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Benny Marchant of The Kings Royal
Interview January 2009
by Deb Rao
When you listen to The Kings Royal, the first thing that will come into your mind is that the band has a classic rock sound infused by catchy guitar chords and vocals that are reminiscent of Tom Petty or The Doors. There no frills approach to their classic rock sound is re-freshing. In a day and age, where the lyrics and melody can sometimes be overcome with blaring guitar riffs, The Kings Royal choose to keep it simple and let the music do the talking.
The Kings Royal is a Los Angeles-based band founded in 2007 by lead singer/guitarist Benny Marchant, guitarist Sean Hennesy (The Hiwatts), bass guitarist Adam Kury (The Hiwatts, David Krusen on drums, and Walker Gibson on keyboards.
Although the band has only been around a short period of time, they have an impressive resume. In 2008, they toured with Candlebox with Sean and Adam performing double duty, and also spent a month long residency at the Viper Room in Los Angeles. The Kings Royal return to Hollywood for a special performance at the Universal Bar and Grill on January 28th. www.myspace.com/thekingsroyal.
I recently spoke to front man Benny Marchant and discussed the bands debut album Beginning, and what it was like touring with Candlebox. Sit and back and return to a classic time in rock, when music was real and honest, as The Kings Royal infuse their magic and re-capture the simplicity of an era gone by.
HRH: Benny, Thank you so much for checking in with Hardrock Haven. Tell me how the band came into fruition. I know it has some Candlebox members in it correct?
BENNY: Well, we started the band David Holman and myself. David Holman is the producer and also the songwriter with me. We were just writing songs and decided to put a band together. That is how we were able to get Sean and Adam right before the tour with Candlebox and David Krusen and Walter Gibson joined us.
HRH: Now Davis Krusen was also in Pearl Jam. He is not still with them is he?
HRH: The Kings Royal just released a new album, Beginning. Tell me about the writing process for this album. I noticed it has a classic rock feel to it. Was that your goal to bring back the classic rock sound to the fans?
BENNY: Yes, we kind of wanted to go about the songwriting like they did back in the day. Exactly. Using older instruments. I think that everything we used was at least 40 years old to the Vox pedals to the SG that I got from 1967. Even the drum kits that we used were old school kits from the '60s. We kind of just wanted to go that route and do it like they did it back in the day.
HRH: Did you and David write the entire album together?
BENNY: Yes, I was more melody, he was more lyrics.
HRH: What does the title of the album Beginning denote to you?
BENNY: It is the first stage, the first step of the band. We needed something for the tour and the band was just getting started.
HRH: What was it like touring with Candlebox?
BENNY: It was unbelievable. It was my first time on the road. Those guys are amazing. It was every family oriented. With Adam and Sean being in Candlebox, we knew each other before we went out. The fans were awesome. They were showing up early for every show. We got to play to a packed house pretty much every time. That just alone was amazing.
HRH: What did learn as a musician from touring with Candlebox?
BENNY: How to pace yourself and how to capture the audience. Kevin is a great front man and I was able to learn a lot from him and how he is onstage. I learned how to warm up before a show. I was also able to stop smoking, which was good.
HRH: That always helps.
BENNY: Yes. Kevin and my girlfriend were just, like, making me stop smoking. So, I finally did.
HRH: Would you say The Doors influenced the band?
BENNY: Yes definitely. I think The Doors, The Kinks and The Animals were big influences.
HRH: I was reading your bio and it said that you had a month long stint at The Viper Room in Los Angeles. What was it like performing there?
BENNY: It was amazing performing there. That was actually one of the first places where I ever performed as a front man. The sound there was amazing and the people were great. The people there come to hear music. It is really well known. It is just a great vibe. We will be back there soon, once we finished the second record.
HRH: Are The Kings Royal currently in the studio?
BENNY: Yes, we hope to release the album around February or March.
HRH: Would you say The Kings Royal is kind of an artsy band?
BENNY: I think we definitely have our artsy side. I just love our line-up now. I love everybody that we are working with. The fans have been amazing. I am just really excited about this project.
HRH: How did you come up with the name The Kings Royal?
BENNY: We were looking at the name King Past or some Edgar Allan Poe stories. I like the baseball team The Royals. We wanted the aspect for the kings in the name somehow. So we just combined it The Kings Royal.
HRH: Thank you Benny, for taking time out to discuss your new project. We look forward to your new album here at Hard Rock Haven. Net.
BENNY: Thank you.