The Kings Royal
Sometimes in the world of music the very thing that we all love the most get’s lost, the music. For The Kings Royal that focus was never lost. Their penchant to write meaningful songs that people loved as much as they did and their drive to make them unforgettable have lead to their well-crafted debut album “Beginning” – and how intuitive indeed because this is definitely just the beginning for this quartet. Each a rock and roll veteran in their own right (Benny Marchant on vocals and guitar, Adam Kury on bass, David Krusen on drums, Sean Hennesy on guitar and Walker Gibson on keyboards) together they have formed and army armed and loaded to unleash a barrage of songs that are reminiscent of the seventies infused throwbacks where the music spoke for itself through masterful musicianship. Some people call it simple or elegant, others just call it rock and roll in its purest form. Crediting producer David Holman for helping them find themselves in the, The Kings Royal have released an album that transcends modern trends.
With early reviews comparing the band to The Doors, that’s quite a bit to live up to but when this band hits the stage, they are definitely summoning the spirits of rock gods gone by. Currently out on tour with Candlebox (with Sean and Adam pulling double duties on stage playing for both The Kings Royal AND Candlebox every night) The Kings Royal are introducing themselves to music fans across the nation and hoping they come back for more. Something tells me they will…again and again.
Interviewed by: Stacie Caddick-Dowty | September 2008
Let’s start off with your roots…Sean and Adam, you played together in another band called the Hiwatts, correct? What was the inspiration to form The Kings Royal and how did everything fall into place?
Adam: I guess I can answer this… it really started with Benny. Benny was writing songs and putting together an album and everything… working with some session guys. The drummer that he was using at the time was actually the drummer from Hiwatts. At some point they decided to make it a band instead of a solo project. The drummer Brian (Burwell) brought in both Sean and I, and we’ve been working together for over a year now.
Benny, so this was your baby in the beginning?
Benny: In the beginning, yes.
You just released your debut album “Beginning” and worked with producer David Holman, can you tell us what he brought to the table for you and his impact on the album since a lot of fans probably don’t understand the true role of a producer.
Benny: Oh man, he did so much! I can’t even… let me just scrape a little bit up. He made me find myself. It took me about the year and a half to convince him to work with me. I kept showing up at his house with written music, and he kept turning me away saying “Get another song.” He really just made me find myself, cause all the other music that I was writing and trying to perform was very pop oriented and sort of fake. Not really me. Him helping me find myself which makes me more comfortable on stage because I can be me. This is my first time as a front man and it makes thing much easier. As his role, he crafted the songs. I would bring him the melodies and he would show us where to go and how to do it. The goals that we came up with were just making it a very open sounding record, very old school and retro sounding. He did it! That’s a great producer right there, to start off with a focus and keep going till you create that sound.
Going into the writing for the album, what were your main goals? Did you have a plan per se?
Benny: Yes, we had a huge plan! The plan was to bring music back. Keep it simple. Two guitars, drums, bass, keyboards…
Adam: To be fair, the whole process isn’t really writing records. We didn’t go in and “make a record”. We went in a tracked a lot of songs. When we needed to make a record, we picked. We never went in and made a record, that’s never been in the process for this band.
Benny: Yeah, it’s weird how “Beginning” came about because we weren’t ready to put out a record yet, but this Candlebox tour came around. We were so lucky to become a part of this tour we needed to pick out of the 30 songs. Well out of the 30 we had like 20 done, so we had to pick from those, and have a CD ready to go. So it was kind of spur of the moment.
The Kings Royal – Photo by Stacie
You wrote over 30 songs…how did you narrow it down to those that made the cut? And will fans get an opportunity to hear the songs that didn’t make the cut?
Benny: We kind of have two sides to us, we have strait up rock and roll, but we also have a very mellow Doors-y retro feel. So we put some of those songs on there, but kept it mostly upbeat. We’re saving the other songs. We’ll actually be putting the others on; we’re actually going to be having two more releases in the next year. One is going to be a record, like an actual vinyl on 60’s oriented sound. Songs that didn’t make this record and some that did like “In My Own World” will be on this vinyl. Then we’ll be putting out a CD, there are seven songs that we demoed before we went out on tour. We’re still writing as a band, and we’re going back into the studio when we finish up and get another CD ready to go.
So the work never ends…
Benny: Yeah, we’re going to be very prolific. We’re going to do it, how they did it back in the day, which is just record and tour.
There have been quite few comparisons to The Doors on your new album ….how do you feel about that comparison? Do you feel any pressure being compared to a band that was so influential to music?
Benny: Any kind of comparison to that band and I’m like “Sweet!!” What an amazing band, what an amazing frontman!
So it works?
Benny: That’s fine! But, I also want to make sure I don’t go too far into that barrier. I don’t think we are though. They are definitely a big influence though, them and the Kinks.
Your sound stays very true to the roots of rock and roll and letting the music speak for itself. Is this an approach that you wanted to take or was it more of just a product of you working together?
Benny and Adam: It’s both!
Adam: I think its one of those things that was definitely spoken to approach it that way. I think we’ve all been in a band and thought we’d love to be in something and work that way. When you can actually do something the way you feel it should be done…
Benny: It’s really cool! Every day is just an enjoyable day. Except for when I have to do some guitar work. I have to make sure it’s done right. For Sean it’s a lot easier, he’s an amazing player. I can’t wait till we can go back in because we can have this kid Krusen (Dave Krusen) and Gibson (Walker Gibson) over there. It’ll be really nice to have those two personalities put in as well. It’ll make it full fledged.
Do you want to walk us through a few of the songs on your album both musically and lyrically, to give people an idea of what you’re all about?
Benny: Man… being artsy and creative just whatever comes to your head. “Invisible” is about being an artist, but very scared about what people are going to think about it. “On and On” is a very pompous, you know “that’s right we’re really going to fucking make it in this industry” doing whatever it is we have to do…
You had a month long residency at The Viper Room in LA…for us East Coasters, can you explain what that experience was like?
Sean: It was all about exposure. Personally the Viper Room is a funny place to play for me. Its ups and downs, depending on the night. What did we play? Tuesdays?!
Adam: Tuesday and Wednesdays.
Sean: Yeah, a weekday? One day we’d play at 9:30 and the next day we’d play at midnight. Some nights there were five people and another there was twelve. There was one night we played there, and there was like fifteen people but everyone was just dancing. So we were like “lets just keep rocking, lets keep going till they pull the plug! ” Residencies are fun, because after a while the word starts to get out and more people start to show up.
Benny: The more your name is posted on Sunset Strip; you know… that is kind of a good thing.
What kind of impact has this tour (With Candlebox) had on the band?
Dave: Well it’s definitely gotten this group together. So it’s formed this band. Their drummer was not able to do the tour, so they got a hold of me. Adam and I had just worked together in the studio. So I listened to it and was really excited to check it out we just sort of gelled. Then Walker came in. It’s definitely been a good bonding experience, both musically and personally.
Is it Adam and Sean who are playing with Candlebox as well? How do you manage to rock out two sets a night?
Sean: Lots of booze!
Adam: It’s what we do! We love playing so in that regard it’s not hard at all. You do really look forward to your off days. I think this is the first time on tour that I said “Oh thank God a day off!”
Sean: Two days off! No way!!
Given the friendships among the bands on tour, it must be great to be out on the road with all of your friends. Do you guys get to do any fun things on your days off or are you just catching up on sleep?
Sean: Yesterday we caught a train from Bridgeport, CT and the four of us… this guy (Benny) “slept”.
Adam: He’s an amazing sleeper!
Benny: …and I’m a gamer too, so I’m fine just playing video games.
Sean: So back to me! We went to New York City yesterday and walked around. Went to Coney Island and had a corn dog, had a brewski, hit the Cyclone.
Walker: Sean almost died!
Sean: I almost died…
Adam: Very close to feeling like your kidneys are being shaken up.
Sean: Someone ringing your testicles like a door bell.
Benny, do you write most of the lyrics or is a group effort?
Benny: I write the initial ideas. Then with David he finishes it up. At least on this record.
Simple, timeless, Classic, Elegant are just a few of the words that have been used to describe the band. What one word would each of you use to describe yourselves?
Sean: Single. Chocolaty!
Sean: Yeah, I spilt chocolate in my bunk, and it melted everywhere. I woke up and there was chocolate everywhere.
Benny: What would you say about yourself?
Adam: I would say persistent.
Benny: Yeah, me too actually. Persistent.
Walker: You can’t take his word!
Benny: Do we have a thesaurus in here?
Benny: Driven, I like that.
Sean: I’m sticking with single.
Dave: I’m grateful to be here.
Goofy? You do seem like the goofy guy in the group.
Sean: I’ll agree with the goofiness.
Walker: Sean called me a cartoon character. Maybe I’ll go with cartoon.
Walker: Cartoony, that’s a word!
You have tour dates through mid September…what comes after that for you guys?
Benny: Recording, and then more touring. We’re actually starting to work on, everybody back in LA; they’re starting to figure out where we’ll be come January and February. In the meantime we’ll be recording.