All hail The Last Royals

The Last Royals

"The Last Royals are an up-and-coming band from New York City. The band consists of singer-songwriter Eric James and percussionist Mason Ingram. The band released an excellent self-titled EP in 2010 and is due to have a full-length album released in early summer. I spoke with Eric James about the origin of The Last Royals and what’s next for them.

"Q: What was the project that brought you and Ingram together?

"A: We first collaborated on a compilation record with a bunch of songwriters from New York. It was for a group called "Restore NYC," which helps rescue women from the sex-trade industry.

"Q: What was it about the collaboration that led you to create The Last Royals?

"A: I had been looking for a mastermind percussionist and drummer and Mason was the man for the job. I loved the way he meticulously poured over every sound and groove. I guess you could say we bonded over our OCD tendencies.

"Q: What are some artists that inspire the both of you?

"A: We have been loving LCD Soundsystem lately… It’s so great to hear people not afraid to let a good groove just go for eight minutes straight on a song. I wish I had the guts for something like that.

"Q: The spoken word style that you employ is reminiscent of Cake. Are you inspired by their vocal style at all?

"A: Not really… I talk to a lot of people that tell me they were really into Cake in high school and stuff and that they are reminded of it with our music. I liked their singles but I never really knew their records. I think the spoken word thing comes from me not understanding that my true calling could be motivational speaking.

"Q: "Come Take My Hand" has a great pop sound. How did you come about writing those melodies?

"A: I am obsessed with the ‘50s and my melodies usually lean in that direction. I think all pop songs should make you feel like a mildly rebellious teenager who just had his first kiss.

"Q: Being just a two-man operation, how are your concerts set up?

"A: It’s a work in progress. We sometimes keep things real simple with just beats and synths. For bigger stages, we often bring our bassist friend with us. Either way, we’re both working overtime to make these tunes work and should probably sit down with HR to whine about it.

"Q: What do you have planned for this year?

"A: A full length [album] in early summer! We’re finishing our tracking right now and will start final mixes pretty soon. After that, we should be hitting the U.S. roads and beyond.