Interview by Laura MedinaRobin Beck, the American-born melodic rock singer-songwriter, is the stunning voice behind the 1980s smash hit song “First Time”. Her song went straight to the #1 position worldwide and was also featured in a Coca-Cola commercial in the 1980s. I got the chance to chat with Robin about her latest album “Underneath”, her career as a singer-songwriter and the very entertaining in between. I present the one and only, the very talented and beautiful, Robin Beck and here is what she had to say… Hi Robin and welcome to Femme Metal Webzine. I hope all is well with you today? It is a pleasure and honor to speak to you today!
Hi Laura, Thank you and the same to you.Your song “First Time” was originally written for a Coca-Cola commercial. It was later released as a single from your 1989 album, “Trouble or Nothin’” and went straight to # 1 worldwide! What was it like having the # 1 single worldwide and, your song being used in a Coca-Cola commercial? Can you recall the very first time you heard one of your songs playing over the radio?
It was unreal, or should I say the real thing. This was a dream come true. The experience was unique to all the year of trying and working in the music industry doing everything but what I really wanted to do… which was to sing live and be known for what I could do out in front instead of behind the scenes.
I can remember the first time I heard my own song on radio and oddly enough it wasn’t even “First Time”… It was “Save Up All Your Tears” landing at the top of the charts in the top 10 while I was in Munich, Germany. I was riding in a convertible car that belonged to Tele 5 presenter Jochen Bendel… It was like being in my own little movie scene… hair flying everywhere…. Laughing and shouting “It’s me, It’s me!!! Lol… it was so much fun and I was on Cloud 9.You mentioned the likes of The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin as musical influences. What other musicians, past or present, have also influenced you as a singer-songwriter today?
Jelly Fish, if you know who they are… and I’ve been quite influenced by my husband James Christian of House of Lords. Carol King was a big influence but you won’t hear it in my music so much… I guess I take away with me the quality of a song rather than the similarities. Mostly the ideas come from inside… so the influences are deeply ingrained and who knows what I may have heard in passing that stuck… I don’t copy I just write and sing what I feel.What can we expect to hear in your latest album “Underneath”that is currently out now via HMMR Records through Cargo Records?
You can expect to hear a range of R&R that I well thought out lyrically and musically. Nothing will bore you… not one single song is filler. This may be my best album ever. Filled with energy, youth and edge and warmth.How many songs were potential candidates for “Underneath” and how did you decide which songs made the cut?
Well as you can imagine… we write and then we dispose. We accept and then we decline. It’s a process… all in all I would say 50 songs were considered and the decision was made based on believability, strength and heart.Your album “Underneath” features two very special backing vocalists. These vocalists are none other than your real life husband, James Christian, lead singer of House of Lords, and your aspiring singing daughter, Liv Beck. Was this album intended to be a family project or was it last minute to include your family on this project?
This is the most incredible house filled with talent. We just roll with it. If Liv wants to sing she does…lucky for me, right? James and I will always be a pair. I love having a family affair on my album though.Please explain to us about the songwriting and recording process for “Underneath”. Did you find it more or less challenging than your previous albums?
No more or less…. It’s a process and it’s something we all love doing… so bring it on we say.., It’s something we feel so much love for and fun that it doesn’t feel like work. All of our albums go down that way.
What are some of your favorite songs off your latest album “Underneath” and why?
That’s not an easy question to answer. I love all of the song and all for different reasons. The songs are all great to listen to. I suppose one or two may stand out as extremely special, like “Wrecking Ball” and “Underneath”, “I Swear The Nights” and “Can’t Fight Love“… but honestly I find a new favorite every day.It has taken about 25 years to record the track “Follow You”. Can you explain to us about the concept behind the song and why you decided to record it for “Underneath”?
This song “Follow You” has followed me throughout my whole career. I wanted to record it even when it was first played to me by the writer himself, Glen Burtnick at a rehearsal studio in N.Y., but my labels kept turning it down. I was able to take it on the road with me during the first tour of “Trouble or Nothing”, and the fans howled for it…. So the first chance I got to record it on an album where I felt it would fit, I did… and this is it.I heard that you did a mini-tour through three European countries after Firefest in 2012. Can you recall any crazy moments that happened to you either while on stage or off stage during your career.
Early on in my career I did an awards show for RTL Radio… I was handed a block of Gold in the shape of the call letters…. I had no idea how heavy it was and when they handed it to me it took me down lol… I guess you had to be there…. it was funny! I had to have someone carry it off stage for me… it’s not supporting one of my doors.A fun question, if you could make up your own “dream band” with past or present musicians who would you include in your “dream band”?
Dr. John on Piano, Steve Vai on Lead Guitar, Eric Clapton on acoustic Guitar, Jimmy Clark on Drums, Kasi Sultan on Drums. That would be amazing!“Ending Love” is the newest track taken from the upcoming German Progressive metal band, Assignment‘s album, “Inside the Machine” that is due out in October 2013. This track features you and Michael Bormann on guest vocals. How were you approached about being a guest vocalist on Assignment‘s album?
I was asked to do the project by Goran Panic. After hearing the direction I was more than happy to accept. Fabulous work and I am very proud to be a part of it.Do you have any other side musical-related projects lined up currently, or are you mainly focusing on promoting your new album at the moment?
I do… but they are not named yet. We begin this month. Come back to me in a few and I will be able to share more details.I hope there will be a World Tour of some sorts in the future because I know your American fans would love to see you perform live. Do you have any special live festivals, special performances or concerts planned to promote “Underneath”?
I do. I will be touring in Europe end of Feb. beginning of March… but the schedule is in the beginning phase of structure… I’ll be posting it on Facebook and at my website www.robinbceckrocks as it develops. I’m also on the schedule to do some more touring with Legends Voices of Rock which is in November. A schedule for that can also be found at my website and the Legends voices of Rock website.We have reached the end of our time together. Any final words you would like to say to our fellow readers, your loyal fans and everyone else reading along? Robin, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk with us at Femme Metal Webzine today! It was a pleasure once again to speak to you and wishing you all the best of luck and more!
Thank you Laura. I appreciate it as well. X, Robin