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Eurovision 2020 may have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year’s entries managed to catch the whole planet’s eye once again. One of these entries is the band The Roop that would represent Lithuania in the competition with their song “On Fire”, which is one the songs that appeared in the first places of the bets.

Vaidotas Valiukevičius, Robertas Baranauskas and Mantas Banišauskas, the three members of The Roop, urge us to always be passionate and full of energy with their song, which makes even more sense especially during this difficult times for the whole world.

All three artists have started their musical careers with other music projects, but since 2014 when they were introduced to the public with their single debut “Be Mine”, The Roop has only experienced an upward trend. Following the release of two studio albums and another attempt to represent their country at the ESC in 2018, The Roop managed to make a striking impression -even under these circumstances- and convey their optimistic message to a wider audience.

But who are The Roop? What is their story and how were they formed in the first place? What are their dreams for the future and what are their next professional plans? What will eventually happen with their participation in ESC? Find out everything about this The Roop in the exclusive interview they gave to …

Hello guys and welcome to! What have you been up to these days?

Vaidotas: Currently I’m living in a little house far from cities in the woods. It’s my little getaway. Every day here I do shinrin-yoku and work on new songs.

Robertas: Hello! Well, a little bit tired from being and working from home. But otherwise I hope all things will get better soon.

Mantas: I bought a new guitar, got it safely delivered to my house. We are working on new songs, each in his own place, sharing demos between ourselves online.

Who are The Roop? How would you introduce your band to the audience and how did you meet in the first place?

Vaidotas: THE ROOP is a band of people and for people, who are eager to think and rethink.
Robertas: THE ROOP is our dream. It’s how we transform our feelings and minds to the melodies and lyrics.
Mantas: We met through a sequence of fortunate events. I knew Robertas from school days when we were starting to learn to play guitar – he invited me to the band – that’s where I met Vaidotas, and where we all started our friendship as a band.

You were selected to represent Lithuania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 before it was cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic with your song “On Fire”. Are you still representing Lithuania in ESC 2021? What’s going to happen next?

Vaidotas: We have mixed feelings about it. There is a plenty of time to understand whether we want to participate in ESC 2021.
Robertas: It’s sad period of time for many people. And at the moment we don’t know if we will represent Lithuania in ESC 2021. On the other hand, “On fire” is living in many people’s hearts, so it’s the most important thing in my opinion.
Mantas: Next year Lithuania will hold a new selection to choose ESC 2021 representatives. We do not know whether we will be participating in it, it’s way too early to decide.

This was your third attempt to represent Lithuania in the contest, right? What was so special about “On Fire” that gave you the “ticket” to the contest than your previous entries? Was it a fair call for you?

Vaidotas: This was the second time. Talking about “On Fire”, from the very start I felt that we had an international hit. But I can’t tell what exactly gave me that kind of thought.
Robertas: Yes, it was second time for THE ROOP. “On fire” has all what is needed to get “the ticket”: melodies, beat, stunning dance moves and of course strong lyrics with message.
Mantas: Looking back at our entry in 2018 we were not as ready as we were this year. Something was missing and even though “Yes, I Do” was a strong song, we did not convince people completely. “On Fire”, however, had a full package.

“On Fire” is still one of the Top5 songs in the bets! Despite the cancellation of ESC 2020 did you believe it would be so popular to the audience?

Vaidotas: Yes, I had that feeling.
Robertas: I had no doubts.
Mantas: I did not think about it, I went into this believing that the song is good. Whatever happened next, happened for a reason.

How was this song written? What was your inspiration and what’s the story behind it?

Vaidotas: If you heard the first demo version of this song, you wouldn’t believe that this is the same “On Fire”. We had around 5 versions and had been working on this song since March of 2019. The final version was completed only on December.
Robertas: It was written with passion.
Mantas: It was a difficult process, we did have many versions of it, and it didn’t come together easily at first. But when we had the final version, we knew it was good.

Were there any other songs in this year’s participations that you liked and felt like a “threat” to yours?

Vaidotas: I liked Iceland, Romania…
Robertas: I like Iceland’s and Hungary songs.
Mantas: I loved Iceland!

Are you fans of the contest? Which are your favorite Eurovision songs of all time?

Vaidotas: I still really like Salvador Sobral. He’s unique.
Robertas: For me it’s ABBA’s “Waterloo”.
Mantas: I wouldn’t say I am a big fan of the contest, but I always watch at least the final show. My favorite song would be Lena’s “Satellite”.

If you had the chance to collaborate with one of your favorite artists (not Eurovision entry necessarily), who would you choose and why?

Vaidotas: My choices would be very different: Salvador Sobral, Billie Eilish, Angus and Julia Stone.
Robertas: I have three favorite artists at the moment. It’s Billie Eilish, THE Weeknd and Coldplay. Because I just like their songs.
Mantas: Even though it is impossible, Freddie Mercury, because he was one of his kind.

What is your biggest dream in your musical career?

Vaidotas: To be able to connect all the nations through the music and to let everyone understand that we are one.
Robertas: I just want to create music, play it for people and feel great doing this.
Mantas: Performing on the big stage in ESC would’ve been a memorable highlight and a step up in my musical career. Biggest dream might be playing a sold-out stadium.

What are your next professional steps? Should we expect new music from The Roop any time soon?

Vaidotas: Of course! We are working on that!
Robertas: Yep, you should expect new music from us soon. It’s gonna happen 🙂
Mantas: We are taking this time when we are forced to sit at home to create new material, and we cannot wait to show it to everyone.

What is your motto in life and what is your message to all the fans out there?

Vaidotas: My motto is: If there is a wish, then opportunities will arise. My message is: Everything is just waves. If you’re at the bottom of the wave, know that you will just get up soon. Because everything is rippling and everything is constantly changing.
Robertas: Don’t stop dreaming. Stay safe, take care. Don’t stop loving.
Mantas: Everything is possible.

Interview: Thodoris Kolliopoulos

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