Once mentored by Peter Hook, Simon Bradshaw, front man of the modern Mariachi band, Roja, has been busy at work creating a bunch of cool new musical projects. A lyrical mastermind, and musical architect, the Liverpool artist is always thinking music, that is when he’s not reaching school.
I checked in with Simon just to see what he was up to since our last conversation, and here is what resulted….
Louder than War: So since we’ve last spoken, what’s new with the band Roja?
That’s a good question. I would say that the last few months have been the most intense time for all of the members of the band that I can remember. However, none of this has anything to do with the music. Babies. Illness. Poorly relatives. Mid-life crisis. All that serious stuff that life is apparently all about. There has been nowhere near enough time for the serious business of Mariachi music. So, this single represents somewhat of a last hurrah for a while. That said I’ve a sneaky temptation to try and put out a Christmas record. There’s simply not enough Mariachi Christmas stuff out there. It’s going to be about how a henchman spends Christmas Day. Even henchmen have families right? Right? Well maybe not all of them. It’s a tough, lonely life being a henchman.
What inspired your new single?
The creaking of the door. The cold receptionist. The sweating palms. The nods of welcome. The explanation of your own abilities. The silence. The knowledge that you’re just a cog. And not a particularly important cog at that. Yet you desperately want people to employ you or be impressed by you and what your particular cog can achieve. The smell of money.
I understand that you are also working on several other projects, explain yourself?
Yeah so because everyone is busy I had to keep myself going by beginning a new musical project. I moved house and started a bit of a band. Then I began collaborating with some other singers on the recordings and I LOVED that sense of creativity and the sound of our combining voices. So it was born. The WeatheredMan Project. Songs performed with people from different countries, backgrounds and musical heritage. It’s been amazing. This has led to me blogging a bit about famous unusual duets and the tracks I’ve done will be available in October. There are loads of brilliant people on them. Aaron Paul – Pop legend. Danii Roundtree—- RnB and jazz singer extraordinaire. Trisha McTeague – Dance music superstar. LeeSun – amazing indie songstress. Kim Jennett – Metal lady supreme. Get ready folks. This one is going to be a doozy.
Will you be touring in support of your single?
Nope. Rubbish eh? We got offered one gig with 3 months notice and we still couldn’t pull anything together. We’re old you see. Stuff like jobs and families now eat our time up like hungry mice awaiting the continental cheese delivery.
If you could say anything to your fans or followers what would it be?
Stick with us. Park us in the multi-story of your memory for now. There will be more.
What’s next for Roja and Simon?
All the WeatheredMan stuff. Oh and I’m going back to school this week. I’m a teacher. I’ve just spent the day planning Maths and Reading lessons. It’s so complex to try and come up with a simple looking lesson that caters to the abilities and tastes of 30 different children. I spent 3 hours planning a lesson that will take only 45 minutes to actually teach. That is not the best use of time. I need to work smarter. Or just be smarter.
Anything you want to promote that we didn’t speak of?
No but I’d like to take this opportunity to speak to the people of New York. I’d love to come to New York. I’ve been offered shows in New York that I’d love to do. I feel like if you are asked to play in NYC, even if you live 2000 miles away as I do, then you have to find a way to make it happen. Even when you’re a dad, husband, occasional badminton player and teacher. So please download or buy the Roja stuff. Or the new WeatheredMan stuff. It’s really good. Then I can tell my wife/boss/child that it is the will of the people that I fly out to the U.S. of A. and rock like a m****rf****r. They would all totally get on board with that I’ve no doubt.