Magic Numbers’ singer and guitarist Romeo Stodart tells Why Vinyl Matters author Jennifer Otter Bickerdike about his first vinyl love – and how the LP he obsessed over helped define the spirit of his band…
“My first vinyl memory actually was in Trinidad And Tobago in the Caribbean, where my sister (fellow Magic Numbers member Michele Stodart) and I grew up. I went halves with a friend on buying Appetite For Destruction by Guns N’ Roses. That was the first record I ever purchased; we used to share it. For me, music doesn’t really exist unless it’s on vinyl. As a band, we’ve always done every single on 7″. But my initial introduction to rock ’n’ roll was through Guns N’ Roses and other heavy metal that was shown on a speciality show on MTV, called Headbangers Ball.
“At the time, there was mainly just reggae around (though my uncle was into country), so I really wasn’t exposed to anything other than that for the first part of my life. I remember going around to this friend’s house one day, and he somehow had access to this new show I’d never seen. I was about 10 or 11 years old. We just sat there in awe. There were a bunch of videos from all different bands; but then Guns N’ Roses came on with Sweet Child O’ Mine. We were like: ‘What the hell is this?’.”
Sweet Record O’Mine
“We became desperate to get hold of our own copies of the LP. I think my friend finally found it being sold in this little record store – rock records seemed kind of a rare thing then. We went into the shop, wanting to each take one home. Between the two of us, I think we had just the right amount of money for a copy, so we went in on it together; it was pretty expensive, a big purchase for two kids. We would each have it for a couple days, then swap over. In the end, I just made a cassette for him and said: ‘Go on your way, I’m keeping the vinyl!’. But in the beginning, sometimes he would have the actual record, I would just have the sleeve. I would just look at it and fantasise about the band, check out the sleevenotes and pictures. I wanted to be Slash.
“The front cover was actually pretty naughty. I grew up in a religious home – we were raised Catholic – and because of the cross and the skulls on the front, my parents were like: ‘What kind of thing is this? Is this satanic?’. I was like: ‘No, that’s to come, mum’, as I was getting into Slayer and Napalm Death and Cannibal Corpse and all those metal bands. I still love those records, especially Guns N’ Roses, to this day.
“Honestly, if you were on our tourbus or in the van going around with us, I guarantee you we will be cranking G N’ R. That period of music is honestly in our DNA; that rock ’n’ roll gang spirit. In a mad way, we still carry that on within the group.”
The Magic Numbers’ latest album, Outsiders, is out now on Role Play.