14. The Royalty 5Q
This is the third and highest entry from my special Neon DesertEl Paso Week coverage. The summary post for all the Neon Desert content took the Number 17 spot and BB Gun Johnny’s pop quiz tied at Number 28 with Feedback’s LOTTO Interview.
El Paso is my hometown and I live in Austin, so I really did try to push this content. So, I’m happy to see that some of the Neon Desert El Paso Week coverage has made the countdown. Seems like the Royalty is the band with the strongest following or at the least the greatest social network presence. Either way, they make a fine showing.
Editor’s Note: This interview concludes Neon Desert El Paso Week at THE REAL popolio. Scheduled to post yesterday, there was a delay.
The Royalty are Nicole Smith, Jesus Apodaca, Will Daughtery (who’s also in The Lusitania, if I’m not mistaken; also featured Neon Desert Artists here at THE REAL popolio), Daniel Marin, and Shane Robles. Nicole Smith is repping TR for the purposes of this interview. They are one of the 29+ bands playing one of four stages at the inaugural Neon Desert Music Festival in El Paso on Saturday, April 30, 2011.
I was just excited to hear that an El Paso band had music used on MTV and Spike TV (see Question 3). But, with a name like that (see Question 1), you better have some things going on. I kid, I kid. Listening to the song below and a few other TR tracks, they have a very intriguing sound. Very ‘50s and ‘60s, to me. Reminiscent of the mod scene and the film To Sir, With Love.
Listen to The Royalty’s “All Alone” available at BandCamp.
Click the first pic to go to The Royalty’s official site and second, at the end of the interview, to get to their Facebook Page.
Interesting Fact: The Royalty has a strange obsession with dogs. They call each other “dogger” and partake in absurd behaviors while on tour in reference to dogs. For instance, Nicole Smith barks when she sees a coffee shop and she admits it makes no sense.
1. I’m asking almost everyone about their band names. The Royalty is a pretty confident name. Tell me about how you came to it. Well, to be honest, I tried out for the band after they had established the name already. Story goes the boys just liked the ring of it. Not exciting, I know. I guess some people find it to be a rather pretentious name, but it wasn’t meant to be. No delusions of grandeur over here, trust me. Ha.
2. How would you describe the Royalty sound? This question is always hard. Our range of influences is pretty wide and if I’m forced to describe the outcome, I’d say we shoot for a good indie pop sound. Not pop in the way most of the country sees it, but sort of a counterculture pop sound.
3. I don’t normally hear of El Paso bands getting songs on MTV and Spike TV. So, congrats on that! How did that all come together? Thanks! To make a long story short, we were lucky to attract the attention of our manager, Roger Gisbourne, while on a west coast tour last summer. Since Roger lives in LA, he has been able to hook us up with contacts that, otherwise, would never have happened.
4. Do you feel a responsibility to be a host band for the non-El Paso acts participating in Neon Desert? What will you do to welcome the non-El Paso folks? There tends to be a stigma attached to “just” being one of the “local” bands, but sure, host band sounds nice. I think El Paso has such a welcoming culture and I’m sure the visiting bands are going to sense that. The fusion is super exciting.
5. Having played a festival like SXSW in Austin, do you have certain expectations for a festival like this one in El Paso? Any thoughts on it being the inaugural one and your participation as one of the first bands ever to play it in relation that — SXSW vs. Neon Desert? SXSW is amazing, but the massive crowds are a little overwhelming at times. Starting fresh with Neon Desert leaves every possibility open. The Royalty loves El Paso and so we are so stoked that we can be a part Neon Desert Year One. I’m hoping it develops the magnitude of other music festivals (SX, Bonnaroo, Coachella, etc.) because it would be so beneficial to our town and music scene.