The Unassuming The Royal They Rule the Rock World

They may not look like your typical rock ‘n’ roll band, but their wall of sound will blow you away.

Part of the King Pizza Records family, a favorite here at BTRtoday, this sweet little trio doesn’t walk on stage in leather jackets and sunglasses. They simply set up, say ever so sweetly, “hey, we’re gonna play you some songs,” smile and melt some faces off.

“The thing I like about us is that we’re very unassuming—you see the three of us and you really don’t expect what you end up getting,” guitarist Darrell Dumas tells BTRtoday. “That, I think, is immensely gratifying, because people are that much more taken about from it.”

Michelle Hutt, guitarist and vocalist, agrees adding that they tend to come off as “normals,” but then play “really crazy” music.

Photo by Jeanette D. Moses

“Our opening song on our album and our live sets ‘Truncheon,’ starts very quiet, where I’m singing this sweet little thing and a sweet melody,” Hutt explains. “And then we have this lyric, ‘it doesn’t make you any less of an insufferable cunt,’ which all the music cuts out right for that word [cunt] and the fuzz pedals go on and we play a wall of sound and it’s so fun to see people be completely confused and then really excited.”

Hutt’s voice is flowery with lots of oh’s and ah’s and high pitched screams adding a bubbly vibe. However, paired with Dumas’ heavy rock guitar riffs and Rick Martinez’s fast punk-influenced beats on the drums, the sound is a boiling pot of catchy rock tunes that are both dark and exhilarating.

“When we go up on stage Michelle is pretty petite and we all look like we have come from other places—we don’t exactly visually look like a band at first glance,” Martinez says. “Then I think once the music kicks in, once the fuzz pedals come on, then it’s like, ‘ok that makes sense.’ It just works.”

The Royal They are releasing their sophomore LP Foreign Being in January 2018. They admit that their writing process is a little like a catfight, but extremely democratic and collaborative.

The Royal They – Foreign Being

“We’re not willing as a band to go forward on anything we don’t all agree on,” Dumas says. “Each one of us has an equal right to veto and I think that makes it incredibly gratifying and fulfilling when we do write songs, but it can also it very challenging.”

Rick says that he’s usually the tie-breaker.

“It’s good, though,” Hutt adds. “It’s like a family that comes together to write music and then yell at each other.”

You can currently find a single from their upcoming King Pizza Records album on their Bandcamp, entitled “Sludgefucker.” A melodic and fuzzed out track reminiscent of early Misfits, but with added experimental indie vibes and, of course, Hutt’s soothing yet impassioned vocals.

The Royal They - s/t

The Royal They – s/t

Tune in to this week’s The Music Meetup to hear the entire interview with The Royal They and their self-titled album in its entirety. Also, catch them December 9 at Brooklyn’s The Gutter with The Sharp Shadows, El Silver Cabs and Crazy Pills.