story / Ericka Clevenger
photo / Nick Walker
The Christmas/New Year holidays in Los Angeles are somewhere between a broken leg and having someone you love stroke your leg. Where the Christmas spirit lingers inside lips of drunk hipsters swaying under mistletoe, and Santa Clause is nothing more than your local creep trying to get girls to sit on his lap.
But the New Year is something of rebirth and brings all the best things to the forefront of human existence. New ideas, new opportunities and most of all new music. One band I am very excited to talk about is American Royalty, who will be making their leap from LA to New York and bringing with them their spanking new EP, Prismatic. Dropping February 5th, via Guns in the Sun Records and featuring their current lead track “Honey & Queen”. Their music is all over the place from down home rock, to jumpy electronic riffs weaving seamlessly between smooth piano, high energy loops and meaningful lyrics.
I spoke with Marc Gilfry from the band in the best way possible, cozy at home in pajamas where he filled me in on all the excitement 2013 will bring them.
How did American Royalty come about?
I was playing around and thought what Billy was doing was super rad. We started playing together and have been for three years. The band had been together for two years when we met Mat.
Where are you located?
We met and were living/playing in Los Angeles. But after the holidays we will be moving to New York. Billy is already out there and after the new year me and Mat will join him. Were really excited for the change, and to explore the smaller more art based venues New York has to offer.
Have you always played music?
Yes. I come from a very musical family. My dad is actually an opera singer. We also DJ a bunch.
Could you describe your music?
Our music is all over the place. Very much electronic based with a heavy rock influence. Dark and moody psychedelic sounds, to lighter upbeat music. There is an underlying growth and change. We sample a lot of our own stuff. Sometimes we will have a deep hidden vocal track that has been recorded from the voice memo off our iphones.
How do you go about writing your music?
We make the music first and after we know what we are saying, then we write vocals to match it. We first started writing music in the studio, and then had to teach ourselves how to play live.
Do you feel you lose some important components working that way?
In the beginning maybe. But it has taught us how to write music that you can play live. We almost are given the opportunity to improv more than most. We have been really lucky to have our DJ backgrounds because it has taught us how to read the crowd. If we are playing with a DJ then we tend to be more electronic based.
What type of music are you influenced by?
Mostly smart, progressive dance music.
What bands would you like to play with?
Our probably out of reach dream would be Radiohead. But something a little more realistic would be someone like Little Dragon.
Make sure to check out American Royalty at the Mercury Lounge in New York City for their EP release party. Also catch member Billy Scher at his DJ residency happening in February 2013 at the Ace Hotel in NYC.