Royal Bliss

Royal Bliss are rockin’ and tourin’ around and they are more carefree and cooler than ever before. Due to their new album “Chasing the Sun” we had the chance to chat with the band’s frontman Neal Middleton about everything that has to do with the band, the new album and the new programs/technology which is affecting our lives on a daily basis.
Royal Bliss band pic

Hi Neal. I’m glad we’re given the chance to talk about the “Chasing the Sun”. By the way, it rocks dude!
N: Thank you, we are pretty proud of it. It was a lot of fun recording this record.
So, which were the first things you had in mind when you started working on “Chasin the Sun”? What elements did you wanted to add or to avoid? Did you make it as you had planned it?
N: It’s kind of funny cause we really were not planning on making a record, at least not the way we did, so there was really no plan. We would go in to the studio and knock out a few songs just to see what we had. Then go back in a few weeks later and do it again. We had planned on doing quite a few more songs really. But when we heard the 10 we had together they worked perfect so we were like: “Hell let’s just release this”. It was nice not having a deadline, way more relaxed. It was also nice to record at home, we could take our time and go at whatever pace we wanted.
How did you come up with the idea of using a platform like Kickstarter to fundraise your new album? Is this how things should be done from now on? Would you say that bands should “belong” to their fans instead of any label?
N: We wanted to try something new, and Kickstarter was a great option. We could involve the fans in a new way and really make them part of the process. Hell they even picked out the CD cover for us. There are certain labels that do good things for certain bands but they are few and far between. At the end the band usually ends up with pennies. So yes I do think it’s a good way for bands to raise money and to also get to know their fans. It’s also cool because the fans get more than just a CD or a T-shirt. They are invested in the process and excited to be a part of it. I think band need to learn all they can about the business, they can do most of the things that a label does on their own. You just need to do the research.
Was that the “starting point” in order to form your own label? Did you want to retain all the music copyrights and do things your way in general?
N: It was always our goal to be on our own, I really struggled with signing with Capitol and it was a long process, but even on that deal we kept the right to our songs. It’s kind of fun to do it on our own and use the knowledge we have gained through the years as well as the contacts. Really anyone can start a label or at least say you have one. If you are releasing the CD on your own then you are essentially the label. How far you want to take it is up to you.
Are funding platforms like Kicksatrter, Indiegogo etc. the answer to the “free downloading culture” of the 21st century? The fans were used to getting any album for free and now they have to pay for something they haven’t heard yet, so they don’t know how it will be like. It’s kinda weird don’t you think?
N: Well I think the fans that pay into to Kickstarter are the ones that would buy the record anyways. The die-hards. They believe in the band and want to support it.
I guess reaching your goal was great both in terms of money but mostly for the love & dedication that your fans showed. Did you have any alternatives in case you didn’t manage to reach your goal?
N: Not really, we were starting to get nervous at the end but the fans really stepped up. It definitely feels good to know you have them behind you, Lets us know we are on the right path.
So, how did the album title “Chasing the Sun” came about? Where does it refer to?
N: We have been through a lot through the years and we feel that we can finally see the light. It’s kind of cheesy but the titles to our records kind of coincide. “After the Chaos” we were stuck in a “Life in Between” then we entered a storm so we were “Waiting out the Storm” so we could finally start “Chasing the Sun”…
What’s the little story behind each track, in a few words?
N: “Welcome”: The world is a tough place, don’t focus on the negative. Prove the ones that believe right and don’t worry about proving the others wrong.
“Cry Sister”: Drunk fight with the wife, went into the studio and vented.
“Rock You All Night Long”: Wrote this with my buddy Kis B. it’s about playing shows and taking people away from the day to day grind…
“Dreamer”: It’s hard sometimes for the ones that love you to understand the things you do. I’m a Dreamer and I will always be…
“It Haunts Me”: Had a friend that kind of lost his mind caught up in some drugs and alcohol he was there physically but not mentally. It was like being with a ghost.
“Drink My Stupid Away”: I have an amazing wife that supports me as well as 2 baby boys. It’s hard being away from them I wish I could break myself in two one for the fans and one for my wife and kids. So I end up drunk on the road to try and get away from it all. Then I get hangover and have stupid thoughts so I try and drink them away. A vicious cycle…
“Alive to See”: I just hope I can stay alive to see this dream through…
“Impossible”: A song from my family’s perspective…
“Turn Me On”: Just a good old rock and roll sex song…
“Home”: I wrote this while driving our bus home from tour. I was beat up and just wanted to go home. Kind of a farewell song. but I don’t think I’m ready to say goodbye just yet.
The album features 10 tracks and lasts about 34 minutes. Do you have any tracks that didn’t make it on the album and you’re planning to release at some point in the near future?
N: Yes we hope to release a song a month starting this fall.
I read that you recorded the album in Salt Lake City, your hometown, with your old pal & producer Matt Winegar (Primus, Slider, Day Two, Simple Plan etc.). Did you “help” on the final production? Did Matt do the mixing and the mastering as well?
N: We were kind of all involved in the production process but it was mainly Matt. We have worked with Matt at some level on the past 4 records. We really wanted to let him go to town on this record and give him freedom. He did a hell of a job. Matt also did the mixing yes but mastering was Dave Mcnair.
You released a video for “Cry Sister” a few months ago. Are you gonna release any other video in the next months?
N: We hope to get a few more videos done over the next few months.
How is writing & recording music without the pressure of any record label or manager? Was it better for the band in all parts?
N: Oh hell yes we could write without worrying about a single or shit like that. It was all us and very freeing.
What do you wish to accomplish with “Chasing the Sun”?
N: We hope to reach some more fans and do some international touring as well.
Roya lBliss band pic

You have already booked some live shows in March, April, May & June. I guess you’re always open to new proposals and you’re planning to add more dates to your schedule. Any thoughts of playing overseas?
N: We would love to get overseas and we are planning on doing a big fall run as well.
It’s time for the Weird Questions!!! How did you come up with the name Royal Bliss?
N: When we named the band we were experimenting with quite a few drugs like mushrooms and acid and such. Bliss means the peak of a hallucinogenic drug or a euphoric experience. So we wanted our music to be the king of highest you could be. To be a drug for people.
Which one do you prefer: Vinyl, CD or Mp3 and why?
N: I like the simplicity of MP3, CDs are alright but I have 2 record players and I love the sound of vinyl especially when listening to the classics.
Is music art? Or it used to be? How can those mainstream hit songs we repeatedly hear on the internet, radio & TV be taken as music art?
N: Well I do believe that music is art. But I feel like the bands should be the ones writing the songs. So many bands nowadays do not that. So it’s kind of like see a copy of a painting. I like to be the one making the strokes so we write all of our own stuff or directly write with a friend. So yes music I feel music is art. Some people use mathematics to write but so do architects and digital artists.
Which is the most overrated band of all time?
N: Maroon 5 (after songs about Jane)…
Which is that band that has influenced most of the bands & musicians since rock music began…?
N: Led Zeppelin…
How do you see the “free downloading issue” of our time? In a world where people easily download music for free and hardly pay for it what can we do in order to change things? Is it different now that you can see things on the inside?
N: I don’t think we will ever stop it but I think it would help if bands truly focused on writing great songs and not just one or 2 per record. It is sad that bands make such a small percentage on so many sites. It makes it hard to make a living.
If you had the chance to be reborn, would you choose to be a musician again?
N: Well that depends on the day, some days I would say yes and some no. It’s a hard life but I have experienced so many amazing things and met so many awesome people.
Rock stars, Pop stars & Porn Stars… do people need ‘em or they’re just part of the show biz which creates fake & blank idols?
N: People like to be entertained and that’s what all these people do. I think we need everyone except rapists, murders, and thieves.
Imagine that your wife/girlfriend is selling your whole album-collection just to buy an expensive ring for herself. How would you react?
N: I would not be happy, she would owe me some serious sexual favors.
This is it Neal. Thx for talking to Grande Rock & for the music dude. Close this interview in your own words…
N: Well that was an interesting interview, had some new questions in there. Thank you for taking the time to write about bands like us. We need all the support we can get. For those out there wanting to do music for a career just be patient and do it for the right reasons, First you must love music and be true to it. You want to be original then just be yourself, tell your stories or tell stories that are important to you. Music is art so be the artist. Much love and much respect. Neal Middleton