Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Axel Wiesenauer at Rock N Growl Management/Promotion for setting up the interview
Thanks to Rock N Growl Management/Promotion for the promo pictures of Robin Beck
Here is the new and latest from the Robin Beck camp. Her brand new album UNDERNEATH was released at the end of August and since the album is amazing I thought it was time to have a chat with Robin in order to hear what she’s been up to. We talked about the album, how it was to work with her husband James Christian (House Of Lords) on UNDERNEATH, about her co-operation with Swedish guitarist/producer/songwriter Tommy Denander and about live shows and touring. Enjoy!
Hi Robin, thanks for taking the time doing this interview with me and metal-rules.com. Are you ready to begin?
Thanks Anders, Here we go!
Your brand new album UNDERNEATH was released in August. How long did it take to write and record the album?
It took a little less than a year to put the album together.
What have you been doing in between the release of the previous album THE GREAT ESCAPE that came 2011 and UNDERNEATH?
I started touring again which has been a fantastic experience. I’ve been writing and traveling a lot. Taking care of family and just plain living.
You have co-written two songs on UNDERNEATH how did you choose the rest of the songs?
Actually it was James that found the writing team. It just seemed right. They were on the cutting edge and this was just what I wanted.
Are there any differences in singing other peoples lyrics compared to your own? I mean, is it harder to relate to other people’s lyrics?
No, not really…If I like the song and do it, I just wrap myself around it and it comes out very naturally.
Some of the ones who has contributed with material to UNDERNEATH are European people like Crush Boys and Linnea and Joy Deb. Was that a coincidence?
Yes purely coincidental. I had no idea that they were European and American.
Were there many songs that didn’t make it on to the final edition of the album?
At least 50.
I think that UNDERNEATH is a more upbeat album compared to some of your previous ones, is that something intentional?
I really wanted to step away a gain some prospective. At the time we were supposed to be writing we had some personal family problems which prevented us from diving in… so when the music started to take shape it was uplifting and just what I needed to take away the blues.
Where does the title UNDERNEATH come from and does it have any special meaning to you?
Underneath is an intense confession. I think everyone can identify with the meaning of this song as no one is perfect. I love the song for it’s honesty and it makes me feel vulnerable when I sing it.
What do you think of the cover art work? Does it reflect the emotions on UNDERNEATH?
I like it it does have a mood about it.
You have once again joined forces with the well known Swedish composer and guitarist Tommy Denander. What’s his strongest feature as musician and composer do you think?
Tommy has great feel and a lot of emotion. His melodies are also inspiring to me.
Are you guys going to co-operate more in the future?
We talk about it all the time so I thing that’s realistic a realistic idea.
“Burning Me Down” is a duet between you and your husband and House Of Lord legend James Christian. Is it fun to sing and work together with James? Don’t you ever get tired of each other?
James is a great source of inspiration to me. I love his voice and we compliment each other really well never tired of working with him and singing with him but I also enjoy working with other male vocalists and I did a great duet with Joe Lynn Turner “That All Depends”, on “The Great Escape” Album.
Your daughter is involved on the album as back up singer, how was it to work with her? UNDERNEATH sure is, in a positive way, a family affair.
She’s amazing. Very quick and filled with the spirit. It’s like working with a little me only she’s more seasoned than I was at 16.
Your vocals sounds as always amazing, how have you managed to keep your voice in such a good shape through the years?
I find as the years go by, that my voice has warmed up I take good care of my throat and try not to scream when I sing, that’s the key don’t yell at your husband or your kids or the guy that just cut you off at the intersection. Don’t’ yell. Be nice to yourself and drink loads of water, eat right, don’t smoke and not too much alcohol either.
I’ve read reviews of the album and the media is very positive to UNDERNEATH. Do you care about what media and critics think about your work?
I do but if a review is not in my favor I roll with the punches. Not everyone can love everything you do. Over all the press has been very good to me.
Do you have any plans on shooting a video to any of the songs?
Always planning. It’s hard to pick from this batch. At this point we are still thinking about doing a video. It was going to be “Wrecking Ball” but then some naked jay bird got there first lol. It’s possible that we will still do another.
When is UNDERNEATH going to be released in Asia and South America?
There is always talk of it. I know there are Imports there. I would love to be released in Asia and South America formally. I have lots of friends and fans there. It’s a lively market.
You have inked a deal with Cargo Records/Her Majesty’s Music Room. Why the change of label?
Well, It’s a bit complicated. I loved working with Bob-Media and Sony… but it was not really working out on the sales end with Sony or their promotions so I heard… so I needed to move away from them… of course there are other reasons for this move, but It’s not important. What is important is that we are all doing well both companies and we press on.
Are you satisfied with the co-operation you and Rock N Growl Promotion have here in Europe?
Yes, I’m very satisfied. Axel is an excellent promoter and a good guy. This is a good relationship. I’m happy to have found out about Rock N’ Growl.
How would you like to describe what kind of music Robin Beck sings and creates?
I think the music that I create is honest. I write about what I know. The outside songs that I sing are songs that touch me I identify with them as if they are an extension of my own writing so that works out well.
Many artists and bands are most happiest with their latest album is it so in your case too?
It’s not always the case with me but in this case and the last 4 albums I’m finding out that I’m still growing and love it all.
Musicians, production and studio work
UNDERNEATH was recorded in Dream Beam Studios in Florida who owns the studio?
James and I own Dream Beam together.
James Christian produced and mixed the album. How is it to work with him as producer? What’s his strongest feature as producer?
The question should be “what isn’t his strongest feature”? He’s an amazing musician, Singer, writer, engineer, mixer and he can even master… but sometime we need fresh ears. So in my eyes he’s the one to go to.
Were you a part of the mixing process or did he take care of it on his own?
James wants me to love everything so he’s fair with me if something bothers me… but this rare, so I’m not going to take any credit for his genius.
Was it hard to choose musicians to the album? Were there any musician that you had wished for to work with on the album that couldn’t make it this time?
Nope that’s never the case. I can get anyone I want I leave to James to figure all that out. We have a very nice circle that we like to use with some HOL members and Tommy, Jeff Batter and of course James himself.
Was it fun to have the family with you in the studio?
Usually we are focused on making everything work and leave the fun for after the sessions, high 5’s and all. But we do enjoy all working together the combo is fierce.
Past present and future
You toured with Rock Meets Classic during 2012 how was that?
The only thing I can say is that it was an awesome experience with amazingly talented line up and musicians It really was wonderful!
You also performed at Firefest last year, was it fun?
Really fun!!! I had a blast and I felt right at home with everyone. Great crowd and a great team… they should never stop doing Firefest and they should keep me up there on their stage I could move right in there.
After the Firefest festival you did a shorter European tour but why was it so short and why was most of the shows held in Germany?
After so many years of mainly doing studio albums I have to climb back up into the live market. My promoter was from Germany and he had some good feedback about my playing there so we figured to get my feet wet again to start there where I had several chart hits in the To 10 and of course the ever popular “First Time”.
Legend Voices Of Rock payed Sweden a visit this summer and you were also on that tour. What did you think of Sweden?
I love Sweden I can’t wait for Sweden Rock I’m also due back near to Sweden so let’s here it for Sweden.
Was it fun to be a part of LVOR? Is it something you’d like to to also in the future?
Yeah! I love working with Tommy and the boys.. great band, fun times… and a chance to work with a great line up. This next time coming up at the Lappland Hotell with Bobby Kimball, Steve Augeri and myself… should be a blast.
Your website is really nice, who runs it? Do you think it’s important to be active on the various social forums?
Web Spagetti (Richard Jones) He’s awesome and YES! It is important to stay in touch with what’s going on around you, especially in this business.
You’re really active on Facebook is it possible for fans to get in touch with you there?
I am happy that I can get close to the fans and talk to them on Facebook or twitter about the music, up close and personal.. even do a little business it’s a great thing to be a part of. I am very active with my fans on facebook not that much on twitter but I’m getting there.
Do you have any idea where in the world you got your biggest fanbase?
I think my biggest fan base is Germany, Austria and Switzerland, with England as an equal and then Sweden and the Norway…
How does it feel to be an icon within the AOR scene?
I’m honored by it. It’s great to be recognized by your piers and by the hard core fans of our genre.
You and House Of Lords are heading out on a European tour next year, are you exited to head out on the road again? When are you going to release the dates for the tour?
I’m very excited!!! Lots of dates all over the place. I thing we will released this week sometime… already I can tell you we will be in the UK, Spain, Norway, Sweden and Germany.
Sweden Rock Festival is getting a visit from Robin Beck next year, are you exited to come back to Sweden?
I am over the moon about it. I’ve wanted to do it for years. I could not be more excited and a little bit wowed by it all.
What can the people at Sweden Rock Festival expect from a show with Robin Beck?
The classics form “Trouble or Nothing” and a song or two from the newer albums…
Is it possible that you may do more shows in Sweden/Scandinavia when you’re here next year?
I’m hoping to It certainly looks that way.
When can we expect to find the next Robin Beck album out in stores?
Probably in about another 14 – 16 months.
What are the plans for Robin Beck during 2014?
Enjoy living and a lot of traveling. Touring and writing and the usual… Getting my daughter ready for College is high on that list.
Could you give the readers three reasons why they should buy UNDERNEATH?
OK. This is a fired up album with very memorable songs. Great productions, very personal and connected to the universal ideas that most people have. I sing the living hell out of it (not gonna be modest) it’s gotta be the best I’ve ever sounded and I’m not hyping you here… Great for your Christmas list oops! That’s more than 3 reasons.
Well, that was all for now. Once again, thanks a lot for taking the time doing the interview. I wish you all the best in the future and have to say that I really loved the album!! Hope to see you live on stage in Sweden. Do you have any final words of wisdom to share with fans and readers?
Be happy! Stay healthy! And do everything you do with love. Hope to see you out there please come out and hang with me and the band we’re really there for you! // Peace & Love, Robin!
Facebook Page www.facebook.com/Robinbeckrocks
Twitter Page www.twitter.com/oliviabeck1
Myspace Page www.myspace.com/robinbeck
Facebook Page www.facebook.com/CargoRecordsUK
Twitter Page www.twitter.com/CargoRecords
Facebook Page www.facebook.com/RockNGrowlPromotion
Twitter Page www.twitter.com/rockngrowl