With credentials going back to the early 1970s, Michael Schenker is one of the finest …
Can you imagine investing hours worth of your time learning morse code for the sole purpose of decoding a small, hidden clue in a music video? Well, that’s exactly what the Soldiers Of The Royal Council have been doing while waiting for Canadian rockers Palaye Royale’s highly anticipated third studio album.
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Who are the Soldiers Of The Royal Council? They are the art rock trio’s extremely dedicated fanbase.
Palaye Royale left such a strong impression during their first visit to Australia as part of last year’s inaugural Good Things festival, that they’re returning fewer than 12 months later for their own run of headline shows! Recently, they have been busy touring the USA with two of the biggest names in horror rock, Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie. We caught up with Palaye Royale’s frontman, Remington Leith, during a short break between tour dates to discuss touring, the new album and their fans crazy devotion.
What is it like touring with two of the biggest names in horror rock? “Oh, it’s unbelievable, yeah!” Remington says. “It’s one of the coolest tours that I’ve ever been on. I grew up with Manson and Zombie. Ever since I was a kid, I have idolised the shit out of them. Every night I feel so lucky because I get a free ticket to go watch Manson and Zombie. I’m actually so excited!” It is an extremely tough gig to be the opening act on such a large tour, but the the Remington reports that the boys have been received very well. “I was shocked at how well it’s doing! Because, Manson and Zombie are both obviously a lot heavier than our genre of music. The fans have just accepted us like crazy and it’s just such a cool feeling knowing that the fanbase that I grew up a part of have taken to us so amazingly. It’s one of the best opening tours that we have ever done. They have really taken to us and have made us feel so welcome on the tour. It couldn’t have gone better.”
When asked about Palaye Royale’s first taste of Australia last year, Remington says, “That was one of the coolest experiences! I had never been to Australia before and that was probably one of my favourite things of the year. I got to check off a lot of things from the bucket list. I got to hug a koala, which I am very excited about. It’s just one of the most beautiful countries that we’ve ever been to. It was fucking awesome. I got to play in front of so many people. It was definitely one of my favourite experiences.”
He is very much looking forward to coming back. “I just want to go jump in your ocean again! The best fucking day I ever had was just swimming around in the ocean. It was fucking amazing. I’m also looking forward to meeting all the fans and stuff. But I really just want to go swimming again” he laughs.
Feedback following their Good Things turn was overwhelmingly positive. This could be the result of Remington’s wild stage antics, which he assures no pre-planning is involved. “It’s definitely spur of the moment, I really don’t think about the things that I am about to do,” he says. “But, there have definitely been some times where I really regret it! Like, a couple of days ago on tour, there was this scaffolding and I was like ‘Oh, I’ll climb that!’. It was like 40ft high. I get to the top and I’m like ‘Oh. My. God. How the fuck am I going to get back down?’. So, there are times where I think that it is a great idea and then I get there and I’m almost peeing my pants because I’m like ‘Fuck! This is how I die. I’m gonna fall off this thing.’ But, somehow it always works out. I get scared all the time from it! But I love doing it!”
We definitely have one of the best fanbases in the entire world. I know that every band says that but there’s just something about our fans that make us more like one giant family. They really are like our family. Every single one of them makes us so happy and we are unbelievably grateful to have them.
Much like Remington’s stage antics, the band prefer to let things unfold organically rather than spend too much time planning things out. “We don’t really plan out our shows too much,” he says. “We like keeping it super raw, genuine and just go with how we are feeling. I feel like the most important thing about music is the emotion in it. We are pretty much giving a new version of the song every night.
“The next album… I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s the best thing that I have ever worked on in my life! I couldn’t be happier with the music that we are making.” Remington says. “We didn’t really stick with one genre on it, I don’t ever like being in one genre. I think the record itself is just art. We never stopped ourselves from being creative and just went outside of the box on everything. You know? ‘I’m feeling this way, I think the song should be like this’. There are some songs that are really, really heavy because we were angry writing them and then there are some songs that are more pop.
“Yeah, we have a bit of everything on this one! It’s the best thing that this band have ever done and I couldn’t be more happy.” He continues “My favourite albums have always been ones where the next song sounds completely different from the last song that you heard. I’ve never been a huge fan when bands put out a record where it just sounds like 12 of the same songs just playing over and over again, which is great, but I’ve always just leaned toward seeing your favourite artists being experimental, doing different things and going out of the comfort zone. That’s when you get the true, honest and some of the best songs.”
It is not uncommon for Palaye Royale to play unreleased tracks at their live shows. “ We’re trying to be a little bit better about that so we can actually keep a surprise for once.” Remington laughs. “That’s what we like as a band, to work out all the kinks in a song while on tour. We pretty much base a song around what the crowd reacts to. It’s basically live pre-production.” However, he remains tight lipped regarding the specific universe that they have created and where the songs will fit. “We are trying to keep a little bit of mystery. I will say, there are a lot more hidden easter eggs in the music videos. You can kind of see where we’re going next. Emerson [Barrett, drums] created this whole comic book and this whole storyline. He’s been working on it for the past year and a half. We are finally intertwining it with music.”
Remington says the mysterious concept has been a long time in the making. “We have had this concept now for about six years. Ever since our very first record. It was the very first thing that we ever recorded. We kinda left little hints, even back then. Obviously, six years ago we didn’t have the fanbase to put it out. I don’t think anyone would have cared! So it’s definitely cool knowing that we have this fanbase and that we finally get to do what we’ve always wanted to.”
The hints that have been dropped so far are sending the Soldiers Of The Royal Council into a damn frenzy! “It’s definitely so cool seeing all these theories that are popping up. It makes me so happy!” he says. “Some fans have gone so far as to learn morse code to decode clues! “I saw this one tweet that said something like ‘When I became a fan of Palaye, I never imagined myself learning morse code, like ever’.” Remington laughs. “I just think that it is so cool that these fans are taking the time to learn a new mode of communication to figure out little hints in music videos. It makes me so fucking happy. It makes me feel like a proud papa.”
“We definitely have one of the best fanbases in the entire world. I know that every band says that but there’s just something about our fans that make us more like one giant family. They really are like our family. Every single one of them makes us so happy and we are unbelievably grateful to have them.”
Catch Palaye Royale at the following dates:
BRISBANE // Thursday 12 September // The Brightside (18+)
SYDNEY // Friday 13 September // Crowbar (AA)
MELBOURNE // Saturday 14 September // Corner Hotel (18+)
MELBOURNE // Sunday 15 September // Wangler Studios (AA) SOLD OUT