“So I’m back to where it began….”
Royseven didn’t meet in school or college like many other bands; they met through mutual friends- and an advert in a Dublin music magazine. Singer, Paul Walsh and guitarist Eamonn Barrett, advertised in Hot Press magazine for a drummer, they interviewed several but quickly decided on Darragh Oglesby. It was he who suggested keyboard player Paul O’Hara and when their first bass player left, Oglesby identified a replacement duo to bolster the line-up even more. So, bass player Bernard O’Neill and guitarist Sam Garland soon after completed the Royseven family and although they’d all been in bands before, this was the first time it felt right from the very first rehearsal. “It was very natural” Bernard recalls “it was clear we’d be able to work and create together. More than that, we knew that each of us shared the same goals and ambition, which was reassuring.”
It’s three years since Royseven’s debut offering, “The Art of Insincerity”, was released to critical acclaim; complete with top ten singles, top twenty album charting, support and headline tours across Europe and notable appearances at Rock AM Ring, Rock IM Park and Oxegen, to name but a few festivals. In the intervening years however, the six Irish band mates have not only grown closer as friends but honed their song writing skills and live performances whilst penning their second offering “You Say, We Say”.
A year or two of writing songs, travelling around Ireland, recording demos, playing TV and radio shows followed, with a few trips to mainland Europe thrown in for good measure. “I suppose you have to become a group before you can write music that reflects a group” Sam acknowledges, “of course it’s harder with six people. But throughout the gigs, travelling and rehearsals, we were actually, unknowingly, laying the foundations for our best work and with “You Say, We Say” it feels like we’ve finally arrived.”
“The spell that was created has finally come and passed….”
“We wrote the new record as we toured and that helped us tap into a style that worked for both us and the audience. In addition, we had the time to write as a group rather than one person presenting an idea in rehearsals, so we all got to contribute.”
“You Say, We Say” was recorded over a nine month period in Hamburg, Germany. The sextet joined forces with production team Andreas Herbig and Jem to bring the twelve track creation to life. With over 30 songs written in preparation for the recording process, it wasn’t easy whittling the catalogue down to 12 final choices.
“We started by playing all the songs live, then we’d chat about which tracks were the strongest and work on their arrangements,” singer Paul Walsh says. “I guess we spent that first week or two getting to know each other and figuring out where we collectively wanted the album to go.”
“The most amazing part of the process was re-writing some songs as we recorded them, we’ve never worked that way before- we’d usually decide what we’re going to do, then do it- we have to work that way as there’s so many of us!! It was fascinating to watch the music change shape day by day.”
With such a large band, many would find the creative decision making process daunting, but Royseven had a diplomatic approach to their work on this album. “We each have different musical backgrounds and experience to draw on with some varying tastes, so it was important to make sure that they were all represented on this record. We also wanted to benefit from the experience and creativity of Andreas and Jem. It’s such a learning curve to work through your music with producers who know instinctively how to maximize a song’s potential.”
“I’m checking you out, I’m not checking in…”
-We Should be lovers
“You Say, We Say” is a predominantly up-tempo and hook-driven affair with sing-a-long choruses and catchy narratives about clubbing, sleeping with strangers, television evangelists and horror movies. The sonic backdrop of the album is made up of driving guitars, synth riffs and signature percussion patterns with an equal measure of rock and pop sensibilities throughout.
Newly signed to Roadrunner Records, Royseven are ready and waiting to unleash a fresh set of songs on the public and begin the touring and promotion process. There’s a clear sense of identity in the Royseven camp and to match it- an album that’s brimming with attitude, personality and potential.