THIS might be the first time I have featured a boy band…
on my site. I have reviewed/interviewed girl groups but, when it comes to the chaps, it is a rarity. Roman Road differs from one’s perceptions of a boy band. They have rich harmonies and a lyrical/compositional aesthetic that runs deeper and wider than your standard fare. David, Adam; Cliff and Aaron talk about their forthcoming single – primed and ready for summer – and gaining acclaim from Capital F.M. I ask them about playing London Live and whether there are any dates in the calendar; how they all came together and what kind of acts/music they have been inspired by.
The band talks about future recordings, how their music comes together and the records that mean the most to them. On top of that, I get an insight into a close and tight group of young men who want to make a big impact in music – they are going about it the right way…
Hi, guys. How are you? How have your weeks been?
David: Yeah, we are all good.
Very busy time of the year as we are prepping for gigs – and our single is out this summer so can’t wait!
For those new to your work, can you introduce yourself, please?
Adam: We’re Roman Road: a Pop group from England…
Cliff: …four lads who like a good cup of tea
Did you guys watch Glastonbury? What did you make of it? Any highlights?
David: All the headliners were insanely good!
Radiohead, Foo Fighters and, to top it, off Ed Sheeran. They all absolutely nailed it!
Cliff: Ed is the man.
I loved the part where he was rapping and he told everyone he forgot his verse. Haha.
Man is a legend!
Adam: Glastonbury is one them festivals where you just wish you were there.
I’m sure it’s every musician’s dream.
Aaron: Maybe see us there next year…
Cliff: …yeah, in the crowd. Haha.
Can you tell me how Roman Road came together? Were you all mates before setting up the band?
Aaron: Me and Cliff were friends at school and we met the other two through the same circle of friends.
David: Adam was living in Spain when he finally came back to join us.
Cliff: We were all very musical from a young age and the boy band route was always one we wanted to take – thanks, Backstreet Boys!
You have said you differ from most boy bands. In what way, would you say, you distinguish yourselves from others?
Adam: We aren’t your stereotypical boy band…
We all have unique vocal tones and varied musical influences – but it all blends together and makes a decent sound (we like to think. Haha!).
David: Visually, we are quite different.
We don’t follow that typical formula and like to keep our individual styles.
Cliff: Same when we do cover songs, we always like to try something that not everyone is doing.
We want to be original and fresh…
Aaron: …saying that; we still have a strong essence of boy band.
I’m the funny one; Cliff is the cheeky ladies’ man; Adam is the mysterious one and David is just weird.
I believe you have a single out in the summer. What can you tell us about its themes and inspiration?
Aaron: The song is called Summer All Time – and it’s literally about summer and having fun.
David: It’s always a good idea to bring a fun summery-type song in summer.
Adam: Obviously, David. Haha.
But, yeah, it’s gonna be one of those feel-good summer-type Pop songs.
Cliff: We’re actually running a competition with our fans to design the artwork for the single – and some of the designs so far are AWESOME!
Roman Road have been announced, by Capital F.M., as Vodafone future-breakers for 2017. How did you guys feel when you heard that?
David: Hearing our name on the biggest radio station in U.K. was insane!
Cliff: We were all together when it was announced and just staring at each other – not in a creepy way, by the way. Haha.
Adam: Marvin Humes announced it and we were pretty stoked by that – as he was (obviously) in a boyband before and he’s someone we respect and aspire to be like.
Aaron: We also got a cheeky mention and feature on Christmas Day – which was a nice present from Father Christmas.
I know, back in summer last year, you played to thousands as part of London Live. Was that a pretty daunting and nervous way of announcing yourself to the world?
The London live gig was nerve-wracking but as group we took it in our stride: it was amazing, for the first time, seeing an audience that big enjoy what we do.
David: Knowing people at home were watching, and the thousands in the crowd, was a great feeling.
It hypes you up before you go on stage.
Adam: You need the nerves before you go on, too – they soon turn into adrenaline and, before you know it, you are flying around the stage.
How do the songs come together for the band? Do you have designated songwriters or do you all pitch in with various lyrics/parts?
Cliff: Me and Adam do the majority of the songwriting – but everyone gives input on lyrics or melody lines.
Aaron: It will be 3 A.M. and Cliff will send us a ‘voice note’ on WhatsApp with a new song idea or arrangement. Haha.
David: The plus-side is everyone in the band can play guitar and Cliff (also) plays the piano; so it definitely helps when it comes to writing a new track.
Who are the bands and artists who have been most influential to Roman Road and your sound?
All: Backstreet Boys!
Aaron: The boy bands from the ’90s/early-’00s really had something special.
We love Backstreet Boys because of their amazing vocal abilities and harmonies.
Cliff: I use to sing and dance in my bedroom to Backstreet Boys, NSYNC; Blue and all them influential bands who really could sing well together.
It was definitely an influence, not only on the band, but as individuals.
Adam: We are also big fans of Little Mix and Ed Sheeran.
They are repping the music scene at the moment.
What kind of gigs do you have coming up? Anywhere we can catch you?
David: We have a few gigs up and down the country lined up.
The next big one is in Burton in July alongside Matt Terry and Union J.
We will be performing the main stage there. No pressure!
Aaron: We also start our first set of school tours this September around the U.K. – so we are super-excited for that.
After the single, will there be an E.P. or album? How far ahead are you looking right now?
Cliff: We are always writing in our spare time, along with our schedule – so there will be more singles coming out
Adam: We’ve spoken about releasing an E.P.
We will probably go to Paris to record that with our producer.
David: Right now, we are planned up to around October.
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Cliff: I was at a Busted concert a few weeks back and their support act was awesome: the Natives…go check them out!
David: Another cool band to check out are The Tailormade – who we met at Pride last year.
They have a quirky sound and we’ve become really good friends with them – so I’m sure they will love us even more for this mention. Haha.
If you each had to select one album each that has meant the most to you; which would they be and why?
Adam: John Mayer – Continuum.
The man is a genius. I love his work: he’s one of the reasons I learnt the guitar.
Cliff: One of the albums I played on loop growing up was Michael Jackson’s Bad.
He was an inspiration to everyone. Dirty Diana is (also) one of my favourite songs ever…
Aaron: …probably the reason why you can hit those high notes, Cliff. Haha.
I’m a Motown fan, so anything by Stevie (Wonder) is gold to me.
David: I really love You Me at Six’s new album, Night People.
I love Josh Franceshi’s voice.
What advice would you give to any new artists starting out right now?
Aaron: Our advice to a new artist is to stay focused: every ‘no’ is one step closer to a ‘yes’.
Cliff: Most importantly, enjoy what you do.
Try to find a sound that works for you and get yourself out there as much as possible.
David: Make sure you use all the social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook etc. – and try to build a following.
Adam: Check out websites and bloggers who can help with getting your name out there.
Be patient, stay committed and good things will come your way.
Finally, and for being good sports, you can each name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Aaron: Little Mix – Power
Adam: Justin Bieber – Despacito
David: Ed Sheeran – Supermarket Flowers
(Have your tissues ready)
Cliff: Artists for Grenfell – Bridge Over Troubled Water
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