The star-crossed styles of Boy Romeo
The dawning of Boy Romeo is one of California cult pop legends. Expounding upon the daydream believing traditions of sincere inspired succinct pop art vignettes—John Steiner carries on a path that began from the Stockton hotbed to the freeways and interstates that connect the Pacific expanses from Sacramento to Seattle (and everywhere else around and in-between). Inspired more than ever before after the trials and tribulations surrounding the eponymous Boy Romeo LP; Steiner has stayed true to creating condensed dove winged cycles of songs that spell out the dreams, thoughts and needs of the heart while collaborating with fellow artists and friends from the world over. The result is a style of musical romanticism that transforms life's tragedies and triumphs into genuine power tracks of transcendence and affection.
Recently releasing the Shorts 12" through Mt. St. Mtn., the newest addition to the Boy Romeo canon steers increased distillations of sunny late twentieth century sunshine singles to stir the sensations of our collective present. Specializing in the economic art of compressing what would have been a lost record into a six song mini-album, the past glows of silky and shimmering sun strewn shores can be felt facing the future's beams of lights on "Star King" (complete with a visual companion piece from Eli Wengrin), to reflecting on requests for non-gender pronoun preferences on the catchy conversation piece "Don't Call Me Girl". Senses of celebrity sparkling chic are pronounced with vibrancy of "Public", to slow dancing under the seas of dreams with "Lullaby", followed by the soft chord adorned "Savior Sun" that descends into the peppy send-off of "Yr Town" where any semblance of farewells feel like jubilant salutations. As the sun sets over the summer skies of 2018, Shorts keeps the campfire lit cadences burning brightly into the invitations and avenues of the newly arriving autumn light.
John Steiner of Boy Romeo provided some insightful thoughts on the new material and more:
Economy in your arrangement arts has been a constant thing with your work from Boy Romeo, Satan Wriders and practically every group you have ever played in. Describe for us where you feel this knack for making very tightly knitted productions and pieces is now as well as insights on the craft of precision.
I've been working on my arrangement abilities, trying to stray from the traditional rock ensemble and add some flair.
Reflections on the privy and open inception for the darn near perfect pop concoction that is "Public".
My initial idea for "Public" was to write a song about Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, but it turned into something else and it's up to interpretation. It was my least favorite song on Shorts but all five of the fans seem to enjoy it.
Insights into the innovative and integral processes that were involved in the making of the new Shorts 12".
Well, I sacked one of the original Boy Romeo members for moral reasons and Pat moved to Boston for music school, plus my life was super unstable and dramatic at the time. At some point I lost a bunch of gear—effect pedals mostly. I was questioning whether or not I even wanted to continue playing music. I stepped back and thought about what I really took joy from in terms of music production and the writing process. I've always made bedroom demos and secretly loved the process of laying down instruments and vocals one track at a time, even if it wasn't studio-quality. A lot of songs were floating around my head, and I started recording a lot. Everything was recorded using bottom-shelf equipment—a 2-input interface, a condenser mic, a 49-key midi controller. I was geared towards writing brief songs, and they ended up having a fairly uniform sound that I was really pleased with. I had six other songs in various stages of completion and originally planned on making a full-length record, but the "Shorts" tracks made a clear statement to me, and anything else wouldn't have fit. It's all about brevity.
Notes from the scenes that have been inspiring you a bunch lately.
Shouts out to Herine & Peach House Presents and all the young bucks writing great songs and creating a much more inclusive Sacramento music scene. Mediocre Cafe, Munechild, Vasas, Spacewalker to name a few of the brilliant Sacto musicians making moves right now.
Tell us more about joining the Mt.St.Mtn. (Mount Saint Mountain) fold.
I've been bugging Mark to put out my stuff for years and this one finally sold him. He's been putting out high-quality releases from amazing artists for over a decade and I'm really lucky he put out the record.
Other upcoming projects and endeavors that you are excited about.
Baseball Gregg, Mediocre Cafe, Munechild are the artists I'm most excited about right now. Personally, I'm always writing songs.
The Boy Romeo/John Steiner key to creating catchy power pop vignettes and riffs.
Sing what you know and use your falsetto.
Ambitions for the future.
Hoping to make a truly great album next go-around.
Closing mantras of guidance and care.
Stay safe, get a good night's sleep, drink plenty of water, and go easy on yourself.
Boy Romeo's new 12" Shorts is available now via Mt. St. Mtn.