Though the Royal Concept has a very shimmery, out of this world sound, the four fine, well-cultured fellas behind the music are very down to earth. David, Filip, Povel, and Magnus took some time to chat with us here at The Giggs before their huge show at Gramercy Theatre, NYC. We dug into the EP’s, discussed their upcoming album – Goldrushed, talked music politics, feminism, and…penguin correcting? Yeah. That’s a thing.
Thanks guys! – Sydne
LISTEN HERE (starts about 7 minutes in)
Read the highlights of the conversation below!
Where did you guys meet?
Filip: Jazz College
What’s the music scene like in Sweden?
David: It’s basically all DJ’s. They’re very big in Sweden. The electronic scene is taking over. And it’s great but it also, like…there are no more venues for bands to play. There are like two venues in Stockholm. Two million people and two venues for live bands.
What’s your favorite cover you did as a cover band?
Filip: When Povel got to sing “Hey Ya!”.
Povel: David plays drums on that one. So we switch.
David: Yeah people go crazy. ‘Cuz suddenly the lead singer has a beard. Which is very nice to a lot of women. It’s very popular.
What was your concept for The Royal Concept EP?
Filip: Well the concept about it was that we had like 2 weeks to record it, I think. So we used the tools we had and it was all kinda similar; it was like a red line in a sense – song-wise and lyric-wise. Everything.
David: We had like every song should include two guitars; they should be panned like this.
David: The first rock song we ever recorded was “D-D-Dance” and the second was “Gimme Twice”. And those songs got on a blog called HypeMachine as #1 and #2. And by then we didn’t have any other songs. So we got signed and all by labels very fast. We were like, we need to record four more songs ‘cuz we need to release an EP very soon. So we had to have rules. So we basically wrote and produced that first EP in two weeks. [By themselves.]
How would you characterize The Royal EP?
David: It’s more of a firework.
Will there be more variety on the album?
David: I mean, for example we have a song called “Cabin Down Below” it’s on the Swedish album. It’s a song that you normally wouldn’t hear from a band like us, I think. You know? It has like an 80’s saxophone solo by Kenny G on it. And it’s just like a big, pretty strange song, but when we recorded it, we really liked it so much we were going to put it out there. Even if people think it’s weird. We need to do this song. And for the first EP, we wouldn’t have done that ‘cuz we were so aware of our own concept. And I think that’s what you mean. We just did everything we liked for the first time.
“We’re trying very hard to write catchy music that’s still intelligent.”
Is there a certain story or image that the album invokes?
David: I mean, every song is kind of about us, but it’s also about people we’re meeting, people we meet all the time. I mean, without the tour we had last year, the album wouldn’t have come out the way it did…it’s a lot of love and it’s a lot of girls. Passion.
The “Gimme Twice” Video
David: The thing is, with that video, that was our first video ever and we recorded it like two weeks after we got signed. It was basically, it was so stressful. It was like, you have to do a video now so go to New York and record with this guy, and shoot with this guy and we did…Of course, we can’t say no to that, and we did. The video turned out, I mean I think it’s ok, but when I saw it, I didn’t like it that much. It felt cheesy to play with girls beating us up with pillows.
GGG: Didn’t somebody break their finger?
Povel: I broke my finger
David: That is the best scene in the video
Povel: I can’t straighten it out. So now it’s bent forever.
GGG: Do you feel pain when you play that song?
Povel: Yeah it reminds me of this.
David: And that was not even in the script!
[Check out their DIY video for Gimme Twice here.]
The “On Our Way” Video
David: It’s best for the song to just go out with a couple of friends and have fun and shoot it. ‘Cuz it’s a fun song. I mean we could’ve done a hipster-ish, very conceptual, cool video and we might do that in the future hopefully, but for this song it just made sense. I think it’s perfect for the song.
What is being “goldrushed”?
David: What is being in a Goldrush? I have no idea. It’s like, when we got signed, suddenly we were in America all the time. I mean it felt like our [bank] accounts are still very poor, but emotionally, we were full of so many cool things. So we feel like we’re in a gold rush.
The album artwork. What’s going on? What?
David: It’s a picture, we took that picture once. It was like on another photo shoot that picture just happened. We were talking to this art director and he showed us that picture. He fixed it with all the colors and stuff and put in the hand. The hand is not actually there when the picture was taken.
Filip: It adds depth.
David: Then we tried a couple of other covers but we came back to that picture all the time. We were like, ok we’re a band and we should maybe all the four of us should be on the front. Then we looked at all the band pictures that we had, and we just felt that this cover is better.
Women in their music
David: I would say all of our songs are about strong girls.
Do you consider yourselves feminists then?
David: Oh yeah. I’m 100%. Of course.
GGG (to Filip): You’re faltering!
Filip: No, of course!
David: Of course. There’s not even a discussion.
Filip: Sweden is very upfront.
David: You can always discuss what feminism is and what you should put focus on. But of course, we think that everybody should be equal on any perspective. And everyone should be exactly who he or she wants to be. It’s obvious. I definitely agree that we need some kind of political changes…definitely here [in the U.S.], but everywhere.
What is your Spirit Animal?
Magnus: I’m a fox…cuz I’m a redhead. *wink*
Povel: I can be an owl. Cuz I like to sit and observe things…and my eyes are kinda popping out of my head like an owl.
David: Filip is a penguin. Because he falls all the time…Filip actually used to be a penguin corrector in Sweden…There’s a zoo in Stockholm and it’s very close to the airport, and penguins are very observant. So when the planes are coming above them, [looking up] and they look at the plane and they look at the plane, and suddenly they fall down and they can’t get up again. So Filip had to run in there and pick them up again. He was a penguin corrector. That’s how we met. I was a dolphin polisher.
GGG: What does that mean?
Filip: Well, they don’t get that shiny by themselves
David: You’re using like car wax on them to really polish their finish. So I would’ve been a dolphin.
Thank you to The Royal Concept for taking some time before their show to sit and chat with us!