Royal Republic are immature and Adam uses strong hairspray (OV)
After their first german headline tour with Eternal Tango in 2011, the Swedish guys of Royal Republic played at the KFZ Marburg again. The band is back with their new album “Weekend Man“, which will be released in February this year. PHILIPP talked to frontsinger Adam Grahn about his hairstyle, the new album, and groupies.
PHILIPP: First I have a question of personal interest. You do very fancy stuff with your hair, how do you do that? It looks like you know what you’re doing?!
ADAM: Yeah, I try.
I try it on my hair but I never really get to manage it that way. How do you do that?
Cause my hair is always… (thinks) it just lies down. It is very straight and it just lies down, every time I do my hair I have to shower, then blow-dry it upside down, like hang the head down and pffffff (imitates a blow-dryer). Then take your hair, place it and spray it.
So it is only hairspray that you use?
Yeah. But it is really STRONG hairspray. This takes like half an hour before every show. Yesterday I was a bit sloppy, cause we had a lot to do. Usually it sticks through the whole show. But these are insanely sweaty and warm shows… it’s gonna look like shit.
I think people will understand. Whatever. If your band was a movie, which movie would it be?
Oh, that’s a new one! Dumb and Dumber maybe, Jesus I don’t know (considers). That is really hard, maybe like a Pixar Movie, like Toy Story (laughs). Yeah probably Toy Story.
Who is the astronaut?
I’m Buzz, definitely. Pad is probably like the cowboy… what’s his name? Woody? Hannes is Mr. Potato Head and Jonas would be the Dinosaur dude, I think his name is Rex.
How old are you, talking about Toy Story?
(Laughs) We were all born in the early 1980s.
To me your music seems to be… I’m missing the word…
Yeah that’s the word, I thought it was a bit of an inappropriate word to say.
Yeah, I mean, did you listen to the new album yet?
I thought it wasn’t out yet?
No it’s not out yet, I thought maybe you got a copy. Well one of the main things when we started was let’s not get too heavy, it was all about the music and the whole of the thing more than the story-telling. So we had this song and it sounded great. We just kept it really simple and said okay lets not get deep, lets just talk about bullshit, Tommy Gun, nobody knows what’s it about, I don’t know what it’s about. It’s just what it is. Over the years though I think we kind of expanded a little bit, we wanted to evolve, and we brought on the horizon, not change, but just expand. So, now you can write a stupid song about masturbating in a boat house and you can write a song that touches world views or you’re particular take on certain situations, feelings about this and that, you know, it should not be limited to just one thing, so you can do both!
You said in an interview, that your goal is to be able to do whatever genre you want to do, like the Foo Fighters?
The Foo Fighters?
I think you said the Foo Fighters can do whatever genre they want while still being kind of cool.
I agree, actually I would say like The Beatles. The Beatles was my first thing, and the thing that I grew up listening.
Are you closer to the goal of varying genres or did you stick to your Rock ’n‘ Roll kind of thing?
Stick to your Rock ’n‘ Roll kind of thing, you know…people…. you might have one view, you have one idea of „this is the royal“, you have one idea, I have one idea and then you know he has one idea … if we do a song like this a few people will always gonna go „What the hell, I don’t like this“, and some people are gonna go „Wow that’s fresh and cool and awesome, this is totally royal“, and everything in between. So all we can do is basically do what we want to do when we want to do it, because it is our band in the end. We’re not making it just for someone, for you or for… we do it because we are in a band and that’s why we started it because we want to make fun music that’s fun to us and not necessarily funny. Beatles can do a song like “Yesterday” and “Helter Skelter”, which is one of the first punk songs ever in the world and put them back together on a record.
What kind of new sounds do we hear, what can we expect of it?
Did you listen to the new single by the way? “When I See You Dance With Another”? That’s the sound of the new record pretty much. It’s overall, the snare drum sound and the guitar sound is pretty much the same over the album, with a few minor differences. Mostly it is still dynamic, it has one or two wild cards, surprises that I think people are gonna be like „What the fuck is this?“. Some people are gonna love it, some are gonna hate it and everywhere in between. Overall we worked a lot on the songs on this album, like a lot, to write specific parts right, musically, lyrically. Other people kept pushing us really hard with the song-writing.
Do they have a big influence on your work?
They can say what they want to say, in the end we can say “fuck you“ and they can do the same. It’s all about working together, that’s what they are here for, that’s what we are here for. It is good to be honest.
They pushed us and they really forced us “Come on, you can do better“. So I’m pretty thankful for that.
Totally different question: do you still have groupies?
Still have groupies? (laughs) Now that we’re all getting old… (laughs again) I mean there is a big difference between … you must never mistake groupies with fans, cause they are not the same thing. I mean there are people that wanna get with bands, a lot of them sometimes. But most of them are just nice anyway, you can just talk, and very few times (takes time to think), there was like one time when there was a scary “stalking situation”. It was on the first tour in 2010, no, second tour in september. It was a female fan, who I won’t name, but we met after a show in Cologne. We had our first solo headline show in the Underground in Cologne, with like 400 people or so. And this girl met us at the bar, we hung out at the bar after the show, celebrated and so on. And she came up and talked and it was just another “Hi, thank you, photo” kind of thing, you know. And then she kept coming back and it was all fine for a while. And then it started getting (thinks) …okay she’s not giving up. I’m starting to walk away, I’m walking around, she’s sneaking and coming after and then I walk into the bathroom, like to fucking hide and she just comes into the bathroom. I’m standing there taking a piss and she’s coming after trying to grab me and stuff, I’m like
Wow, that is creepy. Is there anything dangerous that happened to you while being on tour?
We have a lot of these “That was close kind of situations”. We never really had any real disaster. We often get asked, what was the craziest thing that happened to you on the road? And we’re all like, one time we stayed up until five (laughs). One time we were on the night liner through the Alps. We were all asleep and all of the sudden there is a strange noise on the bus, and our tour manager – who is very good at his job, but usually just laughing and making stupid jokes –
he runs in and says: “Everybody get outside, leave everything, get outside! Now, now, now!“ We smelled smoke… like, oh shit out in underwear you know. And it turned out the breaks on the bus just burned up, while we were driving, so we stopped. That was one of those things that was close, but thank God nothing happened. But it’s not really a story, is it?
It’s kind of almost a story.
Exactly, and we have a lot of those.
What was the best live act that you have ever seen?
Up until this summer, it was Rammstein. I saw them for the first time in Finland in 2013, when we played at the same festival. And regardless if you like the music, whatever, you can not stand there and not be blown away from the show, by the package. But the most completely destroying, heart-breaking and heart-warming experience I’ve ever had was this summer when I saw Paul McCartney in Stockholm. I can’t really explain it to somebody that is not a die-hard-fan. It’s been a life shaping thing for me, I grew up with it. He is my parents hero. And through them he has become my hero when I was a kid. He is probably the biggest living legend alive, or one of them, in music. 73 years old, he still walks up, he doesn’t have to tour ever again. He goes up and plays 90 percent Beatles songs, 38 fucking songs, 3 hours, just… holy shit, he sings really, really well. I just died. It was in the middle of our recording sessions, when we recorded the new album. And we went on a four day break to Sweden. I got up to Stockholm, it was good coming back after that, getting some perspective. I think I was pretty loaded up with tensions and emotion from sitting in the studio so it was (takes a deep breath) … I cried like a bitch. No seriously, not even like „cool guy„, seriously just drowning crying, and it was the best thing that I ever saw!
I have one last question:
Considering festivals, if you could choose one festival where you want to play as a band, which one would it be? What would be your dream?
Woodstock. Seriously, can you imagine Royal Republic travelling back in time and playing Woodstock ’69? Would be something. I wonder how music history would be shaped by that… (laughs)
There was Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and then there was ROYAL REPUBLIC!
Would be interesting (laughs).
This year, you will be playing at the Hurricane and Southside festival, where else?
Hurricane, Southside, we’re doing Open Flair, Highfield got announced, Rocco del Schlacko, a whole bunch more, it’s gonna be a lot of them.
I think that’s it. Thank you so much.
Cheerio! Thank you for having me.
PICTURES: Luis Penner