Live Nation Middle East - https://www.livenation.me/livefromhome
Stream ‘Stone Cold Superstar’ on Spotify: