February 14, 2020
In 1997 a wave hit Salt Lake City, Utah in the form of a band called Royal Bliss. This wave would soon find itself hitting the entire world, drowning and delighting the masses in the sound of rock n’ roll. In their twenty-three years of being in the musical industry, Royal Bliss has managed to stay true to their artistic vision, dedicating themselves to doing what they do best with a fiery passion. At The Aesthete team, we couldn’t help ourselves. Human nature got the better of us on this one, and I couldn’t contain myself or my curiosity. I had to interview Royal Bliss. I took some time out with Neal Middleton, lead vocals of Royal Bliss to talk about their musical journey.
“So, for years,” I began “Royal Bliss has been hitting the world with one good song after another. A very strong theme in your music is about battling one’s inner demons. I think that’s something that everyone can relate to, regardless of the genre of music they listen to. Where did that theme begin?” This was my first pressing question.
“The demons inside us became stronger the older we got.” Neal shared candidly with me, “Failing in love brought on new emotions and conflicts. The ever growing consumption of alcohol emphasized many of those emotions. The more we explored in the world, the more temptations, and again, more conflict. Battling the right from wrongs and even finding out some things you had beloved were not true. The constant struggle of finding yourself while not losing yourself at the same time.”
I’ve got to hand it to Royal Bliss, being that open and honest is a challenge. That brought on another question.
“I undoubtedly love all of your music, but a song that’s caught my attention recently is a song called Into The Night.” Into The Night is a song charged with the kind of passion and excitement that’s hard to find in music. “It’s so different from your usual style. What’s the inspiration behind it?”
“Into The Night was written with friends of ours, Monty Powell and Anna Wilson,” Neal told The Aesthete. “They were big Nashville songwriters. It definitely has their touch on it. It was originally a song I wrote for a side project that evolved into this good time song that Royal Bliss loved. We stuck our feet in the country world for the experience. It was a lot of damn fun, and we learned a lot.“
This answer just made me love their music even more.
The Aesthete writers have an interesting sense of togetherness and comradery; I couldn’t help but wonder if this was something that was shared amongst other types of artists.
“As a band, what do you enjoy most about what you do?” I asked.
“Meeting people, seeing the world, eating amazing food, and we get therapy for free every night on stage.” Neal told me.
“Royal Bliss has been around since 1997.” I began, “Since 1997 music has changed drastically. How did you manage to keep your musical brand authentic throughout the years?” Curiosity hit me again there. Evolution is natural and necessary, but so is staying true to yourself.
“We have always written from our hearts,” Neal said. “Our music evolved with us, changing and moving right along in time. I think honesty comes across, and people can relate to it.” I couldn’t agree more with him on this one.
“Royal Bliss has such candid, honest and insightful lyrics. What’s the song writing process like for Royal Bliss?” I know how I write: with music blaring in the background and a box of Oreos. How do other professionals do it?
“We usually just get in a room and start jamming, someone will have a riff and we go with it.” Neal said, “I just make up lyrics until I get in the studio, and then I write them there. The song will cause some sort of emotion in me, and allow whatever is inside to come out. I record our rehearsals, so I can listen to what the Hell I’m saying. It’s therapy for me. Sometimes a song will just pop into my head and then I sit down and write it on guitar. Then I share it with the band. It’s usually a collaborative project though.”
They’ve had their ups and downs, but I love the fact that they’re unstoppable. Royal Bliss is truly an inspiration for us all. Talking to Neal Middleton was an eye opening experience. This is an interview I shall remember for all eternity.
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