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…

Why I Love... Romeo Stodart interview
Photo: Niamh Murray

“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?’.”

Why I Love... Romeo Stodart interview - Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction

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.

Read more: Raising the Bar: Josh T. Pearson interview

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