ROMANS (plural) is an electro/synthy-pop/rock act. Think of a Hot Chip melody at its poppiest, add a man with a vocal range of Bruno Mars and then splash in the rock and production elements of Trent Reznor, and this bouillabaisse of music sounds a little like ROMANS. At least, that is my opinion. And that’s all he wants us to know about him. But FAULT didn’t think that would make for an interesting interview, so we spoke a bit more…
Once a writer for chart-topping pop acts, ROMANS is in the latter stages of recording his own extended release But, rather than taking to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, he chooses to grow his fan-base the old-fashioned, and some may say out-dated, way of doing well-manicured magazine interviews, touring and shunning the modern internet marketing machine.
FAULT: To someone who hasn’t heard your music, how would you describe your sound?
ROMANS: It’s a modern take on familiar classics and an amalgamation of everything that’s ever inspired me. I don’t like to pigeon hole myself, but I think that’s what forms most of the sound. My parents were always into music and got me listening at an early age. I grew up loving The Beatles and other bands but it was listening to classical music that had the most profound effect on the way I write music. It taught me about melodies and how to convey emotions in music, instead of just writing some piece of shit that sounds like radio.
I can understand if you don’t want to name names or anything, but could you give me a clue as to what you have written for other people?
I can’t really name names, but I’ve written pop stuff and commercial records. It doesn’t fill me with creative pride but I still do it for one reason or another. I sometimes think to myself, as much as I appreciate artists like Van Gogh, I don’t really fancy spending my life starving on the streets of Arles. Also I have other outlets that enable me to be a bit more arty and creative.
Does remaining anonymous allow you to do that easily?
Not really. The anonymity is not as much a conscious idea as it may seem. I’m not actually some C list celebrity who’s going to come out and say ‘Ah, it was me all along’, no one knows me. I just think that at this stage of the project who I am is irrelevant. Getting the start right is the most important thing, and for me, getting people to buy into me as a person before appreciating my music was just a stupid way to go about things. And also I think, ultimately, people like a bit of mystery. People like to not know who’s behind it, just look at Banksy. I don’t want people to be that fussed about where I want to go and eat on the weekends and who I am. I want people to be fussed because I made a great record.
If we did know everything about you, do you think that would impact your music?
It could do, but the only clear thing in my mind is that a great album should speak for itself. The great artists that we all grew up listening to and influenced us, didn’t have Twitter. They didn’t feel the compulsion to come up with a witty hashtag every 5 minutes. They weren’t trying to be comedians, they were artists who went out on the road, made brilliant records and became legends, and maybe what helps you remember them as legends is the fact that you never really knew that much about them.
Do you have a dream?
To be remembered as someone who made great music and broke rules. If my album goes on to sell 10 copies or 10 million copies, creatively I would have achieved the same thing. It’s my dream to make music that’s different, not just for the sake of being different, but because it comes completely from me. I also have a dream about being on a ship, it’s literally been the same dream every single night and I’ve had it for about 10 years. True story.
ROMANS – Act I: Chapter I – ‘The Die Is Cast’:
ROMANS – Act I: Chapter II – ‘Ballad Of A Figure 8’:
ROMANS – Act I: Chapter III – ‘This Might Hurt’:
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