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New York Cool - Music

The Royal Chains: A Candid Conversation

Written by Kristina Weise
October 6, 2008

Opposite Photo: Adam Roddick


Last Wednesday, my friend suggested we attend L Magazine’s Battle of the Bands in Williamsburg and I let out a yawn before saying, "‘I guess." I am not sure what prompted me to go, but perhaps somewhere in my cynical self remains an ounce of faith and a sputter of hope that I would stumble across a band that would kick my ass.

Ladies and gentlemen, my attention was not only held, but the music of The Royal Chains leaped off stage and viciously attacked the audience sending numerous shocks through the system. Where did this band come from? More importantly – where are the going (and can we please tag along)?

Rarely does a three-piece arrive with such polished force that they threaten to shake - borderline possess - a fan’s very soul. The Royal Chains consist of Adam Roddick (lead & guitar), Mikey Stefanov (drummer) and Dan Lawley (bass guitar). Adam Roddick, has a voice capable of scratching through the current skepticism of New York City’s rock scene while presenting a nostalgic quality reminiscent of earlier pop sensations.

Originally, I had planned to meet Mr. Roddick for a cup of coffee, notebook and pen in hand, but ended up walking with the musical mastermind over to The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory to indulge in one scoop of chocolate. It was one of the oddest, but most beloved interviews I have experienced. I scream, you scream, everyone will scream over this band….


Adam Roddick, Dan Lawley and Mikey Stefanov
The Royal Chains

Kristina Weise: It’s always interesting to hear how bands describe their music. How do you describe The Royal Chains’ sound and what are your influences?

Adam Roddick: We make bitter-sweet love songs with 60's melodic pop sensibilities and au currant angst and neuroses. Our influences are: skyrocketing rents in NYC, drugs and alcohol, other people's music, and books. There might be a few others that I’ve left out.

Kristina Weise: Books, eh? I didn’t know rockers read.

Adam Roddick: Ok. You got me. I cannot read. This is another good example of "gotcha" blogging.

Kristina Weise: I am quoting you. Moving on, where do you see your music going? What is the future vision? What is your 5-year plan?

Adam Roddick: We see our music going to the movies, hanging out with its friends, and watching TV.

Kristina Weise: You witty little….

Adam Roddick: Ahem… As far as The Royal Chains’ future vision, we'd like to introduce our music and positive energy to as many people as possible. The five year plan is to support ourselves and our friends solely through our music (read: no more "real" jobs). Our 50-year plan is to "remain flexible” and hope that people give us a chance to make them move.

Kristina Weise: Give me a fun fact to throw out there…

Adam Roddick: Currently, we are the only beardless band working in NYC. Oh… and I love pirates.

Kristina Weise: What is your opinion on the current musical landscape in New York City?

Adam Roddick: It's far too competitive and far less cooperative than we'd like to see (not to mention basically non-existent at this point). It's imperative that bands stop trying to hide fans from each other, pull our resources, and actually build a legit scene made of real people who like music and want to have fun.

Kristina Weise: Interesting concept… do you think it’s realistic that bands would put egos aside to come together in an artist collective?

Adam Roddick: The simplest way would be by going to see other band's shows (and have fun while there) and also to work together to create "events" where the entire bill is made up of bands (could even be other types of artists) who know and support each other. This way, it's more of a "destination," as opposed to a stop-off on your way somewhere else.

***

Personally, after watching this band steal the spotlight (Listen to "No Love in Your Punches" and try to resist dancing), I believe it is safe to say that The Royal Chains are capable of creating a one-stop destination to this island by offering a breath of electrified air to our generation’s polluted and under stimulated airwaves. It’s gritty gutsy music that is worth a listen.

Translation: Put you dancing heels on and get ready to rock out.

For upcoming shows (including CMJ) and more information, please visit: http://www.myspace.com/theroyalchains


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