With over 1 million listeners a month on Spotify, the Canadian-American rock band from Las Vegas Palaye Royale are cruising through the languid’esq 2020 with the release of their third studio album, The Bastards. The album is already propelling towards commercial and critical greatness and it is likely to be catapulted after the trio scoring The Juno Awards nomination for the Breakthrough Group of the Year, validating a premium seal onto the next chapter of their musical journey.
Despite forming over a decade ago, the glam-inspired brothers are still in their twenties, playing in packed arenas alongside iconic identities such as Marilyn Manson, as they continue to narrate under the dark shadows with track titles such as Tonight Is The Night I Die, Fucking With My Head, Nightmares and Anxiety.
Lead vocalist Remington Leith speaks with Sheldon Ang on their latest album, self-reflecting a series of emotional imbalance onto a lyrical medium that will likely to transcend Palaye Royale onto the powerhouse of North American glam rock.
Sheldon: 2020 isn’t so bad for you guys because the band have released a new album and scoring a nomination for JUNO in the Breakthrough Group of the Year. Is such validation important?
Remington: Yeah, definitely it’s really cool…and also it is a terrible year for us. First number one rock record, and we got this nomination and it is kinda crazy; it is something that we dreamt as a kid but didn’t think it was going to happen, so we are pretty happy.
Sheldon: Apparently you guys are like the Rolling Stones and Chemical Romance love child.
Remington: That is like the best compliment that we had ever received. And I humbly cannot accept that complement, yeah but I am really flattered by it.
Sheldon: And Rolling Stones around 30 years before you were born.
Remington: Yeah (Chuckles) exactly but yes they’re still going strong and touring.
Sheldon: Congratulations on your third album; it seems to be heavier lyrically and sonically. And is darker. Was that a conscious decision perhaps?
Remington: It is not so much of a conscious decision because it is a kind of stuff that we gravitate towards writing. It definitely came out on its own. We definitely wanted to be more art in the lyrics and we really wanted to expand creatively and musically, and do something out of a comfort zone. And is definitely our favourite piece of work that we’ve ever done, and we are very proud of the work we have created
Sheldon: How do you evolve to a different sound but remaining truthful to yourself?
Remington: I think when we go to a special place, where one is on guitar and one is on drum and one is singing, that’s where our magic is, and we’ll always be Palaye Royale no matter what genre or what songs were play and that’s where I’ll magic lies between the three of us
Sheldon: And the timing of the album it seems to be fitting to the climate of what we’re experiencing now, with lyrics like Anxiety, Lonely, Fucking With My Head, Nervous Breakdown.
Remington: Yeah, we didn’t really plan it to happen, but it is definitely going along with the time of the climate right now, and we didn’t plan it in any shape or form, with how it matches with the shape of what’s going on today.
Sheldon: So why are Palaye Royale singing such dark themes? Is it perhaps on the influences growing up, or could it be more of a personal experience?
Remington: I feel like we never had a chance to tell our story, and that’s why it is so important with this record that we can really tell how we were raised and all the shit that we’ve gone through as brothers and a band. And it is not all of the time that it is all PG and great. And I’m not one of those people that could write a happy song. I mean I wish I could write happy, love songs…and I just don’t have it inside of me. I guess it is an inspiration out of sadness. And I’m turning into a positive thing which I’m happy that I got this outlet to do. And we really want to tell our story.
Sheldon: You guys are still in your twenties. Do you think in ten or twenty years, there could be more positives in your lyrics?
Remington: Yeah, I mean we are really excited to see where we are heading as a band. I’m curious myself, and I feel that we grow and expand everyday as musicians and lyrically as well.
We become better musicians, and we are not holding anything back. We’re being truthful and honest. And I’m very pleased with everything that’s going.
Sheldon: So do you write lyrics for your audience who may need to find a place, or do you write lyrics to spark awareness, say about mental illness?
Remington: We don’t write for anyone else but for ourselves and we feel that the way to reach out more people is by being really honest in what you’re saying…and if you’re honest with yourself and open with the world, then the truthfulness will help people. So if you really tell the stories that you went through, so many people can relate to that…rather than saying ‘I think we should write a relatable song’. So write your story and that will be the most relatable.
Sheldon: That’s so true, really good insight. With songs like Tonight is the Night That I Die and Anxiety – by looking at the lyrics it seems like a sombre, dark song. But one of our readers Nadia was saying, sonically it feels like a bunch young guys who are about to hit the town and mess thing up and looking for adventure.
Remington: Yeah, I mean we do have a darker aspects of the record and because we can make every song a ballad and we like being shitheads, and sometimes we want to bring out the lights
Sheldon: And the other single, Massacre of the American Dream is about gun violence. Maybe you can explain to us Australians that how is it the country that has fifteen thousand gun homicides in one year can still have a huge support for guns, including the president of the United States.
Remington: Honestly it fucking blows my mind. Honestly it makes no sense to me and if you see so many people dying, then do something about it. I was reading the papers that four people got poisoned from eating a salad, and they’re recalled all the salads in America. And then there are shootings in every other day and there is no such thing as recalling of guns. And they’re not even talking about it, and is getting really ridiculous over here. I don’t even understand it and I’m really disappointed because there are so many people dying. It’s just frustrating, and we just want to give a few sense on it.
Sheldon: Do you feel this song is political, or just like any other song in your catalogue
Remington: This one is definitely a little bit more of a political, and we’re just fed up with people dying around us with innocent lives lost. So if we can just raise awareness to a few people who do not know previously, then I think we’ve done our job.
Sheldon: There’s some storyline with the rest of the album?
Remington: There’s definitely a storyline that’s based on the comic book that Emerson Barrett (drums, piano) is writing up, so the comic should be coming up in the next couple of months. So we kinda based this whole record of what we had in the last six or seven years, so we’ve been leaving little hints throughout our songs in our music video in the past six years, leading up to this story. So when the story is released you’ll see exatly what we hve been talking about and everything will line up and how it makes sense.
Sheldon: So what’s next for Palaye Royale?
Remington: We’ll see where this will take us. All I wanna do is go onto a fucking stage and play a fucking great show and make amazing music. So that’s my goal in life, and play music every day for the rest of my days.
Sheldon: It is a bit hard to gauge, but what’s next in 2021 or beyond.
Remington: Oh yeah the second that things get back to normal, we will be touring for the next three years straight.