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A Dirty Dozen with ROYAL SUGAR – July 2022

| 14 July 2022 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Today Royal Sugar erupts into the modern-glam rock scene in a whirlwind of glitter and leather with their ambitious debut single, “California Nightmare.” The track impeccably encompasses the band’s mission to bring the 80’s glamour of inspirations like Motley Crue and KISS into the 2020’s mainstream with trendy pop sensibilities and unparalleled showmanship. The glam rock-trio Royal Sugar launched onto the music scene fall of 2021 with their gutsy rendition of “Medicine” – written and made famous by Harry Styles. The rockers walk a tightrope sonically between the excessiveness of their stadium rock heroes of the 1980s and the mainstream pop sensibilities of today’s mainstream radio hits. Royal Sugar intends to bring their luxurious flavor of anthemic melodies to the masses through their dynamic live shows with no shortage of glitter or leather. Royal Sugar is comprised of Tyler Cohenour (Frontman), Garrett Carr (Bass/Vocals), and Ricky Ficarelli (Drums). The band debuted their painstaking efforts in the studio these past many months with their brand new original single “California Nightmare,” a song about reliving a romanticized mirage of a past chaotic fling. “California Nightmare,” marks a new chapter for the rock trio with a sound poised to break through into the mainstream.” We get the band to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

We wanted “California Nightmare” to sonically build from start to finish. Everything from the vocal harmonies, to the way the guitars are layered & the heaviness of the drums almost build in intensity throughout the track.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Tyler: My dad got me into music when I was around 7 years old. He taught me “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” by The Rolling Stones on electric guitar and I was instantly hooked. About a week later, when I played the riff along with the song, I knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Tyler: 70’s & 80’s rock is what I was raised on and it’s just a part of my DNA at this point. I think Aerosmith & AC/DC were my first obsessions. I loved the theatrics of it all. After seeing AC/DC live as a kid, specifically Angus Young, it really moved me and began to shape my energy on stage.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

In addition to her outstanding talent demonstrated by such a long-standing career already, Miley Cyrus absolutely emanates the boldness we want to present as a band onstage. It’d be a dream come true collaborate with her in the future!

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

Garrett: We all have pretty different activities we enjoy outside of working. I box, Ricky does jiu jitsu, Ty goes on meditation retreats. But the one thing that we all really love is hosting friends for dinner parties where far too much good food and great drink is consumed.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Internally we throw the term “Def Jovi” around all the time when we’re recording in the studio. There’s a certain anthemic quality to Def Leppard & Bon Jovi respectively that we strive to achieve with our own arrangements. On a platform like TikTok too many comparisons to count have been thrown our way, but we see that all as a net positive. We’re proud to make our influences known but we aren’t attempting to sound like any band/artist in particular.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Ricky: Garrett & Tyler are just about the best bandmates you could ask for, we truly gel so well together as musicians and performers. Beyond the music though they are undeniably the funniest friends I’ve ever had. I’ll put it like this, if you have friends visiting Nashville from out of town, Garrett is the bandmate who will take your crew around town for an evening they won’t soon forget. Tyler on the other hand is the bandmate who will invite that same group of friends over for a night in & make everyone feel like they’re right at home (unless you don’t enjoy horror movies, in that case be very afraid).

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Tyler: John Stamos followed me on Instagram recently & I still haven’t recovered. Huge idol of mine from a young age. I used to rewatch the Jessie & The Rippers episodes on Full House over and over thinking “I’m gonna be in a rock band one day & I’m going to get my hair to look like that if it’s the last thing I do.”

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Garrett: Something that has always fascinated me about music is its ability to service your emotions. No matter what you’re feeling, songs have a way of stripping away whatever version of yourself you’re playing for other people and make you feel something truly authentic.  The fact that we get to be a select portion of the world that gets to contribute to this powerful thing that is so much bigger than ourselves is pretty beautiful. I’ve only really found a few things in my life that have made me feel as present music but the second place slot for me is food and beverage. Neighborhood bars & restaurants are truly special places and I plan to always be involved in the hospitality industry.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Ricky: Here’s a good one, “Who is your favorite fictional band of all time?”. This is a topic I could easily discuss all day but the short answer is Steel Dragon from the movie Rock Star. The 80s heavy-metal-glam-band aesthetic aside the soundtrack is absolutely killer. As far as a question I’m tired of answering, let’s settle this once & for all… my favorite planet is Pluto.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Garrett: Oh wow, let me lie down on the therapy couch and open up to you about my many regrets. I feel like everything that has led us to this point was a misstep. These very important missteps became lessons that then became successes. But if there were one thing I could change regardless of the out come it would probably be the first record I made with Ty when we were in college. A lot of it was shit, but there were some things we created that still hold up. I don’t think we had the experience, skills, or the language paint the pictures we were seeing in our heads. Even today I believe the hardest part of creating, is taking what only exists in you mind and bringing into the world.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Ricky: I’d choose Def Leppard’s iconic Hysteria album. My dad took me to see Def Leppard for my very first concert back in 2006 & I can honestly say that concert changed my whole life. I’ll also never forget watching Hysteria: The Def Leppard Story on VH1 around that time, Def Leppard is absolutely the band that made my dream of playing in a rock band come to life.



Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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