An Interview with The Royal Concept

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Stockholm, Sweden brought us ABBA, and now, we have The Royal Concept. The band—David Larson (vocals), Robert Magnus (bass), and Frans Povel (drums)—released their debut album in Sweden in September 2013. Though they are waiting to release the album in America, the EP Royal is released for everyone’s listening pleasure. With tours lined up, the band is starting the year off strong. Make sure you’re along for the ride.

Cliché: What made you want to come to the States?
David Larson: We just wanted to see the world.

What inspires your music?
It’s different every time—the people we meet, the books we read, the love we experience, and the music we hear.

How’d you come up with “The Royal Concept”?
Naming the group was really hard. We had a couple of really bad suggestions that we kind of liked (like Made in a Sofa, Beautiful Losers, Right in the Middle of Nowhere in Between), and one night, we got access to a venue in our hometown, Stockholm, and we got to try out all the names on the marquee outside. When we saw “The Royal Concept,” everyone felt like this is us. Good or bad, it doesn’t matter, because this is us.

How’d you all come to make music together?
We studied jazz at The Royal College of Music in Stockholm. I grew really tired of it and started to write my own songs instead. And in the beginning, the songs sounded like “Diamond and Starfunkel,” but after a while the songs turned more into rock songs with choruses and that kind of stuff. So I started the band, and how Magnus and Povel came along is another story we’ll tell you about next time.

Do you notice any differences in the songs that become more popular in the states than in Sweden, or are they usually the same ones?
It’s pretty much the same, although the crowds are very different when we perform. The North Americans are overall more enthusiastic, louder and want to talk a lot after the show. Swedish people are harder to convince and more shy and reserved. We like the differences; every place and culture has it’s own charm.

When will the album be released here in America?
When one of our songs hits the top charts and the label feels like they can make that million on us and put out an album. For our fans over there we’ll always try to keep them motivated by touring and releasing stuff on Facebook. But we promise you guys that we’re going to do everything we possibly can to make it a good record.

Favorite song to perform?
It’s different every night, but the ballad “In The End” is always special for us. It puts the show in a different, more serious mood, and we all love to show people that side of us.

Most surreal moment so far?
This is a bad one, but on the last American tour we got rear ended by a car, and the crash was so massive that all the windows smashed and the car looked like a squeezed accordion. The guy that drove into us was very drunk and tried to get away, but luckily we took pictures of his license plate. The whole thing was very surreal, and it’s a miracle that no one got hurt in our car or in the other car. For some reason, our van was filled with blown up balloons, and David was sleeping and woke up right in the car crash. He thought for a pretty long time that it was just one of the balloons that popped and went back to sleep again.

What does 2014 have in store?
We’ll keep on writing and recording new songs. We’ll also go on another American tour to support Switchfoot, and the summer has a lot of festival shows all over Europe and Asia booked so far. New songs and stuff will also be released!

The Royal Concept interview “Coming to America” originally appeared in Cliché Magazine’s April/May 2014 issue.

Photo: Connie Ha

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