INTERVIEW WITH THE ROYAL BEGGARS

INTERVIEW  WITH THE ROYAL BEGGARS interview by MIKE MATTY

MELODY LANE had a great interview with the Glam/Blues rockers 'THE ROYAL BEGGARS', an explosive rock'n roll band from Sweden founded by ex-members of the sleaze band ROCKSTARS ON MARS.
A warning for all the fans of bands like The Dogs D'amour, The New York Dolls, Tom Keifer and The Quireboys...Don't miss these guys!!!

MELODY LANE: First of all, also if it can sound a bit expected…Can you tell us where does the name THE ROYAL BEGGARS come from?  
THE ROYAL BEGGARS: The Royal Beggars was actually the first and only name that we discussed. David came up with it one day and it just felt right straight away for all of us. The idea for the "Beggars"-part originally comes from "The Rolling Stones", "Beggars Banquet". It's a cool word that stuck, i guess. And we're all big Stones fans. When it comes to the "Royal"-part it became more about a "play on words" thing, both words contradicts one another in a cool kind of way.

MELODY LANE: The line-up of the band is confirmed, is it the same from the beginning of the band…or have you had changes in the last years? Can you tell us something about the roots of  THE ROYAL BEGGARS? And where the band was born?
THE ROYAL BEGGARS: We started out in Gothenburg, Sweden, about 2 years ago and the line up has been unchanged from the start. Jonas and David has been playing together in other bands before, but we're all from the same city so we've known each other for years. When our previous band fell apart, me (Jonas) and David decided to start a new band and reached out to Emil and Johan to see if they wanted to jam with us. One night of heavy drinking later, the band was a fact.

MELODY LANE: Can you list us 3 songs, from  THE ROYAL BEGGARS discography (including new material), that can define the sound of the band … 3 songs that can help our readers to know  THE ROYAL BEGGARS at the best.
THE ROYAL BEGGARS: To sum The Royal Beggars up in three songs we would choose:

- "Wasted N' Wanted". This track maintains full momentum from start to finish, fast paced rocker drenched in debauchery.

- "Broken Heart of Glass".  This mid-tempo track oozes with heartache and pain, a passionate roaring chorus with slide guitars.

- "Lonely Dead Red Rose". This is the single of the new EP, a guitar driven bluesy rock n' roller featuring harmonica and a catchy chorus.

MELODY LANE: Tell us something about the creative process of your music. Is there a main composer or we can talk about a team work? The songs come from ideas of a single member and then the band works on these ideas in the studio jamming together, or your songs are written in the studio and all the members compose together?
THE ROYAL BEGGARS: Most songs are written by David on acoustic guitar, who later takes them to rehearsals for everybody to jam and develop. Everybody gets to shape the songs in their own way. We've have gotten to know eachother very well musically over these past years so when we start to jam a new song the sound and dynamics usually falls in place quite quick and natural.

MELODY LANE: Who writes lyrics and words in  THE ROYAL BEGGARS? Can you tell us something about contents and messages of the lyrics of your songs?
THE ROYAL BEGGARS: David writes the lyrics and melodies. The lyrics originates from our own expericences, people around us, releationships and adventures that we have lived through. It's stories about broken hearts, alienation and debaucery. It's about the good and bad times, the bad times usually brings out the best songs for some reason.

MELODY LANE:  After time, are you totally satisfied with your choices about sound and the writing of your debut album Tales from Disgraceland? If you could… would you change anything?
THE ROYAL BEGGARS: The whole production of "Tales from Disgraceland" was very rushed. The time frame we had to record everything was like two days and then it had to been sent to mixing. There were stuff we unfortunatley didn't have time to record or elaborate in the studio. We still love the songs but we feel that the production and recordings didn't give them the justice they deserve. "Wounded Hearts N' Bloodstained Souls" has the sound that we wanted for "Tales from Disgraceland", but it wasn't possible right there and then. Maybe we'll re-record it some day, who knows. Anyhow, people still like it and i guess that's what matters.

MELODY LANE:  So apart from the codid/pandemic situation…will you tour in the next future? Have you already a touring schedule? Any chance for us to see THE ROYAL BEGGARS playing live here in Italy in the next months/year?
THE ROYAL BEGGARS: We had some gigs planned in Sweden, supporting the release of "Wounded Hearts N' Bloodstained Souls" that got cancelled due to the pandemic. There's still plans on touring the UK and parts of Europe when everyday life goes back to normal. We have no bookings in Italy at the moment unfortunatly, but would love to play there some day!

MELODY LANE: Could you tell us two bands, from the actual international scene, you’d like  THE ROYAL BEGGARS to tour with?... Two bands that would represent a perfect line-up for  THE ROYAL BEGGARS to play with. And why these bands? 
THE ROYAL BEGGARS: There's a lot of bands that we would like to collaborate with! We'd like to focus the question on more recent bands, so how about...Swedens "Trench Dogs" and NYC rockers "The Sweet Things", that would make a really cool line-up for us to play with. These are two band who has that raw rock n' roll sound and style that we love. We're all three different sounding bands but for us it feels like we're cut from the same dirty cloth. If you haven't heard about these guys, do yourself a favor and check them out!

MELODY LANE: We know that ‘to define is to limit’… but how do you define THE ROYAL BEGGARS sound? Are you an Hard Rock band…a Vintage Rock band… A Southern Blues Rock band Or…? 
THE ROYAL BEGGARS: We simply see ourselves as a rock n' roll band, with a lot of different influences. There's some glam, punk, blues and country added to the mix. As you said, ‘to define is to limit’. But if we had to, I guess you could call us a glam rock band.

MELODY LANE: Which musicians are/have been your main musical inspirations? And which are your favorite bands nowadays?
THE ROYAL BEGGARS: Most of the inspiration comes from some of our favorite bands such as "The Rolling Stones", "Hanoi Rocks", "New York Dolls", "The Dogs D'amour" and "The Quireboys", to name a few great bands from a long list. We listen to a lot of different kinds of music, but its ususally rock n' roll, country or blues, everything between "Waylon Jennings", "Slade", "Sex Pistols" and "Chuck Berry".

MELODY LANE: The cover art of the new Ep “Wounded Hearts N’ Bloodstained Souls”’s been made by TYLA, legendary leader of THE DOGS D’AMOUR. Can you tell us anything about this collaboration? Did you met him? Have you ever jammed with him?...
THE ROYAL BEGGARS: We've been huge fans of Tyla and The Dogs' for years. We've been over to the UK a couple of times to see his shows, so we've bumped in to one another from time to time, exchanging a few words here and there. It was not until last year in London after one of his shows, we got to sit down with him and the gang. After chatting over a couple of beers we popped the question about him doing the cover art of our next release. We got his contact info and he agreed to help us out. Thanks a lot T! We haven't had the chance to play with him yet, but hopefully we will some day.

MELODY LANE: Correct me if I’m wrong...some of you played years ago in a band called ROCKSTARS ON MARS...is it right? The frontman was LONDON LEGRAND,ex singer of BOD, what can you tell us about this band? How did you met with London? Is the band active yet? What’s London doin’ in these days, are you in contact?
THE ROYAL BEGGARS: That's right! Me (Jonas) and David started out, jamming together with only guitar and bass, until Ceasar Ivarsson joined us on drums. (Caesar is now the owner of LMH Records, which The Royal Beggars are signed to). We tried out a couple of singers, but it never felt quite right...One night we went out to the Gothenburg Rock Bar and met a guy who'd just moved to Sweden from Los Angeles. It turned out to be London LeGrand, after couple of drinks we really hit it off and decided to jam together. The next day "Rockstars on Mars" was formed. We released some music and did shows all over Sweden. Around the time we recorded our second album "Dregs of Humanity" with Johannes Roivainen on drums, back in 2015, the tension within and around the band started to grow. The next year, before releasing the album, we had to put the band on ice after London got deported to the U.S due to an expired visa. We've been in contact with London from time to time over the years since he went back, doing his thing in L.A. It was not until last year all of us decided to finally release the second album, which came out november 2019.
In regards to if the band is still active, we haven't played in a couple of years and we have no plans on playing together any time soon.
We're all friends and I guess we're all open to do something together as a band again one day, if the stars align. You never know.

MELODY LANE: As a musician, what has been your biggest achievement to date and what do you want to achieve in the near future?
THE ROYAL BEGGARS: We'd like to say that our new EP, "Wounded Hearts N' Bloodstained Souls", is our greatest achievement so far. We're really proud of this one! As fast as this virus is gone we'll hit the road again to pick up where we left of, playing as many shows as possible. When we had finished the recording of "Wounded Hearts N' Bloodstained Souls" we had some extra time in the studio. So we recorded five acoustic songs aswell. We're planning on releasing these songs on an EP later this year. It's going to be called "Jokers N' Chainsmokers" and has a really cool wibe to it, we're really excited! 

MELODY LANE: In the end…A message from you to all MELODY LANE readers.
THE ROYAL BEGGARS: We want to thank you all for the support you have shown us so far!
We're looking forward to play in Italy one day, sooner rather than later. Until then stay true and stay safe! Cheers