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BWW Interview: Danielle Steers Discusses Her New Album

The star of Bat Out Of Hell and Six shares the heart behind her new album of Jim Steinman songs

SIX
Danielle Steers as Catherine Parr
with the cast of Six

Danielle Steers is known for roles such as Catherine Parr in Six and Zahara in Jim Steinman's Bat Out of Hell. Steers has now released "The Future Ain't What It Used To Be", an album featuring nine Steinman songs. We spoke to Steers about her career and the inspirations behind the album.

Who inspired you growing up?

I used to listen to The Carpenters a lot. I'm a huge fan of Karen Carpenter's voice. I was also hugely inspired, and still am, by Shirley Bassey and her story.

How have you found the past year or so?

The past year has been super difficult in every way. I've seen my mum and aunty once. Not seeing my family has been really hard.

I found it challenging to get motivated a lot of the time. At one point, I felt like I didn't even want to perform any more. It's been a struggle, but I've also tried to find the positives, learn new skills and do things that would have been difficult to do if I had been working.

How did you find being part of online shows without an audience in the room such as Turn Up London and First Date last year?

Performing online is a great outlet, but it's just not the same. As performers, I think we crave the applause and the atmosphere.

Turn Up was particularly weird because we had the theatre and the lights, but there was no one there. First Date was slightly different, but it would have been fun to perform that in front of an audience to hear the reaction to the jokes etc.

I found myself watching a few musicals online during this period, and I just didn't get the buzz. I want to feel the music in my chest and get that real 4D experience. I think that's what people are missing right now.

You were also back in SIX when it reopened last year (albeit for such a cruelly short time). How did you find dealing with the constant shifts in government policy with lockdown 2.0 and London moving into Tier 3?

We were all so incredibly excited to finally get back to work and just be around other people. This was our third time at trying to open. I said I wouldn't believe it until I was on that stage performing for people.

When the news came a few weeks later, we were all devastated and thought that the turn-around would be much quicker this time. We were doing everything we could to prove that the show can indeed go on, taking all the precautions, regular COVID-19 tests and so on.

It really is heartbreaking to see our industry on pause like this with little to no financial help and no answer as to when we will be back full force.

SIX
Danielle Steers

You're now releasing an album of Jim Steinman's songs, "The Future Ain't What It Used To Be". How did this come about?

In 2017, I started rehearsals for a little show called Bat out Of Hell, which was written by the great Jim Steinman. I was very lucky to perform this show in Manchester, London, Toronto and New York.

The fans of the show are wonderful and would fly all over the world to see it. They were all so supportive (and still are to this day). I felt I wanted to give something back to them as a thank you. It's really a love letter to the Bat Out of Hell fans and a way to introduce these songs to a younger audience.

I'm also a huge Steinman fan myself. I felt if I were going to do an album, then it would be of his songs. I find some of the lyrics incredibly moving.

Did you find it difficult to whittle it down to nine songs? Do you have a favourite track?

It wasn't easy. I remember putting out a poll on social media asking for people's top Steinman songs, and that's how I came to my decision. There are a few more I would have loved to put on there - maybe next time!

I think my favourite track would have to be "Surfs Up" or "Holding Out For A Hero", which I duetted with Lauren Drew.

How did you find the process of coming up with new arrangements of these familiar songs?

My good friend Noam Galperin wrote all of my arrangements for me. I love his style, and I wanted to do something a little different with the songs.

I actually recorded the track "Safe Sex", but it just didn't sit right with me. I loved the arrangement, but I felt it was too far removed from the original so we re-did the whole thing. I know a few people won't be fans of how we have changed up the arrangements, but they're very true to me.

SIX
Danielle Steers as Catherine Parr
with the cast of Six

Any advice for your former self?

My biggest piece of advice is that you can't please everyone. Also, don't be too hard on yourself.

Any other projects you'd like to tell us about?

In March 2020, I was planning to have my album launch at the Arts Theatre in London. Due to the pandemic, it has now been moved to later this year, but I am really excited about it. Hopefully, I won't have to reschedule it again!

Of the Bat Out of Hell characters, with whom would you most (and least!) like to spend lockdown?

Ooh, I'd love to spend it with Sloane. I think she would be a great drinking buddy and up for a good laugh! And in terms of who I'd least like to be with in lockdown, it's possibly Ledoux because he'd always be working out and it would make me feel bad!

Why should people buy or stream "The Future Ain't What It Used To Be"?

People should buy my album because it's a new take on these already iconic songs. It's fun, it's sexy, and it's an easy listen. If you think you know these songs, there are some really cool arrangements to shake things up. I also poured my heart and soul into it!

"The Future Ain't What It Used To Be" is now available to purchase online

Photo credit: Eleanor Howarth

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