What brought you all together?
Connor: Ben and I - Ben is the drummer - we were in jazz band together in highschool and we ended up starting this project together, The Romantic Era. We wanted to make this big pop group and envisioned a bunch of different singers and stuff so, over the years, we accumulated local talent and things like that to try and accomplish that and we finally, in the past couple years, really got that going with the four singers and the band members. Along the way we got members from playing football together with some guys in college and we actually found Christa - she's a bit younger than we are, but she went to the same highschool as we did. So, it took us a bit, but we finally got what we were looking for.
Why choose the name The Romantic Era?
Connor: Ben was in an Intro to Music course and they were learning about the different periods of music and had heard the name and just thought it was kind of a cool name, it'd be cool for a group, just because it had 'romantic' in it. We really liked what it stood for; it was kind of a period of creativity, where individuality was definitely cherished in the arts, at that point, and originality came out as something that was very important then, so that kind of stuck with us and we just thought it was fitting that it was an 'era', being that it is such a big group.
With such a large group, how does your songwriting process work?
Christa: We work very collaboratively, we just start with either someone comes up with a lyric that we really like or we just go with a beat or a hook or whatever it is, and then we just play off of that. Everyone just puts in their own ideas and we're in the studio bouncing ideas around off each other and then it just ends up growing into this song. So, we can start with something really, really simple, and then we just end up adding a bunch of stuff and we all just pool our different ideas. It's definitely a collaborative effort, there's no one person that really writes, it's all of us putting all of our ideas and our different creativity into the songwriting process. I think that's why our songs end up coming out so different than a lot of things that you hear, because there are so many different perspectives that are being pulled together into one song.
Connor: It's definitely a different vibe, having so many members. We can start, like Christa said, with just keys and the vocalist and we get a totally different song than we would if we go in the studio and have our keyboardist and drummer make an instrumental and then write to that. Just having those different perspectives and different personalities adds to the persona of what the song comes out to be.
Who would you say your musical inspirations are, individually or as a collective?
Connor: I don't know if we have any collective ones, everyone kind of has their own different past. I know, Ben's really into hardcore, Parris is really into hip hop, Christa, I don't even know what you're into.
Christa: Everything [laughs].
Connor: Yeah, I definitely had a huge influence more from performers, I was really into Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury, David Bowie; I like that era of performers. Then, I grew up really loving bands like The Used, Panic! At The Disco, Taking Back Sunday, because they were just so energetic in their live performances and even on record, but definitely, not as a band, I don't think that we can all have a cohesive one when we have this many tastes, I guess.
What's in your playlists now?
Connor: Oh, in my playlist now, man, I'm really digging Bieber's new album. I hate to say it, but I love it.
Christa: I don't hate to say it, I'm embracing it [laughs]. I love it, it's really good.
Connor: [Laughs] Yeah, he's killing, I'm really digging his stuff, Ed Sheeran's stuff, I just like him as a writer.
Christa: I've been really obsessed with Ariana Grande, definitely. That just might be the girl in me coming out, but I've been loving her.
How would you describe your sound?
Christa: It's hard to put into one genre, I guess.
Connor: We definitely do make pop music and that's, like, the basis of it, but it's definitely a fusion sound. I like to say electric pop, because it's like pop on steroids, like The Black Eyed Peas meets EDM or something. We always try to translate what we do in our live show to record and to get that really energetic feel and electric feel to it, but maintain a center around a pop vocal.
What was the inspiration for your single "Wasted Love"?
Connor: Man, "Wasted Love" is just one of those relationships that I think a lot of us experienced in the group - and I think a lot people have experienced - that's kind of toxic but you're still drawn to it. It's like love that's like an alcohol or a drug, that you get this huge euphoric feeling off of, but then it leaves you drained, totally, physically and emotionally. So, I think it's just something that a lot of us in the group had experienced so we set off lyrically that way and tried to allow the melodies and the beats to translate that whole meaning of what we wanted to say.
Christa: I think a lot of people have gone through a situation like that, so it makes it relatable for our listeners. The lyrics really tell a story that people can say, 'oh yeah, I can relate to that,' so it's more incorporated with the listeners, too.
Have you been working towards a new album or EP?
Connor: Yeah, definitely. We've got a ton of unreleased material and we've talked about packaging it and stuff like that. We're definitely going to be coming out with some more singles here and we'll see about packaging it around the corner, but we're going to keep pumping out new music and have a lot of stuff that we've been itching to get out ourselves. Not exactly sure how we're going to package it, whether we're just doing singles or if we're going to wrap it up, but it'll be coming out soon.
What do you hope listeners can take away from your music?
Connor: I think just what Christa had said with "Wasted Love", that the songs are relatable to their lives and to their relationships. That and, music's always been so fun and important to us that I think that, if someone can put a Romantic Era record on and they're having a good time with it and dancing and jumping around and getting excited from our work, that's always been important to us, to have that connection with our fans and to give them an outlet. I think that's hopefully what our music does for people and will continue to do.
Is there anything you'd like to add?
Connor: Stay tuned, keep listening, and we appreciate it.
Christa: You said it all, Connor, you said it all, man.