Free Galway concert from award-winning rockers RoysevenApril 26, 2012 - 7:00am
The Coors Light Live Festival returns to Galway’s Latin Quarter for the May Bank Holiday weekend. Kicking off on Friday, May 4, it runs for three nights in a host of venues and features Kíla, Felix Martin from Hot Chip and Ham Sandwich.
Royseven will play in The Quays Bar on the opening night. The six-piece indie-rock band were up early on the morning of this interview, filming a slot a for a breakfast TV show. As bassist Bernard O’Neill explains, 6.30am is not an hour rockers are used to – at least not from a getting-up point of view!
“There should be a law!” he laughs. “It’s grand, you just have to get up and do it but I do feel sorry for the singer [Paul Walsh] because even your speaking voice is never properly awake at that time.”
Last month, Royseven were awarded the Meteor Song of the Year at the Choice Music Prize show in the Olympia, for We Should Be Lovers. There was some confusion as to whether they were actually in the venue, but a couple of their members got on stage to accept the award.
“We tried to get up on stage, and we managed to push two of the lads up,” says Bernard. “At which point the poor stage manager came over going ‘why are ye climbing up on my stage?’. Obviously a health and safety issue! To be honest, it didn’t take away from the effect of winning.”
It’s a rare occasion that you get to speak to a bassist – interviews are normally taken by lead singers. So, in Bernard’s opinion, what’s needed to make an excellent rhythm section?
“A really, really good drummer,” he says, praising the Royseven sticks-man Darragh Oglesby. “I always reckoned that – and I mean no disrespect to guitarists – if you have a good singer and you have a good drummer, then you have a good band.”
For their second and most recent album, You Say, We Say, Royseven fused the band’s rock sound with more electronic elements.
“One of the things that we really experimented with for the second album was linking the synthetic bass lines from the keyboard player with lines from the bass guitar,” says Bernard. “Double-tracking them sometimes, and playing counter melodies to one another. It became one of the styles we employed on a lot of the songs.
“We just wanted to accentuate the electronic vibe of the music,” he adds. “Not lean as heavily on guitars, to give it more of a modern sound really. If you look at some of the great indie bands like Depeche Mode, or more modern bands like Editors, a lot of the stuff is heavily leaning on keyboards.”
You Say, We Say was released five years after Royseven’s debut, The Art of Insincerity. One factor in the the delay was that the band were keen to work with German producer Andreas Herbig, who has had over 80 top ten hits across the world.
“We ended up waiting over a year for him – that’s one of the reasons that there was such a long delay between the two albums,” says Bernard. “What often happens is producers have studios that they’re comfortable working in. Andy lives in Hamburg, and he as a studio called Boogie Park that he uses a lot.”
For more, read this week's Connacht Tribune.