GRAND ROYALE is another Swedish rock sensation. Answered by Samuel Georgsson Anders Ekdahl ©2021
Let’s start with your latest recording. When you look back at it now what kind of feelings do you have for it?
-It’s an album and a recording we are very proud of. The feeling is that this might be the best recording of Grande Royale so far, even though it is the feel you usually have after a recording, that the latest songs are the ones you enjoy the most. We’re proud both of the songs and the fact that we did the producing ourselves. The final result is, in our opinion, that it sounds very much like us and what we strive for musically and creatively.
I am fascinated by band names. What was it that made you settle on the one you have and what does it mean to you?
-Most probably, it was our previous singer Hampus who dropped the name Grande Royale in the band’s early stage. Within the name, lies also a homage to the movie Pulp Fiction, and the quote from John Travolta saying, Royale with cheese. Maybe there also was a misunderstanding, where some band members remembered the quote as Grande Royale with cheese. Anyhow, we like the name and think it’s reasonable to pay homage to the Tarantino movie.
What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
-It’s hard to get used to the fact that there are people who pay attention to and for real appreciate what we’re doing. Of course, it’s a great honour to play in front of an appreciating audience, and hearing and reading about positive reviews about our music, and it’s one of many things that inspire us and keep us doing what we do. We have a good feeling about the coming album, because the response so far has been beyond our expectations.
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
-Earlier in the band’s history, there was more emphasis on image, for instance similar stage clothing and such. Nowadays, the approach is more of emphasizing our music and how it’s played and let it speak for itself. We hope that people’s impression of the band is that what we do matters, that we have a lot of fun playing music together and that we are no stars but really ordinary, down-to-earth individuals in the band.
I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
-The short answer is that artwork is very important, especially when speaking of vinyl. It’s hard to beat the feeling of holding a vinyl in your hand with cool artwork. When it comes to the Grande Royale’s vinyls so far, every artwork has served its purpose in its own way and has been representative for the music and the band when it was released. The covers also show a huge diversity when you compare for instance the album Breaking news and Take it easy, where the first has a very simplistic style and the latter a more pompous style.
We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on YouTube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a downside to it too?
-Social media and streaming services have been beneficial for us, because it is pretty easy to reach out and get in touch with people all over the globe. But it also requires a lot of work from our part, especially when it comes to social media where you have to be very active to keep the interest going. The greatest challenge would be that the availability on the Internet results in a much tougher competition with others. Even though it’s easier to reach out, there are uncountable bands like us out there, who try to do the same thing.
When you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community? That you belong to something that gives meaning to your life?
-Playing in Grande Royale creates meaning to our own lives for certain, regardless of how much attention our music gets. Regarding the question about community, we are very humble when comes to be compared with other great names. We do our own thing, and it is up to others to fit us in communities. But still, the collaborations we’ve done, both live and in the studio, with other bands and musicians, probably enhances the feeling of belonging.
When you are in the middle of it do you notice what state our beloved music scene is in? Is the scene healthy or does it suffer from some ailment?
-The rock scene, we would say, is alive and well, even though it is pretty small. With all the music available out there of various types, it’s tough for a rock band to get through in the noise. But our feeling is that there are dedicated people out there who keep the rock scene going by listening, organizing and going to shows. Another feeling is that the Swedes have got used to good rock bands, and there are a lot of them, which makes it pretty difficult to get good live gigs in Sweden. To our experience, it is more rewarding to play abroad and we have also got more response doing that.
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
-We tour as much as we can. Still we are ordinary guys with ordinary 9-5 jobs, and touring as much as we want to is hard. Mostly we go on tour on weekends and on our vacation. We ‘ve been blessed with working with good bookers in some countries, Spain for instance, but for the most time we do the bookings ourselves, and it is pretty hard work, but rewarding.
What will the future bring?
-Right now, we are looking forward to the release of the fourth single from our upcoming album on Friday the 5th of March, and the release of the whole album on the 26th. Our hopes are that our music will get some positive response and that as many as possible enjoys it and lets us know. Hopefully, the pandemic chaos will lighten soon, and then we will be ready to hit the road, playing our new songs. We have also started the recording of new songs, which hopefully will result in another album to be proud of.