Bravo Romeo, a synth heads trio from London is releasing “The X-Isles”, a debut EP on March 23rd.
We had the chance to talk to them before the official release.
HFR: How did you start making music together?
JAMES: Luke & I met when I was playing an acoustic set in a pirate-themed barber shop- Luke was dressed as a pirate handing out free rum and we got talking and found a mutual obsession with the 80’s.
LUKE: Then we went to a house party and James got lost in Peckham, ran into a domino’s pizza delivery guy at a petrol station who was going to the house party and rode in on the back of the dominoes wagon – I was still dressed as a pirate.
OLLY:I met James through the music and gigging in Bromley and we had a few ideas for projects together, but as soon as we jammed in his home studio I thought we have something unique here.
HFR: Could you tell us a bit about your influences?
JAMES: My main influences are The Midnight, time cop, 1984, NINA, Lebroc & Roxy Drive. Although, the album was inspired by ‘we will rock you’ music with a fictional narrative.
LUKE: To be honest I just wanted to deconstruct ‘Africa’ by Toto and put a bit of Vice City [GTA] in there, some video game influences and Sunglasses Kid!
OLLY: Well I have a folk music background and really love acoustic, so I like to take different bits of different genres and then put that into Bravo Romeo.
HFR: What’s appealing in the 80’s?
JAMES: For me, it’s nostalgia. My mum was a backing singer and my dad was a session Sax player during the 80s, so for me it goes back to childhood and happy memories with my parents.
LUKE: My mother who is the queen of the 80’s weaned me on the 80’s. The reason I love 80’s is a combination of the jets, the aesthetics, the music and the sounds, Kenny Loggins. And you know a start of pop culture like MTV and video games
OLLY: The 80s for me represents a time of expressionism and of redefining convention and recreating genres and music. I tend to be very introverted and reserved so through performing 80’s music I can channel my inner extrovert.
HFR: Where are the X-Isles? Can you tell us about your first EP?
JAMES: So with this EP I really wanted to write a story, I wanted to write a soundscape that was a story. So ‘The X-isles’ are located off the coast of Cuba but really, the ‘X-Isles’ and the whole EP really was, for me, escapes from the day-to-day grind and monotony.
LUKE: We wanted ‘The X-Isles’ to reflect the gritty dystopian films of the 80’s, but we wanted something that the fans could be taken on a journey by and offer them the escape it gave us. It all came from wanting to escape the thing that we are bound by.
HFR: What is your approach on writing music? Which are the steps you make when songwriting together?
JAMES: I new the foundation of the story, and then through Luke and Olly, we branched off and enriched the story and added references. After we came up with the concept of the ‘The X-Isles’ we worked back from that and it was easy, the music and lyrics kind of started to flow. Our whole EP is one big story with an intro, middle and outro.
OLLY: I tend to let James write the music, because with James his music is very visceral, conceptual and visual, then write the lyrics over the top. I write on acoustic and piano that we then adapt to the synth genre and put the Bravo Romeo stamp on it, which I think is what makes our music so unique.
HFR: Could you tell us a bit about your “go to” equipment? What do you use when writing a song and which are your favourite instruments?
JAMES: When writing I use Logic pro X as my D.A.W. I’m inspired by the sound of TR808 and I terms of drums the TR707. Also The JUNO DX7 and Jupiter 8 DX7
LUKE: My friend gave me a M1 synthesizer! So we’ve been playing around with that.
OLLY: Yeah, I’ve got an analogue FX pedal board and a Polaris reverb pedal, which is pretty sexy. To be honest though my go to is still the guitar I got for my 21st birthday.
HFR: What can we expect from Bravo Romeo after the release of your EP? Are there any shows coming up within 2018?
JAMES: We’re just focusing on writing more and we really want to tour Europe, that’s the dream. I wanna write more fun, dance stuff, ‘The X-Isles’ came from a dark place but has brought me out of it and now I want to write, you know, more dance up beat music.
LUKE: I’d love to tour; I love to travel and meet new people. But at the moment we’re finishing our album
OLLY: After the 23rd, which is going to be massive, we want to get the fans as excited as we are and write more stuff with them in mind.
HFR: Last words:
JAMES/OLLY/LUKE: Just check our EP and social media, Facebook, twitter, instagram & don’t forget to buy your tickets for our EP launch on the 23rd
JAMES **winks seductively