Irish alt rockers ROYSEVEN didn’t meet in school or college like many other bands; they met through mutual friends – and an advert in their local Dublin music magazine Hot Press.
ROYSEVEN’s debut offering, ‘The Art of Insincerity’, was released in Ireland (and Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) in 2006 to critical acclaim; charting at #’17 in their home country (first single ‘Older’ landed in the chart at #6). The album was produced by Marc Carolan, the front of house engineer for Muse. Multiple awards were to follow and a year later, on their 4th single ‘Crash’, an advertising campaign for VW. The band went on to notable performances at Rock Am Ring, Rock Im Park and Oxegen festivals, not to mention sharing the stage with numerous bands including The Kaiser Chiefs, The Fratellis and Duran Duran.
Since their debut, the six Irish band mates have not only grown closer as friends but honed their song writing skills and live performances. Now, their first UK release beckons – their second album ‘You Say, We Say‘, will be available digitally and in stores here on June 4.
“I suppose you have to become a group before you can write music that reflects a group” guitarist Sam Garland acknowledges. “Of course it’s harder with six people. But throughout the gigs, travelling, and rehearsals, we were actually, unknowingly, laying the foundations for our best work and with ‘You Say, We Say’ it feels like we’ve finally arrived. We wrote the new record as we toured and that helped us tap into a style that worked for both us and the audience. In addition, we had the time to write as a group rather than one person presenting an idea in rehearsals, so we all got to contribute.”
‘You Say, We Say’ was recorded over a nine month period in Hamburg, Germany. The sextet joined forces with production team Andreas Herbig and Jem to bring the twelve track creation to life. With over 30 songs written in preparation for the recording process, it wasn’t easy whittling down to the final choices. “We started by playing all the songs live, then we’d chat about which tracks were the strongest and work on their arrangements,” singer Paul Walsh explains. “I guess we spent that first week or two figuring out where we collectively wanted the album to go. The most amazing part of the process was re-writing some songs as we recorded them, we’ve never worked that way before – we’d usually decide what we’re going to do, then do it – we have to work that way as there’s so many of us!! It was fascinating to watch the music change shape day by day.”
‘You Say, We Say’ is a predominantly up-tempo and hook-driven affair with sing-a-long choruses and catchy narratives about night clubs (‘I Need To Know Your Name’), sleeping with strangers (‘No Romance’), television evangelists (‘Channel 103 On My TV’), and horror movies (‘Killer’). The sonic backdrop of the album is made up of driving guitars, synth riffs, and signature percussion patterns, with an equal measure of rock and pop sensibilities throughout. “There was a completely different mindset lyrically this time”, says Paul about writing the new album. “The first record was about loss, but this is more about hedonism, going out, rediscovering who you are, and meeting more people. It’s the polar opposite of the first record.” Upon release in Ireland, the album peaked at #1 on the iTunes chart. Earlier this month, the band won the prized accolade of ‘Song Of The Year’ for lead track ‘We Should Be Lovers’ at the Meteors (the Irish equivalent to the BRIT Awards and the Grammys) – a welcome follow-on from their previous ‘Hope For 2007’ Meteor Choice Music Prize a few years back. The most played Irish song on Irish radio last year (topping the likes of U2 and Snow Patrol), ‘We Should Be Lovers’ will be the first single released in the UK from ‘You Say, We Say’, available digitally from April 8.
The band were invited by Volkswagen to be part of the global launch campaign for Up!, their new compact car and can be seen playing an acoustic version of this song inside the car by clicking here – viewers can click between various camera angles!
The video for ‘We Should Be Lovers’ is something a bit special too – the band filmed several alternative endings which fans will be able to find online. Paul elaborated to Hot Press, saying “The storyline is that me and my girlfriend appear to be very much in love, but coming back to the house one day I find her in bed with another man.” He explains, “At which point the video stops and you’re asked to choose an ending depending on how you feel – do you feel desire, do you feel lust, do you feel disbelief, do you feel anger, or do you feel hate? As to whether one of the endings is art imitating life, Paul laughs, “That’s for the viewer to decide! We wanted the video to be ambiguous and I think we’ve succeeded!”
All accomplished musicians from a young age, ROYSEVEN is singer Paul Walsh, guitarists Eamonn Barrett and Sam Garland, drummer Darragh ‘Dazzy’ Oglesby, bass player Bernard O’Neill and keyboardist Paul ‘Lego’ O’Hara.