UK Tour
June 2009
Questionnaire: Steve Bateman

“R O M A N C E are a three-piece post punk band from London. Formed in November 2008, the band have already made waves in the East London music scene. Consisting of David Woods (drums), Joe Eakins (bass) and Jamie Lovatt (guitar / vocals). R O M A N C E have been described as "... a band that are defining themselves with a unique sound and energy that is seriously addictive!" www.thepixzine.co.uk With influences such as Bauhaus, Southern Death Cult and Siouxsie And The Banshees, the band create a fresh reworking of the late seventies goth sound. Featured in the NME as pioneers of the imminent 'gloom-pop' movement, their angular guitars, tribal drumming, creeping bass lines and soulful vocal melodies create crashing tides of dark noise. It is strongly advised to "... see them in a small venue before they go stellar." Beat Happening Magazine.” OFFICIAL BIOG

Meeting through DJing and Club Nights, incredibly, R O M A N C E only made their live debut on November 29, 2008, at The George Tavern – which just goes to show, how new on the music scene this young unsigned trio still actually are. And yet, in this short space of time, with grinding barb wire riffs, bleeding fretboards, virulent drums and cutting melodies, impaled with blazing, passionate and craved vocals – all of which are ingrained with youthful invincibility! They’ve understandably managed to generate enough interest from Internet bloggers (as well as being championed by a handful of music magazines and style bibles), to be considered as one of 2009’s most promising new acts.

With a cluster of primed, black-ribboned songs already posted on their MySpace page. R O M A N C E craft no-nonsense, moody music – but which paradoxically, offers stimulating high-speed blasts that are full of vitality / fervour and are delivered to devastating effect with a point to prove!

Referencing a number of classic post punk and gothic groups, one blogger (This Ain’t Correct) even called their impetuous, volatile and blitzkrieg rock ‘n’ roll music: “Delay driven, primal noise.” Continuing in his live review: "What I love most about R O M A N C E is the SIZE of the sound – it's huge. For a three-piece, they create a big noise. As a live band they're as tight as the jeans they wear. Launching into Wire they immediately impress. The looping, swirling guitar intro sucks you into their hypnotic world. The verses are methodical, building in momentum until they peak and launch into great, dark waves of noise that crash over you.”

Visually, there are also echoes of the New York Dolls and early Manic Street Preachers in the trio’s look, with an explosion of glamorous clothing and eyeliner – proving that it is possible to have both style and substance when conveying a message through your music. Having just completed a 9 date tour with the like-minded White Rose Movement and Ulterior, R O M A N C E have willingly filled in a R*E*P*E*A*T Questionnaire, in which they cover their origins, music, influences and a whole lot more!

And if you’re yet to hear any of the group’s unabated and earth-shuddering songs, then when you finally do – like their MySpace page address www.myspace.com/isthisromance – you’ll no doubt ask yourself the exact same question, ‘Is this romance?’ Due to the aftershocks and the feelings the music evokes inside of you. To which your heart will resoundingly scream:

A B S O L U T E L Y T H I S I S R O M A N C E…

Lucy: Your band have been quite quiet for the last few months. Are you looking forward to playing gigs again?
Katie Jane Garside: I think I give very obtuse ans

1.When R O M A N C E first began, did you all have a common goal, and what was it that you took from the artists / bands that you most admired?
“We were so bored of every new band trying to be more experimental than each other. We wanted to write real songs with melodies... songs that people could get into.”

2.If you were asked to look after ‘Later… with Jools Holland’ for 1 week, as well as featuring R O M A N C E in the line-up, which other 5 acts / bands (a mix of new + old) would you book to appear on the programme?

“Ulterior, Southern Death Cult, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Public Image Limited & Black Sabbath.”

3.Who for you, have been / are some of the greatest frontmen and frontwomen in the history of popular music?
“Ian Astbury and Jim Morrison.”

4.On a similar note, at the heart of your music lies a really distinctive guitar sound, but do you think there are less guitar heroes nowadays?
Jamie: “I wouldn't say there are less guitar heroes, it’s just a bit too easy for anyone to pick up a guitar and put a bit of distortion on it, instead of meticulously working on and finding your sound. I have been known to spend days perfecting my tone, especially when I first got my current set-up.”

5.What are your memories of the first ever show that you all played together – and if you could either support your all-time favourite band on tour, or headline your own major show at a dream venue, which would you choose?

“For our debut show, we gave out handmade invitations to everyone we knew. It was great to have everyone we knew and respected in the room when we first played.”

6.Of all the records you own, which have you played the most?
David: “Author, Author by Scars. Dark Entries by Bauhaus and Psycho Therapy by the Ramones.”
Jamie: “She Sells Sanctuary - The Cult, White Wedding - Billy Idol, The Cutter - Echo & The Bunnymen.”

7.And what for you, have been some of the landmark songs in the history of popular music?

David: “Break On Through by The Doors is my favourite song of all time and definitely one of the best pop songs ever written.”
Jamie: “Purple Rain by Prince & The Revolution, as a song and an album is just mind-blowing. You probably would not of expected me to say that, but buy the album and then tell me I'm wrong.”

8.Some people believe that ‘necessity breeds the greatest creativity’ – be it a need for escapism, or a need to express their innermost thoughts and emotions – is this something that you would agree with?

“When we write, it’s always to express emotion. That’s the way some of the best songs of all time have been created.”

9.Continuing with this train of thought, there’s a strong sense of melancholy in your music, but do you think dark music can be therapeutic?
“Of course it can. Bands that write and play 'dark music' mean it more than anyone else. There's a passion and energy that you don't get with any other genre.”

10.Is the length of your songs important to you and what are the main themes of your lyrics / do you make sure that every word fits into a song, or is there a process of editing involved?
“We have a relatively simple approach to writing. We'll have a melody or riff that we like and go from there. We always write the music first and then put lyrics together.”

11.What’s the story behind your name R O M A N C E?
“Our name sums us up. Visually, musically… it makes an impact.”

12.You are a very visual band and recently did some Photo Shoots with Dean Chalkley and Hedi Slimane. Were these enjoyable experiences, and can you also tell us about the artwork used on your record sleeves?
“Our shoot with Dean was great, he's a friend of ours and it was so good to work with someone who genuinely likes what we're doing and he knows exactly how to work with us. We also shot a short film with him that will be released soon. Our artwork is all done by us. We love being able to control that side of things, as the artwork can sell a record as much as the actual music can.”

13.How do you find life on the road / touring?
Jamie: “David and Joe are very happy to wonder off on their own. I personally spend a lot of time just reflecting on life in general, writing, drawing... touring is very lonely believe it or not.”

14.Can you tell us what we can expect from your Japanese mini-album, and what your biggest hopes are for R O M A N C E long-term?
“Our mini-album, Arikara, is the introduction of R O M A N C E to our Japanese fans. It features all our previously heard material and a track that we recorded a few months ago, that's yet to be released. Our biggest aim is to carry on writing and playing bigger and better shows. We'd love to play to our fans in Europe and Japan sometime soon too.”

15.Lastly, chips or cream buns?

“Definitely chips – in bread.”


A very special thanks to David and Jamie, for all of their time and help.


“Beat Me Black & Blue
Until I Look Like You”

wers to questions...It's never about looking forward to it. Actually maybe I should change the
script, maybe we are looeir musicm the 3rd album?