Regaling The Royal ConceptBy Joe Martone
Meet the little Swedish band that could. The Royal Concept has a rocking sound that is just starting to get blow up stateside. Between releasing its new video for the song “Gimme Twice” and getting ready for its first stateside tour, band mates David Larson, Filip Bekic, Povel Olsson and Magnus Robert were able to sit down and answer our questions in via e-mail.
How did you guys come together?
David and Filip knew each other since childhood, and played music together all the time. After a trillion duos and bands, David started to perform with other artists. So did Povel Olsson, famous drummer for Robyn in Sweden, so we asked him to record our first album. He ended up joining the band instead. We immediately needed a bass player and asked Magnus, our student mate and the most rock ’n‘ roll-ish bassist from The Royal College of Jazz in Stockholmto join the band.
This was last year, and since then everything took off quickly.
Who would you describe as your influences?
First of all, the people we meet – girls in particular. They all end up in our songs one way or another.
Musically everything started with the music our parents played for us when we where kids: The Who, Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell, Nirvana, The Beatles, Paul Simon, classical music and a lot of jazz.
When we where old enough to discover our own music, we got into the electronic stuff . . . pioneers like Daft Punk, Kraftwerk, The Gorillaz, Bjork and Robyn.
We find ourselves in between these two styles along with other great bands of today like Passion Pit, Foster the People, Vampire Weekend, Phoenix and fun. Catchy guitar driven riffs dressed up in an electronic landscape.
What do you think of performing in America and what would your ideal venue be?
We know we’ll love it.U.S.crowds are awesome if they like you so we’ll have to get them to like us. The venue really doesn’t matter. As long as the sound is great and we can meet people’s eyes in the crowd, every gig is great.
Our first gig will be at Troubadour [in] LA, Aug. 19, and we’re very fu***ng excited to see LA.
Rolling Stone featured one of your mp3s on its website and you’re starting your tour in LA. Why do you think you’re getting more popular in the West?
Well . . . California seems to have a really good taste. Honestly, we think it will go across, east, west, north and south and in all parts of the world. We just happened to start in LA on this tour. And you know our main songwriter and lead singer David is highly educated in film scoring, so maybe that’s why Hollywood seems to like us so much?
We play with the same kind of melodies and chords that have been on the West Coast forever, so maybe people recognize themselves in it? But it’s the sound that takes it in another direction.
Your song “Naked Dumb” has a catchy beat and fairly dark lyrics. Rolling Stone said it was based off experiences with a stripper who stalked David. Do any of your other songs reflect your lives, and if so, how do you find the right tone to reflect them?
Yes, that’s the combination in a lot of our songs: very forward driven music with dark lyrics, a bit ironic, or philosophical, sometimes crass. It evolves a lot around girls, relationships, sex, all the things we and other young people think a lot about, and explore. With time, we will be influenced by what we experience in the States, and we will definitely write songs about the people we meet here. So no one goes safe I guess.
What is your take on legalizing marijuana? Do any of you guys smoke? Do you have a favorite strain?
We haven’t been into that at all. It just isn’t part of our lives. We have other issues. We drill holes in frozen lakes and swim in there. So you can be naked and dumb in many ways.