Musicscan: Please tell me a little bit about your current tour? Has the response in Europe changed over the years?
Rue Royale: Brookln: We’re just home from a three week tour that took us through Belgium, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It was amazing! We’ve been doing this full time now since early 2008 and have been able to recognise a lot of the same people coming to shows over the years but this year we’re seeing a group of fresh faces at each show. This is really exciting to us as it feels like a little momentum is there, like the word about our music is spreading.
Musicscan: What are you hoping people to take away from a Rue Royale show?
Rue Royale: Brookln: CDs, LPs & T-Shirts. Ha! Really, but also we’re just doing the best we can with what we’ve got to make music and find peace. Hopefully people enjoy the show and it helps them in their journey in that way.
Ruth: Music is a very subjective thing. Every single person that comes to the show will experience it differently from the others. That’s exciting to us and enough for us.
Musicscan: Is there something like a general routine that you fall back on when writing songs? How does your songwriting process usually work?
Rue Royale: Brookln: Each song comes in a different way. It can start showing its head in a soundcheck or while watching a movie or eating an apple. We just try to be ready for it when it shows up. Honestly, most times it feels as if we’re trying to catch the song rather than create the song.
Musicscan: You probably get this question a lot, but I was wondering what it is like to work together with your spouse all the time? Does this not cause any friction?
Rue Royale: Ruth: Obviously it isn’t the normal working relationship that most people have at work and yes that means we have more tension in situations as we do not beat around the bush with each other. But we get to travel the world together doing something we love with the one person who understands us the most. It is amazing and extraordinary. Chocolate and audiobooks should get their due credit as excellent therapists.
Brookln: She’s always right.
Musicscan: Is there a special topic lyrically that you tend to come back to? If so, why do you think that is?
Rue Royale: Brookln: We do often realize, after the fact, that we’ve written another song using the metaphor of journeying. I don’t mind this actually. It’s such a strong way to look at one’s own reality and human experience. It means that whatever you’re dealing with at the time is momentary, fleeting just part of the bigger picture of your life and not the be all and end all. Sort of takes pressure off of things and allows room for viewing your own life as a story.
Musicscan: Have you ever contemplated adding other members to the band or is Rue Royale always going to be just the two of you?
Rue Royale: Brookln: We have talked about it before. This thing that we have the two of us is so strong that I can’t imagine - at this point - bringing anyone else into the mix. It’s an incredibly intimate process of being in a band together, especially a band that spends this much time on the road, and it’s so great to be able to experience all of this in this way. We’re happy as the two of us. We have had a couple of different friends join us on the road and in the studio before. I can imagine continuing this type of thing as the story unfolds. I kind of like the idea of sometimes touring as a two-piece and other times as a four-piece or a two-piece with an orchestra! Wouldn’t that be amazing!?
Musicscan: What, in your opinion, sets your music apart from most other singer/songwriter material out there?
Rue Royale: Brookln: Funny thing is, we don’t see ourselves as singer-songwriter at all. I don’t think others would either if we were playing the same songs as a four piece. It seems to me that people like to have categories and a tidy way of experiencing. We don’t feel this need. That being said, we’re not trying to do the acoustic-coffee-shop type of band thing at all. I think there is a hypnotic/atmospheric aspect to our sound that is in the repetition and in the way our voices work together. I think our secret ingredient is the vocal blend. There is something really special there that wasn’t planned.
Musicscan: Did you have any aesthetic goals when you started the band and how have the evolved over the years?
Rue Royale: Brookln: The first goal that we had was to record an EP and to do it in a way that we could pull it off live. The next goal was to play at a venue in Chicago called Schubas. Once we did that a few times we made new goals. We always have little goals ahead of us like carrots to a rabbit but they’re all manageable bite-size goals. We’re not trying to be the next U2 or anything. We’d like to continue building upon our sound and growing as musicians and artists but the big goal is to carry on.
Musicscan: What do you think you would be doing if the whole music thing would not have worked out? What are some other passions in your life?
Rue Royale: Brookln: Who knows what we’d be doing. It’s a scary thought! I do have an unusual passion for coffee and café culture. Maybe start something like that up.
Ruth: I don’t know. I would be baking cakes. I had many ideas before but now none of them seem attractive after doing this and it being so wonderful.
Musicscan: What is the difference between art and entertainment?
Rue Royale: Brookln: There isn’t always a difference I suppose. One can serve as the other. I think it probably comes down to the motive behind the action. If you write and perform a song because that’s what you love to do and it turns out to be an entertaining thing to others. That’s probably art. If you write a song to entertain others and reap whatever benefits you assume you might get in return, that’s probably business-savvy art. Who knows? It’s all subjective, isn’t it. There are theories out there that say that everything we do is artful. That the human experience itself is individual and art.
Musicscan: What can we expect from you in the near future? Any further tours, collaborations, releases planned?
Rue Royale: Brookln: We’re hitting the road again in a couple of weeks. Couple of shows in Germany and then a handful of shows in the Netherlands. Then we head down to Italy for a three week tour into middle December. We plan to continue writing in the mean time and really hope to get into the studio next year to make another record.