The Royce Twins

Falling is the new single from 4 Years, released by The Royce Twins, Gabriel and Michael Saalfield. The Twins are Melbourne-based singer-songwriters and multi-
instrumentalists and are already gaining international attention. Falling is indeed one of those songs that isn’t afraid to dive deep. It’s a song about reflecting on life when things have fallen apart and how you hold tightly onto the things you hold most important to get through it. The song could also be described as a man’s search for meaning. Both Gabriel and Michael answer a few questions for Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles about the single.

Did you feel the pressure to deliver on your second EP 4 Years?
We didn’t feel pressure from supporters, but we did feel we needed deliver something new and different for 4 Years. It’s always an opportunity to showcase new songs which is important to us.

Sonically, do you think you have changed much from your debut EP?
Yes heaps. We have a stack of unreleased songs to choose from and when it came to choosing the songs for this EP, we decided this time around to park the ballads and ramp up the sound in a rock direction. We had the experience of recording already under our belts, which also made the recording better as were able to get on with what we needed to do within the time frame we had.

How was the recording experience?
The recording experience is always fun, trying out new things, new sounds, playing with the structure of songs and perhaps a lyric change here and there. The songs are always changing during the recording process until you’ve hit that sweet spot. For us it starts with laying down a simple guitar part and vocal, then we build from there. For most independents, us included, the hardest part of recording is the cost of studio time.

What was the biggest lesson learnt this time around?
The biggest lesson was use of compression which is probably over used these days on most stuff you hear. You can lose the realness and rawness of a song and it can affect the overall sound. So we made the decision to pull right back on it. Sometimes also if you make something with too many ingredients it turns out crap – so what we’re saying here is less is sometimes more. This time we’ve probably pulled back elements which we might not have done before. I guess it’s about letting the songs have the right space. This EP is meant to be listened to with volume up as it fills the space.

Are there plans for a full length album?
We are always trying to write new stuff and get new songs together even though we’ve probably already got enough for an album. Recording is however an expensive process and we haven’t found the right label recording partner yet to go down the label road. Being independent is fine for now as it gives us a chance to explore our craft. But yes, we’d love to do an album.

In this day and age do you still believe in the concept of an album?
Albums are great, but singles and EP’s seem to get listened to just as much if not more. We think technology has changed the way people listen. Music is more like TV now, it’s easy to change the channel. We think people like to shuffle between songs and artists. For us though we’d still love to do an album, it’s about bringing together a collection of songs you’ve written over a period of time and there’s often a theme. If we really like an artist, we’ll still listen to an album from start to finish.

What comes first, the music or the lyrics?
For us it can be either. Sometimes they can come together – you right a good rift on an acoustic guitar, then you come up with lyrics for it. You then work on both until you’ve got a complete verse and chorus. You then keep going from there. The process continues into the recording studio up sometimes too.

Being brothers do you argue much about the songs?
We don’t argue, well not as much as we used to. We try and work out what’s best for the song. Sometimes each of us do need a bit of convincing of the others opinions but when you try different things you can work it out it works itself out.

Are there any plans to tour Australia or overseas?
We’ve love to tour Australia and overseas. Having the right kind of partner makes a big difference on this kind of stuff. We play a lot around Victoria and do get an an interstate gig here and there. But we’d love to get on the road if the opportunity came about on a grander scale. It’s kind of like a label relationship, you need to find the right partner to make it all viable, especially overseas too where local knowledge really can make or break a tour.

Interview by Rob Lyon

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