Born and bred in Melbourne, Royal East arrived on the scene with persuasive party-rock energy and an insatiable desire to share it. The dynamic four-piece released their lead single “Say Hey” on debut EP ‘First’ in 2017. Featuring the band’s unique brand of high-energy indie-rock, the EP infuses influences from the likes of Northeast Party House, Arctic Monkeys and Foals.
Now they are back this year with their tasty new single ‘Gin’. To celebrate the new track, we had a chat with Royal East to find out about ‘Gin’ and everything else they have going on at the moment.
Hey guys, thanks for chatting to Forte! First up can you introduce the band to our readers and tell us how you became to be?
We’re just a bunch of really good mates who are one step away from putting a ring on it. Pat and Frase were introduced to each other during their high school years by their sisters. Their friendship was quick to blossom, and a binding promise to one day form a band was made. Years later, the pair met Tom at uni and the beginnings of a band was created. We spent most of our time between classes chatting music and having a jam. We met our beat master, Nick, on the Melbourne gig circuit, somewhere between Grumpy’s and the late, Public Bar (rest its poor soul, our first ever rider). We’ve played together for the last four years but from late 2017 we really up’d the ante with a new writing method, more equipment and studio time penciled in before the end of the year. We’re always keen for a good time and we make sure it comes through in our music.
And how about your sound – a unique brand of dynamic indie/pop – can you tell us about it?
We’re finding a lot of joy in the pop genre. We’re attracted to the sound palette, giving us plenty of scope to play with brightness and depth of sound; we’re into rhythms that encourage movement; and we always like a vocal line that encourages people to sing with us. Royal East is heavily influenced by the enormous breadth of talent in the Australian and UK music scenes. We’re pretty band-obsessed ourselves. Within the band, we’re always sharing music that immediately captures our attention, yet continues to reveal itself the more times we listen. That’s the kind of music that Royal East hopes to offer listeners: a sound that inspires their joie de vivre and makes you want to move, but speaks to human experience as you continue to listen.
Gaining a fair bit of momentum and having already supported the likes of Jack River, Didirri, Illuka, Woody Pitney & Fripps + Fripps, where do you hope to take your music within the next few years??
Those musicians have been inspiring to us. They’ve given us true insight into professional musicianship and its only made us hungrier! What they taught us is your hobby will stay your hobby if you treat it like that, if you want progression, treat your hobby like a job or uni. With that mantra, we hope that every show and every release will just get a little bit bigger, and as long as we’re meeting new people along the way, and our network grows, so will our ability to create better music, then the music will look after us.
What/who are some of your main musical influences for the Royal East sound?
As a group we’re heavily influenced by bands within the pop and indie genre. Particular bands that come to mind are The Jungle Giants and The 1975. We love the combination of bouncy beats and ambient soundscapes. As individuals, our musical influences are incredibly diverse, and each of us provide our own flair to the story. Tom takes a lot of his influence from 00s Britrock and Garage, with a special highlight to Arctic Monkeys. Fraser is heavily influenced by stadium rock, from the blues anthems of Led Zeppelin to the crunchy anthems of Muse. Nick provides a sparkle from his love for dance tracks and electronic music, with the likes of The Presets and Luke Million as influences. Pat is very true to his Australian music, and has always carried the smooth melodies and rich storytelling of Gangs of Youth and Matt Corby close to his heart.
Congrats on the release of your single Gin. Tell us about the creation process of that one? Do you all collaborate on songwriting?
“Gin” is an emotionally fuelled cocktail of excitement, nervousness and conflict. We’re a very collaborative band as far as songwriting is concerned. When Frase conjured up the riff, we played around with a few different vocal lines, but it wasn’t until we overlaid the riff with this particular vocal narrative that it really came together. “Gin” captures a collection of emotions that felt important to share – memories, thoughts and experiences – but the narrative alone can’t create the soundscape that we were trying to create. Beneath the bright vocal cuts are some rich syncopated rhythms, glossy synth hits and a consistent tempo to keep us on track.
So, the pink robes, marshmallows and slippers in the video clip are amazing. Is there a hidden meaning or backstory to the video, who came up with it? How were you all feeling with wearing the pink robes?
Thanks so much for chatting.
After some interesting, collective soul-searching exercises in the bandroom, Total Giovanni videos on repeat, and a budget predominantly spent on the pinkest, fluffiest, dressing gowns, the clip for “Gin” was born. We had a vision for something fun and stylistic, that combined with the extraordinary director, Giulia McGauran, made the visuals for ‘Gin’. We wore the gowns for our latest gig too, no regrets.
To finish up, what comes next for Royal East?
New music! We are putting most of our time into writing at the moment. Our plan is to get back into the studio before Christmas to record two new singles, and they’ll be a bunch of gigs along the way that are unannounced as yet!
Check them out on Facebook here.