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Palaye Royale on making “art, not a genre”

Transitioning from the Disney channel to supporting Marilyn Manson on tour isn’t the kind of trajectory that a lot of bands are known for. However, art-rock/metal crossover act Palaye Royale appeal to both the screaming throng and sections of the heavy faithful with their messy blend of catchy, industrial tinged post-punk (or whatever the hell you want to call it). 

Topped off by a strong sense of the importance of image coupled with the music, Palaye Royale are much more than just a ‘band.’

“We don’t wanna make pop records, we don’t wanna make rock records – we just want to make Palaye Royale records. We wanna consider our albums as art, not a genre, image or anything,” says frontman Remington “Remi” Leith, ahead of the release of band’s new full-length The Bastards, out now.

“We want to make sure that this art that we’ve put so much effort into has a chance to not get overlooked…we wanted to release as many songs as possible so when the album came out people would then sit down and listen to a complete body of work.”

“It’s bigger, it’s more lyrically in-depth…we wrote the last double album before we hit the road, but now we’ve spent four years on the road. This is adult us now. We’ve grown up and we can’t wait for people to hear the difference!”

The band made their impression on the world stage with their companion records Boom Boom Boom Side A and Side B, a dual release that saw the group tour non-stop for an exhausting four-year grind.

“Whenever we did our first tours, we had hecklers in the crowd all the time, and they would always call us bastards. We took that word so it could empower us,” Remi articulates about the term.

“We went out with screamo bands, we went out with heavy metal bands…this is back when we were just starting out, so we had to adapt this kind of punk personality, but it inspired us to write The Bastards, go a bit heavier. I’m so glad we went through those tough early club shows.”

“The world’s in a weird place right now, and it feels like people are pissed off and upset, and are kind of wanting to hear some good rock ‘n’ roll.”

“The world’s in a weird place right now, and it feels like people are pissed off and upset, and are kind of wanting to hear some good rock ‘n’ roll.”

Of course, touring for four years means that it’s hard to sit back and take stock of how you’ve grown as a person, something especially hard for a band who, at the time of LP #1, had only just graduated from high school.

As a result of stopping and reflecting, Remi notes that this time around, the band has intentionally gone deeper thematically and lyrically.

“It’s the most honest record we’ve ever written, and it was scary. We revealed some shit that we’ve gone through in our lives that we decided to put in our music. We knew we were gonna be judged for that, but we’re stoked that it’s coming out into the world,” he says.

‘Lonely’ is the most personal song for me. It was also my first experience directing a music video…we were physically abused a lot as children, and verbally abused, so I wanted to tell that story, and tell whoever else has gone through something similar that there can be a brighter ending, that they’re not alone…I’ve gone through some crazy shit and I know how it feels.”

Remi is as intense as they come for an artist, making it clear that quality control has always been the top priority for him and the group – with the music only making up part of a bigger picture in the Palaye Royale world.

“As far as videos have gone we’ve done some videos in the past where I’ve been unhappy with the direction, but now that’s not the case because I’ve started directing our stuff…I’ve got the directing bug, and I love it!”

“I would love this entire record to get a video. Obviously we’re on a budget though so that can’t really happen, but we try to do as much as we can. I’ll find myself in my room sometimes watching old Nirvana or My Chemical Romance videos – to me those live forever. We want this record to live forever, and people to look back and go ‘wow, there’s more than just a band performance going on here, and it’s really fascinating and intriguing to watch.’”

If standing out from the crowd with their art is the mission, Palaye Royale have well and truly succeeded….and they’re only just getting started.