Royal Street – Flavors
By: Jamie Steinberg
Q) Who are some of your musical influences?
A) As a band, we have a ton of musical influences. Collectively, we love to listen to Prince, Paramore, Bad Rabbits, Mariah Carey, Bad Suns and more. Everyone has their own diverse musical tastes, which helps us write our music from all sorts of perspectives.
Q) Talk about the story behind your new song “Make Believe.”
A) “Make Believe” is definitely a sass filled halfway ballad. It’s originally written about someone being annoyed that their lover didn’t give them the respect they deserved. One person gives their all and the other is living in their own world not realizing what they have. Now, the relationship is over and the person singing the song is over the whole thing. The song starts off, “Give me a number, I’ll wait in line. I’m just itching for a second of your time. Will you give it to me? Make a girl so happy?” That’s actually in a mocking tone, almost of the person making fun of how naive they once were. In the music video, “Make Believe” is all about the fake world of social media so that’s definitely a fun spin on the meaning of the song.
Q) What do you think it is about the song that fans connect to?
A) The beautiful thing is that every fan connects to a different song for a different reason. That’s actually one of our favorite things about playing music, hearing why people connect to a certain lyric, guitar riff or general feeling a song gives them. When we play out, the Royal Street crew seems to love “Cranston Crank” because it’s so dance-y so they can shake their bums or “Night After Night” because the chorus is so easy to sing to!
Q) How does the video for “Make Believe” play into the message of the song?
A) Woops, already went into this one a little bit. BUT, basically it plays into a world of make believe, where tapping into reality isn’t the first thing on someone’s mind. Every day we are all glued to our phones and many times that’s at the expense of the reality of what’s going on in the real world. The amount of times I’ve made a high pitched noise and danced like an idiot to get a good photo of my dog are immeasurable. We had fun poking fun at all of the different social media scenarios we seem to see (or post ourselves) every day. The video shows that what’s going on in the internet world is not always as it seems.
Q) Where did the name Flavors is come from for the LP?
A) To be truthful, originally Flavors came from a bagel shop that had a ton of different flavors of cream cheese. [laughs] But what started off as a joke seemed to make sense for us as people and the songs we chose to bunch together for this album. Every song has its own little spirit and we love that. If you want to hear a more dance-y track, you can find one, a more straight pop song, you can find one, a more alternative sounding song, you can find one. You can find songs about empowerment, failed relationships, the dating world, staying true to yourself and not taking good things for granted. There’s a flavor for everyone!
Q) What is your song writing process? Do you need music before you can create lyrics?
Viana: Our writing process goes two ways. One is [Alex] Beattie will come to me with a guitar riff or a whole song demoed out, and I’ll write lyrics to it. Sometimes, it’s the situation where I’m itching to get a feeling out and sometimes I just say, “Well, what should this one be about?” And we have fun creating a scenario and writing about it. Usually those scenarios stem from something us or our friends have gone through. Other times I’ll get a melody or lyrics stuck in my head and have to write the song lyrically first. Then, I go to Beattie and we kind of hash it out together. It’s so awesome. I love being able to mesh our brains and create. [Brian] Cauti usually comes in and will help us demo and then add his drums in. That’s when the song totally comes to life.
Q) What can fans expect from a live Royal Street performance?
A) Expect the unexpected…Or expect a time full of high energy jams, lots of dancing (usually bad dance moves on our end) and laughing and just having fun. We love escaping in our performances. Sometimes we just get lost with each other and the people in the room. I think that’s what music is all about and that’s why I love what we do. Every time we play a show there’s always such a good vibe in the room. You can feel the flow of everyone moving and slowly letting loose. It’s magical.
Q) Where are some of your favorite places to perform and what makes those locations so significant to you?
A) Well, we always love playing in Providence because that’s our home base. It’s so warm and memory filled for us. There’s nothing like being in a room filled with people that have been a part of the Royal Street family since the beginning. We also love playing in Pittsburgh, not just because of Primati’s sandwiches that we get way too full on. We have a bunch of friends out there and we play with some amazing bands like Vertigo, Hear Tonight and The Vics and usually are booked by our friend Evan from MossDeep. It’s a home away from home for us.
Recently, we’ve fallen in LOVE with the Midwest. We toured out there last summer with The Millenium, Walkney and Time Atlas and the love we felt from everyone was just insane. There are no words for the feeling. Everyone appreciates what we do out there so much and wants to be a part of it. We can never thank them enough for making us feel important. We always can’t wait to go back.
Q) What do you hope listeners take away from your LP Flavors?
A) We hope that you can get that feel good vibe that we feel when listening to it. Roll your windows down, take a ride to the beach or your favorite spot and just enjoy where you’re at. This is a feel good album, and we’re so glad we got to release it right before summer hits. We just hope listeners can get into their own zone when listening and sing and be free!
Q) Who would you most like to collaborate with on a song in the future?
Viana: On this album, I got to collab with Dua from Bad Rabbits, which was so fun for me. His voice is one of my favorites out there. In the future, I would love to collab with Lynn from PVRIS or Sherri Dupree Bemis or Anthony Green. Collabing with Usher would be chill, too. If anyone knows him, just have his people call my people.
Q) What album/band are you currently listening to and why do you dig them?
Viana: I’m currently jamming the new Paramore record constantly. I have always loved them, and growing up, Hayley was a huge influence to me being a teenager in my first band. I learned a lot from her. This new album of theirs is one of my favorites to date, and I respect how hard she’s fought for her music over the years.
Q) You are a part of social media. Why is that such an important way for you to connect with your fans?
A) That’s the only way to keep in touch with fans we can’t see all the time. It’s so crucial. When we miss people, or they miss us, that’s the way to stay connected and let people know we’re thinking of them.
Q) What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and your work?
A) We are always so thankful for people that give us the time of day. We love what we do and are so passionate and confident in this new album. We hope everyone enjoys it and comes to see us when they can. We want the Royal Street family to grow and grow! Stay true to yourself and do what you love and positivity will find you. Thank you!