Pop rock’n’roll band, Bang Bang Romeo were chosen by P!nk to support her on the European leg of her record-breaking Beautiful Trauma World Tour this summer. In between playing over 20 cities to audiences averaging 45,000 and opening for Sting at the Montreux Jazz Festival, they made the most of their downtime by recording song demos and starting a podcast, all using the super-portable iD4 from Audient as their audio interface.
“the controls are so intuitive I was able to get on and start working within moments of unboxing the interface!”
“It’s been the perfect travel companion for what we’ve needed,” says songwriter & musician Sam Craggs, who was backline tech for Bang Bang Romeo on the P!nk tour and has been with the band during much of their epic rise to fame.
Finding mental and physical space for creativity whilst on tour can be difficult, but they made it work. “For song demos we tended to cram in the back of the bus with a microphone, acoustic guitar and a little keyboard and just ‘have at it’ for an hour or so at a time.
iD4: “the perfect travel companion for what we’ve needed”
“We’d all bail out for a 10-minute break to get some air, before piling back in to try and continue and not lose the creative flow. We all know each other really well now and know what strengths we each bring to a session like that, so it was always quite fast paced with a lot of back and forth between us, as we built and developed parts,” explains Sam.
Over the past four years, Sam has been invaluable to Bang Bang Romeo; sound engineering, tour managing and driving whilst they have been on their trajectory to stardom. Four years running at the Isle of Wight Festival – one of those as opening act at the Main Stage, this year comprised a short run supporting Spandau Ballet in Europe and The Hammersmith Apollo, and they had their own successful UK headline tour earlier this year. “Then of course the P!nk tour came about and all our minds were blown!” he laughs.
As to how it all came about, Sam says, “One of Pink’s touring management team attended an industry showcase that BBR held in London as part of the promo for their upcoming album. They were so impressed by their performance and energy that they were then put on a shortlist of potential support acts that was given direct to P!nk. She then went through all these acts and picked who she wanted. BBR were chosen for the UK and European leg and suddenly the band were part of the biggest tour in the world!”
“I love the ‚plug and play‘ workflow”
Whilst on tour with the powerhouse pop star, Bang Bang Romeo wanted to keep their own fans updated on what they were up to, which was how the idea for the podcast was born. Named after a lyric from one of their songs, That’s What We Do was started by band members, Anastasia Walker, Ross Cameron and Richard Gartland, has a popular animated version on Facebook and YouTube (hand drawn by Anastasia and digitised by Richard) and is recorded and edited by Sam.
“For both the podcast and any song demo recordings I would use the iD4 as an input to record all the audio material and also as an output for editing/mixing to either my headphones or a small pair of speakers,” he explains. “The simple and large volume control on the iD4 was perfect for quickly tweaking my output volume in the ever changing and noisy environments we were working in such as the tour bus or venue dressing rooms.”
The impetus to go for the Audient iD4 came from The Foundry Studio – co-owned by Sam and home to a very large ASP8024. “There was almost a familiarity from having used the preamps in our studio’s 72 channel console so much, now. I recognised and was thrilled with the clarity and warmth from the iD4’s preamp.
“I can’t fault the simplicity and ease of use”
“I can’t fault the simplicity and ease of use either. I love the ‚plug and play‘ workflow and the controls are so intuitive I was able to get on and start working within moments of unboxing the interface! I found the monitor mix control particularly useful for switching between monitoring of any input signals and the mix from my DAW.”
Bang Bang Romeo has history with Audient, having been the first to record through the console at The Foundry Studio in their home county of Yorkshire just four years ago. With more podcasts in the pipeline and the Starcrossed Species headline tour coming up next, we’ll be able to hear what it was that the little iD4 audio interface helped create in the P!nk Beautiful Trauma tour bus this summer.
Wishing them all the luck in the world.