Tuesday, November 12, 2013

{INTERVIEW} the royal concept

TIOJ recently fulfilled a blog-dream and got to chat with the ruggedly handsome Swedes from The Royal Concept. Read ahead as we chat about the band's name change and tour schedule -- while learning that "prostitution visas" are a thing that exists (and that the band may or may not have stamped in their passports)...

Listen while you read:

Tell us about yourselves! How did you guys meet and decide to start making music together?
We are The Royal Concept, a band consisting of four Swedish guys in desperate search for new experiences in life. To us, the only chance to travel all around the world was to start playing in a band cause we're absolutely terrible at any other job. Music is the only thing we know, so therefore... here we are!

Photo by Connie Ha

What is your songwriting process like? Where do you find inspiration?
We read a lot of books, watch movies, and listen to music. We try to find inspiration in almost everything and the most important thing is that you don't wait for inspiration to come. We write music almost everyday, and most of it is just really bad but sometimes you hit right.

How would you describe your music to someone who's never heard it before? 
Most songs have a happy vibe and are danceable. We like to spread joy. Come and watch us!

Click ahead for more from the band!

Last year you upgraded your name from The Concept to The Royal Concept -- what prompted that change? (Please tell us there was a coronation party!)
Yeah, we baptized the band "The Royal Concept" live in Swedish Radio. During a live show we surprised everyone by adding "Royal" to our name and gave people free beer to celebrate. The reason why we had to do it was that there was another American band called "The Concept," and we really didn't like their songs so we didn't want people to mix us up. So now we're The Royal Concept and The Concept exists somewhere in North America and we wish them the best of luck.

You just released an EP, Royal EP. What was that process like?
We wrote two of the songs ("Shut The World" and "On Our Way") while we were stranded in a tour bus in Pittsburgh. It was during Hurricane Sandy so we had to cancel a couple of shows -- we couldn't go anywhere really. We recorded all the songs in our basement back in Stockholm. It's a really shitty studio, if you're even allowed to call it a studio. But somehow it works fine for us and we can spend as much time as we want in there, instead of renting expensive studios by the hour and technicians that have to "be home by 9." All you need is a mic and a computer, and everything is possible.

What are you most looking forward to on this upcoming tour?
Meet all the nice people. Americans are absolutely fantastic in socializing and we love to spend time over there. People are nice and they like to tell stories. Since we're just as shy as the rest of the Swedish people it's very comfortable to hang out with people that take the initiative all the time. [case in point] Then we can just go with the flow and still experience crazy stuff. We also look forward to seeing the North American fall turn into winter... and, of course, to play all the shows. That's what we love the most, but I guess you could've guessed that.

Tell us about one of your weirdest or craziest experiences on tour so far!
There are so many. When we played a show in Beirut we had "prostitution visas" because they were out of artist visas. People looked at us in the weirdest way at the customs...

The Hurricane Sandy was also really wicked because we basically got stranded in Pittsburgh for four days. Then they opened the roads again and we wanted to make it so bad to our NYC show -- so we drove the whole night but were not allowed to drive the bus into the city. Also, the venue was completely full of water.

So we changed the venue to another dry one and took like 10 yellow cabs and filled them with all the equipment -- and we actually made it to the show. The electricity in lower Manhattan was lost, though, so it was a really crazy feeling to drive a caravan of ten cabs through a Ghost Town Manhattan. But people made it to the show, and it was great!

Who would be your dream musician to collaborate with? What is one song that we need to add to our iPods right now?
If I get to sing a duet with Joni Mitchell, I'm gonna die happy. Also... if Mr. McCartney is free, he's more than welcome to produce our next album. You should all add the song "A Case Of You" by Joni Mitchell from her album Both Sides Now. It's simply the most beautiful record ever made.

What can we look forward to from you guys coming up in the near future?
We won't leave you, that¹s all I can say for now!

In love with these boys yet? Be sure to check them on their US tour -- they'll be playing in DC November 18 at Sixth & I, come dance with us! (Not in DC? Check out the rest of the tour dates here.)

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