FWM: How do you feel about exploiting you looks and sexuality, or do you firmly believe that only the music should do the talking? (after all, image is a very important part of the music scene.)
RB: Yes, image is very important. But this current standard image that you have to be beautiful and look like a model is total crap. It totally overrides the talent aspect, and face it, if you don’t have talent, you only have a certain shelf life. I think lately in the industry, they’ve gone overboard. It’s so esthetic, everyone looks the same, sounds the same and does the same thing – clones. Boring. But to answer your question, in a perfect world, I’d say yes music should do the talking. But that’s not reality.
FWM: What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you since you launched your musical career?
RB: I was performing in Romania at the Golden Stag Festival. It was incredible – high security – army guys and machine guns everywhere. We were led to the stage by soldiers with machine guns. Before I went on, the soldier leading me to the backstage area asked for my autograph. Then his superior came over and gave him hell. We performed with helicopters circling above the stage. Then I got a fan letter a couple of years later from a Romanian Doctor asking me to marry him. Bizarre.
FWM: Are there any other famous musicians in the business you sould like to write with and/or perform with?
RB: Oh yes, Bryan Adams; I would love to write with Richard Marx. I would love to sing a duet with either one of those guys, and Joe Elliot – I love his singing! I really think it would be fun and quite an experience to write with Mutt Lange, Paul Stanley or Gene Simmons – I would love to see what makes them tick. Jim Vallance, I heard he’s a character to write with.
FWM: There are thousands of artists tyring to make it out there – what do you think you have to offer that would make someone who hasn’t heard of your music buy it?
RB: I think my music is thought provoking – a lot of people can relate. It makes you feel good, but it’s not fluff. I am different physically – I am not a bone rack, and I am not a trend follower; I leave my clothes on and let my music do the talking – I’m different from what’s out there – there are very few “rock” singers that are female anymore. I guess you could say I have attitude, but I have no chip on my shoulder about being a female, and I don’t play the victim role either, and yet I am not a bitch. I am very complex.
FI For the French fans, can you tell us more about your career?
RB: I have been singing all my life. My mom told me I never talked, I would just sing all the time. I wrote my first real song at about 11. I think I still have it somewhere, but it wasn’t very good. I never wrote any more songs until I joined my first band at 15. Fast forwards to a few years ago. I released “Blame it on Rock and Roll” on my own label in Canada. The album has taken me to Romania and Australia as well as dates in the US and Canada for performances. I wrote the whole album with John Capek, who is best known for his hit Rhythm Of My Heart, by Rod Stewart. John and I have won numerous awards for a few songs on the album, which makes me very proud. I later signed on with A2 records who subsequently released the album in the U.K., then Italy, now France and later this month, the United States.
FI Could you comment each song of “Blame It On Rock and Roll”?
RB She’s Outta Control is about how music can transform and affect us.
You Lost Your Heart tells how fine the line of friendship is between man and woman, and how in some instances should never be crossed.
Rockin On The Airwaves I live a clean life; no booze or drugs. Lots of coffee though. I have always used my music as my outlet when things go a little crazy in my life.
I Lied is about lying to protect someone even though it hurts and you know it’s wrong.
Just a Fantasy I was watching Oprah Winfrey one day and Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley from KISS were on. Inspiration struck. Listen to the lyrics.
Burnin’ Up the heat of passion song.
If I Can Forget one of my favorites. It’s about coping with a long distance relationship.
Lipstick & Lace a cheating song with a twist.
It’s My Heart giving your heart to someone is a precious thing.
Drowning being lost in someone can be so all consuming. This was a song that wrote itself in ten minutes. It happened so quickly I always wondered whether or not it was actually finished.
FI Why the title of the album is “Blame It On Rock and Roll”?
RB I grew up in a very small town. I always dressed different and looked different. I never really felt like I fit in. I guess I was kind of weird. I would lock myself in my room and write poems and stories with my stereo blasting, singing at the top of my lungs. I feel sorry for my parents now. Then I joined my first band, and it was easy to blame rock and roll for how I was behaving.
FI Have you begin to write some new material for the next album?
RB As we speak right now, I just finished preproduction for my next album with Keith Olsen, last weekend. I wrote with John again, and there will be a few songs with Randy Bachman from the Guess Who and BTO, and a few other talented writers. It’s been my dream to have Keith produce one of my albums. The records I grew up listening to were produced by him, and I just marveled at his talent. In elementary school, I used to take my sister’s copy of Rick Springfield’s “Working Class Dog” and play it over and over. One of the first records I ever bought with my very one money was Pat Benatar’s Precious Time.
FI What are your influences?
RB I grew up listening to The Eagles, Kiss, Def Leppard, Pat Benatar, and of course, Bryan Adams.
FI Which 5 CDs would you bring with you on a deserted island?
RB That is a very difficult question, but after about an hour’s deliberation I have narrowed it down. Kiss – Alive III, Def Leppard – Hysteria, Metallica – The Black Album, Yngwie Malmsteen’s – Rising Force/Odessey, with Joe Lyn Turner singing, and Bon Jovi – New Jersey.
FIWould you like to add anything else for the French fans?
RB I would like to thank you all for your support and I hope to see you there very soon. I guess that means I will be brushing up on my French. Check out my web page: www.robinbrock.com.
FI If you’re a fan of good melodic guitar driven rock, pick up a copy of Blame It On Rock and Roll. You won’t be disappointed. A bientot!
FM Could you comment each song of “Hidden Power”?
RB I’m Doin’ Fine: a song about revenge. It’s full of attitude and fun to sing live.
These Walls: It took a long time to get this song just right. The music was already there, and I came up with the chorus first, then the verses. It’s about how we can close ourselves off so easily when we’ve been hurt. It’s about being safe, and how much we can miss out on by shutting the world off from us, so we don’t get hurt again.,/p>
(I Wish You Could) Read My Mind: I think the title says it all. The person in the song doesn’t want to voice their feelings to their partner, cause she doesn’t want to hurt them.
Don’t!: I loved recording this one. Another song full of attitude. A cheatin’ song.
The Game: This story involves two people and how their lives are changed by drugs and all the garbage that that scene involves. It’s the darker side of life.
You Let Me: This is a very personal song. It was so hard to sing, because I kept getting so emotional during the recording. It’s about letting someone be who they need to be and having the strength yourself to accept that as a lover. I am so lucky because my boyfriend is so accepting of what I do and he lets me be who I am, no questions asked.
I Surrender: I think this is one of my favourites. Not only because the guitars are so cool, but it was so fun to write. I co-wrote this with Randy Bachman, and we had so much fun throwing words around. The song is about having faith in the Universe, God or whatever that might be to you. After you dream for so long, and do all you can, you just have to ask for a little help, and for me it meant “surrendering” and letting the Universe do it’s thing.
In This Skin: I have chosen to be part of a business that is really focussed on looks and outside appearance. I’m really tired of that, and In This Skin is my statement. I worked the lyrics to this while sitting at the side of a Downhill Mountain Bike course, while my boyfriend who races, was doing his pre-rides. I was in my happy place, coffee in one hand, sitting on the dirt, with sticks pointing in my bum, and dust in my teeth. How could you not be inspired?
After The Storm: This is the oldest song on the album. I wrote this years ago, actually, ironically enough, during the war in the Persian Gulf. It has nothing to do with war, it has to do with the storminess of emotions in relationships. How the storm boils, then rips through, then the sun comes out and things can get better.
Naked: Most people see this title and get the wrong idea. It’s about not letting others see what’s really going on on the inside of you.
Goddess of Rock and Roll: This song is tongue in cheek. It might seem arrogant to some, but I don’t care. It’s about living out your dreams. We all have them, some are just too chicken to actually take action. I wrote the lyrics on December 31, 1999. I wanted to write a fun song on the last day of the century. This is a cool song to do live.
That Scares Me: This is about waiting for the other shoe to drop, when everything in a relationship is so wonderful. I guess sometimes I can be a pessimist.
FM Why is it called “Hidden Power”?
RB: It took me a long time to come up with the title for this album. I wanted to encompass the whole feel of the album, the mood of the songs, and the magic of the recording. I really feel that the rawness of the production and the songs give this album a lot of power, and it’s somethng that the more you listen to the songs, you discover that.
METAL MAIDENS: How do you keep your voice in (good) shape?
RB: I make sure I warm up vocally before performing. It’s really important to me. I don’t smoke or do drugs, which really damages the tissues, and I rarely drink. I get lots of cardio exercise, and I try to eat well. I hydrate like crazy with only wter, and I need lots of sleep. Nothing worse than a bitchy female singer, is there? It’s quite boring, actually, but it works for me. When I’m home, I try to do vocal exercises and sing for an hour 5 days a week.
MM: Do you have any other hobbies, next to making music?
RB: I love to read. My name is Robin and I’m a bookaholic. I love mostly new age, self-improvement types of books, but I also am a sucker for a sloppy romance novel. My other passion is Mountain Biking. I like to use it as a metaphor for life. You need to be in shape and you are always meeting new challenges. If you lose your focus on some of the trails, you can really get yourself in trouble. I have scars to prove it (and now pins and plates). It’s a sport that I never dreamed I would get so much enjoyment out of. You can have real good days, where you can ride anything cause you have lots of nerve, and you have days where you can really suck; days where it’s all you can do to stay on the trail. It’s the same as life. It’s just the idea of getting past the days that suck, and keeping going that make you a better rider and a better person. Being in nature, too is great inspiration for writing. When I’m on a big climb, I get my mind in the zone; the same place it takes for inspiration to happen. Many seeds of songs have grown from long, hilly terrain. Plus it keeps me in shape.
Michael Schubeler Robin Brock – Witness the birth of a star!: With this amount of time, how close is the album to you anymore? Have you changed or developed a lot?
RB: Yeah, my writing really has. It’s still basically in the same style, but the depth of the writing has really…I find it’s more personal now. It’s better crafted. I think I’m a much better writer. I mean, the more you do things, of course, the better you get at them. And I love writing, so I want to be the best I can be at it. So I really feel that my writing has really developed since I wrote “Blame It On Rock And Roll”.
MS: You say “more personal”. Can you give me an example of that? Because that’s a problem that I have with many American and Canadian artists, especially when they more or less only write about love. It has lost a lot of its meaning and depth just because it was (and is) used too often!
RB: I think so too. I feel that you can say it in a lot of different ways without actually saying the word (love), by being creative about it. It’s been said thousands of times before in exactly the same ways, right? And I’m trying with my writing to get away from that.
MS: How do you work together with John (Capek, also keyboards)? Is the work strictly shared? You write all the lyrics, I guess…
RB: I write the lyrics, and he writes the music. I live in British Columbia, and he lives across the country in Toronto, and part time in Los Angeles, so we don’t get together that often. I email him any new lyrics that I feel might inspire him, and then he’ll interperet them in whatever way he thinks would work, and sends a demo to me. I trust him completely, because I know what he can do, and I know he’s so good at what he does. It works perfectly, I feel.
MS: One thing that’s very strong in almost all of your songs is the bridges. They are very clever and at the same time, very emotional. Must be really hard!
RB: Oh, I don’t know! I find that writing bridges is really easy! It’s funny, because I don’t necessarily try to be clever. You know, I try to say something different, because that’s what a bridge is all about! Usually, a lot of times when I’m writing, the bridges come from the first line that inspires the whole song. I might try to put it somewhere else during the writing process, but if that doesn’t work, a lot of times it usually ends up in the bridge, because it&’s a great line and I don’t want to throw it away. It’s a strange, strange process, but I really like writing bridges. I have the hardest time with the second verse always.
MS: Why’s that?
RB: Because you always want to say something different, you know, you want to move the story along, and you don’t want to say the same thing you did in the first verse, cause you’ve already said it.
MS: How much of your potential have you been able to exhaust on the new album? (Hidden Power)
RB: Oh boy… a lot, ha ha. Especially my writing abilities. I’ve really gone places where I never thought I would go, and might not ever wanna go back to. I don’t want to sound conceited, but I figure I’ve just started to tap into that potential. You know, the more I write, the better I get, and the more I’m saying, the more I’m tapping into that.
MS: So, I conclude from what you say, that you followed my advice and released the brake on the new album, ha ha.
RB: Yes, it’s funny that you said that in your review, but I really think that that’s happened. You know, I love “Blame It On Rock and Roll”, because it was my first album. Of course, the songs are like my children. You write what you know about at that time. But in between the last album, and starting to write for this one, a lot of things happened to me in my life, a lot of things to wake me up. I finally opened the door to go to the other side of that wall. There’s actually a song on the new album called These Walls, which really encompasses that.
MS: Did you have any idea what you would find behind that door?
RB: No, I didn’t. You know, I’m a much happier person now. I’m much more settled. I’m much more confident.
MS: On my favourite track Lipstick and Lace, you also show a certain sense of humor…
RB: YEAH!! I have one of those, ha ha ha. A lot of people really don’t get that song. Some people just don’t like to see the humor in things, I guess, especially in rock and roll. But that’s my sense of humor…
MS: A very healthy one I suppose!
* Note from the author: My name is Michael. I am a freelancer from Germany. My main goal is to make a living from my writing talent which is impossible to do from the German market only. I hope my devotion to and the love I feel for music came across in the article you just finished reading. I believe ANY magazine that features rock music can become more colourful through my work. So, if you think I am the contributor your team is missing, feel free to contact me at any time – or inform others you know who might be interested. Michael Schubeler E-mail: email@example.com
Powerplay:When did you realize that you had a singing talent?
Robin: I always sang, all the time, growing up. It was something I loved and felt good doing, it was just something I did. I always sang in my school choir, and no one ever said I sucked at it, so I never really thought about it, until I did a small solo one year, and afterwards, everyone kept coming up to me and telling me how much they liked it. Later on in the year, I decided to sing a whole song. It was “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins. Afterwards, people from school that I didn’t know came up to me, and one guy told me he had shivers run up his spine as I sang it. I was so shocked.
P: How long did it take to turn that realization into a musical career, and then a finished album?
R: After I performed that solo, I was approached buy some local guys who were putting on a talent night, and asked if I would like to perform at their upcoming show. Later that day, two guys from school told me they needed a singer for their rock band, and asked me if I would like to join. I said yes, of course, and as soon as I stepped on that stage, I knew that was what I wanted to do, no matter what.
P: In view of the diversity, it’s hard to pin down your influences, so which bands do you listen to regularly?
R: I listen to Bryan Adams, of course, Kiss, Def Leppard, Metallica. I listen to many types of music – Sheryl Crow, Seal, some country.
P: What do you make of the whole emphasis shift from AOR to New Country and the number of the traditionally melodic rock bands that are now working out of Nashville?
R: To me, it’s all rock. It all comes from the same place. It may be mellower, with fiddles and steel guitar, but it’s pretty close to rock and pop.
P: So, where is home for you?
R: I live in the interior of British Columbia, in the westernmost province of Canada. It’s so beautiful. We have Bears, and Mountain Lions, and Deer right in our back yard. I love the city and I love the rural area where I live. It’s a great balance; we get lots of snow in the winter and the change of seasons is very evident. You should come and visit. Lots of fresh air and nature is a wonderful inspiration.
P: Speaking of sleeve-notes, I am curious to know who Lee is?
R: Lee is my soul mate. He is the guy who puts up with me and my strangeness, no matter what I do. He inspires me.
P: Also, who are “The witches who help keep me sane”?
R: The Witches are a few of my closest friends who have supported me all through my career and the craziness of the music business. It was actually a typing error, and should have been spelled with a B instead of a W. Just Joking!
P: With the exception of Larry Gowan, who had been very successful, almost every Canadian artist that we speak to is totally despairing of the rock scene at home. So how well has “BIOR&R” fared there?
R: I had really great airplay across Canada, when it was released a couple of years ago, but it was bad timing. Canada follows the States so much, so rock here is hard to sell – my kind of rock, anyway. It’s coming around again, everything is cyclical. Thank God for you guys in the UK and Europe, who aren’t afraid to take a chance.
P: I’m surprised that you’ve struggled to break into the US market? I would have expected that you to be quickly adopted by the New Country fraternity there?
R: When I was shopping this album in the States a couple of years ago, they wouldn’t touch it. So much for their foresight. They kept telling me it was dated, whatever that means. When I asked anyone what they meant by that, no one could give me a straight answer. It was frustrating.
P: “She’s Outta Control” opened up the sampler CD with our last issue, and the response we’ve had to it has been phenomenal. People keep asking why they haven’t heard of you before. Any comment?
R: This really thrills me. I am so ecstatic that you like it! It is so awesome when you can find people who appreciate your music.
P: We’re currently receiving voting forms for our annual awards and I’ve been more than a little surprised to see your name on plenty of them. Have our readers been particularly quick to pick up on your music, or are you finding the same thing everywhere?
R: In the UK I have been getting such wonderful reviews. You guys say such nice things. I have also been getting some reviews from the Netherlands and Austria. It’s so cool. I love it.
P: What makes you sad?
R: What makes me sad? When people don’t respect themselves, or other people. It really makes me sad to see people who have great potential and are paralyzed by fear. But I guess that’s just their path. When I see animals hurt, I get sad, also.
P: Aside from music, what inspires you?
R: When I see people doing what they love, or taking chances, making the world, or their own lives, a better place, I find myself inspired. Nature also inspires me.
P: Obvious question, but we are dying to find out – what are the realistic chances of seeing you play in the UK?
R: Very realistic. I would LOVE to come and play there. Tell my record company, A2.
P: Finally, can you take us through the album track by track and tell us what about each one and what it means to you?
R: “She’s Outta Control” – this song is a description of what music can do to a person. It reminds us of the power of music.“You Lost Your Heart” – this is about the fine line between friends and lovers. Sometimes it can work, sometimes it doesn’t. “Rockin On The Airwaves” – to me, you don’t need drugs to take you to another place. When I’m feeling down or depressed, music is the cure for me. “I Lied” – sometimes we have a different perception of what is going on in a relationship than the other person. This is about letting someone go to protect them from you and what you could do to them. Warped. “Burning Up” – this is about the passion you can feel for someone. Isn’t it obvious? “Just A Fantasy” – I wrote this when I saw Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley on the Oprah Winfrey Show once. I don’t want to reveal too much. “If I can Forget” – this was written in LA, when I was away from my boyfriend and was feeling homesick. This is so personal to me, like “I Lied” “Lipstick and Lace” – this is a fun song for me. I was inspired by a TV program, I think, and I decided to use the cheating song as a concept, but I thought it would be cool with a twist. “It’s My Heart” – this is my mom’s favorite song. It’s about the evolution of a relationship, and how you give your heart so carefully, especially if it has been broken before. “Drowning” – this song was written in about 15 minutes. I never dreamed it would get on the album, because to me, it wasn’t finished. I like the dreamy quality of it. The emotion of when you are so lost in someone it’s so easy to let go.
Nickname at School: Rockin’ Robin – what else?
First record you ever bought: With my own money, Pat Benatar – Crimes of Passion. With my dad’s money Kiss – Dynasty.
Favourite TV Show and Film: Law and Order, and any forensic science show where they cut up bodies.
Film?: It changes. I guess Robin Hood with Kevin Costner. Or anything with Denzel Washington.
Most annoying person on TV: Anyone from Seinfeld.
Things you hate: Wet socks, liver and cooking. I’m a really good cook, but when I’m home I’ll do anything to get out of cooking. I doesn’t matter how hungry I am, I’ll try to wait my boyfriend out. Oh, I also hate rude, ignorant people. But don’t we all?
Most Underrated band of all time: Hardline, and I also have to say Richard Marx. He is such an incredibly talented singer and writer.
Most overrated band of all time: Nirvana. I never got the grunge thing.
Childhood ambitions: I always wanted to be a singer, but at an early age I never really thought I could do it as a living. For a short time I wanted to be a Police Woman, but I was just too short. They had height restrictions at that time. But I always wanted to be a singer.
Most hurtful thing written about you: This wasn’t written about me, but I was at a conference once and overheard a female A&R person tell my manager: “Your artist is beautiful, but she needs to lose some weight. I’d never touch her for that reason.” That pissed me off. Bitch.
Most embarrassing moment: Why do you think I don’t drink alcohol?
If you won the lottery: I would buy myself a top ten spot on the Billboard charts (I don’t want to be greedy now), and I would buy myself a multi-platinum album. Oh, and lots of books and rocks, and leather stuff.
Fantasy date for one night, who would you choose: Merlin the Magician. I would get him to show me all his magic. I dig old guys.
Body feature you’d most like to change: My butt and hips. I have booty.
Interview Exerpts from Rock-It-magazine with Birgit Schwanke (Germany) Birgit: “Hidden Power” is your second album – how did you get such big names on the album to play with you like Randy Bachman for example?
Robin: I don’t want to make this sound easier than it was, but I simply asked them. Actually, I personally was too chicken, so I got my manager to ask them. They liked my previous album, and what I was doing, so Randy and I agreed to try writing together. I was honestly terrified to work with legends such as Randy (BTO and The Guess Who) and producer Keith Olsen ( Pat Benatar, Fleetwood Mac), but they are such sweet and easy men to work with, I soon forgot about all that kind of stuff. I really appreciate how they treated me like an equal. Sometimes in the music business, men kind of have an attitude about working with women. I am so fortunate to have had this experience. Keith told me he’d find the best guys for the project. That he did. Tim Pierce ( Celine Dion, Phil Collins), on guitar, Jeff Pilson (Dokken) on bass, and James Kottak (Scorpions, Krunk) on drums, helped bring a magic to these songs. It was so wonderful to work with such incredibly talented and wonderful guys. We had so much fun, too. That makes such long hours in the studio fly by. It never felt like work for one minute!”
Eexerpted from www.rock-it-magazine.de
ROBIN BROCK is a Canadian artist who released a great debut CD titled “Blame it on rock&roll” last year. A record which will please fans of the female fronted melodic rock of bands like HEADPINS, CHRISSY STEELE, DARBY MILLS, SARAYA… I had an interview with the girl and let’s see what she has to say…
Strutter: I heard you won some contests before you released your debut CD. Please tell me about them, especially the Netherlands Song Expo you won?
Robin: Song contests to me are a testament to the time, emotions, heart & soul that a writer puts into a song. At least thats what I put into my songs. It is a real honour to be recognized for that. A few years ago I was chosen to perform at the Golden Stag Festival in Romania. That was really the start of the song contest thing for me. I never won anything, but performing there at Brazov representing my country, in front of thousands of people was a beautiful experience. Next I went down under to the Gold Coast of Australia to perform Rockin On The Airways and John and I won first prize in the rock category. What a surprise to me. Through Fidof, the organization that helps sponsor these contests, I heard of the Netherlands Song Expo. John Capek and I won a medal for Lipstick & Lace in 1998 and this year we won for She’s Outta Control and You Lost Your Heart in the rock category. That was so cool. Hopefully I will be able to perform at the song expo awards ceremony in 2000. I would love to come to the Netherlands. I have family there.
S: You have just released your debut album Blame It On Rock & Roll, can you tell me all about this release?
R:I wrote the album with John Capek a few years ago. We did the preproduction in Los Angeles, partly in John’s studio and the rest was recorded in Canada, in Vancouver, at what is now known as Greenhouse studios. In all, after I had my part in the writing finished, it took about three months to complete the album. I call the songs guitar oriented melodic rock with an edge. John Capek produced this project and I was fortunate to have some of the nicest and best musicians play for me. It was so much fun. Being my first album, I was so nervous to be around such professionals, but they all made me feel at home and we had an awesome time. When the album was released in Canada, I had great airplay across the country but because I was an independent and I had no huge distribution deal behind me, it was a difficult sell. Most units in Canada were either sold off stage, or by word of mouth. I was so fortunate to find Rupert and Richard at A2, someone who really believes in me and my music and I am so thrilled with the European reviews. The first release is “I Lied”.
S: Your music is very 80’s based AOR/Melodic Rock, clearly in the Canadian tradition of Toronto, Chrissy Steele, Cindy Valentine and Heart. Which bands inspired you?
R: Well, Toronto was actually before my time, but I remember my older sister playing it some. I was actually influenced by Kiss, strangely enough. I am a MAJOR Kiss fan. I know every song by heart and have every single one of their albums. They were a huge influence. Bryan Adams, Def Leppard and Bon Jovi as well as you guessed it, Heart, but only in their later years after their comeback if that’s what you want to call it. To be honest with you I don’t think of my music as 80’s sounding. Maybe production wise, because it’s that slick, big sound. I just think of it as guitar driven melodic rock. Really, I guess because I spent my childhood in the 80’s that it’s really difficult not to be influenced by that type of music. If you look at my influences, I was drawn to their music because it was uplifting and made you feel good. It was never depressing and dark. That means good songs with a good story, cool riff, and a cool melody and memorable chorus. If you ask me, up until a few years ago, with the resurgence of dance music, it was really difficult to tell in a song where the verse ended and the chorus began. I don’t find that exciting. So I try to incorporate the melody, guitars, a bit of a story, and the positive energy into all my songs. I think at least a little thought should go into the lyrics. That’s my mission.
S: Well, the 80’s were the times of fun melodic rock and writing about the normal things in life. The 90’s were more like feeling depressed and writing about stupid things. Anyway, something else, I heard you are working together with Randy Bachman for a future release. How did you get in contact with him and have you written any stuff with him so far?
R:I am so excited to be writing with Randy Bachman. As of this moment, I have not written with him yet. We are waiting for our schedules to match up, and I will be heading to Vancouver to write with him then. I know that I can learn so much from someone like Randy who has written so many great songs. Randy and I belong to an organization in the States called TAXI and in the monthly newsletter a year ago or so, I read an interview with him and he was saying how much he enjoyed writing with new young artists. I thought, Why not? I have always admired him, so my manager contacted his manager. TAXI was putting on a seminar for its members and Randy was going to be the keynote speaker, in LA. So, my manager and I met him there and we began to e-mail back and forth. It wasn’t until I signed the A2 deal, that I began to think seriously on the whole thing.
S: So basically what are the plans for the coming months, new material and when can we expect a follow up to Blame it on Rock & Roll?
R:I will be locked in my basement waiting for that bolt of inspiration to hit me in the head for the next little while. We get so much snow that I have no choice, except to hire a sled dog team. I’m just kidding. I will be writing, sorting out all the material that may be suitable for collaboration with Randy. John and I have already written three new songs and we are working on about seven more. I am hoping a new release for spring 2000. It all depends on how soon the UK wants me over there to tour. Very soon, I hope.
Wes: Okay, let’s get this out of the way first: I am not going to tell you who I think you sound like vocally. Set modesty aside and tell me who you would compare yourself to? And who were your greatest female vocal influences?
Robin: I really don’t like to compare myself to anyone – it gives me too much to live up to. I was strongly influenced by Ann Wilson and Pat Benatar – if I could be half as talented as those girls, I would be happy.
W: I know all the songs on the album are probably your “babies”, but what tracks are your favourites and why? Maybe one or two are the most fun to perform live?
R: When you put so much of yourself into a song it is really hard to play favourites, much like kids, because they tend to have their own personalities. I always love to perform Rockin’ On The Airwaves and She’s Outta Control, because they are so edgy, and so much energy. If I had to pick a favourite, I always lean towards If I Can Forget and I Lied. They were the toughest songs for me to write, because of the emotional aspect and they were songs that I really had to work at for them to come into being.
W: What would you do differently on your next album? What is different in your approach to music at this point?
R: On the new album, everything is much simpler. The performances are rawer and more emotional. The songs I think are even better lyrically, because I really feel I have developed more as a writer. Keith’s (Olsen – Producer) approach was to just keep it more with a live feel; not overrehearsed – no hours and hours of rehearsal. The music is still rock and roll but there is a really good mix. The rock songs are crunchy, there are some mid tempo tunes and one or two you could almost classify as ballads, and loads of attitude. I wrote with 6 different co-writers, so there is a huge variety of influence there.