Lav was pretty impressed with “CVI”, the latest album by Royal Thunder. Vocalist mLny was more than happy to share some insights on the new album, keeping her voice in shape and the sources of inspiration for her lyrics…
Stunning new album, Royal Thunder! The band has a lot to say lyrically, personally, musically on the CVI release. Could you share some insight on the concept of “CVI”?
Well thank you! I’m happy to hear that you are enjoying it! “CVI” is a collection of songs, some going back to when we first started, others are more like within the past year or so. I (mLny) write all the lyrics. I like to play the song without vocals for a while, then I start hearing melodies followed by emotions and I just let the song speak to me.
So, really each song is different and lyrically, it comes from different eras of my life, so it doesn’t have a “concept” per se. The lyrics are honest and there are a lot of personal life experiences in the songs. I wanted to express myself, for my own growth and understanding but I also wanted it to be open to interpretation and for others to find what they are looking for in the music.
Mlny, do you find that you can adopt that incredible voice at the drop of a hat or do you have to work at it?
Thank you, but um… It’s me! It’s who I am. It is the voice that comes out of me. I have seen many struggles as a vocalist. It does take a lot of “care”. I have to protect my voice. I try not to speak a whole lot before a show and I need like 10-15 minutes after I get off stage to calm/cool my voice down. Sustaining your voice on tour and at home even, is challenging.
So yeah, it’s hard work to take care of her, but its worth all the time I put into it. I’m still learning a lot as far as my voice goes. I was a screaming vocalist from the time I was 14 or 15… until I was in my mid twenties! So… I never had to consider caring for my voice until Royal Thunder.
Let’s talk about a few songs on the album, starting with the opener, “Parsonz Curse”. There is a lot of speculation that this song is personal to you or is that just a fluke?
It is not a fluke. It is not my curse. It is my family’s curse. My ancestors were horse thieves. They would steal pure bred horses and sell them for a lot of money. They ended up stealing a prized horse from a local witch doctor/medicine woman. They were cursed, but it only falls on certain people in my family. I have seen it, and I have done my “work” to protect myself. I am not open to expressing what the curse is.
The song “Parsonz Curse” is me singing/speaking to someone in my family that IS cursed and I am in a sense, revoking/rebuking that curse and consoling the people who are directly effected by it. And you are the first person I have divulged that much info too in regards to this curse! Ha, I’m not sure why, but I guess I find good reason to talk a little bit more in detail without slandering anyone’s name or exposing the humiliation of what they are going through.
“Sleeping Witch” makes an appearance on “CVI” and it made an appearance on the debut EP. Why the decision to include it again?
‘Sleeping witch’ OR ‘the BEAST!’ Ha. She (sleeping witch) just decided to pull us back and slither her way through a tempo that we did not know was happening. The more we played it live, the more it “hushed” and “swayed”. It wanted to go in that direction, so we let it happen. We felt that it was a strong difference and we wanted to introduce the “face lift” version. I think it was a good choice. Three songs did not make the cut for CVI, maybe you will hear them on the next album!
Most bands are looking at releasing albums through digital media but Royal Thunder made sure “CVI” got the vinyl treatment. Would the band agree that it gives a certain edge, sophistication and rarity to the album by releasing it in a medium that is almost obsolete?
Honestly, ha, I think we are just old school! We didn’t really think about it. We have record players and record collections, so we just thought, hell… Why not?
I do not own an iPod or any kind of mp3 player or whatever. That’s cool and all, and convenient! But I still have a boom box and I love buying albums. I want that shit in my hands!!! That’s my favorite part! people are really gravitating towards the vinyl, so… I’m stoked to see it is not a “lost art” so to speak.
Royal Thunder has a very hard-line work ethic; always persevering and believing in what you do. What can other bands learn from that?
I don’t believe in getting NOTHING for free, ask anyone that knows me, I don’t take to the idea of “rubbing shoulders with the right people” or “riding the coat tails” of someone, someone who has worked tirelessly to get to where they are. I have no respect for a lazy fuck that gets shit handed to em and in turn, has no clue what it takes.
Now, I know that my answer sounds hostile and aggressive, but I have worked my ass off to be where I am today and I still have a lot of working my ass off, to be done! So what advice would I give other bands? Be genuine with your art. Don’t mimic other bands. And don’t be a pussy, sweat this shit out. You will find great failure, don’t give up… Learn from it and you will find great success… Be thankful for that… But don’t ever think you are the best you can be… There’s always tomorrow to grow even more! Work work work, and if you still want it, GRAB ON TIGHT mother fucker, and stay true to yourself. That’s what’s up.
What can we expect from Royal Thunder’s tour in June 2012 with Holy Grail and Valient Thorr?
A great contrast in music. And I’m thinking, an incredible blast of high energy!!! I feel like I’m going to walk away with a fire burning for the next level. I feel a shift. I feel an awakening in my soul…. I’m going to learn great things and see things for the first time. I don’t believe I will be disappointed. it’s on! Good times will be had! So excited for this tour!
David Lee Roth (Diamond Dave) once said, “Communication is an art, and music is nothing but communication”. As a band, what is your take on that?
I can only speak for myself on this one. I don’t really believe that music is “nothing but communication”. It is in part, communication, but even more it is like “birthing energy”. Once the music is made the energy is released and a whole world is born. We are all feeding off of one another at that point, and emotions are communicating and the soul is shifting…ok, ok…that’s just my “hippie ass” perspective on things… Hahaha seriously, I’m not really a hippie. The answer to that question sounded like a god damn Oscar award winning performance! Fuck it, it’s how I feel.
In terms of shows, touring and appearances – what are Royal Thunder’s future plans?
I wannnnnnaaaaaa write so bad right now. The creativity is high and the juices be flowing. I hope for more US touring and I wanna see us in Europe by the end of this year. We have NO PLANS. What’s next? We are in waiting….
Does Royal Thunder have any last words?
I really wanna thank everyone who is standing behind us and all around us, in support of what we are doing. Without you guys loving music and bands and coming out to support the things you believe in… We couldn’t do this! You have no idea how grateful we are to all of our fans. Come talk to us anytime at shows! We love to meet you guys and gals. We are very hairy and we might smell or look mean, but we are all excited to meet you guys so come on!
My pleasure and I’m so sorry I’ve been sitting on this one for so long! I hope it makes it to you in good timing. Thank you for your interest in our band, and anytime… Hit us up if you wanna talk to anyone else in the band! Again, it’s been my pleasure…