Having just returned from an impressive showing at SXSW, Blacklist Royals (Nat and Rob) take a few minutes to sit down with us to answer some burning questions. But they can only spare a few minutes as they’re about ready to show the world what they’re made of – yet again. The band has spent a lot of time in the studio with producer Ted Hutt at Kingsize Soundlabs in LA recording their full-length album Die Young With Me, which is expected to be released in June.
The record will be the band’s follow-up to 2010’s Semper Liberi and 2013’s Righteous Child 7-inch. Twin brothers Nat and Rob Rufus wrote the latest album based on Rob’s diagnosis of cancer and the challenges they’ve faced individually and together to overcome the disease.
Frontman and guitarist Nat said, “When we made the decision to write a record themed after our experience and struggles with Rob’s battles with cancer…we knew it was going to be a difficult process (but) I think we truly found our voice as songwriters…not only to create a record that was unique, but also to connect with the listener on a deeper level.”
Check out our interview with Nat and Rob – warning, we like to keep it weird, just like Austin, TX:
Man Cave Daily: You just finished all the craziness that is known as SXSW – how was it?
Nat: SXSW was a lot of fun this year, we played the Shirts For A Cure showcase in 2012 so we’d been before, but never in an “official” capacity, so being able to get in to all the shows and catch a few bands between our sets was great. The tragedy outside The Mohawk really had all of us in a pretty weird head space honestly, but we just tried to appreciate the fact that we were there with all these amazing bands and able to catch up with a few friends and live it to the fullest.
MCD: If you were stranded on a deserted island, and there randomly happened to be a TV (with cable) OR a radio, and you could only watch the exact same show or listen to the exact same artist, on repeat, FOREVER, who would it be, and why?
Rob: If we are living in this pretend scenario, I will say that Nat and I can both agree we would watch Mad Men forever, except it would be on HBO. It is already the best show ever, but the ten million affairs these guys have would be much more interesting. These characters get way too stressed and way too drunk not to say “f**k” every once in awhile.
MCD: Thoughts on SPAM sandwiches?
Nat: I’ve never eaten SPAM in my life, which is kind’ve strange considering all the disgusting s**t we end up eating on the road. I usually try to find the spiciest food possible in whatever town we’re in, maybe they serve a ghost pepper SPAM Sandwich somewhere out there…
MCD: Best venue to play — a large arena with thousands and thousands of screaming fans, or a small stage at a backyard bar?
Rob: Once we start playing arenas with thousands of screaming fans I will let you know! Seriously though, it doesn’t really matter – we have played awesome shows in arenas and festivals and just as awesome shows in some dingy basement in Nowhere, USA. If the crowd is giving our energy back to us, and really listening and vibing off what we are doing, we can’t ask for a better night than that.
I can think of some amazing shows we’ve played at Red 7 in Austin and The Cavern in Exeter UK. Groezrock Festival in Europe was probably the biggest (and best) venue we ever played. I would really love to play The Ryman in our hometown of Nashville, and The Roxy in LA. Oh, we also played a Women’s Prison once in Germany Johnny Cash style. Not really sure I would want to do that again…
MCD: One sentence to describe yourself?
Nat: Jesus I don’t even know where to begin, maybe: My name is Nat Rufus and I sing and play guitar in Blacklist Royals.
Based on that last answer, it’s safe to assume these guys have saved their originality for their upcoming album – be on the lookout for it later this summer.
Jayme Lamm is a freelance sports and travel writer based in Houston and is currently in a full-court press writing her hugely opinionated sports column, The Blonde Side. Follow her travels for sporting events and check her out on Twitter.
Jayme took a Texas-sized portion of interview when she found out Herschel Walker Has a Lot on His Plate.