Photo Credit Nikki Murray
A new voice from the Midwest comes from songwriter Matt Mooney. He’s introducing or perhaps just reworking a modern interpretation of a Ziggy Stardust-esque persona with his alter-ego/stage name Royal Holland. He’s just self-released 2 of 3 eps that tell a tragic story of young love lost through death and the sky kingdoms’ tyranny. In the songs, he tries keep her memory alive and also deals with his surmounting grief.
“I’ve been in many bands over the years like local favorite Koala Fires, but this is the first time I’ve ever branched out as a solo act. It began by simply busking with my guitar and writing a lot of songs. I developed some backing tracks that had some dance beat elements to them and was starting to flesh out the tunes in my head. This was the basis for Vol. 1 – The Maze,” Matt shares.
He then took his demos to Grammy-award winning producer Brian Olive (The Greenhornes, Dr. John) to collaborate on the production of those five songs that define the developing Royal Holland sound.
“We utilized a lot of the beats and sounds which give the first EP that electronica sound. This was also the first time I had gone into the studio and recorded all the parts myself. I was used to doing that for demos, but had never accomplished it for a recording,” he continues.
As a result, Royal Holland now plays with a backing group of very talented musicians and singer/songwriters in their own right from the region live and that informed more of the recording of Vol. 2 – Flamingo.
Chronologically the EPs fit together. The Maze asks questions of existence and meaning. Flamingo attempts to answer them. Vol. 3 Three – Program is coming winter 2015 and two LPs are in the works after that – each continue to tell the story of Royal Holland.
“The Program talks about being bound to the body in which it sits – meaning, we’re stuck in these bodies and these conditions, because our selves are stuck in them, but that restriction can be very freeing if we realize it and capitalize on the true nature of our selves,” Royal concludes.