Formed in Salt Lake City in 1997, Royal Bliss has released eight glorious albums and even spent some time on Capitol Records. In addition, their charismatic vocalist Neal Middleton has appeared on the hit TV reality series The Voice, performing I Heard It Through The Grapevine for their fickle panel of judges. The latest Royal Bliss magnum opus entitled Waiting Out The Storm was released earlier in the year, showing a band at the very height of their creativity. Here is a recent interview we conducted with front man Neal Middleton to find out more about the crazy state of Royal Bliss. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Royal Bliss, and how long the band has been together.
The Name is Neal Middleton, I am the lead singer, bus driver, booking agent, fluffer for Royal Bliss, we have been a band for 15 years now and still rockin…
Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
We are from Salt Lake City Utah and believe it or not Salt Lake has a great local scene, without the fans there we would have never made it this far.
Is there any story or concept behind the CD title Waiting Out The Storm?
No concept really, just more of a story about where we are in life. We have been caught in this crazy storm of life in the music industry. We are patient and will wait for our day in the sun.
Please select two songs from Waiting Out The Storm and what inspired the lyrical content.
Crazy is about me being away from my family, my two boys and my wife. How hard it is to miss out on so many things in their life, this music is all I know so I will keep on keeping on.
With a Smile is about the industry and how they try and suck the life out of and turn you into something you are not. We will stay true to the fans and music and they will never take us alive.
What could one expect from a live Royal Bliss performance?
A good rockin experience from a band that loves doing what they do. No bill shit involved, no lip syncing , no fake drums or guitars , just pure rock.
Any strange or scary stories from the road you could share?
Went on a ghost tour with boys from Hinder in Niagara falls that was pretty creepy, then we stayed at and old creepy ass hotel in Quincy IL where someone was having a sacrifice or some shit in the room above us chanting and speaking in tongues. We called the desk to see what the hell was going on and they said no one was above us. They called up there to see, the phone rang and rang but no one picked up and then it all stopped. Needless to say we didn’t sleep to good that night.
Who did the cover art for Waiting Out The Storm and how much input did you have on it?
Her name was Alexis from Visual Republic, it was a cool experience , she asked us all to send her our favorite album covers from different bands and asked us what the title meant to us. Then we went through a few different versions to come up with the final. She is a bad ass!
What was your recent experience like appearing on The Voice and how did he wind up being on the show?
It was a strange experience, Hollywood is not my world, though I did meet some amazing people while I was there. They were very good to my family as well, we got a free vacation out of it which was nice. I decided to do the show after me and my wife brought our second boy into the world. We did not have insurance and had to go natural. I almost lost them both that day and it scared the hell out if me . The opportunity came up and my wife asked me to go for it. The band also agreed being that we did not have a lot going on and also thought that it might be good for us. So I went for it felt very honored that I made it as far as I did with so many other talented people .
What advice would you give a young band seeking a record label?
Be very careful my friends, go as far as you possibly can on your own without a label, nowadays it is a lot easier to do it that way. If you really want a deal, they are looking for bands that already have their business in order, a following, Merch,tours, social media presence and all that jazz. Be careful what you wish for when it comes to a label, approach with caution.
According to Wikipedia, you have a label bestowed upon you as the “Unluckiest Band In Rock.” Would you now consider this label an accurate one? Why or why not?
No, of course we have had some crazy tough times, and we always seem to have some tough luck on the road with stupid things going wrong. But that’s all apart of the experience. The fact that we are still doing what we love for a living is pretty damn lucky . Life ain’t always easy my friends
What’s up in the new year for Royal Bliss?
A new CD is in the works and we hope to get over seas at some point. We will just keep doing what we do and we to see all of you soon.
Any final words of wisdom?
If you love something never stop doing it. If music is what you love always do it for the right reasons. Don’t let others change you, the only true way to be original is to be yourself.
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions! Hope to see you guys back here in LA sometime soon!
Much respect , thanks for taking the time to write about us.
Royal Bliss is:
Neal Middleton – Lead Vocal, Guitar
Taylor Richards – Guitars, Vocals
Dwayne Crawford – Bass, Vocals
Jake Smith – Drums, Percussion
(Interview by Kenneth Morton)
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