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...
Can you introduce yourself to
Hello readers, this is Robin Brock, born and bred Canadian. I am a singer/songwriter and I began singing at a very early age. My Mom says I was singing way before I was talking, and I used to pretend I was Cher, lying across the piano like she did on the Sonny & Cher Show. Music has always been one of my great passions, singing, and then writing. I wrote my first song when I was about 11 years old. Of course it wasnıt very good. I still have it and everyone in a great while look at it to really see how far my writing has come. Good thing!
I was always in school choirs and think
that deep down secretly dreamed of becoming a singer. It was just
something that I did everyday. I was singing solo for one of our
school concerts and afterwards two of the guys from the stage
band asked me if I would like to sing for their rock band. Of
course I said yes, and from that time on I knew absolutely that
this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I got on
that stage and for once in my life I felt like I belonged. It was
so cool. we were a cover band and played a lot of gigs, as much
as 15 year olds could. we had a few member changes and a year or
so later on it felt a natural progression to just write our own
songs. fast forward a few years of gigging and writing with
various writers and being rejected many times by many many record
companies in Canada and USA, I was introduced to my current
partner, songwriter John Capek, who writes for Rod Stewart
(Rhythm of My Heart). We put together the album over a period of
a few months and after that after many rejections of that, I was
fortunately picked up by the A2 Label in the UK. On a personal
note, I am an avid reader and I LOVE hard core mountain biking.
There is lots of that here in the Western province of British
Columbia, in Canada, where I live.
I heard you won some contests
before you released your debut CD. Please tell me about them,
especially the Netherlands Song Expo you won?
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 recognised for that in the industry. 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 Airwaves and won first prize in the rock category. What a surprise to me. Through Fidof, the organisation 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 Sheıs 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.
You have just released your
debut album Blame It On Rock & Roll, can you tell me all
about this release?
I wrote the album with John Capek a few years ago. We did the preproduction in Los Angeles, partly in Johnıs 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 orientated 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'
Your music is very 80ıs based
AOR/Melodic Rock, clearly in the Canadian tradition of Toronto,
Chrissy Steele, Cindy Valentine and Heart. which bands inspired
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 thats what you want to call it. To be honest with you I donıt think of my music as 80's sounding. Maybe
production wise, because itıs 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, a cool riff, and a cool melody and a 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. thats my mission.
Do you think that your kind of
music will ever come back and become as popular as it was in the
States/Canada back in the 80's?
If you mean good lyrics, music, good melody, yeah. I dont see Kiss, Def Leppard and Bryan Adams going anywhere. I put myself in the Def Leppard/Adams category as far as my type of music is concerned. People will always love a great song with real musicians playing on with lots of guitars. take for instance Rod Stewart, The Eagles, Melissa Etheridge. I really donıt think that I am that far off that. No matter what I do to my hair, it always seems to end up big, is that what you mean by 80's?
Well, the 80s were the times of
fun melodic rock and writing about the normal things in life. The
90s 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?
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 organisation 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 artistes. 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 email back and forth. It wasnıt until I signed the A2 deal, that I began to think seriously on the whole
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?
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. Iım 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.
Thanks for the interview and
good luck in the future.
Thank you so much for your support. Have a wonderful Christmas holiday and all the best to you and your readers in 2000! You can check me out on the web http://www.robinbrock.com
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