I recently discovered Grande Royale with their third album “Breaking News” as a damn interesting and cool Swedish rock band (for the review go here). So we grabbed the chance to hear out these young guys about the band and their music, send a few questions their way and guitarist Andreas Jena came up with some answers for them:
First of all I have to congratulate you with a damn great rock album, it was a really nice discovery for me. How has the response been to your latest creation so far?
Thank you very much! We are glad that you like it. The response has been great. Now we finally got a record label that works a lot with promotion and so on. When you have a label, music magazines will review it. Therefore, I think that Grande Royale will spread the word through media. We have been good to do music videos as well on all the singles for the album. That part is so necessary. You need to reach out through social media so you can get new fans. In Sweden it feels like, you get more fans through social media than when you play live and that is really fucked up but I guess that is how it works now days.
What were your main inspirations for the songs/lyrics on “Breaking News”?
We all like classic rock. That is the music we all grew up listening to. However, when we write songs together it could be influenced by some pop song or some soul song or whatever. The Hellacopters of course is a big influence but at the same time so are Stones, Lizzy or Minor Threat if you know what I mean.
The lyrics are more important for us now than what it was when we started this band. This band started just for fun and we all had other bands as our main bands. But we liked each other and we liked playing together so this became our main band so of course the lyrics are more mature now than on the Cigne Noir album. One Second for example is about that little boy that drowned in the Mediterranean 2 years ago when he tried to escape the awful war that is going on.
Breaking News is about a rumored serial killer in Manchester that drowns people to death and he or she is call the Pusher. We had the inspiration for the song when a photographer were telling the story when we took pictures with the band by the canal in Manchester on tour.
Brake Light is about when my wife thinks that I’m spending too much time with the band instead of give her and the kids more time. Hahaha! She´s good.
I would say that the lyrics is about things we experience in life. Good or bad thing or just things that is annoying.
The artwork of the album is very simple yet classy, is there a story behind it?
Yeah! The story behind it is that all of us are very bad to come up with ideas for artwork and other stuff as well, such as what we will be dressed like on stage and so on. Hampus, Gustav and I are from a region/state that is named Västergötland. All the 25 regions in Sweden has a bird and a flower that symbolize one particular region. The common crane is Västergötlands bird so we used that as an artwork just to make a statement that it’s the 3 of us who are the rulers of this band. Hahaha
When I say it like this, I actually see how stupid it sounds, and you see it´s not easy to come up with stuff when you are 5 members that will go along when everybody fight for their cause every fucking time. However, we think that Branca Studios in Spain did some awesome artwork of our idea and it looks amazing in print!
How did you get to Nicke Andersson as the producer for “Breaking News”?
There is this nice guy named Cor from the Netherlands who writes for Lords of metal. He had an interview with Nicke when he were on tour with ISE. Cor likes our music so he asked Nicke if had an interested of producing other Swedish bands and he name dropped us and asked if he’s ever heard about us. Nicke was like ”Hey let them get in touch”. He posted the interview to our e-mail and we e-mailed Nicke asking if he wanted to produce our next album and on that way it is.
I read that during the recordings he was very much in a Lynyrd Skynyrd period, an obsession you shared with him and that clearly left its marks on the album. What are your nicest memories of their music?
Nicke likes Skynyrd! I don´t know if he was in a Skynyrd period but he sure listened a lot. On the other hand I think we all are in a Skynyrd period all the time. If you asked me of their best song I would go for “Was I right or wrong”.
Besides Lynyrd Skynyrd, I’m guessing there are other artists that influence you guys when you’re writing your music, who comes first to mind and why?
As I said before! It could be anything. Gustav and I came up with an idea for a song when we had a few beers at my place this summer. The chorus is so much AC/DC but when I came up with the idea, I had listened to Twisted Sister the night before. They had this classic AC/DC thing in a song, and it became so obvious when a band like Twisted Sister just borrow a little thing it does so much for their song. If we record that song we made then I think that everybody will say that the song is inspired by AC/DC but it´s actually Twisted Sister that inspired me. The main riff in that song is inspired by The Raconteurs and when everybody listen to it then they all will say that it sounds like Hellacopters. It all goes around!
Now that you’ve just released your third full album, what are your plans for the nearby future?
We are going on tour in Spain, France and Germany for a month this fall. During this period, we aim to record a live album with songs from all our albums on the set list and maybe some new songs as well. We have to see what happens but I think it would be cool just to print a live album on vinyl. However, I guess The Sign Records have their saying in this matter as well.
In my review of your album, I mentioned that I think your music is perfect to play when being on a roadtrip. What would be your perfect album for such an undertaking?
Usually when we are together in a van we listen to classic rock music but after a while, we have to pick a song each and we do that for an hour or two, so it could be anything from Ian Brown to jazz. When Gustav is tired of listening to music he always interrupts and start this stupid game that he calls “the animal game”. He is thinking of an animal and we should figure out which animal it is just asking him a question that he can answer with a yes or no. The game can last for hours. We HATE him for it.
What would be your dream bands/artists to tour with?
I would say some band that´s big so you have a big crowd to support and get new fans. It would be nice if the band were taking you under their wings as well so they could give you good advice and stuff. Hmmm, which will it be? Maybe Foo Fighters. But they would never choose us as a support band because we are way better than them. HAHAHAHA.
Seriously! There are many bands that we are big fans of! If I have to choose one band, it has to be The Rolling Stones. But I also would love to tour with Ozzy during his prime-time.
Before I forget: Where did your band name “Grande Royale” come from?
When we started this band Andy was the ruler. So we started as Andy Hell & The Blue Öyster Boys. The first artwork for a demo was that Andy was flying on his Gibson Firebird with a Devil’s tail and horns. Under him the other guys stood with leather pants and leather caps. Ha Ha Ha, that was so funny. When things started to take place we talked about changing name and be a little bit more serious about things.
It was Hampus’ idea to name the band Grande Royale because we all like burgers so much. You know, “grande de luxe steak burger” or “royale with cheese” 🙂
Any last words you’d like to aim at our readers, your fans or just people that still have to discover you?
Buy our records and go to our shows. That supports us with money to do another one. We love you!