Where to start...

     Good lord, it has been a while. The "summer recap" has turned into "summer and fall recap". Where to start. Fantastic summer with some great shows around the east coast, and a stellar Music PEI Fall Conference. We were lucky to meet some very influential guest speakers and one of them was Tony Moore, who has been a member of Cutting Crew, Iron Maiden, just to name a few. We had a great talk with him, and he offered up a spot at his club The Bedford in London just after our stretch at the Looe Festival in Cornwall, UK.  And we hadn't felt luckier...

      ...Until we started the journey to England. The whole thing was surreal. We feel lucky we get to strum our guitars, beat our drums and sing into microphones. But being offered a few spots in another country was new ground for all of us. We just felt incredibly lucky. It was hairy as hell driving (yeah, Chris drove. Like a CHAMP), but we saw remarkable things. Hucked through farmer's fields to see Stonehenge, on the path past the King's Mounds burial site, Woodhenge, other incredibly historic things in that area. We also got to hang out with a fellow Island act who was playing the Looe festival as well. Meaghan Blanchard is a singer songwriter who has been wooing audiences with her genuine voice, and touching songs. She crushed her set to hoots and hollers from an intimidatingly massive crowd and later we partied like Islanders. We ate English food, we drank English drinks (lots), and we made English friends. It was a tornado of happy instances leading up to our set where we played in front of one of the biggest crowds we've ever played for. A few thousand people who by the end of the weekend, became friends. We were stopped every few feet as we walked through the tiny, dreamy town full of people drunk on food, booze, and good vibes, and everyone wanted to talk. And we wanted to talk. We met so many people that we stopped being so amped about the playing part and got amped that we were lucky to be there, talking to these great people. It was something else. So we did exactly what guys like us do. We got commemorative tattoos (shouts to Adam at East Looe Tattoo).

     The next night we were playing that gig for Tony at the Bedford, and this was intimidating. 5 acts, 2 songs, lightening fast changeover, and 2 sets, livestreamed. The night was hosted by Tony (which was awesome), and featured some of the best musicians we've ever played with. The night was a fantastic success, we drank more (of course), and immediately headed to the airport and started our 20 hour trip home. Gotta say. That sucked. But worth it? Absolutely.

     Now we are looking at the next flights to Ontario for our Indie Week Canada showcase at Cherry Cola's on Friday November 10th. Also that weekend, we are hitting up the studio with Brian Moncarz for some recording! This guy is incredible at what he does and has a client list that includes Moneen, Our Lady Peace, the Trews, Yukon Blonde, and loads of others. Another moment to feel incredibly lucky. 

     And speaking of luck, I (Donovan) just got sponsored by North River Guitars. I'm currently slinging their '59 Appetite For Destruction Slash replica. I feel like I shouldn't be allowed near something that nice. Its the best guitar I've ever played, and it sounds absolutely beautiful. Expect more shiny new guitars in my hands over the next year, care of Danny and Wayne, the builders. 

     Where to end this. Here is good.  

 

 

Thanks to the Looe Festival FB page for this pic of us signing autographs.

Thanks to the Looe Festival FB page for this pic of us signing autographs.

Zapper by Adam at East Looe Tattoo. Rocking donkey calves by Donovan.

Zapper by Adam at East Looe Tattoo. Rocking donkey calves by Donovan.

Donovan is sponsored by North River Guitars. Pictured is the '59 AFD Replica.

Donovan is sponsored by North River Guitars. Pictured is the '59 AFD Replica.

Rolling stones gather no moss...

   The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of excitement for us in the band. We are deep in the middle of it right now. We returned from Canadian Music Week a few days ago, and with a couple days of rest we are now in St. John New Brunswick for this year's East Coast Music Awards Conference. In a few short weeks, its a local celebration with MusicPEI's May Run Music Festival right here in Charlottetown PEI where we are nominated for 3 awards (Group Recording and New Artist of the Year, and Rock/Urban Recording of the Year!). Instead of a wordy paragraph full of info you probably won't need, here's a list of things that recap the past few weeks, and a few things we are excited for.

  • Photos added in the gallery thanks to our good friend Tony Dawe. Also the domain is now theroyalnorth.com, but theroyalnorthband.com will still get you here.
  • CMW was great. We met a lot of people, and got to see some ridiculously good bands (Radio Caroline, Blackvoid just to name a few).
  • President's Choice beer is also the Royal North's Choice beer while in Ontario.
  • We owe a debt of gratitude to our manager Gardiner Macneil and friend/ally Brad Machry for helping us get the most out of the trip- thank you, guys.
  • The Hard Rock Cafe hosted our showcase which was amazing, but the downside was hearing that the place is turning into a Shopper's Drug Mart next month 👎
  • Porter Airlines is the most hospitable airline we've ever flown. Thanks for all the 8am beer 👍
  • This weekend we are playing a showcase at the ECMA Breakout stage, and the Delta Ballroom, 12 midnight, on Saturday. Craig is already in St John being the busybody and making the contacts that these conferences cultivate. We are all on the way in the AM. Which reminds me- I have to pack.
  • Our buds in East of the Dial are already getting boozy and enjoying their first ECMA nominations ever for Media Outlet of the Year AND Media Person of the Year (Joee Adams). Believe me, I can't wait to get up there and into some nonsense. These guys do a LOT for musicians in this edge of the country, and I am very, very proud to be included in that group. 
  • Not to mention our golden ear'd engineer, producer, sometimes keyboard player, and always a dear friend, Jon Matthews, who is nominated for Live Audio Engineer of the Year AND Producer of the Year. It's well deserved, and there isn't a nicer person they could nominate. Good luck, brah.
  • After the showcase, we are going to get dirty drunk, try not to make asses of ourselves, and enjoy a noisy, raucous reflection of all the years we've been doing this, surrounded by people that made similar choices to what we made, and have similar struggles and successes. This weekend will be about camaraderie, and pausing for just a moment to remember the first gig with the first handful of songs, and how far we've been able to take it. 
  • We are definitely aiming higher for 2017. Thanks for supporting us. We mean that entirely.
We laugh as hard as we play.

We laugh as hard as we play.

New Year, New grind, New plans

Allo. So it's been a while. And so much has happened. Let's just jump into all the things that have happened this past 2 months. 

New Years at the Delta opening up for Haywire was one of the most incredible experiences we've ever had. We had a fully catered green room, complete with an ice cart full of beer, and (as per our rider) a buffet full of crispy bacon. I kid you not. There's nothing that makes you feel more bigtime than asking for something weird and hilarious like pounds of bacon in a buffet tray. More importantly, we got to share it with our close friends on the biggest party night of the year. Not to mention we got to stand side stage and watch canadian rock legends Haywire play a slew of solid gold hits. Incredible night, start to finish.

We've been also thick as thieves with our brothers Andre Pettipas & the Giants and even made a mini tour around their neck of the woods, from the Commune in New Glasgow, NS to Governor's Pub in Sydney to the Carriage House in Port Hawksbury. There is nothing better than hanging out with likeminded musicians and connecting on everything. Our good friends in AP&TG are hospitable, talented, fun, and sincere. These are things every band should be, and they are a constant motivator to do what you love and love what you do. We are in the midst of planning another mini tour with the guys asap. We can't wait.

With the help of Joee Adams at  q93fm, we've achieved the relatively impossible. We've been added to the playlist rotation on the station! This is unreal news for a LOT of reasons. Most notably, that local bands haven't gotten play in PEI for decades. Once conglomerates and corporations bought up the radio stations, the music programming became more external, and less chance was taken on local music. Hopefully, things are going to continue to go well, and maybe it will open the doors for other local bands to get some airplay on our local stations. The best facsimile right now is Joee's project with Prider and Matty (and sometimes me) on the East of the Dial podcast. This is a music/entertainment show with a focus on music from eastern Canada, and we desperately need it. Tune in for weekly shows and in between chats on a well produced program about music that you may not get to hear otherwise. And if Joee doesn't have the sexiest voice. No wonder he's nominated for 2 ECMAs this year. Speaking of which...

We will be ripping it up this ECMAs in St John, NB this year with a full showcase! We are very excited for this. We didn't really have material on time for nomination categories, but we lucked into an ECMA sanctioned showcase. This is always a great time, and seeing old friends in a huge event like this is great. PS - a large contingency of ch'townies are in the same hotel. I fear the hangover. Real fear.

Its CBC Searchlight time again and we have an entry for our song Leave the Light On. The video is mainly tour footage, and some live footage at the old jam spot. Thanks to Jeff Matheson and Josh Pitre for the help with some of the footage, and Dazzles for putting time in editing. If you have a sec to throw a vote our way, every little bit counts. Thanks!

And since we are on the topic of what you can do for us, our latest single Falling Out Of Love is in the East Coast Countdown and is making a slow burn up the chart! If you would like to see us reach number 1, we need a vote! hit the link and rate the track, but also, check out some of the other awesome music being made in our cozy nest in the east coast. Our boys in Andre Pettipas & the Giants are in the list as well, with their earworm of a track, Richelieu.

Sorry this is so long. Next time I won't wait so long to update. New confirmed dates added in the show section. I think I got it all. Here's a few pictures of the past few weeks.  

THANKS FOR READING!

 

 

A Lot, All At Once

Well. This past week has been a particularly productive one. We got our EP done, CDs printed, digital sites are rolling out the release, our new t-shirt design is done, merch is ordered and on the way, we've put our MusicPEI applications in, Canadian Music Week applications as well. Now we wait til Jan31st to play #NYE2016 with Canadian Rock Royalty, Haywire.  We are really, really proud to play this show, with a huge thank you to Ocean 100.3FM and the Delta Prince Edward for hosting. Tickets are really scarce, but you may still get some at Ticketpro.

If you want to see how Indie Week was, and hear Dazzles and I talk about music, check out this week's East of the Dial. If you aren't familiar with the podcast, its 4 guys (including me, recently added) who talk about the music being made in the east coast, and where it fits in with music being made everywhere outside our happy bubble. There are weekly guests with people you might know, should know, or definitely heard of, including people like Taggart and Torrens (that's Jonathan Torrens and Jeremy Taggart's new popular podcast), Adam Baldwin, Chris Murphy (Sloan, TUNS), and Eric Alper (director of media relations eOne Music Canada and popular music correspondent to major media outlets).

Speaking of Eric Alper, he had a preview of our album up on his site before the digital release, and the response was fantastic! We are very lucky to have support from such good people. If you wanted to catch up Eric's post, its here.

Welp, that's about it. We can rest a bit now. But not for too long. We are in a bunch of cover bands, and christmas is the busiest time of the year. No rest for the wicked. We hope you all have a perfect Christmas. Cheers, everybody.

-Donovan

 

EP launch, CDN Indie Week Wrap Up

       Long time no talk. We are back from Indie week. What an unreal time. The shows at the UG3 and the Bovine were amazing- but we won our round of judging and made it to the semi final round at the Cameron house. Another great night, with some great bands. In the end the Corks from Montreal cleared that round. Congrats to them, and to all the people that came out and partied with us - THANK YOU.

       The recording for the Royal North EP is all done, and mixed. We are so pumped to get it out to everyone. Expect hard copies at our upcoming shows, and full digital releases at all your favorite distributors as well. We will be blasting links once they are available. Big shout out to Jon Matthews at the Soundmill for doing an incredible job of helping us get the songs sounding slick as hell. And for tickling the keys on a few tracks, as well. Thanks, buddy. Also big shout to my wife Laura for knocking out a few harmonies on "Done For Good", which is featured on our EP.

      Again, thanks to everyone who came out to the shows in Ontario, and to all those popping out for the Mercy Dolls, Generator and the Royal North at Hunter's on Friday the 9th. Bring some non perishable food and get in a bit cheaper, plus you'll be helping out a great cause for the holiday season - CBC turkey drive and the Feed a Family foundation. Nothing like helping out over the holidays while turning up with a few great bands.

 

- Donovan

NYE Rock Show, Recording, New Dates, New Gear, RIP Shitty Pedalboard

    So many things to talk aboot. Firstly, we entered in the Oceans100/Delta Prince Edward/Brackish Battle of the Bands and came home with a big win! We get a $1000 (put towards recording) which is fantastic. But the big prize is opening for Haywire at the Delta Ballroom on NYE! Pretty pumped about all of this. We are all huge fans of the band already, and it's an incredible honor to warm up the crowd for them. We have to give a shout out to the other bands that competed- our good friends O'Leary, Fortune Bridge, and Generator all played great, and the crowd loved all of them. It was a hard battle to judge, I'm sure.

     Second, we were accepted to Canadian Indie Week in Toronto, (Nov 15-20), so check the schedule for showtimes! We loved playing in the city last time, and it will be a ball this time, no doubt.

     In other cool news, we shot some DIY footage for our homemade video we are putting together for Leave the Light On. We enlisted the help of our buddies Josh Pitre and Jeff Matheson on the cameras. Hopefully we will have it out to share in a few weeks. OH, and my old Jackson Outcaster is alive. thanks to Chris' killer paint job, and our good friend Andrew Smith for the assembly and tuneup. As well, Chris put fancy detailing on his tele. Looks not-so-bad either. He also retired the WORST pedal board in the history of pedalboard, so, you know, thank f%@! I included a few pics, because they are pretty. 
 

      I'm going to do a rig rundown on the guys, and some background on their history in the coming weeks. We are turning into gear pigs, so there's a lot to write about. Til then, cheers everybody!

      

The Outcaster, redone as a Surfcaster. Back from the dead.

Check out the tele.

MusicPEI's May Run Festivities And The Subsequent Hangover

We were lucky enough to be included in MusicPEI's May Run Music Festival this year and our video for Goodbye Alibi was nominated for Video of the Year! We didn't win but we were very happy to see Meghan Blanchard win for her video "Crash" that was produced by Kyle Simpson at Lowell Productions, who also did our video. Heartfelt high5's to both Meghan and Kyle. To get caught up on the nominees and winners, head here: MusicPEI May Run Festival

We also performed at Hunter's Alehouse on the saturday night "Battle Of The Bands Alumni" stage with Chaotically Zen, Generator, and Mindwaves. Fantastic night all around. Everyone played great, the crowd was ready to party, and the place was packed. Everything you could ask for in a venue. There are some great pictures from the night snapped by Patricia Borque

All in all, a great week for all the musicians on the Island to get together and play. We look forward to next year, and the following Monday night subsequent hangover. Now we just need to get our heads on straight as we slide into the Soundmill Studio with Jon Matthews to finish up a new single. 

While you are at it, why not throw some love our way on the Eastcoast Countdown Charts. We 'preciate ya.

 

 

Dick Stack rules.

1) be drunk. 

2) first one to pass out gets stacked on. 

3)  change is gathered and shared. 

4) players go in a clockwise order placing quarters on the D. 

5) if quarters fall off THEY MUST ALL BE COLLECTED AND RETURNED BEFORE THE NEXT PLAYER TAKES THEIR TURN. 

6) players can't leave messy stacks for the next guy. dirty pool, bud. 

7) you can use tools. chopsticks and shit. 

8) change goes to sleepyhead - every time-

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here is Craig applying some solid technique with the long drop

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Tight stacks, bud

Popping sleeves, breaking hearts

On the TCH headed to Tdot for show #3 at the Hideout. We've been behaving (relatively) and meeting up with old friends, and making new ones.

The show was great at Barfly in Montreal. Small intimate spot, great beer, fantastic vibes, and Soft Shoulders were nice enough to share the tiny stage with us. Left the iPad at the hotel. Not very bright. Picking it up on the way back.

Last night in Kingston was fantastic. The guys in Hays Code are the most solid dudes. Let us use the biggest and lowest tuned drum kit ive ever seen. Also, I'm positive that Kingston is the capital of Vape Nation. #ripclouds #vapenaysh #cantseeinhere

And now we are about a half hour from the big smoke for our first meetup with our tour pals, the Road Heavy at the Hideout. We are so amped up to play with these guys.

I've been eating salads. So that's good. Except I did crush some dimsum with Calvin. DIM SUM Y'AAALL.

Lookatdat. Coming up on Tdot now. 

 

-Donovan

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papa bless.

papa bless.

Today's the day!

On the road in a few hours! We'll be blogging the whole trip so check back for updates, fun stories, mishaps and hangover breakfasts.

 

Donovan

oda is just as pumped as I am.

oda is just as pumped as I am.

Fun times ahead

Hey guys, just wanted to stop by and give a brief update of some things we have coming up. We are awfully excited to be hitting the road for a first time as a band ands getting out to see some new faces and make some new friends, Make sure to check out show dates and if we are coming to your town let us know and we would love to meet you, We also have our second single currently climbing the east coast countdown chart and is sitting at #8 after entering at #10 three weeks ago and we have you all to thank for that, keep those votes coming at www.eastcoastcountdown.com. 

MusicPEI week is fast approaching and we have been nominated for Video of the year for "Goodbye Alibi" and are also playing a few showcases as well which will be a great kick off to our summer. We have been booked for a few festival dates that will take us around the Maritimes that we are very excited to share with you and will as soon as we can. 

We have studio plans comin up as well! A new single and video will drop this summer and with some brand new songs being recorded we hope to package a physical product with a release before the end of the year. 

We are constantly booking shows and trying to put of the best music we can for you, so stay posted and check back often. 

Thanks 

Craig