Royal Bliss is a band you must see live. I was lucky to catch them at a sold out show in Seattle on their second night to a packed venue. Royal Bliss has seen a lot in their years together. Some tragic - some refreshing, but the guys have risen above their tragedies to become one of the hottest live acts currently around. The energy you get from them and the crowd means you won't feel ripped off paying top dollar to see them.
Lead singer Neal Middleton was kind enough to grant this exclusive interview for Punk Globe.
VOCALS NEAL MIDDLETON
GUITARS TAYLOR RICHARDS
DRUMS JAKE SMITH
GUITAR CHRIS HARDING
BASS TOMMY GUNN
Punk Globe: So 2004 was a rough year for the band but it seems you gained a lot of strength from it. Could you tell me about that year?
Neal Middleton: Yeah that was the roughest years of my life.It defiantly sucks that the accident took part of my leg from me. I will never have feeling in part of my leg again,or run, play sports like I used to.Taylor got hurt, Chris put the ski though his face. Jake rolled his car.
Punk Globe :So who was the only one in the band that didn't get hurt?
Neal Middleton: It was our old bass player at the time . We went though 3 or 4 months of such crap.Our manager sued us and our producer sued us.
Punk Globe: Why did they want to sue you?
Neal Middleton: Because we didn't want to be with them any longer.When we found out they were in cahoots with each other and were looking to take our money from us when we got signed to a major label. The manager was also the producer's manager and when his contract was up that's when it got crazy. The manager wanted to sue us, the producer gave us this bill we have never seen before. Which he could do legally and yeah we could have sued him back ,but we just wanted him out of the way so we had to find a investor and take care of that.
Punk Globe: So "After The Chaos II" album came out you had fans calling in on the request line at so many radio stations.You became the 1# most requested. Tell me about that and how it impacted the band.
Neal Middleton: "Yeah, we were 32 in the country and the only independent band in the Top 40. Which was really awesome for us.That's when all the labels started coming to us. It was our goal in the beginning,to never have to move to L.A. or New York. We enjoyed being a independent band and if we signed with a record label we wanted them to come to us. We had 5 different labels coming to us after that happened."
Punk Globe: The thing that I found very interesting was even as a independent band you sold 12,000 Cd's out of the back of your van. That says a lot about your impact with the fans.
Neal Middleton: Yes we were touring and we had independent radio helping us out. We hired a radio promotion company to help push our name out there. The fans WOW they are amazing. We love it, without them we wouldn't be here.We really would love to thank all our fans personally as they have been nothing but great to us.We have read the feedback and its just nice to get that.For us we have struggled together for 11 years and a lot of the fans have been there from the start.They almost feel as though when we got signed to Capital, they got signed as well. It didn't take a village with us it took a city.So they are a part of us. Royal Bliss is not just a band its a community.
Punk Globe:You got signed by Jason Flom. So he took notice and immediately signed Royal Bliss to his new Capitol Music Group Label under EMI in May 2007. That had to be a great feeling.
Neal Middleton:Well what can you say Jason Flom is such a amazing guy. A big part of history (Kid rock, Bon Jovi) I have heard from some industry guys that tell me you don't meet a lot of really good people like him.This is true, he is such a pure person and really genuine.
Punk Globe: "Life In-Between" you narrowed it down to 12 songs. How did you pick these 12 over the others? You had over 30.
Neal Middleton:We went through all the songs together and really just picked what we thought were good songs. We didn't want to push out anything that we feel wasn't complete.There are some great songs we didn't put on the album I just love. I think 6 of those will go to the next album.
Punk Globe: What would your advice be to new bands?
Neal Middleton: I would tell them bust your ass, practice really hard and be humble.You're not better then anyone. Remember your fans they are the true spirit of the band. It seems in the past ten years a lot of the groups out there forgot the fans. They act as if they are doing them a favor by letting them be in their presence. That's not the case they wouldn't be here without the fans.
Punk Globe: So whats coming up for Royal Bliss?
Neal Middleton:We will be on this tour with Candle Box until May 9Th then we will be with Buck cherry until June. Coming up we have some dates with Motley Crue and more so please keep checking our website for more details.