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If we thought the electronic dance music scene was blowing up in the States (check out our interview with DJ Hunter Vaughan here), it’s nothing compared to the scene in Sweden. One of the few acts to break out of the overwhelming pile of emerging DJs is The Royal Concept, an indie rock band from Stockholm. Just a year-and-a-half old, The Royal Concept performed at Sweden’s Peace & Love festival last summer, where they were pleasantly surprised to see 1,000 fans singing along to their mostly unknown songs. That show eventually led to their first single “D-D-Dance” being picked up by Swedish radio stations, making it a national hit. They released their first EP in June, a mix of pop and rock that is reminiscent of a Pheonix track with undertones of The Strokes.
Now, lead singer David Larson, drummer Frans Povel, bassist Magnus Robert, and guitarist Filip Bekic are on route to conquer American audiences with their brand of infectious dance and indie pop-rock. They’re playing their raucous show at Trees tonight at where they will be supporting Wolf Gang on their first stateside tour. I had a chance to ask David the same questions we’ve been hurling at a lot acts lately.
FrontRow: What time do you usually go to sleep?
David Larson: Most nights, we finish our show around 10 p.m. and then we hang out with the crowd until the venue is closing. Then we hang out with our crew on the tour bus and just relax. Povel is addicted to his cracked version of the video game Skyrim so much that he falls asleep with the computer in his lap every time.
FR: If you could choose anyone to be leader of the free world, who would it be?
DL: Hayao Miyazaki, the director that does all these animated Japanese movies like Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Howl’s Moving Castle. All the worlds he creates in his movies are just very beautiful and I think an old wise man like him that still has all that fantasy would be someone for us free citizens to follow.
FR: What do you make of the commercialization of youth culture?
DL: I think the youth culture is so split up today that it’s really hard to see it as one unit. I hope that my generation will grow up and be a generation that takes good care of each other and the world we’re living in. It should start with us questioning the things we’re getting fed with and ask ourselves if we really need them. Maybe we get greedy over s*** that we really don’t need.
FR: If you could choose anyone in the world as your partner, who would it be and why?
DL: I would choose my three bandmates Filip, Magnus, and Povel. We have so much fun together and they’re the best guys to share life on a tour bus with.
FR: What instrument do you wish you played?
DL: I would really love to play violin. I did it for like eight years and then I thought drums where so much cooler so I stopped immediately. But now it would be awesome to be able to play classical violin really good.
FR: What do you hate most about performing?
DL: Every show there’s a new crowd to convince and that’s the beauty of touring so I don’t hate anything really. I mean, sometimes there is a complete jackass doing the sound for the show and it’s a terrible feeling to be up there on stage dancing and singing, when you really feel that there is feedback going on and it’s way too loud for the people listening. But you have to try to do your thing anyways and just crack a joke about the sound sucking or something like that. Still, people pay to see our show and we’ll always fight to make music happen every minute even if the circumstances sometimes are really bad.
FR: Who would you want to tour with most, who you’ve never toured with before?
DL: Well, now when you’re asking we would like to tour with Coldplay’s crew, their special effects, and have a piece of their touring budget. It would be pretty fun to do shows like that in our venues’ sizes.
FR: If you weren’t playing music and had the talent and circumstances to do anything else, what would it be?
DL: We would have been a film crew. Povel would have been the producer, me the director, Magnus the photographer and Filip the bad, bad, bad movie star that we all need to have in the movie to get young girls to buy it. Talking about commercializing youth culture as we did before.
FR: How does the theory of evolution and natural selection make you feel?
DL: I really don’t know what to think about it…survival of the fittest? Even though I think Darwin had some good points, it doesn’t talk to me that much. To me it’s like reading the Bible – it’s interesting and you can really learn something, but I don’t get too attached to it.
FR: If global warming melted the ice caps covering 90 percent of the known world with water, what city would you hope was spared so you could live there?
DL: I think it would be pretty cool to live in cities like New York City underwater, right? If some crazy scientist could create like a chip or something that could help humans breath underwater. I would save a small town called Groznjan that is located on a beautiful mountain top in Croatia. We used to go there pretty often to write songs and it just feels so much easier to write songs above the surface.
FR: What is the best thing (food/substance/drink/thing) you ever put in your body?
DL: I tried one thing once that I will never try again. But it was good.
FR: If immortality was achievable by downloading your consciousness into a database and spending eternity in a virtual reality, would you do it?
DL: I probably would. I mean, right now I can’t see anything good with dying. I will probably come to a time in life where I will accept the thought of death and just think of it as something nice but I definitely want to live longer than what is now possible and if the only option is to do it in a virtual reality, I would at least consider it.