Interview: Leigh Matty & Craig Joiner, Romeo's Daughter

Wild and Willing

British rock music is making a comeback. Well, that's what everybody reckons. With the success of bands like the Quireboys and Thunder, some believe that the time is right for many acts to make their mark in the competitive 'dirty thirty' and shake the proverbial plastic world of chart music to its very foundations!

Romeo's Daughter are one such act who are determined not to get trapped by the 'hit and miss' philosophy currently inherent on the rock scene. Instead they intend to 'carve their names' by sheer hard work and the will to succeed. By the time you read this they will have completed a short UK tour with Manchester hopefuls Sweet Addiction, and will be looking towards a prestigious support slot with a major band.

Having just released a single Heaven In The Backseat and backed up by the fact that it's been used on the soundtrack to the latest Nightmare On Elm Street blockbuster, the band are convinced that their 'big break' is just around the corner! So we decided to hook up with guitarist Craig Joiner and 'vogueish' leading lady Leigh Matty to find out the facts for ourselves.

So what have you been doing the past three months?

Leigh: "Well, after the tour at the end of December everything seemed to go into limbo which was a bit demoralizing for us because we just started getting into our stride live-wise. But anyway these things happen. It's always all or nothing! So we've had a period of three months where Craig has been writing like mad. We've got something like 15 new demos. So in a way it hasn't been a waste of time. It's just been a bit frustrating!"

Have you got any new titles for the songs as such?

Leigh: "Yes, we've got one we're doing entitled I've Got All This And Brains Too."

Craig: "We do one song in the set called Turn It Up which we're going to re-work live because it's quite a good rocker and it's just a good up-song to do! However, we've stayed well clear of doing new songs up to this point."

Going on to Wild Child, have you heard Heart's version?

Leigh: "Em, it's Heart's version of Wild Child basically. I think it's good. The production is great! The guitars and drums are much more involved. They've made it far more into a single than it is on our record. It's the way you would expect Heart to do a song — we wish them all the luck in the world!"

When do you think the next Romeo's Daughter platter will hit the shops then?

Leigh: "At the moment we have quite a few songs, but we want to be in a position where we go and do a really superb album that will top the songs of our first album. Because the first record had such a high critical acclaim we really can't afford to go back and do something that is less well received. Our producer, Mutt Lange is a very busy man and we really have to work our schedule around him. We're aiming for early release next year."

Craig: "We're crossing our fingers. If this first single does well then it would completely turn the tables [geddit?] completely!"

Leigh: "The thought of not doing anything for a few months is soul destroying, especially for the rest of the band. We'll see what happens!"

Craig: "We're still looking for a major support tour. It's difficult because there are thousands of bands in the same position as us with just as influential agencies trying to get them the same gig!"

How do you see the live set changing?

Leigh: "Well, we'll see how Brains goes down. However, I can't really see us changing the set drastically at this point because when we go into the studio we're going to change all our new demos anyway. Some of them are going to stay exactly the same; some of them are going to change."

Craig: "If something brilliant happens we'll most likely be playing to people who have never heard of us. So, in a way, we still have to keep promoting the first record! We have our fans but we're by no means approaching the big time yet. I don't want to talk too soon but with most bands it can take up to three years to break their first record. A good example of that is Guns N' Roses, I mean look at them now — they're massive! So hopefully that might happen with us."

Going back to the single, Heaven In the Backseat, and it's involvement in the soundtrack to Nightmare of Elm Street 5, how does the song fit into the film?

Leigh: "Well, there's a lot of sporadic songs that come and go, and we've all been given the same sort of deal. The best thing about the whole film for us are the most brilliant credits we get at the end."

Craig: "Many people actually thought that we had worked with 'Fred.' We were going to go over to Universal Studios shoot a video on this large set but apparently it was all black with blood-dripping walls, gargoyle, etc., and we thought... thisisn't quite Romeo's Daughter!"

How did you actually get involved in the soundtrack?

Leigh: "Zomba Publishing. They are just an incredible publishing company and we are really happy to be with them. They have a lot of clout! I think they are great believers in the band and they are doing their best for us."

So what of the future then?

Craig: "We want to be massive obviously, but that goes without saying."

Leigh: "I think that you reach a point in your career where initially you see so many things happening to new bands who come along and tend to be completely blown out of all proportion that they disappear off the face of the earth! I think that the whole art is actually maintaining a certain level where you're in and out of the profile. So when it happens for you it happens! You've got to have sheer undetermined faith and lots of patience. Being consistent and having the knowledge that one day the world will take notice! I don't have a doubt in the world that Romeo's Daughter will take off. If you lose that faith, then forget it! You've just got to keep on going!"

Mark Crampton
Riff Raff
May 1990
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