Energy. Excitement. Talent. Style. Swagger.
The greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands thrive on a combination of these ingredients and Royal Republic have all of them in abundance. Formed in Malmö, Sweden, late in 2007 by snake-hipped firebrand frontman Adam Grahn, this eight-legged riff ‘n’ melody machine have spent the last few years taking the world by storm and injecting a much-needed dose of cockiness and urgency into a jaded rock scene.
“Like every rock band, we started out wanting to take over the world,” states Grahn. “We were just like any other band but we put up small goals and we tried to fulfil each part of the plan, bit by bit, and that’s what we did. I was the first one to say ‘Everybody needs to quit their jobs and we’ll take it from there!’ It took a while for everyone else to get to the same point, but soon we realised we had something pretty cool. We’ve been living it ever since.”
Completed by guitarist Hannes Irengård, bassist Jonas Almén and drummer Per Andreasson, Royal Republic exploded into the rockosphere with their debut album We Are The Royal in 2010. An electrifying barrage of razor-sharp riffing, lethal hooks and pulsing, airtight rhythms, the album brimmed with insanely catchy anthems like Tommy Gun, The President’s Daughter and the gleefully lascivious Underwear, refining and redefining the retro-tinged oomph of like-minded souls like The Hives and Danko Jones and cranking everything – the speed, the power, the sizzle ¬– up a few notches.
“The President’s Daughter was the first song that I wrote for the band,” Grahn recalls. “It has that Danko vibe but we put our own stamp on it. Our sound happened by accident when we tried to sound like Danko Jones and The Hives, but we couldn’t really sound like that because we aren’t those bands! We wanted to sound like a live band… with the soul and character of a band that’s toured to death and seen and done it all.”
Since the release of We Are The Royal, the Swedes have performed a staggering 350 live shows, notched up a platinum single in their native country (with the infectious Tommy Gun) and conquered venues of all dimensions and countless festivals across Europe and beyond. Two years on, the band are now primed and ready to unleash their second full-length effort, the invigorating and startlingly diverse Save The Nation.
“We realised quickly that we needed more dynamics second time around,” says Grahn. “Part of the reason people liked us was because there are no dynamics on the first album. It’s just ‘Aaaargh!’ all the way through! But we’re all pretty versatile musicians. Save The Nation is not about changing our sound, but we have a lot more to offer and we wanted to expand the range of possibilities. The day I let someone else tell me what Royal Republic sounds like, I’m gonna start killing people!
Having already unleashed the new album’s first single Addictive, Royal Republic are itching to show the world how much they’ve evolved and how brightly their rock ‘n’ roll flame still burns. Ranging from the suave strut of Addictive and the rambunctious shuffle of Everybody Wants To Be Astronaut through to rampaging neck-wreckers like Revolution and This Means War, Save The Nation takes everything we know and love about this mercurial hit squad and adds many new layers of colour, atmosphere and bravado to the mix. The result is simply the most outrageously exciting and memorable rock album that anyone will hear in 2012.
“I think we’re more in control this time. It’s not so much monkeys with guns, it’s more gorillas with a scalpel!” Grahn laughs. “It’s more deliberate this time. We can cause more damage now. We can choose our targets more precisely. Touring these two albums together is going to create such a better show for us and the audience, with more dynamics up and down. The new songs will complete the first album, I think.”
As soon as Save The Nation is released, Royal Republic will hit the road again, hell-bent on spreading their furious gospel to as many new territories as possible while delighting the many thousands of fans they picked up during their first trek around the globe. There’s no mistaking the sound of a band that has it all and knows how to use it. Royal Republic are back. All hail the new kings of rock ‘n’ roll!
“There are people that still haven’t heard us. There are places we haven’t been and so many things to look forward to,” Grahn avows. “There are a lot of places still to be conquered. I love playing the small clubs and I always will, but I also like playing bigger venues and arenas, so we want to do both. We’re coming for everybody!”