Underneath This recently enjoyed interviewing Royale [the band]. Please read some more about them before checking out the subsequent interview.
We are Alex, Eli, Keenan, and Zach of Royale [the band], an indie rock group that came together at Northeastern University in early 2012. All of us love communicating and connecting through music, and we contribute our widely varying influences and multi-instrumental talents to all of our original songs. After releasing our EP “Long Gone” in December of 2013, we moved into a run down apartment and melded it into our own home studio. Here, we are able to record, write, and hone our style and skills daily, which we hope to showcase on our new material coming out soon!
Please describe your path to becoming musicians.
We have all taken very different paths to becoming musicians and, from this, have been able to bring a variety of experiences to the table. We have each in our own right performed in marching bands, jazz bands, choir groups, embarrassing (read: awesome) high school rock bands, etc. We have listened to and appreciate most genres available to human ears today. Except the Hamster Dance. Peanut Butter Jelly Time was great though.
Who and what have been your primary creative influences?
Musical influences for us include The Strokes, Young the Giant, Vampire Weekend, Deer Tick, St. Vincent, Lucius, Phox, and plenty more from all sorts of genres. Also, we found this new thing called the “Internet”, and we get lots of creative influence from there.
Your style has been described as energetic indie rock. What do you make of this designation?
Some musicians might be thrown into a funk by that designation, but we are completely jazzed. As long as we don’t have a bad rap, our folks will be pleased. I mean, consider the alternative…we could have been labeled energetic indie roll!
We enjoy that designation, and any genre designation from listeners, more than we enjoy self-naming our own genre. We think genres like “indie” and “rock” are a little cookie-cutter these days, so we have always been hesitant to call ourselves that, though we realize the merit of advertising within a genre. All in all, it is more important to us that listeners appreciate our music than know what to describe us as.
What is it like performing live? What was your most recent show like at Phoenix Landing in Cambridge?
Performing live is a thrill for any musician. For us, it is a chance to add our personalities, a visual element, and (sometimes free) beer to the music that we spend a good chunk of time writing and arranging. The Phoenix Landing show was excellent; we were at the end of a run of shows, so we felt really on point and comfortable. We also got to hang out with our pals from The Murdock Manor Presents, saw some cool music from Brazil – music, and were gifted half of a hand-rolled cigarette delivered in an otherwise empty American Spirits box.
It seems unfortunately rare for male bands to cover songs by female artists and work with female musicians. Why do you think that is?
Musicians, like anyone else, have comfort zones in terms of how they perform and communicate. It’s possible that many dudes are drawn to other dudes’ music because it lies in their comfort zone or singing range, hopefully not because they think dudettes’ music isn’t worth covering. Awesome female musicians like Gabriela Quintero have definitely squashed any doubt that women can hold their own in the musical arena.
What was it like working with Anjimile on the song “Can’t Seem to Leave?”
Anjimile is one of the most talented singer/songwriters we have ever heard, let alone worked with, so that experience was quite lavish. We met up with Anji in an empty staircase, taught her the song, and recorded it live on the spot. This happened right before the final take and is probably the best summary of that experience.
What are you up to when you are not creating music?
When we aren’t creating music, we are attempting to. Frequent musical guests in our efforts are a banjo, a didgeridoo, and the ~mystical power of imagination~.
On what projects are you working on next? Is there another record in the works?
Right now we are in the middle of recording a few brand new singles, and we are also writing new songs. We hope to release singles throughout this year as we refine our songwriting and recording process, and then we plan to work on a full length album.
What feedback do you have for aspiring musicians?
People often tell you that becoming great at anything, including music, requires a lot of hard work. However, we have found that if you surround yourself with your passion and people who share your passion, everything will seem less like hard work and more like a kickass, rewarding lifestyle.