For the past six years, The New Royalty—comprised of singer Brittany Iafelice, guitarists Eric Drylewicz and Nick Iafelice, bassist Kyle Davis and drummer Ricky Joyce—have been redefining what it means to be a pop-influenced band in the modern era, tearing up the scene with a passion for professionalism and a love of the craft seldom seen in bands of their caliber. Initially forming as a cover group in the studios of a music school, TNR have since evolved from their humble roots to performing alongside national acts like Big Time Rush, Hot Chelle Rae, The Ready Set, Less Than Jake and Anti-Flag.
Grammy-winning engineer/producer Brian Vibberts (Green Day, Michael Jackson) once described the band as having “uniqueness and professionalism that far exceeds their age.” While that’s quite a bit to say about an unsigned group in today’s music scene, The New Royalty certainly hold up to this reputation. What the band brings to the table in terms of their pop punk style is a far cry from the ordinary, choosing to blend influences, step out of their comfort zone and often experiment to create something brilliant each time they take aim at a new release.
In addition, TNR have long been known to involve themselves with local charities and organizations, donating time, money and the sweat of the brow to help shape a better tomorrow, which speaks volumes about their character both as a band and as individuals.
Of course, biographies can only say so much about a group, so I sat down with The New Royalty to get to know them a little better. We talked about their upcoming music, what they think about the state of the local scene and more. The transcription is below:
Hey guys, thanks for sitting down with us.
It’s our pleasure, dude. Thank you.
So you’ve got some new music coming out soon.
Yup, we have two EPs being worked on currently.
What can the fans expect from the new tunes? Are you kind of sticking with your current trends or experimenting a little?
Well, the one that we’re gonna be putting out shortly is kinda similar to what we were working on before. The soft stuff we really enjoy, but they are a lot better than our first album, I’ll give you that. Also, our second EP is a little different. It’s a new style that we’d like to introduce to everyone.
Word is you’ve also got a track on an upcoming Doors tribute album. What song did you guys end up doing?
We did a cover of “Break On Through (To The Other Side)” for it.
Were they a big influence of yours going into this?
Not really. They weren’t like a huge influence, but we definitely did enjoy them. We just felt that it was a great opportunity to try something completely different and show how different our stuff can be now.
Definitely good to show off what you’re capable of. Where can fans pick up both the EP and tribute album?
The tribute album actually isn’t out yet. Just on the internet really, through iTunes and those kinds of places. It’s going to be all over there. That’s the best way to get a hold of it at this point.
I hear you guys got a new guitarist recently [Eric Drylewicz]. How are things working out so far?
He’s awesome! He’s really great. We’re all having a really good time playing together. It can always be a hard when it comes to having a new person, you know? But no, he’s been a really great addition.
Over the summer, as you probably know, Maxwell’s and The Canvas Clash closed down. Has it affected your local touring at all?
Well, the thing is we’ve stayed local for the longest time, and it’s time we started branching out. We never actually played Maxwell’s or Canvas Clash before, so it hasn’t really affected us at all. We’re trying to book shows in New York and Connecticut, and try to get a few stints out there, and then come back. We’ve pretty well exhausted most of the local scene over the past four years.
Right, you want to get your sound out there and build a fanbase.
There’s just so many local bands and everybody knows everybody and it’s all wonderful, but you’ve got to branch out at some point.
As a pop punk group in today’s scene, how do you feel about where the genre has been heading in terms of what other local groups are bringing to the table?
Good question. I think… It’s funny, like, we’re all good friends with the local bands, whether they were pop punk or not, but I think at least four out of five of us don’t really listen to pop punk music, even though we play pop punk. The music we play—which is pop punk, I guess—it’s kind of a blend of all our influences, but I’d say personally, we don’t listen to pop punk, so we don’t know how to answer that.
There’s been a lot of criticism as far as local bands go that they’ve sort of gotten into this rut of stagnation and a lot of it’s the same stuff. Would you agree?
Yeah, I’ve definitely seen this trend among younger local bands. A lot of them do really sound similar in influence. That’s why with these new EPs, we want to get out of that rut. We’ve all just been really trying to play with the new style and the new music, and we worked really, really hard on each individual song, so we’re hoping that each one is gonna set us apart from other local bands that sort of fall into that category.
There’s definitely a lot of good groups out there too, but if I do say so, you guys have really defined yourselves as being apart from that trend already.
How do you feel about local music on the whole though?
I think it’s great, you know? The more local music the better. It means that people are still trying. It means that people aren’t giving up, which is awesome because I remember being a kid starting out, and if people hadn’t encouraged me to keep going, then I might not be here today. We try to make it out to as many local shows to show our support for our friends. Even to check out some local acts that maybe we haven’t seen before that might be some hidden talent that we could book shows with and maybe that would complement our sound nicely with us. We try to stay abreast in the local scene.
I wish you guys well on the road, and thanks again for talking to us.
Thank you, man. We really appreciate this. It’s been a real pleasure.
The New Royalty’s latest EP, When Poets Dream, is available now through iTunes and Amazon, as is their Christmas compilation, Spend Christmas With Me. For more information, go to thenewroyaltymusic.com.