Playing 700 shows over the past four years, Canadian-American rockers Palaye Royale have sold-out shows across North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, but never miss a chance to play on Canadian turf. They last appeared in the 519 performing with Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson at Budweiser Gardens in August.
Amidst the COVID 19 pandemic, the band pulled the plug while on tour in Europe supporting their soon-to-be-released album The Bastards.
Although the tour was haulted, the album’s release went ahead as scheduled and fans got the chance to grab The Bastards at the end of May.
It’s packed with a clever sound, trippy songs and accompanied by a killer look.
Vocalist Remington Leith checked in from his home in Los Angeles anxiously awaiting the album’s release and we talked about music, flashy looks and currently living under COVID 19 restrictions.
Do you guys consider yourselves more of an American band or do you still consider yourselves as a Canadian band?
My older brother was born in Canada and then me and my little brother were born in Vegas. But we both have dual citizenship. So it’s kind of a little bit of both.
Must be pretty sweet to have that dual citizenship?
Yeah, exactly. Free health care, it’s always great.
How has the quarantine affected you?
We were over in Europe traveling through Budapest when the whole thing happened. So we had to cancel the rest of our European tour and then our American tour. It was right in the middle of one of our biggest tours yet. So it’s kind of affected us in that way. But it’s good. I’m at home with my brothers, just writing music for the next record. So things could be worse, so I’m not too upset.
With being on the road as the chaos starting over there, what was it actually like at the time?
It was getting pretty crazy whenever we would cross the border. And we’d crossed the borders from country to country in Europe because the show’s probably finished at l11:00 PM, 11:30 at night. And we would get on the bus around l1:00 AM in the morning. So when we’re traveling through the borders, it’s about 4:00 AM and so we’re all sleeping at this point in our bunks. Then we’re seeing all these people in hazmat suits coming on the bus, waking us up with a temperature gun, just checking if we have any fevers because if we did, they would’ve kept us at the border. So it was getting pretty crazy.
Then just show after show kept getting cancelled because no live events over a thousand people, then it was over 500 people. Eventually the whole tour just got cancelled.
You’ve had a birthday this week. How did that go under quarantine?
It went well. I was just surrounded by my family and a couple of friends, but we all kept six feet apart. So it was definitely a stranger birthday that I’ve ever had.
Well… happy birthday.
Yeah, it was really fun. Thank you so much. Things could be a little bit worse.
You mentioned that you’re writing during this time.
It’s the perfect time to write our next record. It won’t be coming out yet, but we’re already working on the next one. It’s a perfect time to start writing music, being creative and just appreciating the time at home.
The new album came out in late May. Quite a few singles have already been released, so I bet you’re really excited to finally get the whole album out.
Oh, I’m so excited. We’ve been working on this one for about probably two, three years. Just because we were on the road so much, whenever we went back home for maybe a month or two at a time. That’s when we would get the music done. So it’s been quite a process finishing this thing. I’m so proud of this piece of work, it’s definitely my favorite thing that we’ve ever done in our career. I’m so excited for it to finally come out and play the new music for all the fans. I have never been more excited for a piece of work.
Tell me about the album.
So the album came out May 29th. It’s called The Bastards. It’s our third record. It’s definitely our most honest record yet. We didn’t really hold anything back on it. I wouldn’t describe it just as a typical rock record because we didn’t really want to hold ourselves just to one genre on this record. So it’s a little bit of everything. It’s a little bit schizophrenic with the genres. I’m so proud because it all came from us.
There are so many sounds and influences in your music, almost everyone has a different way of describing the music. How would you describe it?
The best way to describe it is just Palaye Royale. I think that’s the only way to describe it. Because I’d never wanted to be held to one genre. And I feel like this whole point of art is to just create what you can. And it doesn’t really matter what genre comes out, but as long as it comes from you, it’s a party.
In some ways The Bastards feels a bit more complete than the 2 Boom Boom Room albums – like you guys found yourselves and who you are a bit more. Is that the case?
For the Boom Boom Room albums because we wrote the songs when I was so young, 16, 17. And it’s funny because it just came out a year and a half or two years ago, when that record dropped. I feel like I’ve lived so much more. We never had life on the road, going through real life situations. We knew what the real world was, but when we wrote Boom Boom Room, it definitely felt like we’ve actually lived a little bit. So this is what The Bastards is.
One thing that everyone agrees on is the visual side of the band. There’s a flair for fashion going on. Where did the look and fashion side of the band come from?
Oh God, my mom always had The Rolling Stone videos on. And watching The Doors and Bowie, it was just incredible and I’ve always been a fan of that. Obviously music comes first, but I’ve always been a fan of the big productions, the over the top outfits and looks because it makes you more than just a band. I feel it makes you a little bit larger than life. And I’ve always loved that. It’s like your uniform, in a way.
It looks like you had a lot of fun shooting The Bastards cover.
We definitely had a lot of fun. The photo shoots especially because we’re obviously incorporating a lot of red and black into it. I can’t wait for the record to come out and show the world what we’ve been working on.
The Little Bastard is a great video. Aside from the Tim Burton vibe, it also has a Sims feel and to me it looks like you guys are Sims characters – that would be a fun way to play the game.
It was definitely cool. Because obviously, during this time in quarantine and we can’t really go out and shoot a regular video. So we connected an animator friend of ours and we’ve worked on this and it came out perfect. Yeah, I love it. It’s definitely seeing yourself as a cartoon and it was definitely a bucket list for me. So happy about that.
There are a few videos for the album already. Each one brings a unique visual experience. You guys really use videos as another art form and expression of the band’s personality and not just as a generic sales piece.
When we were kids, we definitely wanted to take it further visually because we always wanted to create our own world in a way. I feel like this platform gave us the opportunity that not many people get. If we have an idea, we want to know that we can film something. Nothing’s really holding us back. So we jump into the creative side of things videos. We just try to create our own world in our music.
Another extension is Bastards TV that keeps things moving. Is this a temporary thing until you guys get back on the road?
Since we’re not filming so much during quarantine, Bastards TV was definitely more of tour diaries, like a tour documentary. But what we’ve been doing lately is called Loneliness Palaye Royale. So it’s just been a live stream that we’ve been doing, every Saturday. Just to keep everybody a little bit entertained making music and telling weird jokes. It’s almost like a weird talk show.
I saw you guys when you were on the Twins of Evil tour here in London Ontario. That was a great tour and everyone was at their best. What was that tour like?
It was definitely crazy for me. Because growing up with Manson and Zombie just on MTV all the time and looking up to them as kids. They were just these untouchable superstars in my mind. And then getting that call saying, “Hey, you guys are going on tour with Manson and Zombie.” I was like, “Holy crap.” So it was definitely cool.
And then, Manson and I would hang out most of the nights in his dressing room and just talk. I had to pinch myself a couple of times thinking, “Oh my God. I’m just this kid born in Vegas who would just listen to this music in my bedroom. Now I’m here playing in these massive arenas with these people I’ve looked up to.”
So as you wait things out before you can tour again, there’s the new album, many updates on YouTube and a bunch of other things to keep fans active. What does the future beyond the quarantine look like for you guys?
Obviously, our biggest thing is just putting out more music, more music videos, more content for people. And then, moving on when the world opens back up, hitting the road for the next couple years and entertaining people with live music. Because I feel like that’s the whole point of being in a band is to be with the people in person, being at those live shows. Obviously, we’re going to keep working on music and music videos and content for the people until then. But I’m just waiting to play on stage again, that’s my favorite part of this whole thing.