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The Kerrang! Chart: The best new music this week
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Shortly before the planet is flung into a state of lockdown, Kerrang! is spending a Saturday afternoon at the Old Brompton gallery in Kensington, London, in a room lined with pallid mannequins wearing old-timey gas masks. As passers-by peer through the window, they might be tempted to pop in and get some extra protection, but they’d be wasting their time; these masks aren’t functional, or even for sale.
They’re iconography, representative of the wondrous world Palaye Royale have created on their forthcoming third album, The Bastards, and they’re here today as part of a pop-up shop the Las Vegas-based trio are running.
The event means not only will shoppers have the chance to purchase silky-striped pyjamas from the band themselves – that’s vocalist Remington Leith, guitarist/keyboardist Sebastian Danzig and drummer/pianist Emerson Barrett – but they’ll also get to hear Little Bastards, the first track ever written for the new record. Only after promising to keep their phones firmly in their pockets, mind…
With about 50 fans filling the shop, and another 50 eagerly queuing up the street, the band are keen to clock on for their retail shift – but they’ve important Kerrang! business to attend to first. Namely, an interview conducted by eight lucky competition winners. Turns out the band have some questions for their fans, too… so let’s get cracking!
Laura, 21, asks: What made you want to get into make-up for the first time?
Remington: “Make-up makes me prettier! I first wore it when I was like 17 or 18. I started putting on eyeliner, mostly out of insecurity, and then I just kinda owned it!”
Grace, 16, asks: If you could change one thing about the music industry today, what would it be?
Emerson: “It’d be more than one thing, for sure (laughs)!”
Remington: “Especially on this tour [which suffered a number of shows being cancelled, sometimes just minutes before doors were due to open], we’ve been having a lot of trouble. It’s crazy that someone dictates your future behind a desk. I had people on the phone cancelling shows because they didn’t want me going into the crowd and interacting with my own fans. I hate that there’s a barrier between the stage and the crowd, because I wanna be in there with you guys.”
Sebastian: “The barriers from fans to bands aren’t right – I love twenty one pilots for the fact that [singer Tyler Joseph] is a part of the crowd even if he’s playing to 20,000 people.”
Remington: “I also think music should just be free (laughs). I know that’s not ideal for me. I’ve also never enjoyed the idea of when artists use songwriters, ‘cause I feel like if you’re an artist you should be telling your story. I feel like it’s not as real if it’s not coming from you.”
Charlie, 16, asks: What's one thing you couldn't live without?
Remington: “My puppy! I miss him so much.”
Emerson: “For me it’s probably isolation (laughs). I have all the time in the world for all of you, but it’s all the in between moments that I don’t give a shit for. So when I go back into my isolation, I gain my energy through my art, come back, and I have all the energy and time to smile and laugh at all of you. It’s a very necessary back and forth.”
Remington: “Probably Harry Potter, too! Or The Office. I couldn’t go without those.”
Tommy, 17, asks: Which song has the most personal significance to you and why?
Remington: “It’s our single, Lonely. This song is so personal to me because I wrote it talking about the shit that I went through when I was a kid – I was very depressed, very suicidal. The whole song is kind of like a suicide note that never got released, so it’s really dark and I’m just glad I got past it in my life, so putting this song out is gonna be like I’m moving forward from that stage of my life.”
Emerson: “Death Dance, for me. Lyrically, it’s so symbolic of everything I stand for.”
Ash, 17, asks: How do you go about getting inspiration and writing songs?
Emerson: “(Laughs) It’s the pain from our upbringing… as brothers we’ve all gone through a lot of shit – the reason his voice sounds like that is because he’s a tortured soul. All this artwork you see was created out of pain of being in this world, I felt like I had to create my own world. The video [Remington] directed for Lonely, he was like, ‘I wanna document where the pain came from.’”
Sebastian: “This record was the first time we wrote about personal experiences because [first two albums] Side A and Side B were all songs created before we even got a record deal, so we hadn’t really experienced much in life. So this record has been the past four years of our touring lives, where I drove an SUV across North America to get this band to every show. I once went into the gas station, and [the guys] were in our shitty-ass van, and the transmission broke, and they went right through an intersection with no-one at the wheel. It’s like, ‘We’re supposed to be dead!’ We just got all those stories and all those things that inspired us as humans, and that’s where the lyrics [came from].”
Rivu, 17, asks: If you could play any venue in the world where would it be?
Remington: “I have a dream of playing Wembley Stadium – hopefully I can get there in 10 years.”
Emerson: “Hopefully one day we’re gonna stop playing venues and host our own. It will be a travelling circus, then no-one can kick us out (laughs).”
Morgan asks: What is your favourite song to perform live?
Remington: “My favourite song is You’ll Be Fine.”
Sebastian: “Dying In A Hot Tub recently has been emotional, hearing everyone sing in unison…”
Remington: “Yeah, people are hitting harmonies! I literally started tearing up last night.”
Oran, 17, asks: What's been your favourite moment on any tour?
Remington: “We were on tour with Marilyn Manson, and his tour manager came up, and was like, ‘Mr. Manson would like to see you’ and I was like, ‘Okay…’ I thought I was in trouble or something, then I go in his dressing room, and he’s like, ‘Hey buddy! You want a drink?’ I was like, ‘Uh yeah!’ (laughs). So I was just fangirling the entire time because me and Manson became friends. I grew up watching him on MTV and I idolised him when I was a kid, so that was such a cool moment for me.”
Sebastian: “Right when we finished tour, I had to go to Worcester to clean up my case of getting arrested for throwing a cup of coffee (laughs)…”
Remington: “That is the uncoolest way to get arrested.”
Sebastian: “I know! Spending a night in jail for throwing coffee, wearing slippers and a fucking fur coat…”
Emerson: “Is that your memorable moment? (Laughs)!”
Sebastian: “No, I’m getting to it! (Laughs) Right after I had to go to the airport and fly back to LA, and I flew out with Manson. We’re in the lounge to get on the plane, and he’s like, ‘Do you wanna get to first class?’ And I’m like, ‘Sure…’ – so he upgrades me! The plane was taxiing on the runway for like four hours, and Manson’s just chugging back every little bottle he possibly could. We were plastered before we even took off, and he puts a plastic bag over his head and just starts breathing in and out of the bag. I’m like, ‘What is he doing! Is this real life right now?’”
Laura asks: If you had to tour with one artist forever, who would it be?
Remington: “My Chemical Romance. I didn’t even have to think about it (laughs).”
Emerson: “twenty one pilots!”
Sebastian: “The Rolling Stones.”
Emerson: “Wow, I thought you were gonna say Harry Styles.”
Sebastian: “Oh fuck, yeah, Harry Styles (laughs)!”
Tommy, 17, asks: What's the most memorable interaction you've had with a fan?
Emerson: “Last night when I was outside meeting fans, a girl came up to me and she was bawling her eyes out, and she was like, ‘I just found out I’m pregnant and I wanna name my daughter or son after you.’ That means the world to me. And I made a video for the child to see later in its life. That was a hell of a moment.”
Ash, 17, asks: Do you have any more political songs like Massacre, The New American Dream in the works?
Remington: “That really affected us because every time I turn on the TV, it’s another fucking mass shooting. We’re just so goddamn sick of people dying, and it’s unreal that no-one’s fucking done anything. I think there was a recall on an arugula salad because it killed four people, but fucking guns, they dare not do a god damn thing about it. We get all the Trump supporters hating the song, because [apparently] people can still do mass shooting with bow and arrows… If there’s a mass bow and arrow shooting, I will fucking take down the song. If that ever fucking happens, please let me know!”
Sebastian: “It wasn’t that we wanted to take a political stance, it just meant something to us. I lost one of my friends when I was 14 – he got his dad’s gun and killed himself. Why should a kid have access to a gun?! There should be more rules and regulations on that stuff. If something that comes up in the world means something, of course we’re gonna write about it.”
Remington: “I mean, there’s not gonna be a coronavirus song (laughs). Maybe one day…”
Oran, 17, asks: What made you want to start making music?
Sebastian: “Our mom always said, ‘If there’s one thing I can give to you that can never be taken away, it’s the gift of music.’ So she gave us piano lessons for two years, then said we can pick up another instrument, so it’s always been a part of us. I wanted to play pro ice hockey and we only really started doing the band full time because I got injured.”
Remington: “I’d be in school, and I was always such a stubborn child…”
Emerson: “(Laughs) Still are!”
Remington: “I knew all I wanted to do was play music, so I never really payed attention. I took eight years of Spanish and all I know how to say is ‘hola’. Even when it came to a point when me and Emerson were homeless on the streets, I was still so stubborn. I got a job for eight hours and I quit. I was like, ‘I have zero dollars in my pocket, but I do not care, I just need to live music.’ And somehow it fucking worked out. I have no idea how the fuck we got here… but we’re here!”
And with that, the band turn the tables onto their fans…
Emerson: "What makes you happy?"
Oran: “Listening to your music – I will sit in my room and days that I don’t feel like I belong, I just put on the music and it gives me hope.”
Sebastian: “Thank you! That’s fucking great.”
Remington: "What are you guys expecting the new record to sound like?"
Morgan: “Anything! Because we just love your voice and love your music, so whatever it is, honestly, we love you for you.”
Remington: “Thank you, I appreciate that.”
Emerson: "What's your favourite song at the moment? It doesn't have to be from us..."
Charlee: “Probably Ma Chérie still – I know it came out years ago, but nothing’s really beaten it. It was beautiful acoustic, too.”
Sebastian: “Yes, Emerson has the voice of an angel.”
Remington asks: "What keeps you inspired?"
Tommy: “Just your art and your music giving me the strength to get up every day and work on my own dreams and other things that I want to work towards!”
Emerson: “I’m so proud of you! Your energy is magnificent – never lose that.”
Sebastian asks: "What does the Soldiers Of The Royal Council stand for?"
Laura: “For me personally, it stands for a family. It’s just a place or a group of people that all accept each other as they are, and I think everyone can feel welcome – I personally feel welcome.”
Sebastian: “I love that!”
Remington: “I think the motto of this band is simply ‘come as you are’.”
Emerson: “And we’ll let you in on a little secret, Soldiers Of The Royal Council is an anagram of our mom’s name, Stephanie Rachel Copper. Everything we do has infinite meaning, you’ve just gotta look a little deeper to find it.”
Remington: “We’re like the fucking Kardashians! Family first (laughs)!”
Palaye Royale's new album Bastards is out May 29 through Sumerian – get your copy now.
The Kerrang! Chart
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