Last year the folk-duo RUE ROYAL released the beautiful record Guide To An Escape. We liked it a lot and made it to one of our albums of the week (the link shows you the full album stream as well!). And because we got curious about their music and background we took the chance to ask them a couple of questions. Below you’ll read what they told us about how they met and started making music together, why DIY became important to them and lots of other interesting things!

 

Please introduce yourself to our readers!

BROOKLN– Hello readers, this is Brookln from the band RUE ROYALE.

RUTH– Hi there! I am Ruth, the other 50%, we are half British and half American and based in the UK. We love to make music and drive around Europe playing and meeting many people in many places!

 

You are wife and husband – what was first: making music together or getting married?

BROOKLN– Well, we actually met each other through music. Ruth came to America as part of a band with a singer-songwriter friend of mine from London in 1999 or 2000 (can’t remember the actual year).

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I played drums for them for a few shows and they stayed with me in Chicago between shows. We kept in touch via email a bit that year. She came back out to the states for a friends wedding and looked me up. We hung out that week and it was magic. Boom, we were a couple. We got married in 2003 and started RUE ROYALE in 2006. We’ve been running mad every since!

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Boom, we were a couple…
We’ve been running mad every since!

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Have you been/are you active in any other projects?

BROOKLN– Well, nothing to name ;-) Actually we recently started a new project with a couple of friends in Berlin. One of which is Paul Wilkinson. Paul mixed Guide to an Escape. We don’t really have a name for the project yet but I guess we will soon as we’re recording our first EP in February. It’s very different from RUE ROYALE sonically; lots of sampling, electric guitars and drums..

 

Your concert schedule is really impressing! Do you know how many shows you have played in the past years? What have been the most outstanding experiences you made – positive as well as negative?

BROOKLN– I reckon we’ve played somewhere in the ballpark of 500-600 shows (mainly in Europe) since mid 2008.

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RUTH– We have had many amazing experiences on the road. Sometimes in bigger venues/ at festivals and sometimes in intimate house concert venues. Our first show at Vera, Groningen, NL was a wonderful experience as we had so many friends there and we were so surprised by the support in the city that came that night. End of the Road festival, Dorset UK, this past summer was also a wonderful festival to be at, such an amazing area to be in and the festival is beautiful in many ways. To be honest there have been so many amazing times that is hard to pick. We are very fortunate to have a great community of fans and friends scattered around Europe that we have wonderful times all over the place.

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What does “passion” mean to you?

BROOKLN– We started doing the DIY merch thing initially because someone broke into our car in Amsterdam and stole all of our merchandise one tour. It was the first week of a 12 week tour. We really needed to get some more made up but we just couldn’t afford to press it up again and we didn’t have time. So we went to the Media Markt and bought some printable CDrs and reworked the artwork to fit on an A3 sheet, had them printed and spent the next few weeks with one person driving and the other burning CDs and folding paper. We ended up selling like 400-500 on that tour, which was way more than we originally thought we’d sell. People seemed to love it. We realized we were on to something. Since then we’ve found a better design and have made and sold thousands. Since then, it’s become much more than that though, it’s something we really take a lot of pride in. I’m not sure that we’ll always do it this way but for now it is definitely something we’re passionate about.

RUTH– For me it is why we do this. We were so passionate about playing music in Chicago that we spent nearly every night working on it and playing so much there. We were fueled by a passion to play music over anything else. We sold all our belongings to move on and start touring. It made sense to us even if it was crazy to others, because we were and are so passionate about doing something we believe in and love.

 

What are your associations with “hope” and how are your lyrics related to it?

BROOKLN– I’m a fairly unbalanced person. I often struggle in grasping for hope and meaning. This band has always been a result of, response & reaction to that. When we’re writing a song it’s not meant to give hope to anyone necessarily but it is a way to find it for ourselves. We do hear of others finding something like solace or hope in our songs and that’s really great but I’m afraid if I think about that too much, I might start writing in a different way.

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RUTH–  For me, hope is about moving on and having perspective in times when life gets hard or confusing. There is not a set answer to give to anyone needing hope. Music is very subjective and can mean different things at different times obviously. Our lyrics are about our journey in life, sometimes hearing someone else’s thoughts or questions can bring some comfort or perspective.

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For me, hope is about moving on and having perspective in times when life gets hard or confusing.

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What do you want your life to be like in 10 years? What is expecting your fans in the future?

BROOKLN– Well, hopefully we’re still able to make music and live the dream. There is no sign of slowing for us RUE ROYALEs.We are looking into ways to of making new sounds and playing new instrumentation. Would really like to get over to Asia to tour and spend more time with and better cultivate our North American fanbase.

 

And at the end there is always space for everything you would like to share with our readers!

BROOKLN– I love to dance. It’s a real problem. I tend to embarrass Ruth with it.

RUTH– It’s true.

 

song: Guide to an Escape – taken from: Guide to an Escape (2011)

RUE ROYALE:
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– folk / acoustic / indie / pop
– from Nottingham / United Kingdom

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