Photo: Spinefarm Records (Promo)
"Crooked Doors" was the anticipated second album of Atlanta, Georgia based Royal Thunder. The recorded exceed expectations and brought the four-piece band on the radar of fans of intense rock music. After such a success expectation went up when it comes to the bands newest album "Wick". After some hard work the quartet presents with "Wick" a record that adds another step in developing Royal Thunder's sounds. Markus' Heavy Music Blog had the chance to talk to Mlny and Josh who gave some more insights into background of "Wick".
Markus’ Heavy Music Blog: Thanks for spending some time with Markus’ Heavy Music Blog.
Mlny Parsonz: Thanks. We really appreciate it.
MHMB: With “Wick” you guys have a great new album in the starting blocks and my first question is, if you can tell us a bit more about the album and how you guys approached it?
Mlny: Well, first of all thank you for the compliment.
Josh Weaver : The way we did the new album is that it all came from us playing live and living life. We were experiencing losses, happiness, frustration and everything in between. All this means a constant change of people. What we did is that we put all the emotions and the things we experience in life into our music.
MHMB: When you mention the emotional aspect, I have the feeling that the new album, as well as “Crooked Doors’, is a very emotional album when it comes to music and lyrics. Are the lyrics also based in very personal experiences?
Mlny: As Josh said, we take the inspiration for our music and for the lyrics from everyday life. The lyrics are about emotions and experiences we all walked through together. I draw a lot inspiration from the different relationships in my life – good and bad.
In the past I have been more on a soul-searching journey, which was reflected in the lyrics. For “Wick” I was in different place. I knew exactly what I wanted. I knew what was happening and how I felt about everything, which means that the search wasn’t so much there. I think it is more a collection of the wisdom gained through those experiences, like pieces of this larger puzzle. And since we’re still moving and living, there will be new collection of life experiences to put after this on the next album. You could say “Wick” is like a photo in time that captures us in a place we were in.
MHMB: “April Showers” is one of these intense songs on the new album. Why have you chosen this song as the first single of the new album?
Josh: I’m don’t really know why we have chosen that song, but it feels like a very well-rounded song to pick and it was the only song we had pretty much written for the album before we went into the studio. And since the album is coming out in April we thought that it’s also very much appropriate to chose “April Showers” as the first single.
MHMB: When I was preparing for this interview I read a statement from you guys saying that “Wick” was the hardest album to make. Can you explain what made “Wick” so hard to do?
Josh: Actually they are all very hard to make, mainly because you don’t want to repeat yourself and you want to create something new and fresh. Therefore, we had to get in touch with our feelings to put them into our sound and into the lyrics. We wanted to clean corners and that’s a very hard thing, but we wanted to do it right.
Photo: Spinefarm Records (Promo)
MHMB: The first two albums have gotten very positive feedback and my question is, if this increased the pressure you felt while working on “Wick”?
Mlny: For me, I definitely felt pressure. It was unnecessary pressure that I put on myself. It wasn’t coming from the label, the management, fans or people around me. It was coming from me. After having done “Crooked Doors” I had the feeling that I had used up all my creative ideas and I tortured myself a little bit with that. But the pressure I put on myself wasn’t necessary because the truth is, you just have to listen to the song and keep digging. It’s all in there and it’s just a matter of believing that it’s in there. It’s not like it doesn’t exist. I always start off kind of rough, putting pressure on myself and than I realize that it is going to be OK. It also should be hard because if you work hard you are going to feel it. It should be challenging to work hard on something and sure you get tired, but never get tired in a way that you give up because in the end it gives something good and positive back to you.
MHMB: Another song that stands out a little bit from the rest is “Plans”. The vocals and the drumbeat are quite dominant in this song. Did that idea come spontaneously or was it more planned?
Mlny: That was a very natural progression. It was something that Will wrote and he mentioned that he had this idea that he was just jamming with his acoustic guitar. He started to play it for a while and it stuck. So, we thought: “Let’s track it. That’s fucking awesome”. That song just unfolded on its own and I appreciate the compliment on the vocals. I was really inspired by Will’s song and where he went, which inspired me to go where I went. That’s our way of doing things. We feed each other and we respond to what the others are doing.
MHMB: You mentioned jamming which brings me to a thought I had when listening to the album. “Wick” sounds very vital and it feels like a lot of ideas where actually created in the studio. Is that assumption correct?
Josh: Yeah. I think “April Showers” was written for the most part, together with just one or two parts from “Wick”. Other than that we completely wrote the album in the studio. Everything was like one building block after the other. Writing the songs in the studio and putting them together one after the other, that’s pretty much how we did it.
MHMB: Why did you guys choose “Wick” as the title? Is there a deeper meaning behind “Wick”?
Mlny: I have to say that I named that song “Wick”. Even though it’s the title track, it’s a bit detached from the album but it slightly relates to it. When it comes to the meaning, I don’t want to say too much about it since I want people to interpret the song however they want to. Anyhow, I was sitting in the studio together with Joey (the producer) and it was one of these days when I was frustrated. I felt like every time I took a pen and a paper nothing was coming out. I felt so frustrated and irritated, so I came to a point when I just thought ‘fuck it’. Not that I really meant it like that, it was more the headspace I was in. Joey reacted like: “Wow, that’s a feeling. There’s something to say about that”. So I went just through it and aired out all my frustrations. It was like standing there with a candle, starring at the wick and not being able to find the fire to light the wick and ignite the flame. You know, I’m human and yeah, it was one of these days where I didn’t really know where to find this fucking fire, but obviously it’s there. The album title is related, reflecting the whole journey of standing there, holding a candle and looking at the wick. Looking for the flame and the fire behind, which means that it’s all around you. That’s the bridge and the story behind the album title and song.
MHMB: Mlny and Josh, thanks a lot for your time and for giving us some more insights about the new album.
Josh: Thank you very much for having us and also thanks to all the fans out there, supporting us. We look forward to coming to Europe to play some shows and make some new fans. So, thank you and see you on tour.