Sunday, 19 August 2012 — 20:00h
Live: IRIS ROMEN
at the Restaurant
As IRIS was a little child, her parents and she listened to Queen, Dire Straights, Alan Parsons, Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte and Herman Von Veen.
Somehow, IRIS was already by then convinced by the little voice that whispered to her, that she were to be a singer.
Later, in the early 1990s, IRIS becomes a songwriting grunge girl, weaponed with a cheap electric guitar WITH the obligatory distortion effect pedal.
As she finishes school, all she wants is to make music and decides to attend Music Academy in her home town Maastricht to study jazz singing. Besides working at the local super market,
she starts to make money singing.
Soon, she finds out that her heart goes out to the vintage styles in jazz (both swing and latin), rather then to modern styles.
Through her beloved classical teacher, she learns also about the music of Kurt Weil, Paul Dessau, Hans Eissler and the literatural works of Berthold Brecht that move her deeply.
Soon after finishing her studies, she starts playing the Upright Bass (finally she convinces herself that she does not out herself as a pervert by doing that, as she used to tell herself).
Her inspirations are Cachao and Cachaíto Lopez and Marshall Grand, Johnny Cash' bassplayer during the early years of his career.
From the money she makes on her trips to Tanzania and Peru, singing for the Dutch Ambassies, she travels to Cuba twice, in search for the roots of Cuban music (son, charanga, bolero, chachacha,
Ballhaus I - Schlager
In 2004, IRIS comes to live in Berlin, where the brand new owners of the famous Clärchens Ballhaus ask her to form and lead a band for the Saturday Nights – playing Schlager.
A whole new thing for her, but she enjoys exploring the old Schlager songs (untill early 60s), working with ballroom styles with a 50s sound, as Swing, Wiener Walzer, Tango,
Chachacha, Samba, Rhumba, Surf, Rock'n'Roll (and many more), that she loves very much. The band becomes after a while successful and also starts playing in other occasions and
Ballhauses, in- and outside of Berlin.
Ballhaus II – Spiegelsaal
Meanwhile, on the first floor of that same house.. In the (since 1930 for the first time and hardly renovated) Spiegelsaal (Mirrorroom) of Clärchens Ballhaus, an exclusive and rare location
in the very center of the formal East Berlin, IRIS gets the chance to do a series of concerts, in which she goes wild with the full range of her musical interests and experiences so far, with various
musical guests accompanying her.
So the theme of the evening would reach from Berthold Brecht to Johnny Cash, from Cuban music to Schlager, from Swing to Chanson).
Singing on the Sunday Jazz nights at Berlin's beloved Rock'n'Roll & kult location White Trash Restaurant, IRIS gets into contact with legendary Rock'n'Roll iconTrinity Sarratt, a (born and raised
in San Francisco, based in Berlin), and they come talk about Country Music. They soon find out their common interest and that it might be a good idea if IRIS joins her just-being-formed
All-Gal-Country-Band The Runaway Brides, to play the upright bass and sing.
This is now 6 years ago and they are still writing for and playing and singing in this band with the Californian April Walz as the main composer and lead singer.
2008 IRIS' son JoaQuin is born. And as a single mom, still going straight as a musician as well, she decides, that, now that she has to „do it all on her own“, she can take over the band-part on stage as
well, and although her experience on playing a key-instrument on stage is by that time more than poor, she decides to start singing and playing Fender Rhodes and Upright Bass by herself on stage for the
next time, at least at the White Trash Restaurant.
2010 On a tribute concert to Johnny Cash' death day (12th of September, which is also her son's JoaQuins birthday), IRIS is invited to sing June Carter's guest part with Johnny Trouble (from Stuttgart),
a Country and Western Swing orientated band around singer and songwriter Johnny Bluth, who partly dedicates his music to Johnny Cash.
That same night in a hotel in Regensburg, they both fall in love deeply with eachother – both personally and creatively - and not much has changed here ever since.
They started recording and producing together IRIS' first solo album at Johnny's recording studio near Stuttgart, which ich going to be released by Kosmo Music in mid 2012.
Currently, IRIS is still living in Berlin, finishing the work around her first solo album's release.
She is still playing solo but will soon work with a new band as well.
Writing songs, in all kinds of styles as well as crossovers, is a central point in her creative life, not only for her solo career but also for The Runaway Brides.
She enjoys playing in both settings and the broad variety of locations and circumstances that both projects involve.