HT Interview: U.S. Royalty, A Glance into Mirrors

HT: It’s always fun to hear about the relationships between brothers that end up playing in bands together, especially at younger ages. Did you guys used to beat the piss out of each other or were you pretty tight growing up?

JT: Doesn’t that go hand in hand with brothers? There may have been more of that competitive fire that flared up in the form of brawls when we were younger but as we’ve aged the arguments heat up fast but cool down almost as quickly. We have been around each other constantly for most of our lives so there is a lot of familiarity.

HT: From what I’ve read, you guys take from some really unique influences from Fleetwood Mac, to classic films, to old photographs. Would you characterize the dynamic of the band as being old souls so-to-speak?

JT: Yeah, I would agree with that to an extent. I don’t necessarily long for a certain time period because I think we would rather contribute to the time we are in and move things forward. I think there is some great music, film, photography, etc happening right now and it’s great to be able to meet those people as we are traveling and involved. I just think it’s good to have perspective because it can be easy to get caught up in the trends that are current and all around you. But in general, I think we do feel a more natural draw to a lot of music and film from past eras.

HT: The band seems to be really ingrained in the D.C. music scene and supportive of a lot of local bands. Do you think of D.C. as having a great music scene on par with say a New York, Chicago, Portland, Chicago or San Francisco?

JT: I don’t think you could put a certain tag on D.C.’s current music scene. When you hear those other cities, you have an idea of a certain sound emanating from that region. D.C. hasn’t had that recently, but there is some great music coming out of D.C. right now. It also can be difficult to be a musician in D.C., only because the city is not setup in people’s minds for music. It’s seen a nice hobby, or if moves past that and there is some success, people start asking when you’re going to move.

HT: Have you guys all quit the day jobs at this point?

JT: Well, we did quit our day jobs but we still pick up other odd jobs between touring to help ends meet. It’s been good to have the flexibility and freedom to write whenever and to be able to go tour and do shows at the drop of a hat.

HT: Having been on the road for the past couple years, I imagine you’ve witnessed some pretty funny things. What’s one of the oddest or most humorous stories you’ve come across on tour?

JT: Our first year at SXSW 2009 we almost burned down our hotel room. Someone left a pizza box on the burner and when a few straggled in around 4AM, someone pressed up against the burner just enough to turn it on low. About 20 minutes later after everyone else was asleep we woke to fire alarms and flames in our kitchen. Luckily, it was quickly put out and we just had to live with our room smelling like burnt cardboard the rest of the week.

HT: Finally, everybody seems obsessed by the band’s fashion sense. With that in mind, who comes to minds as musicians or bands with the very best and the very worst sense of style?

JT: Best: Queen; Worst: Queen

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