Towards the end of last month, on May 29th, Canadian rock trio Palaye Royale dropped their hotly anticipated full-length The Bastards (our review here). However what also occurred that day was a day of protests and civil unrest breaking out across America. All while we’re still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the band were inevitably forced to place all album promo on hold at the time, the release of The Bastards was weirdly timed with the current state of the world. With tracks like ‘Massacre, The New American Dream’ and intriguing visuals of the band wearing gas masks, it’s not hard to call this record the unofficial soundtrack to 2020.
The band’s latest visual for the track ‘Anxiety’ is no different, and it’s pretty easy to see why this video release was pushed back. Set against a post-apocalyptic setting in the Nevada desert, vocalist Remington Leith sings about “a generation full of anxiety”, an all too relevant feeling for many of us today. We caught up with the man himself once to discuss the underlying themes of the record, if there’ll be a band cameo on upcoming TV series Paradise City and the frontman explains their reasonings behind the delayed video release:
We didn’t feel it was appropriate to drop the new video at its original date because the world was very sensitive at the time, so we were waiting for the dust to settle.
Congrats on the release of The Bastards! The fans have been waiting such a long time, but how stoked are you all that it is finally out?
I’m so happy. I’ve been waiting for this record to be out for a long time now. It’s definitely the proudest piece of work I’ve ever done and I’m just fucking stoked.
Yeah it’s a great album, and I really loved the intriguing narrative concept behind it all. How did that four-part story narrative come about?
It came from all of us working together over the past 6 years, piecing together all these videos into a storyboard concept. Sebastian, Emerson and I just wanted to tell our story visually.
Yeah, you’ve definitely provided an exciting visual concept, that I feel has somewhat mirrored real life! The Bastards in a strange way is reflective of what’s going on in the world right now. Would you say it could be an unofficial soundtrack for the year 2020?
Yeah, it’s definitely a depressing soundtrack, and the coincidence is kinda crazy. It’s weird how it worked out, with the gas masks and then coronavirus happening. It was definitely weird timing.
A song that stood out to me in particular was ‘Black Sheep’. Can you tell us a little bit more about that track?
I actually wrote ‘Black Sheep’ in my bedroom, on a left handed guitar. I’m not a left handed player, so i just flipped the guitar upside down and I wrote the entire song in like 30 minutes.
This song was owning the fact I was different from when I was younger, it’s about owning who you are, which is really an overall theme of the album. The whole album is pretty much about finding out who you are, and understanding that it’s okay to be different. Being a black sheep comes with negative connotations, but I think being a black sheep is sucha positive thing because you can run with the crowd or you can just be yourself.
Because there aren’t any live shows right now, how do you plan on promoting the album to the fans and keeping up your fan engagement?
We’re planning on making as many visuals as possible, we have a lot more music planned, and we’re actually working on a new record already. We’re definitely keeping ourselves entertained. And… shockingly there’s going to be a new song coming out pretty soon!
Well, I suppose there is nothing else better to do than get creative! So can we expect a Palaye Royale guest appearance on the upcoming TV series Paradise City? And do you have any hints as to when the show will premiere?
There will be no band appearance. But, you will be getting a lot more of my vocals as the character of Johnny Faust. There are a lot more songs, and I’m actually excited to see it myself. I’m thinking maybe towards the end of summer. I’m curious myself!
It’s going to be an exciting show to watch, that’s for sure! Thanks for hanging out, Remington!
Interview by Tamara May (@citylightstam)
The Bastards is out now through Sumerian Records. Check it out here
Palaye Royale – The Bastards tracklisting:
1. Little Bastards
2. Massacre, The New American Dream
4. Tonight is the Night I Die
6. Hang On to Yourself
7. Fucking with My Head
8. Nervous Breakdown
11. Doom (Empty)
12. Black Sheep
15. Lord of Lies (Bonus track)