American Royalty is a trio from Los Angeles that seamlessly blends together genres that we’re not used to seeing side by side. If The Black Keys got into electronic music, it would sound something like American Royalty, with psychadelic rock that switches up with electronic synths and basslines. Their latest release, Prismatic EP, was released a few weeks ago to a rave review from The Dankles and we’ve had it on repeat ever since. American Royalty is getting ready to return to Snowball Music Festival in Winter Park, CO for the second time, playing the Ball Room stage at 8:45 this Friday night, followed up with a DJ set at one of the after parties. We got the chance to ask them a few questions about how things have changed since they last played and their expectations of the festival this year.

The Dankles: We’ll start off with the basics, what are your names, ages, and hometowns?

American Royalty:
Marc Gilfry  –  Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Billy Scher  – Westport, CT
Mat Ungson  – Albany, CA
We are all ageless.

TD: What was your experience playing the first year of Snowball Music Festival and how excited are you to return to this festival in the mountains?

AR: We are very honored to have been part of Snowball for its rookie season. It was actually our first ever festival play, so it is quite memorable for us. One of the most fun weekends of our lives.   We enjoyed that first year so much that we actually came back last year too (as fans).  Hopefully we can keep the streak alive and come for every Snowball for years to come.

TD: What has changed for you guys in the past two years since you last played?

AR: The biggest change is in the physical world… we just moved from Los Angeles to Brooklyn.

TD: Who are you most excited to check out at the festival this year?

AR: Flying Lotus. He is one of our faves.

TD: Have you had much experience playing at outdoor venues? How do you feel about playing while everyone is wearing ski jackets in the snow?

AR: We love it! As we said earlier, our first ever festival play was at Snowball 2011, the first year. We learned quick to tune between every song and that some of the crazier guitar riffs were a little more difficult to do with frozen hands.

TD: What do you do to get in the mood to play in front of a live audience?

AR: Callisthenics and whiskey.

TD: You’ve released 3 EP’s now, do you have plans to release a full length record soon?

AR: A full length is definitely on the horizon, but right now we are just focused on writing. We are the type that would like write 30 tracks and choose our favorite 10-12 for an album.

TD: One song off your new EP, “Honey & Queen” has a different sound than most of your tracks, how did the recording process for this go? Was there anything in particular you were listening to at the time that inspired you?

AR: For us, there are songs that just come out in one spurt and others that we have to have patience with as we corral random ideas and wrestle them into songs. “Honey & Queen” was one that just came out. When we wrote it we had recently acquired a drum pad midi trigger and were messing with 808 chords. Throw in a toy megaphone that can pitch your voice up a 4th and out came “Honey & Queen.”

TD: You don’t have many tour dates set up for 2013 so far, what are your plans for the year?

AR: Write write write. Other than that, we are always happy to play live shows, but are hoping to have the opportunity to jump onto a bigger tour and open for someone.

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About Amelia Waters