Interview with Royal Pirates

08/10/2009 2009-10-08 18:28:00 KoME Author: The KoME Team

Interview with Royal Pirates

Interview with the up and coming rock band, Royal Pirates

© Royal Pirates
Up and coming rock band Royal Pirates have been gaining a lot of attention recently due to their covers of popular Korean songs such as Super Junior's Sorry Sorry and DBSK's Mirotic. Moonchul and Sooyoon took the time to answer KoME's questions about their inspirations, the reactions to the band's music and the future of the band.

Would you please introduce yourself to those readers who do not know you already?

Royal Pirates: We are Korean American rock band with members Moonchul (guitar/vocals) and Sooyoon (drums/backing vocals). We mainly perform through YouTube and make videos of ourselves performing rock remixes of pop music.

How did the two of you meet and how did you form Royal Pirates? Where does the name come from?

Royal Pirates: We met at a small church in California when we were both in junior high. Royal Pirates was formerly Fading From Dawn formed in 2004 but we changed our name to Royal Pirates in 2008. Our band name is Royal Pirates because we wanted our music to be free and liberal like the pirates but also elegant and proud at the same time, just like the Royals.

You gained much popularity by uploading cover versions of popular songs on YouTube. There are many bands doing this as well. What do you think is the difference between you and those other bands that helped you to become so popular?

Royal Pirates: Visual wise, we try to mix up video clips of the original music videos and our performances to keep the viewers entertained. Also, we use different microphones to catch different instruments and vocals, making the audio more clear and professional for the audience. Most importantly, we believe that we have a unique style and sound of music.

How do you choose the songs you'll cover ?

Royal Pirates: When we jam, if we like it, we do it.

Which cover do you think it was harder to add your personal touch? And which result did you like the most?

Royal Pirates: Mirotic by DBSK was definitely one of the hardest cover for us to add our taste. Our favorite covers that we have done are Sorry Sorry by Super Junior and Tell me your wish (Note: Sowoneul Malhaebwa (Genie)) by So Nyuh Shi Dae.

Have you ever received comments from the artists that you have covered?

Royal Pirates: Yes we have, but in respect for their privacy, we have decided not to mention any names.

A question that may be a bit provocative: Aren't you afraid that you may be considered as just a simple cover band?

Royal Pirates: Never. We have been playing and writing our own music since we first laid hands on an instrument and we will be coming out with our own compositions pretty soon. Playing covers are just for fun like a hobby, but we are much more serious about our own musical compositions.

You received a lot of positive feedback from Korea and even invitations to be featured on Korean shows. Did you expect such an interest in the band?

Royal Pirates: Not really. We didn't expect anything like this to happen and we are in deep gratitude for such feedback.

On your MySpace it is stated that your musical influences are bands like Muse, Saosin and the Japanese band L'Arc~en~Ciel. Which Korean artists do you particularly admire?

Royal Pirates: We don't have a particular Korean artist that we admire but we enjoy listening to K-pop.

Where does your inspiration for your own songs come from? And how do you compose them?

Royal Pirates: From life experiences and day to day emotions. We both don't read music but we compose them in our heads and try to record them so we won't forget the tune. Funny, but it works.

Is there an artist that you would like to work with?

Royal Pirates: So Nyuh Shi Dae, Wonder Girls, and every other girl group and Muse.

What are your goals and what can we expect from Royal Pirates in the near future?

Royal Pirates: Our goal is to make a difference in the world and in every individuals with our music. We can't say anything specific but things are working out wonderfully for us and you'll be hearing more from us in near future.

You're still at the starting point of your hopefully successful career. Which part of you and your music do you feel that you need to work on?

Royal Pirates: We definately feel that we need to improve more in our musical skills such as composing, vocals and instruments. Also, we just got a bassist and we are hoping that he could add more to our music.

We've heard news of the release of an EP soon. How are things going on and could we expect to hear it this year ? Do you have any plans to release a full length album?

Royal Pirates: Unfortunately, we've decided not to release an EP this summer because we've been in contact with an agency and we are making different plans for the best outcome of the band. We'll be updating more info about this later on.

You're songs are mostly in Korean. Do you intend to concentrate on the Korean music market? If so, why choose this market over the western market?

Royal Pirates: We write music in both Korean and English. We do not have specific plans for which market we are going to aim for yet.

Do you have plans to tour soon?

Royal Pirates: No, not yet.

How long have you been living in the US? Have you been to Korea since moving to the States? And which country do you consider your home - the US or Korea?

Royal Pirates: We both have been living in the States for about 10 years. Moonchul actually went back to Korea eight years ago for a few months but he got sick and was in bed the whole time he was there. Both US and Korea are home to us but we'd definitely like to go back to Korea.

What do you think are the main cultural differences between Korea and America?

Royal Pirates: Language and food, the difference in the gender roles, party culture, drinking culture definitely. Cops are way more scary here.

You're both young and so you probably are students at the moment. Do you plan to continue your musical career, or do you want music to be just a hobby?

Royal Pirates: Music has always been our dreams since we were young. Moonchul is doing very well in school, Sooyoon is struggling a little bit at UCI. We just like to be on top of things regardless of our musical career. But, most definetely, we do have plans to continue with our music career.

What do your family and friends think about your raising popularity ? Are your parents okay with you pursuing a music career ?

Royal Pirates: We get a lot of support from our families and friends. Some feel happy for us but some are bitter because they think we are going to forget them when we become even more popular.

Do you have any last words for KoME readers?

Royal Pirates: Thanks for the support and interest in our band. Rock hard and love easy.

KoME would like to thank Royal Pirates for making this interview possible. To view the band's videos, please visit their YouTube Channel

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