Version française ici.
" Two Cycles And A Little More ", here we go, the third album from Regal is out these days after a making full of pitfalls, as their first recordings had been lost on the way.
And it was worth waiting for as it is a truly strong and beautiful record that the french rock and roll troubadours are presenting. The will to come through a new step is totally assumed, thanks to a cleaner production which shines their songs at their best glare.
It’s was in 2011, with their first record, Possible Ending (Frantic City / Azbin), that Regal catapulted us in their fresh, young and rough universe. Then, the signs of a certain melodic talent were quickly confirmed on their 2nd LP, Misery, Redemption And Love (Azbin Records 2012), where the profoundness of their compositions takes on its full meaning.
" Two Cycles And A Little More " new album and 12 slaps to our faces, from ballads (Yaking Life, Inconstant Time feat. Paula JC Satàn…), to pure rock gems (Each To Their Own, Tar Rush etc... ) where you meet some violins, banjos, choir and other electric charges.
What we love in Regal’s music, it’s this ability to take our guts under a garage rock not as simplistic as it seems. The intransigence at the service of harmony. They’re capable of bringing us higher and further, with their tense and naïve energy, and by their thrilled rises, which make their melody tremendously touching.
It is rare to meet this kind of emotions through songs and we can also think of bands like Demon’s Claws, Country Teasers (that they’re covering Mos Eisley), Grass Widow etc… Who also, in their own way, succeeded at making us feel like that.
There is always this permanent dialog between the two guitars, which criss-cross, argue, answer to each other, along with these voices, sometime confident, sometime quavering. Then, without going into a deep analysis of the lyrics, we were touched anyway by the inspirations led by the themes of the songs, among joy, doubt, euphoria, wrath, passion, dream etc… our youth and life actually.
This is a significant record, and we’re glad that Born Bad Records is releasing it, and we hope it will get them the recognition they deserve.
Finally, it is important to mention that Regal members are hanging around since years now in the talented French DIY scene. The Regal galaxy is, between others, some ex and other bands, like Last Rapes Of Mr Teach, Strange Hands, Animal Trophies, The Skeptics, le Pécheur, Yak, Sapin... some labels like Azbin Records (run by Xavier from the band), Frantic City Records, some comic with Collectif Arbitraire, etc… it would be too long to list everybody as everything is linked but you should definitively dig into all that.
It is now time for the interview we did last year. We met the young lads during their European tour, for the Hamburg’s concert at Komet (22/05/2014).
At this occasion, we decided to take inspiration from an absurd interview of the French odd philosopher BHL. Here we go and thanks to Regal !
- Regal, who are you ?
Xavier : We are 4 assholes : Xavier, Fadi, Antoine and Caelan. We met with Caelan on the internet, via World of Warcraft. We met Antoine because he is making great comics (Collectif Arbitraire, with Pier from Le Pécheur). And Fadi, it was by chance when we organized some gigs at our house in Belgium, La Barrière. I think it was in 2011 but we formed in Lyon (France).
- What links your new album with the previous ones ?
Caelan: There is a logical link of course but we’re always evolving. We spent a lot of time to do the first one (Possible Endings) as we had the songs since almost one year before recording, but at this time we weren’t really good musicians, we knew each other’s less well etc... But for the second one (Misery, Redemption and Love), we composed and recorded really quickly, for example most of the lyrics were written during the making so it makes it really spontaneous. On one hand I think it’s cool but on the other hand, when you play it over and over, we can say that we could have it done better, but nevermind.
X: For the new one, I really like to do something which sounds good, not like "Alright, we play garage, we don’t care if we play bad, this is garage, this is cool..."
- But I don’t consider you especially as a garage sounding band, it is a bit simplistic I think.
X: Yes, it is a vast term. For me garage is more a movement, you plug, play, you don’t give a fuck, sounds is shit, you don’t have good instruments, you don’t know how to play but you make music and it is cool. It’s more like a momentum / impetus. As we said, on the first album, we didn’t know how to play, I just started the guitar few months before and it was the same for Antoine on drums... But at one point, you have the ambition to sound well and clear, that’s also why you make music. We don’t want to get stuck in the lo-fi way of doing, even if it can be very good, some are doing that very well. I’m not saying that our previous material was shit or so, it’s just that it was our state of mind at that period, we did it spontaneously and for the next one we’d like it different.
- You’re living in the countryside, is it important for you and your music?
C: It is an individual question, and personally, I can’t live in a big city too long. I need nature, space, open space.
X: But the more you’re isolated from a city, the more it becomes DIY because you’re not in the circle, close to a scene or with people who are helping you etc... When you’re in Paris, you’ll do more events, gigs, meet people. In the countryside, you’ll meet 3 chickens and a goat, and they won’t help you to move forward. So it also becomes something where you’re on your own, and it takes more time...
C: Countryside brings you certainly more than city life. You’ve got space to rehearse, the daily life, what inspires you, the surrounding, it is different and I prefer that. It’s also easy to do nothing, and for me it is important to compose. You lose in terms of promotion but you win in terms of inspiration.
- I really consider your songs, as guts songs, they bring emotion, is it intentional ?
C: To go back to the source, me and Xavier, we started to play country together, like playing banjo, guitar, and only country or Irish songs. It is obvious that it is scented in our music, because we really like that and listen to that a lot.
In these musics, you also hear a lot of nuance and melodies. This is really something I like in music in general, the contrast, the shades, which can make a song rising, and at its peak, it can become like trance... So yes, it’s clear that we love country music and these stuff, like Country Teasers, Demon’s Claws, Hellshovel, it speaks to us. We really put effort in melodies. This is a true seeking, even if the basic emotion comes often from nowhere, spontaneously. And then we try to work it on to make it come out.
X: Anyhow, the best songs you write are the result of how you feel things. This is subconscious and unpredictable. We are more looking for the melody than the energy.
C : And when we find a song which makes you feel a certain emotion, we’ll try to get to the bottom of that...
- Do you run some parallel lives ?
Xavier: I’m one-legged protagonist for a choir in south of France.
Caelan: I'm manager in a nudist camp.
Fadi : I work in a factory like a basic worker.
- Your first memory ?
C : It was a concert in Budapest which was kind of our first official show. We were touring with Le Pécheur and Animal Trophies, and as there was everybody, we improvised a gig. It was funny and organized by nice people so it was a nice party.
- Were you a good boy ?
Antoine : I yes, but I don’t know for the others.
C: Yes but it depends on where and when. We are well behaved children but a bit moronic.
- As a child, what were you afraid of ?
C : Afraid of the death. I had this recurrent dream when I was young : I was beheaded by a sickle.
F : I was afraid to be naked in the playground.
X : To be an adult.
- Did your mother tell you " I love you " ?
Regal’s mother told him often " Get a real job ", but now she says " I love you ".
- What was your father doing ?
Regal’s father is maybe the Last Rapes of Mr Teach. Because, if they wouldn’t have collapsed at one point, maybe Regal wouldn't have lived. So he ended his life to give us life. And by the way, it also concerns Le Pécheur and Animal Trophies. So it came to 3 astounding bands !
- How did you earn your first money ?
Regal never earned money.
- What did you want to become ?
To tour in better conditions, and finally to mark a little bit the music world... the rock and roll dude ! But we never really told ourselves that we could make a living with that... We like to make music in some weird places, just have fun and that people would have a good time.
- The first love, when and with whom was it ?
It was with Melvyn from Strange Hands.
And also with JC Satàn, that we met at the Last Rapes era and that we keep hanging out with and having good time. I think the first love was the Bordeaux scene. Beyond that, we can say that Regal is loyal, but we keep ending sleeping with a lot of people. We give our love to a lot of people. But always safe love !
- What is your best quality ?
Well I don’t know, I think we’re honest, more honest than some others. We’re doing our thing honestly.
- Your biggest regret ?
X: To have wasted a lot of time.
C: No, it would be to have let our van without surveillance in Budapest the second time we went there.
X: No but no. Ok we got robbed, ok, we took shitty decisions but I really think our biggest regret is to have wasted too much time. We formed 3 years ago and we wasted too much time playing video games.
C: No I disagree.
X: Ok, well anyway we can’t agree on that one.
- Have you already stolen ? Do you remember when and what it was ?
X: A bottle in Freiburg, some cables, some jacks...
F: It was by mistake! So it doesn’t count...
C: So yes we steal but...
X : No but it’s only small things, like when we really need them. For example, at the beginning of a tour we had 2 electric cables, then after 4 gigs, one was missing so at the 5 gig, you see one, you take it. A: But our first quality is honesty !
X: But, I think we got robbed more than what we could steal...
C: Yes, we’re stealing nice and useful things... like babycats.
F: See? The babycat point softens everything.
C: Yes, now the interview is definitely more peaceful...
- Have you already killed ?
C : We killed some gigs yeah...
X: I guess we ran over some animals on the road, like one or 2 birds...
Ah, but also a venue. It was in Herselt (Belgium), we were playing and when I announced the last 2 songs, the guy told me "alright, as soon as you’re done we destroy everything". So we did it.
- If you were allowed to kill someone, who would that be ?
F: BHL I think.
C: No, he’s pretty with his clump.
X: Well nobody, we’re peaceful people, big hippies.
- Did you already lie to your life partner?
X: No, concerning that I think we’re honest to each others.
- With whom, would you like to have a good time ?
C: Gérard Depardieu.
X: We don’t need anybody to have good time ok?
- Who do you think is sexy ?
F: Amanda Lear.
- For who was your last kiss ?
The last kiss of Regal would be for the guys at the venue Le Parapluie National in Binche (Belgium). There were only 3 persons at the gig but it was awesome.
- The last time you cried, what was the reason ?
C: For our lost songs. The first recording of our 3d album disappeared, it was like born dead... So we cried a bit for that, in our heart.
- What are you suffering from ?
X: From alcoholism !
C: From Love !
- Were you already close to death ?
The death of Regal, never. The base is strong. Regal will carry on, and live long.
- Do you believe in god ?
Yes the religion of rock and beat! The religion of Love. This is what pushes us along, because we love each others. Fuck the gods. No god. No Money. No Limit. No god, no mattress.
- What is your little weakness ?
" Manjato el pani "
- 3 cultural items to bring on a desert island ?
Guitar, bass, drum.
- How much do you earn per year ?
Regal earns zero money per year but earns a lot of hope... like 1 billion hopes per year.
- Who are your true friends ?
We can’t name all our true friends so let says :
" All of you who are our true friends will recognize themselves... Big up for you guys. "
- What do you wish to your worst enemies ?
We wish them to stop stealing from us pedals, guitars and bass ! Come on, stop that, it really sucks.
- You only sleep few hours per night, but do you snore ?
X: Nobody snores here ok?
C: Let’s begin with the less worst who are Fadi and Antoine, they don’t really snore. But the others one, well...
X: Personally, if they can put me in another room, it is better for us. I snore like hell, and Caelan is beginning to do the same, the more he gets fat, the more he snores...
- Regal - " Two Cycles And A Little More " Born Bad Records
Thanks to Wild Wax Show for the gig and JL for the help.
B. / FGC