On 2016’s full-length debut, Boom Room Room (Side A) [Sumerian Records], Palaye Royale—brothers Remington Leith [vocals], Sebastian Danzig [guitar, organs], and Emerson Barrett [drums]—bring their theatrically charged fashion-forward art rock to life in vivid and vibrant technicolor.
“It’s fast-paced dirty rock ‘n’ roll that makes you feel a certain way,” Remington proclaims. “It’s been a long time since bands really put on a show. When you saw the Rolling Stones on stage, it was huge. We want that element of fashion and spectacle to come into play again.”
“It’s got a creative side which we love from classical music,” adds Sebastian. “At the same time, we grew up in Vegas, so we love to get theatrical.”
“We want to inspire the new culture of youth to indulge in rock ‘n’ roll and everything the lifestyle brings with it,” agrees Emerson. “It’s the pursuit of art and music for this generation of flower children.”
Born in Toronto and raised in Las Vegas, the boys found themselves immersed in music at a young age. In their late teens, the brothers would trade the “City of Sin” for the “City of Angels,” founding Palaye Royale.
“The name automatically connects us to another era,” explains Sebastian. “Palaye Royale is the dancehall in Toronto where our grandparents met in the fifties. We’re very cognizant of history and culture. I feel like that’s getting lost. We’d love to revive an appreciation of it.”
They also did things the old-fashioned way, insisting on playing hundreds of shows before cutting a proper album. They would embark on the High School Nation Tour two years in a row in addition to sharing the stage with the likes of Camp Freddy. At the insistence of Alex Burdon—daughter of The Animals singer Eric Burdon—Sumerian Records caught one show, was effectively blown away, and signed the group the same night. In the summer of 2015, Palaye Royale recorded Boom Boom Room (Side A) in just three weeks’ time with the help of another legend…
“James Iha produced the album,” continues Sebastian. “He just wanted to make a rock record. We’re huge fans, and it was amazing to collaborate.”
“He allowed us to be creative,” says Emerson. “Because he’s an artist himself, he understands how fragile and delicate the process of recording can be. He knows exactly where we’re pulling from and channeling our image and music. He did a similar thing in the nineties!”
The first single “Don’t Feel Quite Right” shimmies from a bombastic beat into a swaggering riff that culminates on an unshakable chant.
“We wrote the song about a lot of girls who live in Los Angeles,” admits Remington. “They’re those annoying pseudo-models online.”
“It’s about the world of ‘Instagram Famous’ girls who will do anything for acceptance in this world,” affirms Sebastian. “We got really honest with the lyrics and images here.”
Elsewhere, Palaye Royale threads together the cinematic “Mr. Doctor Man,” “Sick Boy Soldier,” and “Clockwork” into one psychedelic and fascinating narrative.
“The three songs tell a story,” Remington goes on. “‘Mr. Doctor Man’ comes from the perspective of the doctor, ‘Sick Boy Soldier’ continues it from the perspective of the patient, and ‘Clockwork’ conveys an overall synopsis of being lost. Much of the record is about losing your mind. It reflects what we were experiencing while writing.”
For “Ma Chérie,” Palaye Royale tapped the talents of close friend Kellin Quinn [Sleeping with Sirens]. “It’s about a married French woman I dated,” sighs Sebastian. “I didn’t know she was married, but I found out down the road. It’s that whole L.A. nightlife scene and everyone trying to be someone they’re not. Kellin liked the song, and he really helped bring it to another level. We love what he did!”
Boom Boom Room (Side A) is only half of the story though. The band has (Side B) on deck next. The whole package speaks to the lost mythos of rock ‘n’ roll evocative of places like New York’s Boom Boom Room and in the hearts of their heroes such as iconic music manager Kim Fowley—to whom the album is dedicated.
“He heard our band through KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer,” recalls Sebastian. “Rodney put him on the phone with us, and we hit it off. We just became really good friends. It’s that outrageous quality of people like him that lives on in Boom Boom Room.”
“It’s all a state of mind,” Remington leaves off. “We had one wild night playing a gig at the Boom Boom Room, and it stuck with us. Our Boom Boom Room is something like a dreamscape reality. That’s what rock music should be.”