INTERVIEW: ROYAL REPUBLIC

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Royal Republic
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Am 31.5. veröffentlichen Royal Republic ihr viertes Album Club Majesty. Wir haben die Band in Hamburg getroffen um über das Album, die Tour und viele andere Themen zu sprechen.

FS: Thanks for having us! To start off and to secure myself, I want to know what the most unpopular question is to ask you in an interview?

ADAM: The most frowned upon questions that we get, which we always try and answer… still are, when people show up and they don’t really know. Like they don’t know what they’re doing there and they ask stuff like:“If you had to go to an island and you could only bring one thing…“ and I go like, well, yeah… Or:“What’s your favourite color?“

HANNES: It’s such a useless question. Seriously. Even if you are a hardcore-fan. Why would you wanna know that stuff?

ADAM: If I met Paul McCartney I wouldn’t go…

HANNES: …What’s your favourite color? 

ADAM: That’s what all my friends are dying for to know. What Paul McCartney’s favourite color is. 

FS: That’s good, I think I don’t have any of these questions on my list. If so, please correct me. 

ADAM: If you do that, we’ll be like:“What’s that?“ (Zeigt mit dem Finger in eine Richtung) And you turn around and we’ll be gone (lacht).

FS: In case a friend doesn’t know Royal Republic. Which song should I show him?

ADAM: Fireman And Dancer. 

FS: That was quick!

ADAM: That’s no hesitation or whatsoever. 

FS: Ok. Why?

ADAM: I think it’s very representitive about the stuff, about the new album that we’re putting out. I think it’s the epicenter of our sound, of our idea of what we are. It has the drive, the energy, the bounciness, the rock, the disco.

HANNES: Every album has one of these songs, that the rest of the album is kind of centered around. For this album it’s definitely Firemen And Dancer. On Weekend Man it was When I see you dance with another.  

FS: What does a typical tourday look like?

ADAM: On the show tour or the Promo tour?

FS: On both.

ADAM: On these days it’s pretty much like, we’re doing twenty five interviews or something. 

FS: Oh I’m sorry. (lacht)

ADAM: No, you are the first guy today, so we’re really fresh! We’re good. We’re rested and fresh, we just had a shower and breakfast. So right know we’re basically meeting people. Meeting the press, meeting a couple of fans every night, that we invite to listen to the whole album. It’s been really cool. Traveling around Europe, to some of our favourite cities, like London, Amsterdam, Prague, Berlin, Hamburg. It’s really been a blast. It’s really cool too, it’s like a tour with no responsibilities. Usually we need to stay fit and in shape and now it’s just like:“Hey come on, let’s see some football, have a couple of shots and listen to some music.“ 

FS: What’s the difference to a typical tour day?

ADAM: It’s like the opposite to what we’re doing right now. We’re very chilled on a tour day, it’s about conserving energy, like saving up. 

FS: So you are not sightseeing or something else. 

ADAM: On some days. Sometimes the days are still packed, we’re still doing a lot of interviews, fotoshoots, whatsoever. It’s like, you wake up, you do your things, play some FIFA, do a soundcheck, meet some people, take a shower, do the show, drink and take a shower, watch the football replays. This is our life, it goes round and round in one way or another. And there’s always some time when you say: “Oh, this was a funky day, because that happened.“ 

FS: Do you have any rituals before a show? Is there any warm-up? 

ADAM: It depends, everybody has their own little world, that they step in for the last hour before a show. Usually when I look around, I’m finishing the hair, warm up (Singt Lalalaaaa und zeigt auf Hannes) he will be sleeping on the couch. Hannes usually is the last one to come down from the dressing room to the backstage, but somehow he always makes it. I’m like: “Where is Hannes, where is Hannes, where is Hannes…?“ (Springt dabei von einem Fuß auf den anderen). We can’t be late because we have a really strict curfew and Hannes will stroll down one minute before intro like: “I forgot my InEar or something.“ Goes back and then comes in the last second:“We’re good, we’re good!“ and then we walk on stage. (lacht) It always gets my adrenaline pumping. 

HANNES: See what I did there. (lacht) But there is one thing that we always do before we walk on stage and that’s the handshake. It kind of is a ritual.

ADAM: It wouldn’t feel right to go on without it. We have always done this since show one. Or maybe show ten. 

FS: What can people expect from Club Majesty? (Beide fangen an zu tanzen). We don’t have camera, so you have to describe it. (Lacht)

ADAM: I think we kinda nailed down our sound, more than we did on the previous record, Weekend Man. It took a long time to make that album. We were strolling around on the second album a bit and then there were a lot of people trying to get in from the outside. Managers, Label, Producers, trying to push us in different directions. It was everything from: ”You should sing this way, the guitar should sound that way..”. We always stood that pressure and we always managed to keep them away. Like: ”We are going down this road, if you want to, you can join, if not… F.. off.” Music is our love and our passion and what is the center of why we are here. There was a lot of that joy coming into Club Majesty after we nailed down Weekend Man. This is all just expanding on that, cause we like things to be boundary free. I don’t think you necessarily need to put labels on music. Where does one genre stop and where does another one begin? So this album definitely is the most shameless, joyful and free one that we have ever done.  

FS: Where does the musical progress since We Are The Royal come from?

ADAM: From within. 

HANNES: And the influences are the same. They’ve always been the same. This is just what came out this time around. 

FS: Who are the influences?

ADAM: It’s not like we could make a short list. I mean I could ramble on with everything from The Beatles, to Earth, Wind and Fire, to Michael Bolton, to Morbid Angel, to Metallica, to Bob Dylan, to Norah Jones, to Louis Armstrong,… I think we’re all very neglecting in our musical taste and also with our playing and our performance. We always had this vast range of possibilities to choose, write and perform from. Now we have the confidence and we feel very relaxed with who we are. We feel like the band kinda grew up and we found our little space in the jungle that is music. 

HANNES: And I think that people around us are more confident, they are more like letting go, cause it usually turns out very well when we get to do our thing. The pressure from around us is easing up a little bit. By now they know that it will turn out very well. 

ADAM: They just leave us alone. 

FS: When was the point that you decided to go all in with the band?

ADAM: October 2007. 

HANNES: The very first rehearsal. 

ADAM: I told the guys to quit school. I quit school too, when I first started writing songs for the band. Or better the university in Malmö, the music academy where we all met. We had our very first rehearsal and I said: ”We’re doing this full time now, here’s he plan. I know we haven’t had a show yet and we don’t have an album but it’s gonna happen. Trust me.” At first nobody really believed it, but they believe it now. I can’t really believe it. When looking back I think what a fucking move that was. 

HANNES: It really was. 

FS: What was the best festival you ever played?

ADAM: There are so many good ones, that’s not easy to choose. It is really difficult. I remember the first time we played Highfield Festival. We had a pretty short set, that was 2011 on the We Are The Royal-Tour. It was one of the first really big ones and we had about half an hour or forty minutes so it was short. We had to keep it really tight to get through the set and between every song the chanted: ”Royal Republic! Royal Republic!” They were 30.000 or something, an insane amount of people at that stage, at that time, at that time in our career. I think there is a video on YouTube, before we started playing Full Steam Spacemachine. I was like: ”Come on, be quiet, like seriously, we need to play the next song. But I don’t feel like stopping it, ‘cause it is so amazing.” That was a really cool experience for me. 

FS: What was the reason for you to take Blackout Problems with you on your upcoming tour in Winter 2019?

HANNES: It’s a good band and we kinda know them by now. They supported us two years ago.

ADAM: We had a good time, I think they’re a young, cool band and they work really hard. You see something of yourself, not as much in the music, but in the will. There are so many good bands out there…

FS: Is there anyone that you would like to recommend?

ADAM: It’s weird, over the years we got to know some of the bands that we looked up to when we  formed, like Gluecifer from Norway. They just reunited now, like a year ago, after a 15-year break. They were a huge influence on me and on us as a band when we started. We got to know the guys on various occasions. The manager of a major clothing company that we had a sponsor deal with is the drummer of Gluecifer. And now they started again. The point is that we are playing bigger clubs than they are now. It’s weird when you surpass your heroes. Okay, we are bigger than you now and it feels really strange. One of them actually called me and said: ”We would love to have you guys on tour, as support.” And was like: ”Yeah, Thank you very much. But we have this tour already booked, so we can’t.” And he was looking on the dates and said: ”Yeah, can we support you?” The conversation really switched and they are big fans of our music and that’s very cool. There is an infinite amount of bands that I would enjoy to take with us on the road, you know?

FS: So what would be your dream tour line up?

ADAM: It would be a one-day festival with Bob Dylan, Earth, Wind and Fire, and I think some Rammstein. A short set, like half an hour at four o’ clock? (Lacht)

FS: You heard the new song?

ADAM: Yeah.

FS: And how do you like it?

ADAM: I love it. I think the video is absolutely majestic. I think it’s a masterpiece. And just at the right time. For them it’s to make a point and Specter the video company… Wow. 

FS: That’s interesting to hear, because in Germany we had lots of discussion about it and now to talk about it with someone who is not directly involved shows another point of view. 

ADAM: Yeah, that’s the way Rammstein has to play it. That’s what they do, they shock and they provoke. But this was the first time I think, I said it some days ago, you have a leftish feeling to it. When at first people who are not from Germany they hear like “Rrrrram”. And immediately they get a Nazi-connection. Because that’s how you hear the rolling R. And you mistake the band for being  that and once you dig into it a little bit you very quickly realize; That’s not the case. I like that they have balls enough to play with people like that. 

FS: I’m about to see them on their tour in may and it’s my first Rammstein show, I’m totally stoked. 

HANNES: So you’re in for a treat. 

FS: Somebody said: “Rock is dead.” What do you think?

ADAM: I don’t like genre divisions, I don’t know what kinda music we’re heading towards now…

HANNES: But you keep hearing that all the time. I think I heard that since I was ten years old and I saw it on T-Shirts and on posters. But what do you mean? There is a ton of rock bands out there and we are one of them. Yes, they might not have the same airplay on the radio these days…

ADAM: I think it means that Rock is not Pop today. There was a time when MTV played all that stuff and The Final Countdown was king. 

HANNES: But it’s gonna be back, just like clothes. 

FS: Last question. Is there anything you have to have with you on tour?

ADAM: Might not be the Rock’n’Roll answer that you are looking for, but on Off-Days I always keep quiet and find a local Vietnamese restaurant. And I have dish called “Pho”. It’s a Vietnamese noodle soup with beef and chicken or whatever. Some people say it has a healing effect on the body and especially on the voice, for me then and it is the tastiest thing in the world. It’s really a soulfood. I’ve had a couple of hundred around the world until now and the best one is still in Malmö at a place called “Mrs. Saigon”. 

FS: Well, that was some kind of answer I was looking for. Is there something for you?

HANNES: I have some kind of a new tradition. Every time before I go to bed I lie on one of these things…

ADAM: A carpet with spikes. 

HANNES: I’m bringing these on tour, but I just started on this tour, so it’s really not a tradition yet, but it’s gonna be. 

FS: Okay! I would like to thank you for your time and your kindness. Hope to see you on tour in November!