I don’t know if it is from watching to many pirate movies as an adolescent but I immediately thought of Jolly Roger and wooden legs when I saw the name BLACK ROYAL. But do not mistake this lot fro a Running Wild kinda band. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
– It’s always very difficult and frustrating thing to do. I think we had dozens of suggestions but in very early stage we picked out our favourite one and it suites us really well. The name has all the elements of our music in two words, – the occultic and dark “black” combined with the majestic “royal” with a goat head attached. The name says it all in one glimpse and you know what you will get.
Who would say are the founding stones of the kind of sound you have?
– It comes from a 1970’s classic heavy rock, 1990’s death metal and modern sludge/stoner vibes. It is like if Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath, Alex Hellid from Entombed and Matt Pike from High On fire would of sat down in a bar together and had a recording session. In between drinks and various intoxicants Quorthon from Bathory would join in and read a Black Bible while the topless waitresses would be dancing on the tables.
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
– Well, of course when you make a slow riff every note has to be more powerful than in a fast one and there’s a whole different feeling behind it as well. But I think it is all about the main feeling of a certain song that you follow when you arrange it. If it’s slow then you set your mind to its mood and continue on that path to make it work. Often there’s just a few riffs all together in one slow song because the vibe dictates it. And if it’s a fast one then you concentrate more in building up the song as you go on and try to uphold that fierce feeling until the end. So yes, the tempo does have a proper part in it and arrangements vary whether it’s slow or fast.
How does your music work in a live environment?
– From the feedback that we have given it works really good! Our aim is to have the same basic sound as we have on records without the keyboards. The sound is as real as it gets without too much digital plug-ins or overdubs etc. We try to uphold the analogic era of a sound. Live shows are very important for us and we try to get the party going on at live shows and give our 100 percent, no matter what. Join the Summoning!
You have some releases to your name. Which one are you the most proud of?
– All of them! We stand behind all of them with pride. This sequence of our two EP’s -“The Summoning Pt. 1 and Pt. 2” turned out great and we have got some good uplift by them in the industry.
Is it hard to reach out to all those that might be interested in your music? What alleys have you used to get people familiarized with your band?
– The best possible way would be to play live as often as you can but it is really hard thing to book ourselves and we don’t have a managing or booking agency deal yet. Naturally we have used all the online media services available and social media as well. We have used a proper promotion services to spread out the news of our releases and from where we have received reviews and interviews more than trying to do it in our own. And of course we send promo packages to record companies who might be in our musical region. But still no matter how difficult it might be we won’t surrender or back down! We keep pushing this thing forever and ever until the end of time!
What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
– It should represent the band and the music the best way it can. We all grew up in the 80’s and we used to check out the vinyl LP’s in record stores. It was so amazing to pick one out just because of a great cover art and a band logo. And usually the songs were just amazing too! Luckily nowadays the vinyl has come back and the cover art has a bigger meaning again with all the inner sleeve notes and lyrics. Cd’s are just more boring because of the size and don’t get me started with the mp3’s or whatnot, hah!
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for metal in your country?
– Well, Finland is a heavy metal country and has been like that from the 90’s. There’s thousands of bands everywhere in the country and we do have very gifted people working with heavy music. A part from the biggest international acts we have always had really powerful underground scene no matter the genre or type. And of course we feel that we are part of that as well. Within heavy music the bands tend to stay in their own categories and genres when they arrange shows and we have been fortunate enough to gain shows from every side and style. I think that’s because of our music and how it connects to most of the listeners with its true, traditional sounding honest touch.
How do one promote oneself the best possible way?
– By making good songs! By playing live and showing from what you are made of. By being honest with yourself and your bandmates. By doing everything there is to be better. Accepting all the stuff that comes with the industry, good or bad and dealing with it. By not being a dick. Don’t be an asshole, it helps!
What does the future hold?
– Black Royal has just released this “The Summoning Pt. 2”- EP and we try to arrange shows everywhere around the globe and to find more partners and associates. There’s a mini tour coming up in eastern Europe this Autumn and we want to do more. Also, we are starting to make new songs, checking the riffs and new shit. Easily turning our minds towards the next release and begin to work with it. But for now we are more than eager to play live our songs from the new EP and let everybody enjoy them with us!