Updated: Feb 5
Music, Confidence & Equality
“...We’re scared, we’re strong and we’re from Donny. Add it all together and what you see is Bang Bang Romeo.”
The very first time I saw Bang Bang Romeo was back in September 2017 when they were opening for The Struts, and since that very moment I was curious to find out more about them especially as at that point, even though it may have been my first encounter, I was loving the whole vibe and energy of their music. Therefore when our good friend Jenni told us recently that she had a recommendation for a band for us to check out, and she said Bang Bang Romeo my eyes just lit up with excitement – you know that feeling you get when you reconnected with a friend!
2018 has been such an incredible year already for this Doncaster trio which has involved appearances at a number of festivals this summer, a worldwide record deal with the Eleven Seven label Group and also news of a debut album coming soon! Safe to say that this is the year that Bang Bang Romeo truly spread the love and bring us some totally special party vibes.
With so much to discuss it was only right we caught up with lead singer, Anastasia Walker, better known as Stars back in Summer to discover what can only described as the rise and evolution of this sensational South Yorkshire band.
Stars, so lovely to meet you! Are you enjoying your summer?
I am indeed! Two festivals down, a load more to go and I’ve just come back from my holiday, so my batteries are well charged and my tan is only a little bit red, winning.
Let me say just how amazing your latest single, ‘Shame On You’ is! So catchy, and every time I have listened to it I am bopping away. How does it feel to be able to share the track with the world?
Thank you, yes we were very excited to unleash it on to the world, but never in a million years did we expect the reaction it’s got in, what, just over a week? Crazy stuff. It was only written a couple of months ago in L.A and now it’s out making its way through Radio waves and on MTV, what more could a band in our position want? Happy days!
The debut album is coming out soon, what has it been like to work on?
This album has been in the works for roughly a year now. When it comes to your debut record, you really do tend to wear your heart on your sleeve, and that’s exactly what we’ve done with this. Whilst recording there were genuinely blood, sweat and tears being pumped into it.
It was an amazing experience and we can’t wait to show the world songs that we’ve had locked away in the deepest depths of our minds for years, and ones that are babies, recently written in America like ‘Shame On You’ was, whilst of course including songs like ‘Chemical’ and ‘NBA’ etc.
Do you feel that this record is one as a band you listen back to and smile with confidence?
Yes, we’ll 100% be looking back on it with great big smiles on faces, we wouldn’t release anything that we weren’t totally happy with. Our music and tastes are ever evolving but I think we’ll be reminiscing on our debut with pride. We have also designed and created the album artwork as well which we can’t wait for you all to see either, it’ll be a real Vinyl experience.
How would you describe your relationship with music, was it always that friend that gave you strength?
Absolutely. Music, as cliché as this sounds, has really helped me through some very dark times. I wouldn’t be able to look back on a particularly hard moment without hearing the song in my head that saw me through that dark time. I also wouldn’t be able to look back on the happy times without that tune that accompanied that moment playing in my mind. Music really is power, from both ends of the emotions spectrum. Like if I need a good cry, I’ll stick Damien Rice or Radiohead on haha.
When doing my research it was great to see that you are a huge supporter of the LGBT Community and also women in the music industry. How important is it to you that people understand the importance of equality and respect?
At the end of the day, we’re all human beings. That should be the end of it, but unfortunately even in 2018 it isn’t. Progress has been made don’t get me wrong, I’m very lucky to have been born in the time that I have been, I’ve encountered the odd arsehole over the years, especially one of recent times, but other than that, I take no shit, I point blank REFUSE. And I refuse to stand by and see anyone else take it when it’s not necessary. Who I fall in love with shouldn’t matter. And whether I’m a woman in a band, or a man, it shouldn’t matter. We fall in love because we naturally like someone. We listen to certain music because we naturally like it.
Ladies, crack on with the music industry, whether it likes it or not, it will HAVE to listen at some point. LBGQT community, keep inspiring us all, it’s magical, and thank you.
It was sad to hear that in the past you have had to deal with negativity and bullying. To anyone who may be going through the same what would you say to them to remind them to never give up and never to be afraid to be proud of who they are?
The saddest part about the whole ordeal, is that for a little while, I forgot that I was ‘Fucking Anastasia Walker’ and I take no crap from no one. That was the saddest part. Bullying is a dreadful thing. I got through school without it (god knows how) but whilst being in the industry someone felt the need to emotionally collar me, and looking back, I allowed it to happen.
My advice to anyone going through a similar sort of ‘emotional draining’ from someone, is to remember that you are Powerful. You have the power to stop it, and the second you stand up, raise your middle finger and say NO MORE, I promise you things change. Speak to people, confide in someone you trust, and hatch a plan. You are pure power.
The government recently announced new measures to protect people from discrimination. What are your initial thoughts?
Good, they should have done it sooner.
How would you describe your journey of confidence and how has being in Bang Bang Romeo helped you in becoming the amazing lady we see today?
Thank you that’s very kind! It’s normally quoted as being the other way round, but in my life, my family, and my band, I’ve been allowed to develop how I want to as a woman, and that’s strangely enough partly down to the Men in my life. I’m very lucky to be surrounded by wonderful Men, who don’t see me as something less superior to them. (They’re actually probs a little scared of me to be fair)
I think my father, brother and band mates, who apart from my partner Charlotte, are the closest people to me, are shining examples of how men should treat woman and how men should be in general. When you surround yourself with respectful supportive people, you can grow as a person, I have no intention but to be the best version of myself I can be.
While we wait for the album, Music fans will no doubt be able to discover you, if they haven’t already, at some of this summer’s festivals. Are there any festivals on the list you are looking most forward to?
Opening the Main Stage at the Isle Of Wight Festival for its 50th year anniversary is going to be a very hard one to top, it was a total life changer, which we’re so thankful to Solo music and John Giddings for. But we’re also very much looking forward to returning to the Main Stage at Tramlines festival with Noel Gallagher, Reverend and the Makers and Blossoms this year, it’s the closest festival to our home town of Doncaster and is going to be a good’un.
Headlining the This Feeling/Pirate Studios stages at Y Not and Truck are also going to be amazing. Then there’s Kendal Calling and Victorious. Too many to mention! We’re excited for them all!
Word on the street is that you’re also going to be supporting Electric Six in London in August. Can you remember what your initial reaction was and what you were doing when you were told the good news?
Haha yes we were in Hollywood waiting to head out for Richard’s birthday in between recording ‘Shame On You’ and another track, and we got the message, as you can imagine we stuck Gay Bar on right away and had a bevy haha that’s going to be a fun night...
Congratulations on your recent record deal with Eleven Seven Label Group. How important was it that the team you had around you shared your vision and respected who you are as a band?
Thank you! Yes it was of the upmost importance. We’d turned down another major label as “getting signed” wasn’t the number one goal. Working with people who we trusted, and felt we had a huge connection with was the most important thing, and to say we have more than found that with Eleven Seven is an understatement. Everyone at the label is an inspiration and absolute blast so to be able to call them part of the BBR team, and to be a part of the Eleven Seven Family is an honour.
When you consider who Bang Bang Romeo are, do you agree it is much more than just music?
Always, we’re family, we’re artists, we’re partners, we’re dreamers, we’re shoulders to cry on, we’re pedestal creators, we’re daughters, we’re sons, we’re writers, painters, lovers, fighters, football fans, chocolate enthusiasts, we’re angry at the 2018 world we live in, we’re besotted with what humans can do when stood together and disgraced with what they can do when against one another. We’re scared, we’re strong and we’re from Donny. Add it all together and what you see is Bang Bang Romeo.
With so many great things to come for you what makes you excited about the journey ahead especially given that you continue to celebrate and embrace 2018 in style?
A long time ago we stopped searching in the future, and started enjoying the present. The rollercoaster we’re currently on is going very fast, has no seatbelts and has loop-the-loops on the horizon, but we have zero intention of getting off it. Riding this crazy musical journey is the best thing that’s ever happened to us, bring on the album, the singles, the gigs, the new friends/fans were meeting along the way and bring on the Gin.
Such an honour to know such an inspirational lady! I wish you all the best Stars, no doubt see you at a show soon! After all we got to celebrate that debut album! Haha!
Very kind of you babe, see you soon, and when I do, shall we Gin?
Article By Thushara