Austin Metal Super Group The Blood Royale Comments on New Album and Tour
Whether working, playing shows or simply hanging out, The Blood Royale’s battle-ax wielders JT Smith and Tim Corken are omnipresence at Austin metal venues. Normally, Corken is in front of Beerland working the door, but on this Thursday night he was part of the entertainment. Although The Blood Royale has been kicking southern Texas in the shins for five years, Smith has more followers in his other band, Dixie Witch. Their big-belt-buckle, whiskey-brain, southern/stoner rock sound seems more closely related to Texas culture than The Blood Royale, but punks and thrashers come out of the woodwork for the type of d-beat-downs that The Blood Royale offers. Keep in mind: this is the home of Chaos in Tejas festival.
The Blood Royale is a sonic cocktail of d-beat punk, grind, speed, thrash and the eyes and ears of politicians. Yes, they continue the time honored tradition of anti-establishment messages conveyed in punk rock, but they don’t consider themselves anarchists, which allows them to smell much sweeter than the gutter punks around town. There is certainly more to the group than a middle finger aimed at the mainstream, so Metal Underground.com met with Smith and Corken to dig deeper into the lyrics on their self-titled, debut CD, while finding out more about the band's history and upcoming live blood splatters. Surfs of the music world bow before The Blood Royale!
Darren Cowan (Rex_84): The Blood Royale plays a show tonight with Doom Siren and others at Beerland. Then you take off on tour. Tell our readers about this tour. Where are you playing and how many dates?
Tim Corken: It’s going to be fucking awesome! We’re going to Houston tomorrow and New Orleans, Lafayette, San Antonio and then coming back here to play.
Cowan: So you are going on a regional tour?
JT Smith: Yes, we’re traveling through New Orleans and Texas. It’s a small one.
Cowan: Has The Blood Royale played in Louisiana?
Corken: We’ve never played Louisiana. We’re looking forward to it.
Cowan: Is this your first tour? Have you toured through Texas?
Corken: We’ve done small, weekend ones. This will be our longest tour. [Laughs] Four days. If you count our two shows at Beerland, we’re doing six days.
Smith: Party, woo! I’m tired already. [Laughs]
Cowan: I understand you have a new CD out that you will sell on the road.
Corken: Yes, we have a brand new one that just came in today, self-titled The Blood Royale. It has seven songs. It has five new tracks.
Smith: We recorded two albums together, but we’re saving those for an actual LP. When we come back, we’re going to master all of those for vinyl. It will have all the songs on it, but we went the short route with this for the tour. We want to spread the music a little bit.
Cowan: So we can expect more songs on the record?
Smith: Yes, we have five new songs. We saved the newer material for the record. They are really good.
Corken: There are two covers on the CD and five originals.
Cowan: Who do you cover?
Corken: Genocide SS and Discharge—one of our biggest influences.
Cowan: Do you have a lot of punk in your sound?
Corken: We’re a lot of punk and metal, too—d-beat punk and all kinds of shit.
Smith: Metal and punk and a tiny bit of blues every once in a while. That’s just from me, though.
Cowan: Do you play differently than what we hear in Dixie Witch?
Smith: Yeah, I would say so. I have more missile attacks, a lot of fast stuff. I don’t shred too much in the Witch, that’s more bending notes. I lay it down a lot harder on this stuff. There is some bending of notes just for the emotional vibe. It’s way different. This is full-on metal, right here.
Cowan: The Blood Royale also has a 7” record. Tell our readers about this piece of wax.
Corken: That is our first record, the first four songs that we ever did. The CD that we put out is the next five that we wrote. We put out a couple of covers on the CD and the record will be twelve songs.
Cowan: How has the band progressed from the 7” record to the CD?
Corken: The record to the CD is pretty much the same. The newer songs are a little more metal.
Smith: They are a lot more involved. The songs are longer.
Corken: The songs are simpler.
Smith: There is more going on. The new drummer [John Petri, former Mala Suerte drummer] helps out a lot. It’s way bigger than it was before. The new stuff is pretty epic, so far. We’re getting more into realizing what we are and what we can create. That’s what we’re sticking with now. It seems to be a lot more punk for us and the crowd. They like bouncing around, instead of all the blasts in shorts songs.
Corken: There is more air in it, more room to move around.
Smith: Yes, we’re more evolved.
Cowan: Do you have more arraignments?
Smith: Not so much, it’s just that the arraignments mean more. Timo and I have this weird way of splitting it up. We never play the same thing at the same time. We play in different tunings.
Corken: You can’t watch either one of us to figure out what we’re both playing. We’re all over the place.
Smith: We’ve gotten deeper, bigger and more evolved.
Cowan: Please tell our readers about some of the songs on the album, some of the lyrics and stories.
Corken: “Final Solution” is about politicians that suck so bad they should go fucking stab theirs selves in the throat. That’s about the extent of that song. Most of our songs are anti-establishment.
Cowan: Is The Blood Royale an anarchist band?
Corken: I don’t know. I kind of like running water. [Both laugh] We’re more about reporting the truth. We’re trying to say things that will make people think.
Smith: We are the media. We are exposing the bullshit and all the media lies, the great mask of bullshit that is going on. There is no mask where we are at. We see the every day bullshit. There is no mask for us. Screw that, we’re going to tear it down! We’re tearing them down.
Cowan: Why do you think the mainstream media doesn’t present the truth to its followers?
Smith: You watch TV, right?
Cowan: Yes, totally, but if you aren’t getting your information from anywhere else, how do you know the truth?
Smith: Yes, that’s the bad part. We want to expose that bullshit and allow people to think for their selves.
Corken: TV is about the biggest form of mind control that there is. Period!
Smith: Even though we watch it religiously. [Laughs]
Corken: Except for the news. I turn the news off. I already know what you’re talking shit about.
Cowan: Are you anti-globalism/New World Order?
Corken: Totally. I might agree with some of it. Some people need to die, but I want to pick who it is. It needs to be them and not us.
Cowan: Do you two have anything you would like to add, anything our readers should know about?
Smith: Come to more Blood Royale shows, buy some merch and sit back and enjoy.
Corken: We’re going to be putting out some new tunes and probably playing out of town a lot more.
Smith: Expect a new LP in the next three months. It’s going to be sha-weet.
Corken: We have a show in October and two in September. We have plenty of time to write new stuff.
Cowan: Do you have any upcoming gigs opening for bigger bands?
Corken: We’re opening for Skeletonwitch in October. That’s on October 19th with Skeletonwitch, Havok and Mutilation Rites.
To hear more music from The Blood Royale and find out if they’re coming to your town, go here.
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