Romeo's Dead

San Francisco's Romeo's Dead have recently released their debutalbum "It's all your fault". Glitzine had a dirt talk with bassist Jayson James.

Romeo is dead. He fall flat on his head. Sometimes, I wonder what the world would look like if Juliet's balcony hadn't been that slippery that night. I believeRomeo died sometime during the 1980's, the decade of innocence. Ten years later, four punks emerge out of the Bay area of San Francisco, once known for bands such as Sea Hags, Jetboy and Vain. The guys in Romeo's Dead are certain of Romeo's condition (dead that is). Actually their bandname put them in different file than the usual cock-rock cliché's. A good move since that scene sometimes tend to be incestuous and as progressive as republican politicians.

It was the coolest name we were thinking about. People read into it what they want. We just wanted a cool name that people will remember and I think we have that. Were happy with it.

There certainly is a point in choosing a name that isn't too over-the-top glamourous in any direction. Romeo's Dead has put out one demotape and one vinylsingle. Their first fourtrack demotape was an impressive one eventhough it wasn't as tight and mature as their later recordings. Their vinylsingle - featuring "So Far" and "Four" - earned nine out of ten points in Glitzine with the motivation "San Francisco's finest do everything right on their path to stardom... Catchy, crunchy and totally irresistible." Releasing a vinylsingle is totally old-school but not a natural thing anymore at least not among glitterpunk bands.

Well basically the single was put out because we knew it was gonna be thefirst single off the CD and people were pressing us to have some merchandise that they could buy and listen too. So Far and Four were pretty much done so we finished em up and released it on vinyl... I guess also, cuz it was the cool punk rock thing to do. We stole the idea from D-Gen, they did that with there first record so we figured "what the hell". We actually got great feedback from it. It kinda paved the way for0distributors and stuff cuz once the full length came out people already knew what we were about and wouldn't be wasting their dollars..... get it??

"It's all Your Fault" is Romeo's Dead's long-awaited debutCD. It's a more addictive than heroin or GoGo girls and the stickiest thing since Juice fruit. The Four Cupido's in Romeo's Dead aim for your heart and they are some sharpshooters. Everyone young at heart and whose eyes still twinkling in the neon lights, better beware. You are on their hitlist! "It's all your fault" is simply a major album.

It's a giant accomplishment. Its not just the first Romeo's Dead CD. Its everyone's first CD, ya know and its something we have all dreamed of sincewe were kids. The greatest thing I think is that we did it all ourselves with no ones help. We paid for everything, we recorded everything, and we had it pressed. No one held our hand. It was 100% Romeo's every step of the way. We couldn't be happier with the CD and the way it turned out. The responses we have gotten have been great. Our expectations were Just to finish the record sober cuz once were hammered, we play like´shit... ha ha ha. But really, we just wanted to make a great record with great songs and we did that. We tried to portray how the band is live on the CD. We came pretty close but you can never duplicate live ya know?? But at least on the CD we all stop at the same time on the CD. ha ha ha

The Band has progressed in several aspects. Zane Smith has developed into bonafide star with poppunk pipes not heard since Johnny Holiday. He has always had more attitude than most but his voice was a bit flat on the their first demo. He shines on "It's all your fault". Basstard Jayson James screams better than ever and adds background vocals in the right places. All in all, Romeo's Dead anno 1999 is a supertight unit of four different personalities.

Well, my friend AdamX from the Lustkillers described us like this: Zane is the star, Jayson's the brain, The Kid is brawn, and Forry is the glue that holds it all together. I've always liked that comparison. But everyone in this band is still their own individual ya know? The reason why this band will survive where other bands fail is because of our deep friendships... We are all the best of friends and that is sooooo important. We spend holidays together and are always hanging out with each other and that kind of stuff really comes across live and stuff. I've seen so many bands that after they are done playing just go their separate ways cuz they really hate each other and that kinda shit aint gonna make it. Were in this as friends and as a band.

God, I wish this guys never grow up (or at least never grow old!) and learn how to play!  "It's all your fault" is produced by Davy Vain. The Rockicon and brain behind Vain - one of the greatest band to ever enter the scene of sin. As far as I know, this is the first album Davy Vain has produced in quite some time. It must have been a boost for a new young band to work with such an experienced individual such as Davy Vain.

Davy is a gas. No one has better stories about the Rock N Roll life than Davy Vain. Working with him on this record was killer. No pressure or nothing. Some guys you go into the studio with try to change stuff and add their opinions and stuff and that's not Davy. He let us be Romeo's Dead. Although, if something sounded like shit, he would damn sure tell ya, and quick. And Davy knows his way around the control room. He's no slacker. He is a "tone head", he knows the tones you want and gets em. That's why our record sounds so killer. We plan on working with him on future stuff as well!

The sound on "It's all your fault" is totally 90's. Catchy but aggressive. Pretty much like a really strong cocktail, sweet but you can taste the booze. More important, it gets you drunk like hell. I still haven't made up my mind about the front cover though. It took some time before I realized what it actually was - two persons, one is biting the others tongue.

Well the front cover is a pretty funny story. It was Halloween last year and wewere in San Diego. We were all high on X actually when that photo was taken. It was me, Zane, Alcia and Victor (from Simon Stinger - another kick ass San Francisco band), my girlfriend Steph, and another friend named Nikki. The cover is Alicia and Nikki. - Nikki is the one with the tongue stud- and let me tell you. I took that photo and it was total fun. I mean watching two girls is always fun right?

It's a funny pic but a bit plotter. Anyway nuff nonsense. The albums opens symptomatically with "IDon'tWannaHearAnyLOveSongsToday", as if you believed that a band named Romeo's Dead were into lovesongs? "X-Girlfriends & Insomnia" and "Addicted to your style" should score as singles... but they won't be released as 7". Not in the near future though.

Pelado Records is putting out a split 7 inch vinyl with us and a band called The Burdens (who ROCK). The songs from us are "Off the World" and "Nothin's Gonna Kill You". But after that, we will see. We would love to do a video, so anyone who wants to shoot should let us know.

"Off the world and "Nothin's gonna kill ya" are good songs but far from the strongest songs on the album. Maybe the Romeo's are flirtin' with the punkscene as the two are the most aggressive one the album. Actually, the first eight songs on the album are hits. Punkpop with glitter, humor and attitude. Does songswriting come naturally to Romeo's Dead?

Totally natural. Someone will come in with a riff or Zane will come in with some lyrics or a melody line and we all change it to make it Romeo's Dead. Zane though writes pretty much all of the lyrics except once in awhile the Kid will throw in a song like Off The World. But Forry and I are lyrically challenged. ha ha ha. We have always felt that everyone should write so it stays 100% Romeo's Dead. We are what we are.

"It's all your fault" is one of the best albums I have ever reviewed in Glitzine and easily the best album of 99. If 99 will give me anymore albums like this, I don't want the millenium to end. If you buy one album this year, Romeo's dead should be very high on your list. Get your own copy from

Visit Romeo's Dead's Website