9 Questions with Broke Royals
9 Questions with Broke Royals
By Spencer Joyce
Broke Royals are a DMV based Alternative Rock duo consisting of Philip Basnight & Colin Cross. They’re currently in the middle of completing the second installment of their EP/LP trilogy entitled “The Luxury Of Time Pt. ll”. I sat down with the duo to discuss their background, plans for the EP, and their unexpected hit in Thailand.
1. Describe the origins of Broke Royals
Philip: Colin and I met in college through the concert programming board. I found out that Colin was building a studio and he offered to record some of my originals for his studio sampler. During the process of collaborating we decide to officially become a 2 man group and Broke Royals was born. Before we knew it, we had enough songs for an EP and started putting together The Luxury of Time Pt. I. When we released our first single “About Time” in May 2014, we were shocked to find that it had made its way to the people of Thailand and, in the wake of a political coup where the royal family was overthrown, we’d become a hit.
2. Where does the name “Broke Royals” come from?
Colin: The name is born out of the ironic nature that people can have so much, yet never feel like they have enough. We experienced this first hand by being students at a good university, yet suffering through the same broke college student struggles millions are facing every day.
3. Who are your main musical influences?
Colin: We look up to a lot of people. BASTILLE and Future Islands seems to be close sonic comparisons. But since only two of us record everything, people have compared us to Prince and Steely Dan.
4. Describe the backstory of your current single “Strung Up In Lights”.
Philip: “Strung Up In Lights” is an attempt to capture one particular moment I experienced last year. In May 2014, I went to Chicago for the first time since 2007. I had totally forgotten how flat the Midwest appears. When I went to the top of the Hancock building I was floored by the view and the endless expanse of flat land. It was dusk so everything had this bluish haze punctuated by yellow streetlights that were starting to turn on. I realized I’d been on the east coast too long and I was used to having my sight obstructed by hills and mountains. I could see forever. On top of that, I’d been going through some rough months and found myself surrounded by good friends and a beautiful view. I wanted to capture that moment.
5. I hear you guys are finishing up your second EP, tell me more about how that is going? (If you guys have a name for it, it would really help me make this article more complete)
Philip: We’re very excited about the new EP. It’s called The Luxury of Time Pt. II and it’s the second installment of three EPs leading up to the full length LP debut The Luxury of Time, which we hope to release in 2016. The idea came from artists like Robyn (Body Talk) and The Beta Band (The Three EPs), who accumulated the best of their EPs into an LP. We started as a studio band and we have always wanted to keep recording at the center of what we’re doing.
Colin: When we released the first EP, we were still just excited to finally be sharing our music with others. This time things have been a little more deliberate. We’ve paired up with Green Light Go PR and are carefully planning which media outlets we are going to get in touch with. On top of that, we are planning a small summer release tour.
7. I heard you had an unexpected viral hit in Thailand, describe that experience?
Philip: Ahh, should’ve read the questions before I started writing haha! Well, I touched on it previously, but the whole thing lined up so closely with the political situation in Thailand, it was almost unbelievable. I believe it was May 22, 2014 when the Thai royal family was overthrown and a military coup was instated throughout the country. On that exact day, our video started getting thousands of views a day. That continued for a few weeks. We were actually contacted by a US NGO who wanted to bring us to Thailand for a benefit concert but, after some investigation, found that we’d been blacklisted by the Thai authorities. After that, we dropped any efforts to connect. But we did ruffle some feathers and that’s rock n’ roll, right?
8. For those of us who have never seen Broke Royals live, how would you describe your live show?
Philip: For starters, I’d describe it as “all strung up in lights.” Colin is a tech guru and has a full light show programmed for us. It looks amazing. I might feel like it was a gimmick if we didn’t do it all ourselves. The work that he puts in to get things ready is inspiring. It’s like another part of our band. Besides that, the shows are very high energy and the songs are generally easy to sing along with. Now that we have a guitarist playing with us, I don’t always have to play my guitar, which lets me dance around and have a good time.
9. Where are the best places to connect with Broke Royals online?
Colin: We make sure to keep up with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram regularly. For booking and other matters, you can always DM us on Facebook or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author:
Spencer Joyce is an Indie Rock Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist who records & performs both solo and with his backing group, The Record Machine, under the Alchemical Records banner. You can check him out at www.spencerjoycemusic.com