Interview with Romeo’s Daughter @ Hard Rock Hell AOR 20139th April 2013
Interview with: Romeo’s Daughter
Interview Date: 7th April 2013
Location: HRH AOR Festival
Interviewed By: Claudette
Interviewing Romeo’s Daughter straight off the HRH AOR main stage, you can’t help noticing just how striking Leigh Matty is. A bombshell in the 80’s (check out their video ‘Heaven in the Backseat’) she still radiates beauty. Not only beautiful but with a warm, sunny disposition, I deduce that it must have come from her years growing up in Cape Town, South Africa.
AATR: What are your initial feelings as you stepped off the stage of what was a pretty good gig.
Leigh: Thank you. We had a few technical issues which were not great but we love playing together so it’s always fantastic.
Craig: Good crowd.
Leigh: Fantastic crowd. Great sound on stage as well.
Craig: We want to go back and do it again
Leigh: We want to go back and do it again with everything working.
AATR: Coming on stage Leigh got a big cheer, and standing at the back people where dancing and singing to your songs. People were clearly enjoying the gig.
Leigh: You can’t really tell from the stage, you don’t know what’s going on beyond half (of the room). I have terrible eyesight as well so it’s nice to know that people still know about what we are doing, especially the last two tracks ‘I Cry Myself to Sleep at Night’ and ‘Wild Child’
AATR: That’s going back over two decades ago…
Craig: Hard to tell really….
AATR: That’s why (Leigh) got the huge cheer when she came on stage.
Andy: I felt that there was a lot of love in the room
AATR: What do you do to keep your fans coming back for more?
Leigh: We’re at the stage where we’ve been away for such a long time and a lot of people don’t know we are back. A lot of fans don’t go on facebook or use social media so we’re kind of starting out again. Gigs like this are fantastic for us to let people know we are still alive. Its small steps for us at the moment, but we are getting more facebook fans all the time and the album sold well.
AATR: Who’s the songwriter?
Leigh: Craig, the quiet one. He’s a fantastic songwriter.
Craig: One of The Best in the Business.
AATR: How does it feel looking out at a crowd and seeing people sing along to songs that you have written?
Craig: We love it, we all love it. The last tour we did, it was the first time we had been out for so long, and we just had a new album out (Rapture) and there were people in the front row singing our lyrics, and you think that’s just out there, really out there. (I’m) more than chuffed. With regards to the next album everyone is going to be so much more involved. It’s going to be great.
AATR: When you are writing your lyrics, where do you write them
Craig: Anywhere. You can be coming home from a gig or getting up in the morning and you hear something and you wack it down; and that’s what it is. One of the band members says a phrase or Wellsy (Andy Wells – drums) does some sort of a rhythm and it will kick off like that. There isn’t any given space where you think I am going to write a song. Nine times out of ten it’s at the most inconvenient times when there’s no tape machine and there’s no guitar.
Leigh: It’s done on an iPhone. (in an American accent) It’s quite organic man.
Leigh: We have quite a few songs from before we went our separate ways. Three got on this album of ours Rapture. We played one of them tonight, Talking Love, and it seems to have gone down really well. A lot of people really like it and that was written in 1991. It’s quite nice that we have a mixture of the old and the new. It’s trying to stay as current as we can and not just harping back to the good ol’ 80’s. We want to make sure that we have something that is relevant to now.
Craig: You’re can’t lose touch with what gave you a name but you have to move forward. You’re not going to lose touch with the old but you still have to give people something new.
Andy: I think it’s really important if you are a band from back in the day that you sound modern or you are going to sound tired and like some old has been band that has just got back together for the money or whatever.
Craig: It’s not like the material has changed hugely it’s just the response to it. They are just songs at the end of the day and you can manipulate them to however you want them to sound.
AATR: You started off over 20 years ago and your circumstances change, you change as a person, does this reflect in your songs?
Leigh: Weirdly enough we are still the same. Yes we’ve grown and different things have happened in our lives but when we are all together we are still like the band we were in 1989. It’s weird but very nice. If we didn’t all get along and like each other then there would be no point in doing it. Well I like them, I don’t know if they like me or not (laughs).
AATR: What makes a song stand the test of time?
Leigh: There are certain songs that your rock fans will just love you for, they know these songs as well as we do, they’ve lived with them for so long. I don’t know what makes one song stand the test of time more than another song. It’s got to do with your fans. There are just certain songs they love of ours. We have a song called ‘I Cry Myself to Sleep at Night’, which is the second to last song we sung tonight. It’s probably the seminal song from our first album and it says in it, I’m your Romeo’s Daughter, which is where we got our name from. I think we will always play Cry Myself to Sleep and Wild Child. That was the last song we played and it was covered by Heart, so a lot of people know that song and think it’s a Heart song but that’s actually our song.
AATR: How are things for you now that you are back together as a band?
Leigh: Fantastic. We are working towards the next album which we will release early next year. We love being back together and we will just keep doing this as long as people want us to. We have a really big festival in August (Fairport’s Cropredy Convention).
AATR: You’ve toured with another one of the bands playing the HRH AOR festival called FM. Are you going to catch up with them while you are here?
Leigh: Well I’m married to the bass player…. We started out our career with FM. It was the first band we toured with in 1989 so a lot of people know us from supporting FM. We have a lot of history with them, although we are very different to them. It’s always worked well when we’ve gone out on the road together.
AATR: So you (and Merv Goldsworthy) fell in love on the road?
Leigh: He saw a video we made and he decided he liked the look of me, and he liked ‘Heaven in the Backseat’ the song, so he got in touch to go on tour and the plan worked (smiles).
And 25 years later we are still here.