Thursday, June 2, 2011


 UK artist in the rise to fame, with killing lyrics, amazing beats, and sure to make you dance. I had the pleasure to interview him, thanks through the power of the internet. I remember looking for new music on MySpace, and I came across Roses For The Madman. What caught my eye first was his profile picture, almost having this club kid look. Once I hit the play bottom on the music player I was hooked. 

His music has this electro club house feel, I have to say that right now my favorite songs are Love Of Your Life (Mnsr G's Global Art Mix), Spellbound (Karrade's Full Sorcery Mix), Fade Away (Karrade's Epic Disco Mix), & The Way You Do (Karrade's Backroom Blue Mix) from his album ANARCHY IN THE DISCOTHEQUE. There is no reason not to listen to his music, his album should be a must on your playlist. 

His album and single Fade Away is out on Itunes

Here are some links:

The Interview

Raven: Hi R4TM (Roses 4 The Madman) thank you for doing this interview with me, it's a great pleasure. 

R4TM: You’re welcome. It’s an absolute pleasure for me to know that my music is reaching people outside of the U.K. and to be talking to you about it. I’ve had a lot of interest from the U.S. and it’s great to have the opportunity to have some dialogue with you guys. 

Raven: So let’s start with your name, how did you come up with your name?

R4TM: There’s no big mystery or secret about it. It was going to be an album name when I was in an acoustic band called ‘Blue Angels’. The title just popped into my head, but it kind of suits the fact that I’m neither a solo artist nor a band – It’s just an ongoing project name, for my musical and visual adventures. Plus the fact I am quite clearly mad as a hatter! – And roses are my favourite flower. 

Raven: In the 90's you where a pop artist, why did you go that route and not the dance scene? 

R4TM: I was too young and I was just running after fame and money! A truly horrible experience. I was the original candidate for the whole Pop Idol / Factor thing. I was told what to wear, what to say, how to sing, how to write. I was packaged beyond belief, and then in my own time I was going to illegal raves and mixing with DJs who were playing all the newest sounds in House, Garage and Hip Hop. I was living a double life to a certain extent. It’s not in my nature to go against what I feel in my gut and my heart and so I stopped. The good thing about it was that Karrade (He wrote my first single in 1990) and I formed this incredible writing and production partnership. Then after it all went sour, we re-ignited that working relationship when I started writing as Roses For The Madman. 

Raven: Well now that dance music has become the biggest thing worldwide, are you happy that you're doing what you love now?

R4TM: I don’t think an artist is ever totally happy with their output, but I’m certainly going in the direction I want to. There is still a ‘pop’ element to what I do as I feel it has to have some kind of formula to be accessible and recognisable, but that doesn’t mean that the songs have to be meaningless and without content. I’m pleased that an equal amount of people say they love the energy and vibe of the music, but then also find the lyrics interesting to listen to. So in that respect I’m happy with the effect I have on a listener.   

Raven: What is the process of creating your music, and do you have total control of what you create?

R4TM:  It’s actually written in my agreements with the label, Virtual Lighthouse, that I have total artistic control of what goes out. That doesn’t mean I live in a bubble or an ivory tower where only my opinion matters. I purposely ask friends and colleagues who don’t like dance or electronic music to listen to my stuff, for an opinion on the songs, the melodies and the lyrics. The songs have to stand up on their own and not just be a flavour of the season. The ability to write and to sing is a gift, and the production and visuals is the wrapping around it. I write on my own in my little makeshift home studio and I produce a demo of the track – It’s very organic in that respect, almost like a guitarist who writes a song and then takes it to the rest of the band members to fill out the sound. I let the producers I work with (Karrade, Monsieur G on this album) listen to the songs and the tracks are then re- recorded from scratch using the
original demo as a template of ideas. There’s lots of MP3 files and long emails regarding production, going back and forth. 

Raven: Where do you get your inspiration from when writing your lyrics?

R4TM: LIFE! – Everything inspires me. I carry a note pad and voice recording device everywhere I go, a melody or a stream of words can appear at any given moment. I’m never ‘off duty’ in that respect. I write about human relationships. I do tend to be quite socially political with my lyrics. Human rights, freedom of speech, respect for people and their choices – Then personal stuff like sex, faith, regret, hope.  It’s all in there. 
I always try to write with a vibe of positivity too; ‘Aggressively Positive’ is my thing. Not being passive or a victim of circumstance. Just getting up and on with life.

Raven: Let’s talk a little about your fashion; do you do your own make up? Is the wardrobe created by you? On an everyday bases when not performing, or making a music video, what do you usually wear?

R4TM: The music and fashion industries are intertwined and I am working on my own clothing label. I do paint my own face. I have been a stylist on and off for different bands and photographers and I’ve picked up a lot of tips from Actors, Drag artists, and other performers.
I customise and create my own clothes. I like a D.I.Y look, one off’s, but more punk than couture. And movement is a big thing with me. I’m very physical, and like to be able to move comfortably. When I’m not ‘on’ you can usually find me in sweatpants, t-shirts, sandals, with a full beard and a rucksack full of CDs, stuff for the gym, and my trusty hand written calendar diary. It’s not that the R4TM you see in the videos is an act, it’s very much a part of me, but it is very time consuming and I have a lot to do.  

Raven: I know you're a big house head, is there an artist you're really into right now? 

R4TM: I tend to listen to DJ set mixes rather than albums by artists these days. I feel like I’m covering more ground by listening to a mix of different artists. But my favourite artists at the moment are Hard Ton, Billie Ray Martin, Lady Ga Ga, Amanda Ghost and there’s this guy called ‘Raven’? He’s very cool. (Ha-ha) My favourite D.J.s are Chauncey D and Tatu Vuolteenaho. Work out music. 
Raven: Why thank you for your support in my music ;)

Raven: Do you think that your music will change as you grow as an artist?

R4TM: I hope so. Complacency is not an option. I have to draw myself back sometimes and remember what I’m trying to focus on. I tend to go off on a tangent; I get so excited by a new sound or particular genre. Then I have to remember I’m a songwriter and my fear of mediocrity shouldn’t make me pursue something that’s so avant garde it won’t interpret well.

Raven: A lot of people think that all electronica music sounds the same, so what sets you apart from other artists? What make you different so to speak?

R4TM: Songs, I think. I try to write songs so that they stand alone, that they would be good enough to do acoustic versions, if the setting was right. Also people don’t expect Electronic music artists to be relevant or credible as a live performer. 
I think I come into my own when performing live. 

Raven: In your music career where do you see yourself in 10 years?

R4TM: Doing what I’m doing now but with a larger budget hopefully! I want to continue in music, video, performance, design. Build up a body of work that means something and ensuring that I’m pushing myself and learning all the time. I’d also like to write and make videos for other artists. Also, I’d love to live in Paris and New York.

Raven: Was there a point in time when you hit the lowest part in life and how did you over come that?

R4TM: Well, I don’t really put my private and personal life out there for public consumption. I think it’s tacky, people looking for sympathy in a public domain. But I will say thank God for my family and music. They’ve saved my life more than once. 

Raven: Is there a big moment in your music career that you look back and you say wow I’ve made it and I’m doing what I love?

R4TM: I think that depends on what your expectations are. I’m not putting myself out there as a ‘celebrity’ – I guess awards and magazine covers are some people’s aims. I’m doing what I love now; people are getting into it, and wanting more. So that in itself is a reward.
I had tears in my eyes the first time I heard the final mastered album, I’m so proud of it.
There have been particular gigs when I’ve been amazed by the reaction of the crowd and some people who I’ve always considered hero’s of mine have made favourable comments, so that’s a buzz. 

Raven: Where can people go see you perform and will there be a tour anytime soon? 

R4TM:I’m playing a set in my home city, Birmingham, June 11th that’s also a night when Sigue Sigue Sputnik are playing It’s a friend’s birthday party actually but it’s kind of become an ‘event’. I’m also booked to play The Salford Music festival in Manchester this September, which is a huge musical event all over the city. There will also be P.A.s around the UK. I would love to tour but I guess I’ll need an agent or manager to help with that – Logistically it wouldn’t be possible to organise it myself. But if there is anyone reading who can put up the price of a few air tickets and hotel – Just holler! 

Raven: So early April 2011 you came out with your first full LP of remix songs, followed by a new single with a music video to go with it. Are we going to see another album this year?

R4TM: Anarchy In the Discotheque took five years to make, but that was just because we were testing the waters with the first few singles and then decided to do the album. I’m not in any hurry to make a second full studio album immediately. I am writing constantly and I have thought about doing an EP of four or five new songs this year, and then maybe a full album for next year. I hope people are pleasantly surprised with what comes next; it’s going to be more eclectic and varied.  

Raven: What kind of following do you have in the dance scene?

R4TM: It varies hugely – with the immense possibilities that the internet offers, support and feedback comes from many different quarters, which is a positive as it shows I’m not being categorised too much. I get followed by industrial Goth’s, the Gay scene, Trance lovers, retro electro fans,  House D.J.’s and the Bear scene. All sorts of people, and that’s the way I like it.  

Raven: What’s the one thing a lot of fans or people don't know about you?

R4TM: I can be incredibly shy, which can be awkward as it can come across as arrogance.
And I’m a control freak workaholic.

Raven: What's the one thing you have learned in life coming into the music biz and what advice do you have for other artists out there who are trying to make it?

R4TM: If you don’t believe 150 percent in what you are doing – don’t do it. Never change yourself for someone else. With labels and management, never sign anything unless they’ve proved to you that they are good enough, because they’ll be making money from you. 
And don’t stress, enjoy it. I’d rather 10,000 people bought my music and really got into it, than 1,000,000 just buy it because its force fed to them on national TV.

Raven: Well thank you so much for your time and I wish you the best of luck with everything and I hope we can do this again real soon.

R4TM: You’re more than welcome and thank you. I hope we can meet in person someday soon. And thanks to all the fans and friends in the US who have shown such massive interest. 

R4TM xx

No comments:

Post a Comment