Royal Teeth Deconstructs the Breakup Anthem in ‘Villain’: A BlackBook Premiere

Photo by Shervin Lainez

Indie pop group, Royal Teeth has come a long way since their formation in Louisiana. Coming off tour with Rooney, they’ve made appearances on American Idol and Last Call with Carson Daly, and they’ve performed at Bonnaroo, SXSW, and Austin City Limits. They’ll soon be releasing their latest EP, Amateurs.

It features the upbeat single, “Villain.” A new take on the breakup anthem, it celebrates the end of a relationship as a bittersweet new beginning. It also features an infectious chorus, a throwback to those who dominated pop in the ‘80s.

We recently spoke with guitarist and vocalist, Gary Larsen about the single and Royal Teeth’s new album:

What was “Villain” inspired by?

Usually when I write, I will take different experiences in my life and blend them together. “Villain” is about feeling like the bad guy when you know it’s time to move on.

How does it fit into your new EP, Amateurs?

Amateurs is a more exciting album than our previous release. We wanted to capture our energy and “Villain” highlights that. The chorus is a little noisy. There is a tension rising into the lyric ‘I’m better without you’ which feels almost like a celebration. I love mixing emotions in songs.

How did you all come together as a band?

We grew up in different parts of Louisiana. I used to watch Thomas (guitar) and Josh (drums) play together around Lafayette and was a fan. When I started playing with them, we met Nora through some friends in school and asked her to play a show with us at at the Saint in New Orleans. It really took off from there.

What’s the creative process and chemistry like between you all?

I think we have a wonderful chemistry. We are all involved in the creative process. Normally one of us will create a piece of a song and share it with everyone. Once we are all on board we will sit in a room together and really bring it to life.

How has that evolved since you started?

We spend more time writing together than we used to. We are lucky enough that Royal Teeth is our full time job. It has made the creative process more fun and free.

Amateurs is now available for preorder.

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