The King of Scotland: Getting to know Romeo Taylor

Savage Mansion's Craig Angus gets up close and personal with former bandmate Romeo Taylor ahead of Taylor's new single The Kingdom of Scotland on Lost Map Records

Feature by Craig Angus | 27 Jun 2019
  • Romeo Taylor at Howlin' Fling

Romeo Taylor is the natural meeting point between Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Gary Rhodes and World Wrestling Entertainment’s beloved 'Attitude Era', making a mockery of the idea that in music, everything's been done before and we’re just repeating ourselves. The Coatbridge native is making quite a name for himself with an astonishing live show that demonstrates both his accomplished songcraft and comedic sensibilities.

A cross-platform entertainer, he 'reviews' burgers, makes omelettes with John Smiths beer and has a penchant for making nightmarish short films and surreal sketches. New single The Kingdom of Scotland was the hit of the festival at Lost Map’s Howlin’ Fling, and is the first release by Pictish Trail’s label that you would file under 'happy hardcore'. This summer he opened for Mac DeMarco at the Kelvingrove Bandstand, will blow minds at Doune the Rabbit Hole and live tweet from the toilet. What goes on in your mind, Romeo?

Craig Angus: Hi, young man. How are you today?
Romeo Taylor: I slept in today and just woke from a nightmare where a nasty guy in a shop stopped me from buying a cool Del Boy-style jacket for £5 by pretending he wanted to buy it, then he never actually bought it. Just stood holding it 'til I left. I'm good apart from this!

CA: Tell us a little about your life up until this point?
RT: I grew up in Airdrie and Coatbridge. The first house I lived in was once Fred West's girlfriend’s house on Beechwood Drive. When I was young, I loved The Matrix, making films and WWE. Now, I love The Matrix, making 'films' and the prospect of AEW. I've been lucky in that, when I was young, my mum and dad always let me do what I want. No pressure to become a lawyer or something shite like that, just happy for me to live my life happily and try to get rich in unrealistic ways instead.

I've been playing in bands since I was in high school; my first band Laws of Alchemy played grime-influenced nu-metal. I still play in bands, mainly Herbert Powell and Rapid Tan, and of course we played together in Savage Mansion, but at the moment Romeo Taylor is my main thing.

CA: Congratulations on The Kingdom of Scotland – an extremely addictive romp of a song. Is it a political statement? Could this be your pro-independence anthem much like Gerry Cinnamon's Hope Over Fear?
RT: It would be really cool to me if it became a pro-independence anthem. I'm very much pro-independence, as most, if not all of the younger people I know are at this point and have been since we were old enough to know what it meant. Obviously the words of the tune itself don't really touch on the matter, but it's not about what I say... it's about what the people FEEL! I love Scotland and I want what's best for Scotland. We simply need independence ASAP or else!

CA: With the previous question in mind; when you inevitably headline Hampden Park in 2022 what will you ask for on your rider?
RT: 2022!? A bit pessimistic! I was thinking 2021…

– 2x Twix Multipack (delicious)
– 20g bag of whatever mad future ganja is in vogue in 2021 (IF LEGAL)
– 4x 2 litre bottles of original Mountain Dew (will have to be imported as we currently don't sell 2 litre bottles in UK)
– Big bag of Tyrrells Veg Crisps (English but good)
– Cheeseburgers (2 Whoppers and 2 Big Macs)

CA: Where in the Kingdom of Scotland is your favourite place?
RT: The Isle of Eigg. I have been to Eigg three times now and it's definitely the first place I think of. It's a mad wee island full of dead nice folk and extremely confident children who absolutely tore me to shreds for having a bad haircut at this year's Howlin’ Fling [one Lewis Capaldi comparison too many led our subject to give himself a homemade mullet]. It's a beautiful and peaceful place and I would one day like to live there, once I'm rich and fed up with the city slicker life. I love it!

CA: Along with your music, your food-based videos have a cult following online. So, you are having a dinner party and can invite three people. Who do you ask and what would you rustle up? I hope it’s not an egg-based dish...
RT: I would make Buffalo wings (using the deep fat fryer my wee sister got me) and 'Taylor style' cheeseburgers – which are just trendy smash burgers I copied from YouTube – and chips. The guests I would invite are Bob Pollard from Guided by Voices, my music hero! I would just let him talk for as long as possible, I would probably annoy him with all the questions I have. I would ask him to teach me to write songs as good as he does, and he would be like 'I can't teach you!' This man loves pints, I would love to see what he thinks of Belhaven Best.

Limmy, my comedy hero! Simply put, I have – for most of my life – thought Limmy was the funniest person alive. My cousin Ciar showed me his website when I was about eight, and everything I saw from him onwards really shaped my sense of humour and had a massive influence over everything I've done since then. [And] Super Mario. What else can be said about this wee guy other than he's a legend. Would love to share a burger and chips with the guy... who wouldn't!?

Kingdom of Scotland is released on 28 Jun via Lost Map Records
Romeo Taylor plays The Hug & Pint, Glasgow, 28 Jun; Doune the Rabbit Hole, Cardross Estate, Port of Menteith, Stirling, 20 Jul