America quickly became like a second home for Sweden’s The Royal Concept. In fact, their stateside arrival has been quite a long time in the making for vocalist David Larson. “When I was a kid, I used to say, ‘The first time I go to America will be because of music!’,” he smiles. “Lo and behold, that’s exactly how and why it happened.”
In 2012, that anxiously-awaited dream came true shortly after the quartet—Larson, Filip Bekic [guitar], Magnus Robert [bass], and Frans Povel [drums]—topped HypeMachine with not one but two songs, “D-D-Dance” and “Gimme Twice”. A myriad of labels clamored to sign them over the course of the next month, but LAVA proved the perfect fit. The band proceeded to hit U.S. soil for the first time alongside everybody from Imagine Dragons and Alex Clare to Atlas Genius, further generating buzz and developing a fervent following.
When they returned to Sweden in early 2013, they garnered all sorts of new inspirations and experiences to cull from as they worked on what would eventually become their 2013 offering the Royal EP [LAVA/Republic Records]. By happenstance, a track entitled “World On Fire” leaked and quickly became a fan favorite in January. Merging sizzling synths, dynamic guitars, and a devilishly danceable hook, the song further fueled their own fire.
“We have no idea how it leaked,” laughs Larson. “It’s just one of those songs that resonated with us, and it paved the way for the EP. We’re a band from the new generation. We’re not the kind of group who goes into the studio for months and leaves with an album. We like to be in a constant state of development, trying new things. Whether we’re in the studio or on stage, we want to create magical moments. You should feel that joy and spontaneity.”
Bekic goes on, “The song itself is about being the underdog and fighting your way to the top. That’s a special one for us because it urges to always keep going no matter what.”
Then, there’s the propulsive newest single “On Our Way”. Building into an anthemic hum, it’s cinematic in scope and emblematic of the band’s tight instrumentation and focused songwriting. It also plays a big part in FIFA 2014 for XBOX360 and PS3. The band are no strangers to licensing though, having seen syncs everywhere from Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie to So You Think You Can Dance
Equally special is the undeniable and unshakable “Radio”, which premiered on Rolling Stone in the Fall of 2013 and is available as a free download. Piping up with a dance floor groove and arena-size hook, it’s the perfect introduction to The Royal Concept. Composed on acoustic guitar, a first for the group, it’s immediately inimitable. “We wrote and recorded it in one day after we got home from our first American tour,” the singer remembers. “We were just inspired, and we based the song on the strongest girl we’ve ever met. She was our tour manager once, but she’s too good for us now [Laughs]. Essentially, it’s about a strong woman who’s a rebel and does exactly what she wants.”
That independence remains a theme throughout the EP. Bekic puts it best, “Musically, The Royal Concept is a band without any restrictions. We do whatever we feel like whenever we want to. There’s just this constant stream of music.”
Plus, they’ve got some unforgettable stories to tell. Larson concludes, “Everything starts with a picture. We want to create images that people remember in the music. This is a trip for all of us together.”