Saturday, March 7, 2009
Recent Royal Bliss News
The Summit County weekend in music gave a nice write-up on Royal Bliss last week, by Kimberly Nicoletti posted on Thursday, February 19, 2009. The Summit Daily News is based in Colorado. RB played at Shag, in Frisco, CO on February 25, 2009.
Royal Bliss’ latest album, “Life In-Between,” is sculpted out of life’s hard lessons.
It starts with “Save Me,” inspired by lead singer Neal Middleton’s own struggle with alcohol, drugs and his transition into adulthood, he said. Filled with beefy riffs and melodies that repeat in your mind, the album is honest and personal.
“One morning, I was eating my bowl of alphabits cereal and contemplating a band name. The answer came, in the form of tiny pieces of cereal that spelled ‘bloyal riss.’ I switched the letters around and came up with ‘Royal Bliss.’” he said.
Royal Bliss’ first album led to radio success with the single “Devils and Angels.” Its second album caught the attention of Jason Flom, the then Virgin Records president. He signed the band to his new Capitol Music Group label in May 2007.
Middleton describes the band’s sound as “modern rock with equal parts beauty and tragedy” and said there’s a song for every mood — a result of intense life journeys of the musicians, “where every emotion is valid and every emotion is needed.”
“We love what we do, and it shows in our shows — this is our life, and there is no other option,” he said. “We don’t rehearse what we will say, or what the set list will be. It has to be spontaneous.”
Royal Bliss played a free show at the Knitting Factory on February 27, 2009. I think it's incredibly cool that Danny Reeves of the Boise Nightlife Examiner referred to Royal Bliss as a "big name band."
And a commenter said, "AMAZING SHOW!!! This newspaper needs to do a review or something on this band! Royal Bliss rocks! For anyone unfamiliar you can check out some of their new album here."
On Tuesday, Mar. 03, 2009, Scott Kiefer of bnd.com serving the southwestern Illinois and St. Louis region had this to say:
Rock band Royal Bliss is one of those groups who you may not have heard of yet, but that’s not their fault. They have been together for about 11 years now, and have tirelessly worked to make it in the business of rock and roll.
“We’d like to be the biggest band in the world, sure,” said lead singer Neal Middleton, “but first, we want to make a decent living doing what we love.”
The band performed Wednesday at Pop's in Sauget.
“My father worked for the Missouri-Pacific Railroad when I was a kid,” said Middleton. “When that changed to Union Pacific, he was relocated to Utah. That’s where my formative teenage years were spent.”
Middleton and guitarists Taylor Richards and Chris Harding, drummer Jake Smith and bassist Brent Bruschke formed the group in 1997 in Salt Lake, and have had the epitome of a soap opera rock band. Tommy Gunn has been the bass player since 2006.
“We’ve always told each other, as long as we keep moving steps forward, we’ll never give up, we’ll never quit,” Middleton said. “As long as each year we advance as musicians and we advance as people, then we’ll never give up. It’s kind of like going to school to become a doctor for eight or 10 years. That was our college, playing in a band.”
The aptly named Sixth CD "After the Chaos II" is a reference to how after all the pain and suffering that they went through to record it.
“It [was] the first CD that all of us collectively agreed that this is the one we need to go out and shop to labels and tour on and really push as heavily as we possibly can,” Middleton said.
Middleton is proud of the groups effort in promoting themselves and working the rock and roll industry the old fashioned way.
“It really has been a grass roots thing for us,” said Middleton. “We have gone out there on the road and really worked hard. Not just playing music, but doing advance appearances, or just showing up at a place we were supposed to play a few days ahead. That’s how we know how to do it.”
On a recent Sunday, the band was traveling through and stopped at Pop’s in Sauget — site of their gig Wednesday.
“We had a day off in between while we were in the area and decided that we’d stop at Pop’s and hang out for a while,” said Middleton. “Kind of get to know the staff, have a couple beers, and promote the show a bit. Besides, we played there once before, and enjoyed it. They were really good to us...and KSHE radio out of St. Louis has helped us a lot too. So, we thought ‘why not hang here for a day.’”
The second single from their current CD, “Life In-Between,” is about to be released, titled “We Did Nothing Wrong.”
“It’s already been picked up by a load of radio stations,” said Middleton, "and pickup week has even started yet. We’re pretty excited about that.”
The band is on a solo tour headlining clubs, but will be going out with veterans Candlebox at the end on March.
“We’ll tour with them for about three or four months, and see where the single and album is at, as to what we’ll do then,” Middleton said. “Things may be completely turned around by then, who knows. Hopefully, we’ll get back to St. Louis this summer-- either on our own or on a big tour.”
In the meantime, you can use what may be your last chance to see Royal Bliss in an intimate venue at Pop’s.
“I hope everybody comes to see us, because we love the small venues,” said Middleton. “We’ve played big arenas with other groups, and it would be cool to have 20,000 people singing your songs. But for now, we are enjoying playing where we are close to the people and rockin’ out.”
The iStockAnalyst reported on Thursday, March 5, 2009.
Royal Bliss Makes Strong Debut With 'In-Between'
Royal Bliss, life has been more like a royal pain. But because of that, the Salt Lake City hard rockers have pumped plenty of heart into their major-label debut, "Life In-Between." Just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong for three of the four bandmates in 2004.
No wonder their songs are filled with tales of anguish, inner demons, booze, loneliness and things going wrong. But what elevates this material are really good songwriting and poetic lyrics, not just tales of woe. Some of the songs are angry; others are beautiful.
"Save Me" launches the album with crunching guitar and percussion, softened by Middleton's fine tenor vocals that slide into a primal headbanging scream. The song ends midstream before continuing the hard drive of "Here They Come," which ends with an ethereal wash of sound before shifting to a mellow acoustic mode with "Devils and Angels," before layering in the other instruments.
The album is a fine mix of moods and styles, even as it tackles tough life themes.
They've learned their lessons the hard way. Now it's time for them to shine on the concert circuit. This is a band to watch.
And two entries by a Royal Bliss fan. I love these!
Royal Bliss Day Part 1
Royal Bliss Day Part 2