Royal Tusk is a Canadian rock group from Edmonton who is definitely worth discovering. The band is made up of Ten Second Epic members Daniel Carriere (vocalist) and Sandy MacKinnon (bass), as well as Quinn Cyrankiewicz on guitar, Calen Stuckel on drums and keyboardist/guitarist Mike James. After releasing a successful EP back in 2014 and touring with some of the country’s greatest acts, the band’s first full-length debut DealBreaker will deservingly hit the shelves just next week! We recently had the chance to ask lead singer Daniel Carriere some questions – just in time for their Montreal show this Sunday. Read the interview to discover more about the making of their upcoming release and what they are looking forward to most during the summer months.
CONFRONT: Your first full-length album DealBreaker will be out on May 6th, can you tell us a bit about how the writing and recording process was like for this particular album?
Daniel: Writing and recording this record was a surprisingly smooth process. Through the growth of the band over the last couple years we seemed to have worked out the kinks and found a groove – everyday leaving the studio we were very pumped about what we put down while making DealBreaker.
CONFRONT: Is there a track on DealBreaker that you are particular proud of?
Daniel: It might be different for all the dudes in the band but the final track ‘So Long The Buildup’ of the record is the one I’m particularly proud of. I wrote it over 10 years ago, and it is nice to finally have it see the light of day – especially with the guest solo by Ian Thornley.
CONFRONT: How did that guest guitar solo come about?
Daniel: We actually did some festivals and toured with Big Wreck last year and we always hinted to Ian about doing it. I know he enjoyed that song specifically and was happy to get in there and put his spin on it. It was in the cards I guess.
CONFRONT: Would you say there is a main theme or central message surrounding the songs on the new album?
Daniel: I’ve never considered it, but looking back it seems the over-arching theme of DealBreaker is one of desire, and perseverance. It’s about holding onto what you feel is true, and never letting go.
CONFRONT: What do you hope fans take away from DealBreaker?
Daniel: I hope listeners feel connected to the songs, because they were written from a real place. Also, I hope people enjoy rocking this record which was meant to be enjoyed in its entirety.
CONFRONT: What would you say are the main differences between the new album and your previously released Mountain EP?
Daniel: The main difference is that DealBreaker is much more guitar driven than Mountain. We found that the current music climate is in a way apprehensive towards guitars but couldn’t let it bother us because we love em! Also, I would say that it sounds more relaxed and confident than our first effort.
CONFRONT: Your video for first single “Fever” is a super captivating performance piece – what made you guys go with this concept?
Daniel: The Fever music video is actually cut together out of a live performance we filmed and recorded in our home town of Edmonton. There are four more songs which we will release that were taped there, but we just used the live stuff to put together the Fever video. We definitely like that there are no bells or whistles, just an authentic performance.
CONFRONT: You recently announced that the second single off your upcoming album is “Curse the Weather”. How would you describe this track both musically and lyrically?
Daniel: Curse The Weather is definitely one of our greasier songs – it’s full of nasty guitar riffs and a Garry glitter kind of feel. Lyrically it touches on the way both the subject and the narrator struggles between obeying the reasoning of their minds, and the demands of their bodies.
CONFRONT: In July, you’ll be playing Rock the Shores Festival in BC alongside other great Canadian acts. What are you looking forward to most at these summer festivals?
Daniel: Rock The Shores is going to be great. It’s humbling to be part of such a great roster, and there isn’t anything more fun than hanging in the sun on a summer day. It should be fun for all involved.
Related: Band Suggestion: Royal Tusk
CONFRONT: How would you describe your live show?
Daniel: As cliché as it may sound, we truly try to give it all we got, night after night. It’s important to give the crowd a show they can connect with and remember. I want people to get their money’s worth, because it’s only fair when we are having the time of our lives out there. We really leave it all up there on stage.
CONFRONT: You are currently on tour with Collective Soul but will also be playing some headlining shows as well – including a stop in Montreal this weekend. Do you guys prepare differently for headlining sets and supporting sets, or do you approach them in a very similar manner?
Daniel: Regardless if we are opening or headlining, we try to bring the intensity that people deserve. In our headliners we probably take more time on stage to talk with the crowd, and also to jam and extend solos etc.
Watch Royal Tusk’s Video for “Fever” now: