RockUnited.Com sent out a few questions to Robin Beck, the undisputed queen of AOR...
1. First of all, thank you for an unforgettable performance at last year's Firefest! Now that some time has passed, what are your thoughts of that particular gig and the tour that followed?
Robin: To be honest, I was so excited to be there. It had been years since I performed live for my extended family in the UK. I say it that way because it’s the UK that brought me out from background to front again.
I know I acted like a kid in a candy shop on stage but I was being me… and what a great feeling it is to be allowed to be yourself and have the love that I received on that night from everyone standing before me. I wouldn’t change a think as I think back to that event… I was in the moment and I was HAPPY, thanks to the kids who came out for the show.
2. Can we expect to see you on the European stages again anytime soon?
Robin: Just try to stop me! Even if I don’t get a tour out of this record, I will storm the stages of the world from every corner lol… I’m clearly addicted to the serge of energy. On a more serious note, I am planning a tour and I’m out with Legends a few times more this year doing the classics from TON. I will be in Stuttgart on October 3rd for a live performance that will also be on radio. I will perform 4 songs one of which will be “Wrecking Ball”, from the new cd “Underneath”.
3. Let's discuss the new album "Underneath". You've used some new songwriters and co-writers on it. How did you find these new collaborators and/or songs? A quick look at the credits would suggest that Charlie Mason is the common thread somehow...
Robin: James Christian of House Of Lords and my better half is the detective in this case. We had a hard 2 year, I won’t go into it but to say the least it was family related and health concerns were a challange. So we were falling far behind and needing to regroup once we came up for air. In effort to come out of the doom and gloom James started to reach out to other songwriters. I don’t know exactly how he found Charlie and Crush Boys… but I will tell you this! My husband is one smart cookie!!! He knew just how far to go to get what he needed for me. This is indeed what makes a great producer in fact. I can’t even tell you in words how amazing it is to have such talent in your corner. Charlie is more than a song writer and Daniel Volpe and Thomas Lipp and Barry Jay “I Swear The Nights” and Linnea Deb who co wrote “Underneath” , the title track with Charlie. I hate to leave anyone out gosh the team is huge. It’s impossible to tell you how lucky I feel and how grateful I am to be surrounded by so much talent.
4. You covered a couple of older tunes on the album, one by Fiona and another by Glen Burtnik. How did you choose these songs?
Robin: I finally have some say in what I can sing and doing “Follow You” an old favorite of mine was eminent. I always loved the song and performed it live back in the day… when I came out this last time to tour in Germany and the UK I presented it again and BAM it was well received again… I had to. It’s part of my history and induction into the music world… I was there for one of the first plays in the studio by one of Glens band members I recall… and was blown away by the song. History repeats itself… I had to do it again. Having Glen play on it was my way of saying thank you to him for having the talent to have written it in the first place. He’s amazing and took the time to give his beautiful touch to the song. Thanks Glen <3 Fiona’s song “Ain’t That Just Like Love”, was an old fav of mine. James was playing it out in the studio one day and I heard it… and said “I’m doin’ that song”! and that’s that!!! It’s a kick to be doing one of your best buds old tunes… let’s bring out all the great songs that ever were and then some. I’m not a cover type artist but sometime the songs just fit perfectly… lucky for me I call the shots lol… no main stream label would have agreed to that idea.
6. Your daughter Liv also worked on the album. Is she following on your footsteps to become a rock singer?
Robin: I don’t really know but she is highly capable of it. She’s a monster singer and actor and has the potential to be whatever she wants to in the arts. She’ll beat her own drum I feel. Lets see what happens, but whatever it is you can be sure that I will be standing by her side supporting her decision!
7. What would be the three key songs or cornerstones of the new album and why?
Robin: “Wrecking Ball” has a strong pulsing unforgettable hook to say the least. It has the strength of ten great AOR songs all in one. “Underneath” is the open part of the album that breaths passion and sensitivity beyond the song and into you. Finally I would say “Sprain”, is the darker side of the album… rounding it out and giving it depth.
8. Time for some retrospective questions... do you think that you'd still be working as a singer if "First Time" hadn't become a major hit?
Robin: Well, my career didn’t start with “FIRST TIME”, So most likely yes! Final answer… Yes!
9. Looking back, what are your thoughts on the following albums of yours:
Robin: ahhh the beginning. Working with Luther Vandross and Irene Cara on my first album was amazing… I thought I would be a soul singer then. It still haunts me.
Trouble or Nothin'
Robin: The album that changed my life. This was one of the best times in my musical career up until about 16 years ago. Nothing could touch what I did with Desmond Child and Diane Warren… The players and the whole vibe. It was a life changing experience I’ll never forget. I met Alice Cooper and Melissa Etheridge… worked with the best of the best and was a globe trotter because of it. Ahhh good times!
Robin: I have some regrets about this one but not because the album wasn’t fabulous, but the way it was produced didn’t really represent me… I was a bit lost in the fluff. Being the kind of singer that I am and person… I was easily swayed during that period. But still I do love that album and it’s a part of me, just not all of me.
Can't Get Off
Robin: This album I must say was not my favorite. I liked it but again it just didn’t really represent me… oh sure it sounds wonderful and the songs are cool, most of them… but I only loved a couple of them… however, working at Peter Gabriel’s Studio (Real world) was a trip. We had more fun than you can imagine. I’ll write a book about it someday… lots of cool people from Ginger Baker to Peter himself were about.
Robin: A slight change in direction felt like the thing I wanted most at that time. Being a new Mother with babe in arms had me on 5 rather than 10. I did however enjoy the making of this album.
Do You Miss Me
Robin: Now we’re talking… I was getting closer to where I wanted to be… this felt right.
Livin' on a Dream
Robin: Taking the reins felt great.. I think this was a kick in the pants for me to really start getting more involved in my own records and why I started my own label.
Trouble or Nothing - 20th Anniversary Edition
Robin: I am so proud of this record. It felt like the good old days… and singing them was a breeze… I was very happy.
10. Your last three albums have been released by your own label. How's life as a Record Company Excecutive? Are the demanding artists giving you a hard time? :)
Robin: Yes! That’s why with each album I am learning more and more about commitment and involvement with grace. I have never been more true to myself and that is the secret of success.
I want to thank all of my friends and fans that have stood by me through the years and never stopped believing in me. I love you all from here to the moon and back a trillion times. I hope you love the new album “Underneath”. Proud to say “It’s really me”.
Please visit my website www.robinbeckrocks.com for a listen to the new album and to find out about touring dates. If I’m in your area, I want to see you in person!
Peace and Love, Robin.
Interview by Kimmo Toivonen