American Royalty’s frontman describes SXSW experience

Two seemingly different genres of music, rock and electronica, are pleasantly intertwined in American Royalty’s music.

Set to perform what is bound to be an energetic show at the Yucca Tap Room in Tempe March 28, frontman Billy Scher took the time to speak with The State Press about touring and the band’s SXSW experience.

 

The State Press: What do your friends back home think of what the band is doing? What are you guys giving up to tour right now?

Billy Scher: All of our friends are pretty amped. We’re pretty good about checking in and talking to everyone, and they’re always excited to hear where we’re at.

We’re real lucky right now with everything. We try to hit where most of our friends are located, also, and whenever we’re there we try and bring everyone out. It’s just always a good time.

We’ve planned pretty well through all this, as we started to get to the end of our studies at (the) university, we had an idea that we might be able to pull off just music and couch surf ... This is kind of what we set ourselves up to do and we love doing it. Just being on the road, meeting new people, and seeing every inch of this country.

SP: How long have you guys been on tour?

BS: It’s been about six weeks …  It’s been kind of overload, but at the end of it all, it’s a total of eight weeks. The first one we did was … mid-October through mid-December, and that was eight weeks.

SP: What is your diet like on the road? What do you guys live off of?

BS: It’s definitely pretty brutal. During February when it was FebruANY at Subway, we ate a lot of Subway. We try and aim usually for our friends' houses and try to find extended inns with kitchens and we try to cook a lot on the road.

But at South By, when we are somewhere for more than a couple days, we like to hit the grocery store and get our Chef Boy' on ... We actually just mastered some chicken parmesan! Mat Ungson, who plays drums, is actually quite the chef.

SP: What about hygiene on the road?

BS: We try and uh, well, we are one-shower-a-day kind of guys. At South By, when we were hanging out, we showered constantly. It was so hot and every show we were sweating like maniacs, so a shower felt pretty good … We try our best.

SP: Was this the band’s first time at SXSW?

BS: It was actually our sophomore year playing down there. I’ve personally gone down for the past three or four years. This year was just on a different level of insanity. We did 14 shows between Wednesday and Saturday ... We did six on Saturday. It was pretty intense.

SP: Who else was at SXSW this year? Did you get to meet anyone exciting?

BS: Honestly, we were running around so much and going between so many shows, I didn’t get to meet as many people as I would like ... I think (SXSW) has that element of finding new talent and new artists, but it’s definitely invaded by everyone ... I saw some awesome shows. I think Bruce put on a big show. I have this theory though.

There are two types of people in this world: There are those who like Bruce Springsteen and those who like Steely Dan. I’m a Steely Dan guy.

SP: What is your ideal audience?

BS: We like movement — definitely a lot of movement from the audience. At South By we had some kid do a backflip during our guitar solo that ended up with him on the floor. The more movement the better in my book.

 

Reach the reporter Jocelyn.Gee@asu.edu

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