Edmonton’s The Royal Foundry heads to Bo’s Bar and Grill Oct. 11th on the heels of releasing their explosive new single Don’t Know.
The band’s most recent and most significant accolade came last month when The Royal Foundry was named a Grand Prize Winner in the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Contest – the only Canadian act to make the cut in this international competition.
Their song Never Have Time won in the ‘Pop’ category and is now also in the running for the contest’s Song of the Year.
They also won Pop Recording of the Year at the 2018 Edmonton Music Awards, and were nominated for Pop Artist of the Year at the 2018 Breakout West/Western Canadian Music Awards.
Ultimately, it’s no surprise these guys (Jared Salte and Bethany Schumacher) keep gathering the accolades – their tunes are energy-packed, fun, engaging and strikingly original as witnessed in particular on their latest disc Lost in Your Head.
“It took us three years to write that album,” explained Schumacher during a chat from Nashville, where she and Salte are busy laying down some tracks for an upcoming project.
“During that time we were also kind of figuring out our sound,” she said, adding that she and Salte, who are married as well, had released a folk-oriented disc initially a few years back.
As time passed and they continued to explore music in a deeper way, they arrived at a compelling pop-alternative sound that suits them perfectly.
“We liked the idea of writing together, so we wanted to grow and mature as a couple, as a partnership and as a band,” she said, referring to the evolution of Lost in Your Head, which kicks off with the rollicking Say You Want It which bubbles with a smooth, irresistible 1980s pop sheen.
But it was Running Away, also featured on Lost in Your Head, that the couple first wrote for the album. The tune also marked something of a new beginning.
“That one was kind of the stepping off point into (experimenting) with cool synths, and putting more guitar into the mix as well. But as to the album, we didn’t really have a vision for it because we were still trying to figure out what our sound was going to be.
“The album itself is kind of bipolar in that half of it is very pop and the other half of the songs are a little more alternative.”
Some of the cuts were recorded in Nashville, others in Los Angeles and the remainder took shape in Edmonton.
Meanwhile, as mentioned, the couple has just released their latest single Don’t Know, which stylistically points to where they plan to head with their next disc. ”We are really excited to be playing that one live, as well as some of the other new ones that we are collecting. We are also doing the same thing we did with our first album, where we will be trying some new stuff and giving it to the audiences. We want also to see how (these songs) feel playing them live,” she added.
Determining what ultimately lands on a given project is something of a challenge, but they have help with that particular process.
“I do have to say also that Jared and I have 14 nephews and nieces, and these kids are the best people to run new music by,” she added with a laugh. “If they are dancing and singing along with it, then we know we’ve made a good one.”
If they aren’t digging it, they will be quite clear about that as well. “They are brutally honest!”
Salte and Schumacher first met during a show of Salte’s, back when he was touring with his high school band.
“He was coming through my hometown, and he played a show so that’s how we first met. But what really got us connected is that both of our parents went to school together,” she explains. “They all went to a wedding and they kind of reconnected, and Jared found out I was the daughter of these friends of his parents, and so we ended up reconnecting after that.”
For Schumacher, the life of a musician and being part of a successful band with a bright future is a joy – and a kind of unexpected one at that.
“I never had a desire to play music, or write music,” she said. “But it’s changed – I love it now. I just didn’t know where to begin before, but then I met Jared who had his own studio.” That was where something was sparked in her, and a whole new creative outlet was born.
“We both need to release some kind of creativity on a regular basis,” she said. “Even if it’s writing, painting or whatever. Honestly, that’s the biggest kind of drive that we have, is that we feel so fulfilled just being blessed enough to say that we can write music for our day job!
“It’s pretty fulfilling to create something, let it out to the world and then get a positive response where we are connecting with someone. Even if it’s with just one person on the smallest level.”