10 Questions With…Broken Romeo!


Hailing from Tuscon, Arizona, BROKEN ROMEO is an alt rock band with a fantastic sound. I’ve been writing along to their album DESPERATION DAZE for the past few days. Definitely a sound I can embrace for my 5 a.m. writing sessions. By the way, if you’re a writer who likes to get up early to sling a few words…you might want to check in to the 5 a.m. writers’ clubhouse on Twitter > the hashtag #5amwritersclub was co-created by Jay Spencer of All The Write Notes.

I’m listening to Broken Romeo’s SPILL as I write this. They have this great hard rocking grunge sound that is reminiscent of the original Seattle movement, with a great mix of heavy and classic rock. At the same time, there is something totally unique in their sound. If you like alt rock, you’re gonna love Broken Romeo. I see Desperation Daze as a definite breakout album. They definitely have an impressive lineage, too. The one that popped out for me…lead singer James Turpin once worked with Richie Ramone.

I’m thrilled to give you 10 Questions With…James Turpin today! When you’re done reading, you’re gonna know Broken Romeo a whole lot better. And you’ll want to grab their album when you’re finished too. Don’t worry! You’ll find the links you need. Enjoy getting to know… BROKEN ROMEO!

1. For those who are not yet familiar with the band, who are Broken Romeo? Can you please give us a short bio background on your members? Who are James, Steve, Ari and Matt?
I am James. I’m the singer and 2nd guitarist in BR. My brother Steve Turpin is our lead guitarist and sings a little as well. Ari Sloane is our bass player, and Matt Ringnell is our drummer. Steve, Ari and I are founding members of Broken Romeo. Matt is our newest member. He joined in December of 2009.
2. What’s the story behind the band’s name?
Ari, Steve and I worked together at a record store when we were in college called “The Wherehouse”. Once we decided to form a band we needed a name. None of us could agree on a name. At the front of the store there was a GIANT book of every song published dating back to the 1940s, I think. It was really big. We started to flip through that book and came across an old R&B song from the 50s called “Broken Romeo”. We all loved it, so that’s been our name ever since.
3. As an animal lover, I was thrilled to see that you took part in YOU HEARD US BACK WHEN. For those who don’t know about the project, can you share a bit about it? Also, how did you come to be involved in the project?
Yes..it is a compilation organized by Zia Records, a local record chain that still sells vinyl, and of course CD’s. They are a throwback to the old music stores. Very refreshing! At any rate, they have put this together annually for the past few years. We submitted our music and I think were one of only 2 Tucson bands selected. And it is all for a great cause!

4. As an early 80s punk rocker, I listened to the Ramones a lot. What was it like working with Richie Ramone? Also, what was it like being asked to do so?
It was great. Richie was a very nice and down to earth person. I have to admit I was a little out of my element, but Richie made us all feel at ease. He is a very talented drummer and songwriter. When I used to work at The Wherehouse we played the Ramones Mania album a lot. One of my favorite tracks was “Somebody Put Something In My Drink”. Little did I know I would get to meet and work with the guy who wrote that song!
5. DESPERATION DAZE is a stunning album. The alternative rock genre is obviously present in your sound, but classic rock also has a good stronghold in your sound. What bands did you and the other members of Broken Romeo listen to in your teen years? What are you all listening to right now?
We all come from different musical backgrounds and all have different musical tastes. Steve and I were huge Queen fans when we were younger (still are). We also listened to bands like Pink Floyd, ELO and Led Zeppelin. When I was in High School I was really into U2. They are still one of my favorite bands. Steve was really into Guns’N’Roses and Alice in Chains. Ari tends to like Classic Hard Rock/Metal bands like Sabbath, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Matt also tends to like the heavier stuff. They all find their way into our music. If you listen, you can hear them! As far as what we are listening to now..I am really into the new Queens Of The Stone Age album!

6. Songwriting. How does it happen for Broken Romeo? I see that you and your brother write the lyrics. As All the Write Notes is all about writing, could you give us a glimpse into what your lyrics writing sessions look like?
I can’t speak for Steve, but usually the melody of the song comes first. I usually build a song lyrically around a key phrase in a song. Something that comes out when we are jamming to a new musical idea, or something that I am working on with my guitar. I usually have a chorus first..then I write lyrics around that chorus. The older I get, the more important lyrics have become for me. I was very proud of the lyrics on Desperation Daze.

7. On your website, you promise your fans a new release for the Fall of 2013. Can you tell us a bit about this new release? Broken Man, the first single, is to drop any day now…or so I’ve heard. What is the genesis of the new album?
It is still a work in progress! But, yes, we are expecting the Master back any hour now! We will be releasing the new song in the next day or so. Your readers can go to our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/BrokenRomeoAZ ) to listen to the new song. Originally we were going to record two 5 song EPs — one called “Side One” and the other “Side Two” — as a sort of homage to the old LP days. We recorded the drums to Side One back in May. In order to save on cost, we decided to do whatever we could at our own studio… which we have in downtown Tucson. Steve has become quite the recording engineer, working on his own solo material to the band’s benefit. What we couldn’t do ourselves we did with our good friend George Nardo at Luna recording studio in Tucson. Because we were learning via trial and error, we decided to focus on 1 song at a time. The first song, which we have just finished, is a song called “Broken Man”. It’s a rocker..lots of guitars! We hope everyone digs it!! We are starting on the next song now and hope to have it finished in 4-6 weeks and then we’ll start the next one! We plan to release a new song pretty much every 4-6 weeks!

8. All the Write Notes is made up of a group of writers who love music. We love to ask our favourite musicians what they’re reading…and whether or not they are readers. So, are any of the band members readers? If so, do you have favourite authors? Books?
My brother Steve is an avid reader. He introduced me to the Kindle years ago! Steve is reading Dan Simmons, Robert McCammon…I read a lot of Stephen King when I was younger.

9. What’s it like working with your brother? As someone with three brothers, I had to ask this question.
It is great most of the time. We have our moments, like any brother do, but we are also very close. We are both songwriters and have strong opinions. Sometimes we agree and sometimes… not so much. Even when we don’t agree we respect each others’ opinions. Usually we can find some common ground and the results are good for the band creatively. Plus, the other guys won’t stand for too much brotherly bickering!!

10. Again, I seem to have asked a lot more than ten questions. I have to get a handle on that. You can relax now…I’m going to pass on question number ten. (-: I’d like to thank you for taking the time to let our readers get to know you better. We look forward to some new Broken Romeo.
Thanks so much for having me! We look forward to sharing some new BR music with you and your readers! Cheers!!
Some great answers! Love the way the band picked the name. I think I’d like to look through that book myself! I know you want to check out BROKEN ROMEO‘s music now. I gave you the link to the new single above (apologies to the band for not getting the interview posted prior to the unveiling of the single). Here’s links to their DESPERATION DAZE & TEMPTATION albums on iTunes:
You can also buy BROKEN ROMEO music (and merchandise) directly from their website. Just click on the pic below:
Broken Romeo can also be followed on Twitter: @BrokenRomeo