Monday, October 5, 2020

A Ripple Conversation With Romeo (lead singer-guitarist of Reaven)

When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.


What have been your musical epiphany moments?


“I guess I had a few moments like this. I remember the first time I heard the song “Because” from The Beatles. I was amazed by the vocal harmonies. Also, another one when I heard “The show must go on” from Queen, I remember I had shivers. I also really liked “The Bitter End” from Placebo, I decided right away to play the song with my band after listening to it the 1st time…”


Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?


“I don’t have a precise creative process to create music. Most of the time, it comes to my mind out of nowhere. Days, and nights. I have a melody in my head or the instrumental parts, sometimes both. So I take my piano or my guitar and I start playing it. Inspiration is everywhere for me. In my feelings, in my observation of the world or society, in the past, in my memories. Or just when I see something that inspires me at one moment. I usually start with a melody. Then I take an instrument (piano or guitar) and then the lyrics. But sometimes it’s the opposite as well ahah!”


Who has influenced you the most?


“The Beatles, definitely. I grew up with their music. They are still a huge inspiration. Especially in the creation of melodies…”


Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?


“Life in general. I am always observing things around me. And also, paying attention to my feelings. But if I had one place where I am the most creative it would be near the sea. This is the place where I always find new ideas, songs, melodies… It brings me peace so I can properly create.”


We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?


“Our hometown is a city called Troyes in France. It’s not a big city. This is the place where we have a lot of memories since our first shows were given in this city. It’s the story of our childhood. I don’t know if there is a proper reflection on our music but many songs have been created in our hometown. So, just for that, this city will always be special for us.”


Where'd the band name come from?


“After a long research ahah. Reaven is a mix of the French word “rĂªve” (dream) and the english word “heaven” (a place where most musicians go when they play music I guess!”


You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?


“I think I would write the soundtrack for a Tim Burton movie!! I am a huge fan of his work.”


You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?). You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?


“I think it would be on the song “Helter Skelter” from The Beatles. Because, to me it’s the song that introduces for the first the very beginning of hard rock music. And the song belongs to my all-time favorite album. The White Album from The Beatles.”


Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?


“The favorite show for us was maybe during the european tour in 2018 at the Hills of Rock festival in Bulgaria. It is a rock / hard-rock / metal festival and we were kinda the only band playing pop-rock music there. We were headlining the second stage, but we were afraid that the crowd would not appreciate our music. Finally, it turned out to be a great show in front of thousands of people, the audience was incredible.


Then,the craziest tour story must be something that happened in London. We gave 2 shows in London in 2018. We took the eurostar from Paris at 5 a.m and arrived in London early in the morning. We were supposed to go and put all our music backline in the Airbnb we rented. BUT, the supposed Airbnb didn’t exist (the announcer/host was a fake), so we were in London, tired, with all the instruments, with nowhere to sleep, so we took a big hotel room. Then we went to the concert place for our first show. 5 minutes before the show, a sound engineer went on stage, dropped my guitar, broke a string and lost my “vibrato’s spring” so it was impossible to play on my instrument anymore ahah!”


Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?


“The live part is the most important part for the band. We do have a very special connection with our audience. We love to interact with them. If you go to a Reaven’s show, you will sing with us, you will dance… You will live it properly!”


What makes a great song?


“A great song to me is a song with a very powerful melody, and authentic instrumental parts. A song should be great with just a guitar and vocals, or just with the piano and vocals.”


Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?


“I was 9 years old. It was an instrumental song with the piano. Kinda classical song. Then my first song written with lyrics and a melody was at my 11 years old, played with the guitar. It was a ballad. A pop ballad. I still have a special feeling for this one when I play it.”


What piece of your music are particularly proud of?


“The song “For Tomorrow”. It will be released in our new album (called “For Tomorrow” as well). Because to me, this song is an hymn, and everyone can relate to it.”


Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?


“I still like Kings of Leon work a lot, The Black Keys as well. Muse also. But, to find rock artists having a wide visibility today is kinda hard. It’s all about electronic, DJs, Pop music on radios…”


Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?


“Vinyl when I’m at home. Digital when I travel. And CDs, just because I like to have the CDs of artists I like.”


Whiskey or beer? And defend your choice


“Beer. Definitely. Whiskey is related to my first hangover ahah. And I ended up pretty sick. So no more whiskey for me! I love beer. Especially Belgium beers!”


We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?


“Our hometown is the city called Troyes. You should go to a place called “The Message”. You will find everything you need!”


What's next for the band?


“We will release our 15 tracks album “For Tomorrow” soon! Then we have to reschedule our tours in Europe and the USA. And I think we will release new music videos as well!”


Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?


“We’re all going through a very particular period. But, let’s hope that it will end soon, ‘cause we want to meet you on the road soon guys! We miss you! Take care!”

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