Royden - 12.29.05

Interviewed by
Royden - 12.29.05This interview was conducted on December 29th with Treebo, Kerry, Nick, Tim, and Justin of Royden. This was my first phone interview and I used some 15 year old phone I hadn't used in ages, and the speakerphone kinda blew, so I messed up a lot of things, and I know I probably messed up a ton when it comes to who was speaking. Sorry about that.

AP: Thank you guys for doing the interview. I guess the biggest news surrounding the band right now is your recent signing to Hopeless Records—how does it feel to be on a label that’s put out records by bands such as Samiam, Thrice, and last, but not least, Avenged Sevenfold?

Kerry: I’d like to say that we’re pretty honored. I know that I am, at least. A lot of those bands are bands I grew up listening to. Samiam of course being one of them. The Queers, they put out some of their releases too. So I think we can all say we’re pretty excited by it—they’re well respected, they do good work, and they have a lot of good bands on their roster.

AP: So are you guys all rich n shit now?

Kerry: I actually bought cigarettes with quarters yesterday. But no, we’ll be rich once we sell a billion trillion records.

AP: How’d you guys go about getting signed by Hopeless? How’d they find out about you?

Treebo: What happened was that we were in touch with Jay Alsberg (?) from Hot Topic—we got a bunch of our CDs in his stores, a bunch of stores across the east coast, and it was sellin’ pretty good, so he actually got in touch with Louis for us and he said “Hey, check out these guys, they’re doin’ pretty alright out there.” And he got in contact with us, we had a couple phone conversations, he came out to New York to see us play, and the rest is history, as they like to say.

AP: Does being from New Jersey help you guys out because there’s a good scene, or does that work against you because there’s a good scene with so many bands?

Nick: I don’t really think that it was to our advantage more than it was a struggle, because there are so many bands that come out of New Jersey, that on any given night, there are going to be 8 shows within a 20 mile or 30 mile radius, and trying to get kids to come out and performing and then having them come out with you again when there’s possibly a bigger show going on the same night was kind of a struggle, so I wouldn’t really say that it gave us an edge, but it made us work a lot harder.

AP: Why did you choose Hopeless over other labels—what can they offer that others can’t?

Treebo: Well, they can offer us love and affection, they like to call us on the telephone late at night, read us bedtime stories, tuck us in. Nah, we picked them over everybody else because they let us have artistic and creative freedom with our record. They don’t really interfere that much like other record labels. Everything really comes down to what we feel comfortable with and what we feel would be best for our band. They’re gonna offer their suggestions, and they’ve been at this way longer than we have—most of the time we do take their suggestions on what to do—but if it really comes down to it and we’re really fighting for something, they’ll be like “Ok, well it’s your choice, if you guys want to do it this way, then that’s the way it’s going to be done.”

Nick: That was one of the main selling points, and another thing is that they really believe in all of their bands and the music their bands put out, and they’re not really out there to push an image and to find the next pop punk superstar. They really believe in the music and they like what they hear.

Kerry: And they weren’t scared when we got drunk. And acted like maniacs.

Nick: And you were dropping them in boxes and stuff.

AP: This is a pretty lame question, but where’d you get the name Royden?

Treebo: We were tossing around ideas for band names one night when we were sitting around my house—we were having a couple beverages—and we had the TV on randomly, Kerry was watching this World War II special about the funeral raids (?), a bombing campaign after Pearl Harbor, and there’s a guy on and his name is Royden Stork and Kerry goes, “Man! That is one kick ass name for a band!” And we always kept it in the back of our heads, and when it came time to name the band, everyone kind of looked at each other and said, “Yeah, that’s a really good idea.”

Kerry: I think the name is somewhat indicative of what we are as a band. If you really look into the whole story of Royden Stork, a B-52 was shot down over enemy territory, he parachuted out, was knocked unconscious while he was falling through the air, woke up a few days later. Basically, he pulled out ahead of the competition, which was the enemy, and destroyed everyone with fire and magic lasers. That’s what we do on stage, we destroy people with fire and magic lasers.

Nick: And we shoot spaghetti through our fingertips.

Kerry: For the record though, that’s not true.

AP: Here’s another shitty question, but could you maybe give a brief history of the band? Some of our readers might be unfamiliar.

Nick: We were all kinda from the same circle of friends—Justin was in the band Stillwell and also Maverick, and A Day at the Fair, and myself, Treebo, and Kerry were all in the band My Cousin Ray (?), and Tim was in a band [couldn’t figure out what they were saying]. We had all been friends, we were friends through friends, and we’d been in the scene so long together that when it was time to assemble Royden and start this project, we knew who we really wanted to be playing with and to join us in this excursion.

Treebo(?): We should also mention that the original lineup had Craig Luvenia (?) and he’s in a band now called Manhattan at Dawn. He left the band in March, and then we picked up Justin from there.

AP: For people who haven’t heard your band, how would you describe yourselves?

Kerry: Simply horrible noise. I came up with three labels one time: “spooky pop music,” the other was like “neuro-operatic rock,” and the other was “death disco,” but it’s kinda like, throw all those things together. It just sounds like awesome rock n roll. Music from another planet.

Tim: Like an explosion of sound.

Nick: I think Panic! At the Disco, but not the band, just what that would technically mean.


Kerry: If that band sounded like their name, that’s what we sound like.

AP: So you’ve been writing your new album lately, how’s that been going?

Treebo: We’ve been putting in long, long hours, like 13 hour days trying to write songs—we have a whole nest of tunes to go into the studio with—we’re pretty excited just to get into the studio.

AP: What element do you focus on the most when you’re writing songs?

Treebo: We just try to write songs that we would listen to, you know? We’re a pretty eclectic group of guys, none of us here really like the same things that other people like.

Nick: Except for fishing.

Treebo: Except for fishing, yeah. The only thing we all really have in common is that we all get drunk together. Other than that—

Kerry: We all share the desire to make awesome rock n roll.

Treebo: We really pull elements from every single person’s personality when we write songs, and that’s what we try to focus on. Trying to bring out all of our different influences in one song—we’re not looking for just a pop punk following or a hardcore following, or anything like that, we’re looking for any kind of rock. If kids like rock n roll music, then they’re probably gonna like us, or at least one song.

AP: What influences do you draw from?

Treebo: We draw a lot of influences from like—me, Timmy, or Justin will write a guitar part, and we’ll listen to it and we’ll kind of feel the song from there. A song from one part, a song will never sound the way I think, or I’m sure anybody else thinks, it’s going to sound—

Kerry: But it gets better.

Treebo: Yeah, that’s the good thing about it, it gets better with the more elements that we throw in, I feel at least.

AP: How does the new stuff compare to the EP?

Kerry: Oh man. It basically kicks its ass to Zimbabwe, goes over there, picks it back up, punches it in the face, and drowns it on the way home. It’s a lot different and just a lot better. It’s a lot more intense. More diverse. More interesting. A lot more discoteque going on, and a lot of really cool drum patterns and cool guitar type stuff.

AP: How was it working with Rob [from Hidden in Plain View] on the EP?

Treebo: It’s always fun working with Rob—he’s been one of our friends for a long time, and I suggest that if any band out there wants to record that they contact Rob first, because the kid just knows what he’s doing. He’s in a very popular band and he just knows patches, when he’s mixing down he knows what to bring up and what to put back down, and he worked a lot with me on the first album and the new tracks that we did, we worked a lot together on focusing on the vocal lines and bringing out my sound, because before that, I was a horrible singer.

AP: When do you plan on recording the full length?

Treebo: January. We go in January 30th with Mike Poorman up in Vermont, and we come back March 6th.

AP: When can we expect the record to be out?

Treebo: It’s gonna drop late June or early July.

AP: I remember seeing you guys with The Weakend a while back at Under the Couch [venue at Georgia Tech in Atlanta], and to be honest, I don’t think the recordings I’ve heard of you guys don’t quite match the energy you’ve got on stage—which is understandable, and tell me if I’m wrong about this by the way—but if I’m not, how do you plan on transferring that energy that you’ve got on stage onto the tape?

Nick: When we recorded that EP, I think we’d written and recorded it in 22 days, so it wasn’t really a lot of time. It wasn’t fully mixed, so there were a lot of elements missing from the CD, it lacked character, it lacked life a little bit, and it didn’t have that luster that it really should—even right now, as we speak, it’s being re-mixed by Martin Feveyear—he’s been re-mixing the songs for us, and we’ll be re-releasing our EP sometime in the spring, maybe April-ish.

AP: Which do you prefer, shows or recording?

[Everyone in unison]: Shows.

Kerry: I like to throw my body around like it’s a rag doll, and when you’re playing a show and you’ve got a lot of energy, it really just transfers to the music. I think a fair thing to say would be that when you’re on tour all the time, you want to go record, when you’re recording all the time, you want to go tour. But personally, I always, always want to play shows, and I’m pretty sure I can say that for the rest of the band.

Tim: I’d like to add that since Justin joined the band, I think that our energy’s increased ten-fold. I think we’ve really got a good lineup, with our old songs mixed in with our new songs, and our member lineup right now.

AP: What touring plans do you have once you’re done with the record?

Treebo: We’re coming back home for about two days and then we’re going out to South by Southwest, and then from there, we’re basically going to be on tour through the whole summer.

AP: Any Warped plans?

Treebo: Everyone plans to do Warped tour, whether you can do it or not, that’s the question. [Laughs]. Yeah, possibly. A possible Bamboozle date. It’s all up in the air.

AP: What do you think separates Royden from other bands? What can you offer that other bands can’t?

Justin: I think that our Sparks are the key factor that everyone else apart from the Royden—

Nick: That’s Sparks the alcoholic beverage—

Justin: It gives us a little get-up-n-go. You get a little sauce goin, you know, you feel the music a little better. Not to the point where you’re fallin’ over, yeah, OK, that happened maybe once or twice, but who’s perfect? Not me.

Treebo: I think the thing that really separates us from other bands is that we’re out there just to have fun. And you can tell that in our live show and how we interact with people. We can basically walk into any venue and just play and have a good time. We’re not about—well, I’d like to sell a hundred thousand, five hundred thousand, a million copies of our record—but as long as I’m having fun doing it, I could sell twenty thousand or two thousand or one thousand and I’d be happy. Every time I go out there, I’m having the time of my life.

Nick: For me at least, like Treebo said, going out, meeting new people, meeting the people and having relationships with—

Tim: Underage girls—

Nick: No, no, no. Mothers. It’s just sort of like when we went out to Lima, we met up with a couple people out there, a couple cool guys who run a venue, just guys that we have a real good relationship right now with. Every time we go back, they treat us really well. They buy us beer.

Kerry: I think what separates us from everyone else is that Royden is men, and everyone else is the boys. [Laughs]

AP: Sort of on that same note, what goals do you hope to accomplish as a band?

Kerry: I’d like to see us just make awesome music that we can be proud of and be happy with for the rest of our lives, and hopefully other people can be down with it too.

Treebo: I think our ultimate goal, as anybody’s ultimate goal in the music scene is, is to have longevity—to write the record that 20 years down the line, people are still going to be talking about the record.

AP: What do you want your fans to come away with?

Justin: Surprising them in the shower.

Treebo: I think the biggest impact we want to have on our fans, is that we want them to like us as much as we like them. We appreciate every person that comes out and listens or buys a CD or buys a t-shirt, and for us, our fans are basically our family. Who else do you have when you’re out on the road 300 days a year?

AP: What’s the best thing Royden has experienced as a band?

Nick: We got to meet George Clinton, that was pretty cool. But this is by far my favorite thing that’s ever happened to us when we’ve been in Royden: we were in Ohio, and Timmy, Justin, and Kerry got reallllly drunk before we got on stage, and Justin played the whole show without his shirt on, and at some point while we were setting up to go on stage, they took a black marker and drew a battleship on his chest, and underneath it they wrote the word “gravy.” And here’s the fun part, after every song, I’d go to same something and Justin would say “GRAAAVY!!” at the top of his lungs. And I think that was my favorite part. And then Justin waking up the next morning with pretzels in his hair and shit stuck to his chest because he was slept on the floor.

AP: What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you guys?

Tim: I don’t think anything bad’s happened to us yet. Knock on wood!

AP: One reader wanted you guys to answer this question: A train leaves Milwaukee at 3:15 p.m. going 70 mph—

Justin: Hold on, I’m good at this, what is it?

AP: A train leaves Milwaukee at 3:15 p.m. going 70 mph and another leaves Chicago at 4:30 p.m. going 80 mph. When and where do they meet? (Assume that Milwaukee is 90 miles from Chicago and the trains are traveling in a straight line.)

Justin: There is no smoke, the trains are electric. You can’t fool me!

AP: I caught a couple minutes of your interview last night on the internet radio show. You seem to be pretty outgoing, and you like to drink—does that ever help the band, or does it ever get you in trouble?

Treebo: We’re all of age to drink, so we don’t get in trouble. We act really silly n stuff, but we can maintain ourselves. We don’t drink until we die. We like to have a good time when we’re hanging out, because we all work very, very much when we’re not together. We work hard and we play hard. So that’s what recording this album is going to do for us. When we go up there for a month, it’s like a job—we’re going to be recording 8 to 10 hours a day, and when we’ve got a free weekend up there, we’re gonna get really drunk!

Tim: There’s always one of us who’s responsible and stays sober for the rest of the band. And it’s usually Feldman.

Treebo: Our manager’s the one who does that. But we’re not out of control.

AP: What’s the craziest tour story or weirdest thing that’s happened to you guys?

Tim: There was one crazy, dirty lady outside of the bar with no teeth, and her husband or boyfriend was all messed up and he wasn’t making any sense—he was asking us for CDs n stuff but he wasn’t making any sense. But the fire one’s the best. Me and Treebo were running around a hotel drinking Red Bull and Jagermeister, just running around, and I guess this girl was crying—

Treebo: No, nobody was crying. We’re sittin there, cause it’s the dead of winter in January, and we were in Detroit, and we were on 12 mile road (?) and there’s a fireplace at the hotel, so we go down to the lobby and we’re drinking Jagermeister and Red Bull n stuff, and this little person comes, and the guy was wasted, I have no idea what he was saying, and he leans up against the couch and goes and he looks at us and goes, “WEmwefh fhtw whfwleb.” And I was like, “What is going on?” I’m a little bit tipsy and I’m just like, “What’s happening?” I don’t know, it was weird man. It’s one of those things that happened that you just can’t explain. And then we went to some crazy restaurant at 1 in the morning that night and the people were yelling at us and I put O-Town on for sixteen songs straight. Yeah, that was an interesting night.

AP: What’s the dirtiest or nastiest thing you guys have ever done?


Tim: No comment.

Treebo: It has to deal with mothers picking up daughters from shows, and that’s as far as we’re going. [Laughs]

AP: Well thank you very much for the interview, anything you’d like to say to the readers of AbsolutePunk.net?

Treebo: Thanks for buying our CD if you have it. If you don’t have it, go buy one!
Displaying posts 1 - 13 of 13
07:23 AM on 12/30/05
Ryan Imhof
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good interview
09:04 AM on 12/30/05
gettin emo!
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CurtyB's Avatar
Originally Posted by Ryan Imhof
good interview
definately...they kinda avoided my train question though....
10:32 AM on 12/30/05
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PJ1336's Avatar
these guys really do love alcohol.... alot. my band played a show with them and a bunch of my friends and i were hanging out with them, of course drinking. amazing dudes, amazing band. i seriously hope they get fucking HUGE.
01:45 PM on 12/30/05
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i love bands w/ magic powers..like shooting laser beams
01:47 PM on 12/30/05
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chroma23's Avatar
Mothers picking up their daughter's from shows? hmmm.....
02:06 PM on 12/30/05
The Silencer
the one above all
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I love these dudes.
02:24 PM on 12/30/05
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theandrewvolta's Avatar
I would have to disagree with their answer to the craziest thing that's ever happened to them on tour. While The Weakend was touring with Royden we got this tiny hotel room in Louisville, KY and there was an archery convention there at the time and everywhere you looked people were walking around with crossbows and crazy chivilric weapons. A bum came up to our room and tried to sell me, Tim and Kerry some cold pizza I'm pretty sure. After we played the show, we all went back to the room and got really drunk and tried to convince Buddy's pizza to reopen (we were hungry, man). I woke up in the middle of the night and everyone was passed out fully clothed and I went outside to smoke because the room was really hot and there was a nice winter breeze outside. I passed out on the bed once I came back inside and once we all woke up the next morning we were all cuddling in our underwear somehow... all 12 of us. The continental breakfast was really good there.
02:30 PM on 12/30/05
Rohan Kohli
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Originally Posted by theandrewvolta
I would have to disagree with their answer to the craziest thing that's ever happened to them on tour. While The Weakend was touring with Royden we got this tiny hotel room in Louisville, KY and there was an archery convention there at the time and everywhere you looked people were walking around with crossbows and crazy chivilric weapons. A bum came up to our room and tried to sell me, Tim and Kerry some cold pizza I'm pretty sure. After we played the show, we all went back to the room and got really drunk and tried to convince Buddy's pizza to reopen (we were hungry, man). I woke up in the middle of the night and everyone was passed out fully clothed and I went outside to smoke because the room was really hot and there was a nice winter breeze outside. I passed out on the bed once I came back inside and once we all woke up the next morning we were all cuddling in our underwear somehow... all 12 of us. The continental breakfast was really good there.

You guys played really well at that show I saw at Under the Couch. Can't wait for the new stuff.
09:15 AM on 01/01/06
Chickens don't clap!
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Originally Posted by Rohan Kohli
Nick: And we shoot spaghetti through our fingertips.

Haha, I'm loving the Dane Cook reference.
12:17 AM on 01/05/06
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i really like them now
01:08 PM on 04/13/06
Empty hearts187
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i love this band, saw them live once. ill never forget what they said to me when they wanted me to buy their merchandise- ``our merch is like buying cocaine....except....its legal.´´
10:36 PM on 12/20/06
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SoDakValerie's Avatar
I love this band. They played in my hometown and ended up staying at my house. They aren't kidding when they say they love their alcohol. It was definately an interesting night.

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