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Royal Republic is back with a new hip disco rock album, "Club Majesty", which singer and guitarist Adam Grahn came to defend on Music Waves
DARIALYS - 31.05.2019 - 14 picture(s) - (0) comment(s)
Fourth album for the Swedes and their disco-tinged rock! The quartet continues to assert itself in an unusual but devilishly effective style with their latest production, "Club Majesty". Singer Adam Grahn played the interview game.

The last time we met was for the "Weekend Man" promotion. I asked you what question you would have liked to answer. You didn't know what to say and you told me you'd think about it. So did you do your homework?

Adam: Well... What was the question again? (Laughs).

What question would you have liked to answer?

Adam: The one I would have liked to answer... (He's thinking).

Haven't you done your homework?

No, I'm sorry about that!

I asked you another question last time: what does the suitcase in the artwork of "Weenkend Man" contain? You didn't want to reveal that secret, and you told me you'd answer me the next time we met!

Oh no! No! That's the hardest question I've ever been asked!

And this is only the beginning!

The suitcase in "Weekend Man"... We spent a whole month wondering what it could contain. We thought everyone would also wonder what was inside! So we thought we had to talk about it seriously, otherwise people would be very disappointed.


So let's talk about your latest album! You are a Swedish rock band. On Music Waves, we chronicle many Swedish bands, in progressive metal, death metal, melodic metal... But it's rare that we have Swedish rock bands. How did you manage to play this music? Is it easy to get by when you rock with a disco feel and come from Sweden?

I really think we've always had this disco side in our DNA since the band was created. On songs like'Tommy-Gun' and'Full Steam Spacemachine', on our first album, there was this disco vibe. We want to play music that has no limits or genre. I think I'm going to make a long answer but I'll try to keep it short! When we released our first album, we had only been a band for a year. It would not have been reasonable to say that within a year, we had found our true identity at that time. We looked like the bands that influenced us, more than Royal Republic I would say.

You have evolved with each album. With this one, it looks like you've really found your identity. Do you think so too?

That's the feeling we all have, yes. 'When I See You Dance With Another' on the previous album was the song that revealed us. There was also the song 'Baby', which was not considered an excellent song, but which was the most successful in the end. We've always had the same influences. Now we have the confidence and experience we need to stop hiding and use all the tools at our disposal to play the music we love. We didn't make this album to be on the radio. We make music because we like it, and we choose what Royal Republic looks like. Full Steam Spacemachine', on the first album, is a good example. At the time, the riff of the song was different from what we were doing. It was off the beaten track. Today, we can't think of Royal Republic without making the connection with this song. We have a wide repertoire. On this album, we see that all styles work. Some groups reportedly said: "Be careful not to go too far! But we like it. We put on saxophone, big choruses, an 80's sound. I like to be generous vocally and have fun singing. That's the key, and I think the "Weekend Man" tour has helped us a lot in that direction. It was a high point in our career.

How did you proceed to write this new album, "Club Majesty"? What is more in this new album than in the previous one?

Diversity. There are also some on "Weekend Man", with titles like "Any Given Sunday", "American Dream", "Follow The Sun" or "Baby". On this album, I think it's both more diversified and more homogeneous, paradoxically. 

Is it true that Club Majesty was supposed to be the name of the group at the base?

That's true. We had thought of Club Majesty, King Average and Royal Republic. We had three options. After writing 4 or 5 songs that ended up on the last album, we saw the color and direction that this album would take. It looked more like a dance floor than a rock concert. So we wanted to find a disco name on this record. One of us, I don't remember who, then put the name Club Majesty on the table. We validated his idea. Our artistic director was also up for it and had some initial ideas for the cover.

As you said, this album is varied. There's funk, disco, 80s pop, 60s and 70s rock, electro, new wave... With all these styles, I guess it wasn't easy to bring out a single that could represent the album! "Fireman & Dancer" is the first single released in March. Do you think this song represents the album well?

Completely. This is the reference song, as 'When I See You Dance With Another' was on the previous album. I think this is the first demo we've completed. It is a song that captures the essence of Royal Republic with the energy that characterizes us. For me, it is the perfect representation of "Club Majesty".

The first clip is precisely that of 'Fireman & Dancer'. Is this song a tribute to Village People?


Do you understand why I'm asking you this question?

Yes, absolutely! I see a certain similarity, but it's not something we were looking for when we wrote the song.

In your voice, on this track and especially on the chorus of 'Boomerang', I find that there is a similarity with Electric Light Orchestra. Is this a group you love?

The song on this chorus has already been used in 10,000 songs. Sometimes people make comparisons between our songs and those of different artists. Sometimes I make a list of songs to listen to in order to try to find new ideas. And this only rarely concerns rock music.

But for me, making a comparison between your songs and those of other bands is not a bad thing! For me, it was more of a wink than anything else. I didn't mean to say that you tried to copy Electric Light Orchestra.

Yes, of course! On the other hand, we sometimes deliberately pay tribute. We can wink at a particular artist, group or song. But in general, when you look for ideas, it's very rarely in the field of rock. I listen more to jazz, classical, funk like Earth Wind & Fire, not so much in terms of melodies, but more in terms of feeling, groove. Sometimes we are asked questions song after song, but we don't want to do that anymore because we never know what to say about a particular song. For example, we are asked: "How did you feel when you wrote the lyrics for this song? Actually, words are crap! They don't mean anything! There's no feeling inside! The feeling comes from the music itself. That's where all the energy is. Writing the lyrics doesn't give me a feeling.

What about the influence of the old rock'n' roll scene in your music? Is that an influence to you or not at all?

What do you mean by old rock'n' roll scene? I have trouble with all these terms. Sometimes people ask me what I think about neo-post-modern rock. What the hell does that mean? You have to give me band names, and I'll tell you if we're influenced by them. Otherwise, I don't know what that means. I've never been good at identifying musical genres. People say we play rock, rock'n' roll, punk rock, punk rock, punk, emo rock...


Would you agree that you created disco rock?

I don't know, I don't think we've created a new style. I would say more than that we have extended our own style. I don't know what to call it, but I wouldn't say we're the pioneers of this style. If people need to know what kind of music you're playing, like sticking a label on a product, I don't have a problem with that. But for me, our music has no borders.

The songs "Flower Power Madness" and "Blunt Force Trauma" remind me of Nile Rodgers. That's why I think you created disco rock. It gives something new.

(Laughs) I don't know, you're not wrong! The last journalist who interviewed us said that 'Flower Power Madness' looked like a mixture of Barry White and Franz Ferdinand! Of course, why not! It's very silly to say that, but we're just following what our hearts tell us.

You don't like to label music genres, and it shows because since the beginning of your career, your music has evolved from a post-punk style to a disco-funk-garage rock style. Wouldn't that be a little to hide your ambitions? Or is it really a desire to renew yourself? Will you continue to evolve?

I wouldn't know how to tell you. There is no written rule that says what can and cannot be done. Maybe the next album will be very similar to "Club Majesty", or maybe not, I have no idea at this point. We like to play songs without putting up barriers. We allow ourselves to take every possible path. Despite everything, I have the feeling that we are playing a coherent music. Very often we refer to the Beatles who wrote both 'Yesterday' and 'Helter Skelter', which are two very different songs written and played by the same people. When they released 'Helter Skelter', no one said: "I thought it was an acoustic band! ». Shut up! Shut up! It's just good music! Imagine if the Beatles hadn't tried to cross musical boundaries!

To sum up, one could say that the label of Royal Republic is that of a group that has no borders?

Royal Republic is music.

Some musicians say it is much more difficult for them to write short, cheerful songs than long, sadder songs. What do you think, you who write short and enthusiastic songs with success?

Thank you! Thank you! I think it depends. Some say that if you are sad, it can give you great inspiration. I think that's true for these people. On my side, I can't write when I don't feel well. With this group, I have to be in a Friday night state of mind! For me, the most difficult thing is to write a simple song. It's as if you have to make a beautiful painting with only one color. It's complicated. When you get together with nice song ideas, you try to bring them back to their simplest form, and it takes time. It may take months to find a note! The riff of 'Fireman & Dancer' for example, I think I have 200 versions of this song! Come on, let's say 100! There are many versions with different riffs.

In the end, are you sure the latest version is the right one? Or did you decide on a particular version because you had to make a decision?

We are satisfied with the version chosen because we have got used to it. I know it's the right version because I was able to sleep at night. If I leave the studio and I'm not satisfied, I can't stop thinking about it. It's like when you've forgotten something and it worries you. All you want to do is go back to the studio and finish the job. It happens about 11 times per album!

The song 'Like A Lover' embodies a heavy side and has a central place in the album, a bit like 'Full Steam Spacemachine' occupied a central place in 'We Are The Royal'. Is this title intended to show that you are not just a bunch of happy guys and that you have a dark side in you?

I think everyone has a dark side to him. In our albums, we often reach a stage where we have a lot of very energetic songs. At some point on the album, you need a song that makes you breathe to lower all that energy. At the beginning,'Like A Lover' was in a disco vein, but I thought it would be interesting to try a new approach to make it fit in the album. I tried that idea, and it worked very well. It's a little different from the rest of the album, I admit, but it works well with the rest of the album.

You played at the Cabaret Sauvage in Paris in 2017 and at the Download festival in 2018. Do you prefer intimate scenes like the Cabaret Sauvage or do you prefer big scenes?

The Cabaret Sauvage was a very good concert. It was full, it was hot, we were close to the audience. This type of concert allows you to be close to the audience. At the Download, I couldn't jump into the crowd from the stage. Both have their advantages. I would say that I prefer rooms that can accommodate up to 500 people. When you play on very big stages like festivals, you need a great production with a screen because people don't see you, and it's very hard to connect with them.

Now that you are known, do you think you could play Cabaret Sauvage again? You're going to go back to France anyway!

Yes, of course! We return in December to the Élysée Montmartre. It's a little bigger than last time, but I think it'll be full in a short time.

We'll be there, because this album is very good! Thank you very much!

De rien

And thanks to ProgRacer, Nuno for their contribution...

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Club Majesty (2019)
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