Neon Rouge Interview @ Summerbank Studios

New local rock band Neon Rouge let me into their recording studio Summerbanks for a quick chat.

Neon Rouge consists of, Kieran Oakes- singer and rhythm guitars, Jonathan Finney- lead guitar and backing vocals, Conroy Bamford- bassist and Kieran O’Reilly – drums. They formed from Kieran Oakes and Jon being school friends, then Kieran knowing Kieran O’Reilly, then they added Conroy as a guitarist but then he turned in a bassist. The name Neon Rouge came along really random as Kieran Oakes text Jon saying, ‘Neon’ and Jon text back saying, ‘Rouge’ so they put two and two together. I asked if there was any stupid nicknames that have been given, Kieran says about Conroy, “every swear word going.”

These as a quartet are all into the same type of music and have similar influences but go off in their own direction at the same time. Kieran Oakes main influence is Jack White which throughout this chat came apparent he was obsessed with him and he’s also into delta blues. Conroy says The Black Keys are their main influence at the moment then jokingly adds One Direction, well I hope it was a joke anyway. Kieran O’Reilly likes the Arctic Monkeys and Jon says Kasbian.  I asked if they find any local bands as an influence towards them, they seem to really like Fools Paradise and OK Corral. Kieran Oakes says, “If Fools Paradise, want a guitarist to play Set Me Free” this was obviously aimed at Jon. I asked if they would like to support Fools Paradise since there such admirers of them they said “yeah”.

Neon Rouge’s first gig was supporting modern 80’s new wave, alternative, indie band The English at the Underground, they said it went really well considering they didn’t know what to except. They sold all their tickets and they believe that most of the crowd was there to see them. They next gig will be 10th August at the Sugarmill supporting Troops of Mafeking. With 9 days to go they have sold out already, it’s going to be mega for them.

Image too this four piece doesn’t mean as much as the music, Jon says “Kieran cares and Conroy likes his chinos.” They all have different styles to them which I suppose is better than looking like clones.  Overall their favourite clothes shop is Topman but they love a bit of internet shopping too. If there was someone they would love to style them it would be, Kieran Oakes says, “Stella McCartney” and the whole band laugh at him and Jon says, “Alex Turner” which sounds more reasonable.

As most of them were in relationships, I asked whether they’d prefer being in with their girlfriend or gigging with the lads, they hesitated whether to answer as Kieran Oakes was scared he may get a slap but then Kieran O’Reilly added their girlfriends would attend the gigs anyway so it doesn’t matter.

Conroy said his dream venue to play would be Britannia Stadium with it being local and Kieran Oakes would love to play at Wembley supporting Jack White. If they were to support anyone past or present Kieran O’Reilly would choose The White Stripes and I think they all agreed they’d love to support The Beatles. If they were to play at Wembley their dressing room would have to included, “Beer for us and water for Johnny” Conroy says and Kieran Oakes adds, “Jaffa Cakes”.

They have in the making two EP’s titled, ‘The Element Neon Edition’ and ‘The Colour Rouge Edition’. They have a similar sound but ‘The Colour Rouge Edition’ has a much harder sound with INZIO opening it and a new song ending, ‘The Element Neon Edition’. They have made the songs have a mix of mainstream chorus and they hope that both EP’s will be released in September. Jon adds that they wanted to make a LP by putting the two EP together but that will be next year sometime, so keep your eyes peeled. I asked them if they would like an EP launch and Kieran Oakes said, “Launch is a strong word init” but you never know they might be some sort of EP releasing gig in September.

They thank their fans for supporting and people who come along to the gigs and help them sell the gigs out.

What’s their favourite cheese?
Kieran Oakes “Babybell”
Conroy “Mozzarella”
Jon “Dairylea Dunkers”
Kieran O’Reilly “Dairylea Dunkers”
These lads discussed this question in depth and in the end Kieran Oakes and Jon decided they may as well change their name to ‘All the Cheeses’.

By Lucee Clarke

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