Alanna Royale (2015)
'Big Time Me: The Alanna Quinn Story'
Both 2013 and 2014 were explosive years for Nashville sextet Alanna Royale and 2015 doesn't look like derailing their fast-paced career success.
With a bombastic live performance, a handful of performances, and a growing fan base, Royale’s reputation has continued to spread since the release in January 2013 of their debut EP, 'Bless Her Heart.'
Picking and choosing their favorite elements of soul, funk, Motown, and straight up Billboard pop, Alanna Royale has assembled their own unique style out of many. Not quite soul but not quite rock, Royale shines brightest when marrying their dirty rock n’ roll attitude with their smooth, retro roots.
Last winter, Royale premiered their newest song, 'Phantom Limb' and then headed to the studio to record their debut full length, the quite brilliant Achilles. So come join those in the know, jump aboard the Alanna Royale train to success, and experience this unstoppable musical journey for yourselves.
Chatting recently with the lovely lady herself, lead singer Alanna Quinn-Broadus, in order to find out where this euphoric music had come from in her life, I first asked her where she had actually first "discovered" that she had such an incredible singing voice? "From a young age, my family always listened to soul music and rock n roll in the house. I had a knack for learning every single vocal part - the ad libbing, the background vocals, everything."
Now in the knowledge that you had a voice to sing with, how old were you when you first sang in public? "I started in local musical theatre in Albany, NY when I was 12, and started in my high school choir when I was 14."
And how did it go? "I loved it, of course."
Before Alanna Royale formed in 2012, what other bands had you been in? "Before Alanna Royale, I was in a ska band called the Quitters, and a post-punk band called Medicated Kisses. Both were based out of Boston in the early 00's."
Since the forming of Alanna Royale, word of the band has spread like wildfire on the internet! What do you put this initial strike of the match down to though? "From the get-go, our city and community were so embracing and supportive of us. Our first show was in front of Mike Grimes (owner of Grimey's Records/co-owner of the Basement in Nashville), and we developed a great working relationship with him. We also owe a lot to Lightning 100 for showing us a lot of love right from the beginning, and Music City Roots for booking us multiple shows in multiple cities. And of course, having a super loyal group of friends and fans at home that come out to every single show."
Having listened to you, and seen videos of the band live, you come across in much the same vein as one of my favorite bands of the mid-90's, Save Ferris. Have you ever heard of them, for as much as they were more ska-punk, Monique Powell's vocal styling was very similar to yours. "Since now that you know I was in a ska band, of course I've heard Save Ferris! Great band."
You are releasing your full-length debut album soon, Achilles. So why title it that? "In the story of Achilles, he was invincible save for one spot on his body - his heel. Before the tracking of our record, I hemorraged a vocal cord during the week of ACL fest 2013. Naturally, this took a long time to heal and was a source of hurt and despair but also a source of inspiration. We had a band discussion about likening my vocal cords to Achilles' heel. In that, if my vocal cords stop moving, our band stops moving."
And I assume that the artwork for Achilles is indicative of that? Who did it for you and was it always to be your first choice? "Yes, it absolutely was. Our story does not end in the same tragic way as Achilles, our story is about overcoming. The significance of the album artwork is breaking "fate's arrow", and coming out stronger on the other side. Making your weak spot your strongest spot and constantly progressing towards something better. Our album's photos were shot by our best friend Rebecca Rotenburg ( www.rebeccaadlerphoto.com), and the art direction was handled by Aaron Powers ( www.newantlers.com), our guitar player Jared, and I."
And, for the record, and with your name obviously being part of the bands, what was the thinking behind naming yourselves Alanna Royale? "We wanted a name that was memorable and rolled off the tongue. Originally, we were going to go with and "Alanna Royale and the..." kind of band name, but immediately thought that wasn't quite right. To us, the name sounds like either a really clean vintage car or a really beat up old stripper. And of course it's a nod to Pulp Fiction because we're super big Quentin Tarantino fans."
Being that we're not called Exclusive Magazine for nothing, please reveal a little something special about the making of this debut album that you've not told anyone before! "We probably set a record for the most amount of candy ever eaten during the making of an album!"
What kind of person are you on Twitter? "We use twitter as a way to promote ourselves for sure - but we usually end up posting about other bands we like as well (known and unknown)."
Finally, and yes, we ask everyone this question, we here at Exclusive Magazine love penguins. So, we were wondering if you do also, and if you had any stories about one, perhaps? "We love penguins! During our guitarist Jared's college years, he used to skip class and go hang at the Boston Aquarium, which has the BEST penguin exhibit in the entire world."
Interviewed by: Russell A. Trunk