Archive for February, 2011

Alfred Hotel, pt. 1

February 19, 2011

The end, the end, the end, the end
meet me at the Alfred
the gutter will do.

We can’t repay our real debts,
but with drink & a nod
we settle the smalls
and forget the rest.

You found me sleeping in the park
still waiting for my chance to talk
I surrender, I surrender
in the end, I knew I would.

Pure Vanity

February 18, 2011

I’m getting a little over the whole self-promotion thing myself, but I’d like consider myself a writer of some sort, and that means I need to actually write and post more frequently than once in a blue moon. Since I don’t always have a finished poem handy nor a rambling essay ready to go, lately I’ve had to resort to the lowest common denominator: Royal Chant.

Last week we flew down to Melbourne for a show, and Brendan & I had the chance to stop off at the Undercover offices and do an interview as well as play some acoustic tunes from the new record. Honestly, I’m not a fan of interviews, mostly because I have nothing to say nor any interesting way to say it. Interviews are an art form in and of themselves, and I envy those who can bring something, anything to the surface while under scrutiny with the cameras rolling. I tip my hat to our particular interviewer, Andrew Tijs, because he did a great job of carrying me through the whole thing as well as being knowledgeable about the band and asking relevant questions that go far above and beyond the press release. I wish I could be more articulate, but I’m not. For whatever it’s worth, my favourite moment comes right around 5:44 when the interviewer asks if we think the songs on the new record fit together and Brendan answers with a “YEAAHHHH” that manages to sound both droll and enthusiastic.

Royal Chant – Undercover Interviews

The acoustic tunes speak rather more for themselves, coz yeah, that’s kinda what things sound like when we turn the amps off.

Royal Chant – Usessions

And I am out of here again. Off to Sydney for another show, where dozens of people are waiting to flee the building. Shout back if it’s been a while. It’s a beautiful day here in Australia, the water was warm (for once), the dolphins were out en masse, and today things seem alright.

Midnight Surprise

February 9, 2011

I meant to have something a bit more meaningful and less self-congratulatory in this space, but since this came up at the last second I thought I’d do a little shuffling and share this now. Last night, as I was vegetating on the couch after work, post-teaching, I received a text from our manager with a link. Sure enough, when I ambled over to the computer and typed it in, here’s what awaited me….

Which is a nice way of ending one’s day, with a nice surprise. Last month we shot this video on stage at the Vanguard in Newtown (NSW), and then I promptly forgot about it. Unknown to me, our director of photography and editor Narayan Holden was hard at work, sifting through 200+ takes of us playing a song that is all of 1:37 long, (and that’s being generous by including the fade out and silence at the end).

The whole thing was shot on 3x iPhone 4 cameras, and to be honest, I thought our manager (and director for this enterprise) was being far too optimistic about its chances of success when he suggested it (about a year ago, if memory serves. Possibly longer). But, sure enough, it works, and not only does it work, but works really really well, which means that I’m going to be in debt for quite a few beverages the next time we have a band meeting. Shows what I know….

If it was up to the band, we would have had this really elaborate/shoe-string video involving….wait for it….Ghosts. Yeah, the 4 of us, plus extras, in Charlie Brown & Co white sheets, with the eyes cut out, running around Sydney and being rowdy, etc etc. Truth be told, if it was left up to us the idea would still be at the bar where it was conceived. Manager: +1, Royal Chant: -3170.

So, have a look and listen if you’ve got less than two minutes to spare, and let us know what you think if you’ve got a few more.

Definite grumbling…

February 7, 2011

Today I was closing up my room in the music shop when a smiling Mum walked in and proudly announced, “I was on the internet last week and read something very fascinating about the drums!” [Keep in mind that I’m paraphrasing here, I’m not smart enough to remember verbatim, and I didn’t have a tape recorder handy. Possibly because I don’t own one.] “Did you know there was a one-armed drummer from Def Leppard? Isn’t that just amazing, the way he had the willpower to just keep going?”

I’m sure you can imagine that my response was suitably amazed and fascinated.

Are you effing kidding me?!?!?! You JUST find this out? This lady looked like she’s got a few years on me, so if I was a betting man I would have thought that she’d be in the front row back in the day, begging Def Leppard to Pour Their Sugar On Her. Apparently not.

I’ll be honest–I’ve never met anyone who didn’t know about the one-armed drummer. (His name is Rick Allen, by the way.) I remember when it was kinda sorta news and people were talking about it, and now I’m pretty sure that it is an accepted fact and that it’s in the collective unconscious. My unborn kids already know about the one-armed drummer, and I’m pretty sure my grandmother was hip to it, rest her soul.

And that was the highlight of my day. At least, if you count getting mildly annoyed as a break from the norm.

I’ve got a few posts planned….but they keep getting away. If you remember Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, when he’s rescuing the pets and keeps avoiding the snakes at all costs….? That’s pretty much a handy image to use with this latest batch. Things have been busy and rather interesting with the band, so before I sign off for another month or so I though I would share the following kernels of pizazz:

We’ve just released our new single, “Ghosts”. You can get it off of Triple-J by downloading it HERE. Or, you can head over to the Royal Chant Bandcamp page and snag it in a much classier format. Get your limbs moving for 1:37 of snazz.

While you’re over there, you might as well take a look and have a listen to our latest and greatest, Raise Your Glass & Collapse. It is our debut LP and we are immensely proud of it, even though we try our best to be humble. You got an opinion? Then by all means, we would absolutely love to hear from you, good or bad.

That’s all for now. If you’ve got a minute to spare you can head over to Tone Deaf and check out an interview I did. As you read, you might feel your inner worth blossom.

Cheers, that is all for now….