Grande Royale Q&A
Sweden's The Sign Records have a number of great albums being released over the next month or so (Hot Breath, Heavy Feather, Liar Thief Bandit), the first being Jonkoping's Grande Royale's 'Carry On', their fifth studio album, which came out on the 26th March. Frontman Gustav answered a few questions for BBMATB, which you can find below along with a review of the album on the following post.
Grande Royale's line-up on 'Carry On' was Gustav Wremer (Vocals/Guitar), Andreas Jena (Guitar), Samuel Georgsson (Bass), Johan Hall (Drums).
'Carry On' is available from The Sign Records, on all the major digital sites, and on red, green or black vinyl from the band's Bandcamp page - granderoyaleoff.bandcamp.com
Hi Guys, thank you for taking some time to answer a few questions. First off, for those readers who might not be familiar with Grande Royale, could you give a short history of the band?
Hi! Grande Royale was formed in 2014. We wrote a song about the local drinking place in town and the story began. Since then, we have written albums and toured in Europe. Grande Royale plays rock music. Simple as that. We just released our fifth studio album on The Sign Records Sweden.
And who would you say were the main influences on Grande Royale? We are four very different individuals so it depends on who you ask. I'd say Kiss, Deep Purple, The Hellacopters. Johan would say Abba. He always cries while listening to Abba.
'Carry On' is your fifth studio album - how do you think it differs from your previous four albums? I'd say the main difference is that we had a lot of time recording it so we have worked a lot with the songs. It's raw and powerful but still with melodic choruses. We have a few songs in shuffle rhythm. That's something we haven't done before.
Did Covid present any challenges to you in recording and getting the album together? And has it presented any other specific challenges to you as a band - apart from obviously not being able to play live - over the last year or so?
In fact, this album wouldn't have been recorded if the virus hadn't happened. We had some shows in Germany planned but then the virus struck. So we decided to write a new album. The thing is, it's been a year since we started the writing process for 'Carry On' and we are currently in the exact same situation like we were one year ago, No gigs, only virus. So we are working on another album. Andy decided to quit the band, not only because of the virus but it had an impact on his decision.
Where did you record the album? Was it somewhere that you have recorded before?
In our own studio in Jönköping. Booyah Studios. Yeah, 'Saved By Rock 'n' Roll' and our previous album 'Take It Easy' were also recorded in the Booyah.
What's your favourite tracks on the album and why? And were there any tracks that didn't quite 'make the cut' and that you've left off the album? My favourite is Schizoid Lullaby. It has a 3/4 rhythm and stands out from the other songs in that way. I also like 'Not the Same', it has a different melodic language compared to the other songs. Yeah. we had around 10 more songs. We were sending demo songs to Robert Pehrsson who decided which songs we should have on the album.
The general pandemic situation has prompted bands to try alternative ways of reaching their audience - livestreams, podcasts etc? Have you tried any of these and how did you feel doing these? Do you think bands will continue to carry on with these methods if we return to some sort of semblance of normality, and do you think the way bands reach out to their audience has changed forever now?
I hope things go back to "normal". But as you say, some of the methods are maybe here to stay. I'm not the biggest fan of all these livestreams. We recorded a live session that will be played via Microsurco (YouTube) on the 4th of April.
What do you think of the rock scene in Sweden presently - do you think it is a good scene? And are there any Swedish bands you'd recommend to readers?
We have a lot of great bands in Sweden. Hällas, Hot Breath, Beat City Tubeworks to name a few. But I don't know if the Swedish scene is better than other scenes. We have played with a lot of bands all over Europe and the majority have been good bands and haven't been Swedish. Kickstarter Ritual from Italy, The Dirty Denims from the Netherlands, the Hot Sprockets from Ireland. There are a lot of great bands.
What plans do you have for Grande Royale going forward in 2021 and beyond?
Record and hopefully play some live shows. Its hard to say exactly how and when due to the frikkin virus. But we like playing music together and that's what we should do. Only time could tell how, when, where and for whom.
And finally for us old rock fans (!) - Zeppelin, Purple or Sabbath?
Purple Purple Purple !