With the mainstream culture in music being so heavily favored in pop, hip-hop and EDM it is hard for any type of real bands to find their place in the maze that is the music industry. Some may have to travel beyond their norm to discover appreciation and respect for the type of music they put out. The Royal Guard did exactly that, when they uprooted themselves from NYC in 2009 to Eastern Europe when they released their debut album “Showdown”. After it being well received in Estonia, where they resided, they spent the years after that dealing with personal turmoil that halted the band from moving forward in their efforts. Now that the dust has settled, the band has forged ahead and is ready for the next chapter in their lives.
The Royal Guard consists of Todd Davidson on Lead Vocals & Guitars, Andy Ascolese on guitar and vocals and Fred Scragg on Drums. They are releasing their second effort called “Hail The King” in which two singles have already been put out for the masses to enjoy- “I Wanna Know” and “Why Can’t We Be Together”. I was fortunate enough to sit down with The Royal Guard about their budding success, getting back together and what is next for this trio. Take a look.
Hey guys! So tell me the back story on how all of you came together?
We all grew up on Staten Island. I knew Andy since we were kids and I met Fred at a concert in NJ while he was playing drums for another band. I told Fred that band he was playing with was terrible and that he needed to come play for me. That’s how Fred and I started working together. Turns out, Andy and Fred already knew each other from High School. So it was only natural to approach Andy, the most talented person I know.
What was the original sound of the band and has that changed since inception?
I’d say it wasn’t drastically different. Maybe we were a bit more punk than now. To me, the music still has the punk edge but has become a little more mature and complex yet still simple and to the point.
Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Some of our musical influences include: My Chemical Romance, 30 Seconds to Mars. Green day, Foo Fighters, and Muse. And of course, as guitarists, we dig some of the great hair bands of the 80’s when you’d hear a guitar solo in every song. haha
What ultimately sparked the move back to New York?
There were some musical opportunities I wanted to explore and sadly as it turned out, my mom was diagnosed with cancer and we wanted to be close to her and the rest of my family.
What is the major difference in the music scene between NYC and Eastern Europe?
It seemed like people in Eastern Europe get out more to hear live music. Even on the local levels, there appeared to be more interest and excitement. It also seemed that rock music was still in high demand.
Tell me about the two new singles you guys have released.
Why Can’t We Be Together
We refer to this song “The Ultimate Anthem of Rejection”. In words of Emily Dickinson “The Heart wants what it wants – or else it does not care”, this is a story of simple unrequited love, something that everybody experiences at least once in a lifetime. Boy meets girl, their eyes meet, his heart leaps, she doesn’t give a damn.
I Wanna Know
The underlying theme in this new album is love and war, struggle to keep on believing in your dreams and putting up a fight to not let the life destroy that dream. “I wanna know” is a song about holding on when you are in over your head and trusting that in the end of the road it all will make sense.
What are your plans for 2015 and beyond?
Our new CD “Hail The King” is currently being printed. We plan on releasing that CD at the start of the new year and then touring to support the album. Beyond that, we want to continue to share our story of holding on and never giving up to our fans and to our future fans. We also hope that we can help bring rock music back to the forefront of the music industry… one guitar solo at a time.