Roy Roy ooze the vibrancy and exuberance that any new band should have, drenched in ideas and ardent to release their music. Originally from Brighton, Roy Roy is complied of duo Max and Archie, two musicians now residing in Leeds to crack on with their latest work. They're kicking off with their new single Vagrant, a hazy, Sunday-morning number, sonically resemblant of early days King Krule, embellished with fuzzy guitars and gritty vocals.
A project emerging from their time in 4-piece band Scuffle, Roy Roy have grown with their love for music since the early venturings of teenhood. Their personable, driven ways of working enabled years of sound exploration, tours across Europe and a progression through the confusing world of music. Fast forward to now, and the duo are ready to use their breadth of experience for a sound that is more experimental, immediate and intimate, toying between Archie's meticulous guitar melodies and the rawness and familiarity of Max's vocals. They've built their style from the influences of jazz, soul and electronic, encapsulating the likes of the Wes Montgomery, The Arctic Monkeys and The Clash to produce something both beautifully warm and classically British.
Vagrant is out today as their first single. What was originally an instrumental, composed for commercial use, took on a whole new dimension when Archie took the track to Max. They finished it in just one day, adorning it with lyrics, textures and samples to reinvigorate what was once a simple song into the perfect debut release.
We caught up with Roy Roy to talk collaboration, the creative process and life as a musician in 2021.
Your friends have been heavily involved in the process of starting Roy Roy, with filming, photography and creative input. Is collaboration an important aspect of your music?
Max: Definitely, it's one of the best things about it. Doing the artwork, the videos and photos is the best. Obviously the music is the best bit but its still such a great part of the process. It's what makes it fun and inspiring.
Archie: That's what's so exciting about the project of Roy Roy - we'll just call it this and then whoever we end up working with, we can also bring that into this work.
Max: Our friends bring a whole other element to the project, Tom Bridge has helped us out with our photography which has been sick, and Tom Bacon does all our mastering and mixing, he's a legend.
Archie: Yeah he always sorts us out. He did a lot of the Scuffle stuff so we brought him over for this too.
Regarding the past year specifically, would you say the experience of lockdown has impacted your creativity negatively or positively? What have your learnt from the experience?
Max: It was awful not gonna lie, well the first one anyway. I literally did nothing, no creative 'we made an album' sort of energy.
Archie: We were moving around quite a bit, I was finishing my degree and moving from Guildford to Leeds. So this lockdown has definitely been different for us, giving us the creative side. Summer was when this all started, and since we're both in Leeds now this has really given us the time to work on Roy Roy.
Max: This first lockdown, at home, I just wanted to come back to have my own space to do stuff. Now we can finally do that.
Following on from this, do you think it's a positive time to be a musician? Has there been any benefits from this experience for you?
Archie: Well they say it's never a good time to be a musician. It feels like it's not a good time to be anything really.
Max: Especially the government now, its just fucked. They're all idiots. Everything that they could do to discourage any type of creativity, they've done - that's what they're about.
Archie: The saddest thing's been the death of the live music industry, by far. Gigs were our main plan. And now you can't even get a VISA to tour because of Brexit.
Max: Saying that, I think creative people will always be doing something, making tunes, making art, doing whatever you do. But at the moment there's definitely an extra barrier.
And finally, what are your plans for the future of Roy Roy?
Archie: Well next year we're moving in together, alongside Tom who takes our photos. So, at least for another year we will be able to keep this going! And for the rest of this we'll also have the studio, so it's basically just about cracking on as much as we can from now until then! And then what happens with that, happens. If stuff starts to open up again hopefully we can get back on the gigs and get it all moving.
Max: We've got a couple of exciting things in the pipeline. After Vagrant, we're releasing our next tune in around 2 weeks, and then another one after! We just wanna keep doing stuff to keep it alive.
Archie: We wanna have loads of ideas on the go to keep the energy high and the momentum going. We're so excited about this release. Vagrant is out everywhere, Spotify, SoundCloud, everything. Go listen!
You can listen to Vagrant now on all major platforms - check it out below.