What’s the name of the band and who are the band members?
Philip Basnight: Vocals, Synth, Piano, Guitar
Colin Cross: Drums, Guitar, Bass
How’d you come up with the band name?
Colin: The name has several meanings. The first is that when we started as a band we were broke college kids making high quality pop-rock music in a basement. On our first EP, we managed to buy great equipment but couldn’t afford soundproofing so we had to wait for the air heater to shut off between vocal takes. The juxtaposition was stark. But that lead to a broader understanding of our world. Growing up in this age of amazing technological advancements, everyone has a super computer in their hands all day. We felt pulled between those luxuries and the very real struggle to pay monthly bills.
What genre of music do you primarily consider yourself?
Philip: Alternative Rock. Sometimes it sways more towards rock, sometimes more pop and sometimes even EDM. But on this new album we wanted to make sure that guitars were in the forefront. I love synths and electronic production, so a variety of influences converge in our music but it’s all to explore new ideas within rock. To me, that situates us nicely in the Alt Rock world, even though that term can mean so many things.
Can you give us some background on the band’s origin?
Colin: I met Philip when we were both working on the concert programming board at William and Mary and a love for music and creativity is definitely what brought us together. We were booking and running concerts and would spend a lot of time talking about music. Eventually I built a studio and got Philip in to start recording some of the original stuff he’d been writing for his folk project and when we started to flesh it out together we realized that our different backgrounds created a really unique sound.
What drew you to music?
Philip: For many years, playing and writing music has been a way to process life. It’s completely integral to my daily life.
Are you a signed to a label?
Colin: Currently unsigned! Living the sweet independent life.
Can you tell us more about your single, “As Long As I Can See”?
Philip: “As Long As I Can See” is about the joy and relief of seeing someone you love after a long day. That feeling of butterflies when you notice them as soon as they walk in the room. We’re on the road a lot and this feeling is something we’re both familiar with. One situation I had in mind is when you see your partner in the audience at one of your shows after you haven’t seen them all week. The joy that brings definitely was part of the inspiration for this song.
What was the writing/recording process like?
Colin: We had a blast with this whole album process. We began by demoing ~30 songs in my studio before taking the final 12 up to Nada Recording Studio in New York to work with John Naclerio. We were really excited to work with John on this project because of his history with some hard rocking bands. He kills huge drum tones and thick guitars. He helped us really bring out the rock side of our sound.
You released a powerful music video for “As Long As I Can See”, what was the inspiration behind it?
Philip: Thank you! We wanted to emphasize the song’s theme of non-verbal communication and the flood of good emotions behind seeing a loved one. My sister works with deaf students and I’ve been very touched by some of the connections I’ve seen through ASL. Scott Hansen, the director, also has familial ties to the deaf community and loved the idea. He found a beautiful spot in Virginia to shoot the video and we’re thrilled with the result. The way the actors hands emphasize the phrases in the song is incredibly powerful.
Check it out here;
Do you plan on releasing more music in 2018?
Colin: We just released our debut, self-titled album! It’s available everywhere to stream and download.
Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Philip: Our musical influences really vary and evolve but we love Prince, Spoon, Run The Jewels, and Bleachers.
Where do you see yourselves in 5 Years?
Colin: On a beach.
Philip: On my own private beach separate from, but right next to, Colin’s.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Philip: I see a lot of live music. Does that count?
Colin: I produce music a lot of other musicians. Does that count?
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
Philip: Go see other local bands and become a part of the community. Then read “How To Make It In The New Music Business” by Ari Herstand. It will give you so much information that we had to learn through trial and error. Sometimes trial and error can be a good thing though.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Colin: Well we stick to the same outfit at all of our gigs so:
-A phone loaded with Prince to get in the right headspace before the show
-To invite fans!
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Philip: Be brave and be kind.
Your straight off tour:
Where do you go?
Philip: All around the country!
Who do you see?
Philip: We’ve been lucky to find fans from Texas to Toronto that we make sure to connect with.
What do you eat?
Colin: Tacos and coffee.
Where is the go-to place to go in your hometown?
Philip: For both food and music, Songbyrd, The Anthem, and Boundary Stone have been my go-to spots this year.
Colin: Agreed. And for coffee, La Colombe.
If you had to give your younger self advice, what would it be?
Philip: Be kind and go towards the things that scare you the most. Those are often the things that you have the most to learn and gain from.
Where can new fans find you and your music online?
Colin: Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, iTunes, Amazon, Pandora and everywhere else music is available! Also on all social media platforms and at www.brokeroyals.com