Photo: Christy Parry
Reposted from The Huntington Herald-Dispatch
Numerology is of course a very real thing. Whether or not the number 23 is actually appearing everywhere in some sort of cosmic conspiracy, it’s a neat thing to think about.
It can also make you insane, apparently.
For the Atlanta-based rock band Royal Thunder, 106, or, as they’ve titled their new, critically acclaimed Relapse Records debut, “CVI,” is that number.
“The 106?” singer and bassist Mlny Parsonz (that’s how she spells it for the band) asks back over the phone, almost like you don’t know about a horror story she doesn’t want to talk about.
“No, it’s actually a pretty significant story,” she continued. “Originally Royal Thunder was an instrumental band, and the drummer was born on January sixth, 106. They found $106 in the street one day, and it led to some woman crying, and it turns out it was her money, and they got into a lot of trouble with the cops thinking they stole the money.
“And the original drummer went to stay at a friend’s house, and when they woke up in the morning, the drummer was talking to the guy’s grandmother and apparently she was dead, and he didn’t realize it, but she was 106 years old.
“So whatever it means, this number has followed us on a daily basis.”
Royal Thunder, with “CVI,” released May 22, following the band quite literally around the country, comes to Huntington tonight for a show at the V Club with Valient Thorr, Holy Grail, and The Kickass.
Parsonz said praise from outlets like NPR and Revolver Magazine for Royal Thunder’s version of Southern-infused hard rock and metal in general, and for her vocal range and power in particular, is always cool, given the band’s modest aspirations getting started.
“Our hopes and dreams for this band were to just be a successful Atlanta band,” Parsonz said just a few days removed from Royal Thunder’s CD release show and a three-day jaunt of shows with Baroness. “Of course, everybody wants something more than that, a lot of musicians do. You just hope you can pay your bills with it one day.”
But fielding questions about songs like “Parsonz Curse,” spelling out some sort of generational affliction on her dad’s side of the family for strangers in the press? That’s taking some getting used to.
“It was a little uncomfortable for me to even be as personal as I was,” Parsonz said of her lyrics. “We were just another band, I thought we could be off-the-grid, and people wouldn’t focus on it. But all of this is happening, and people are focusing on it, and I want to be open but still keep my boundaries and not just give all the details all of this personal stuff.”
Parsonz, on the subject of personal stuff, said that, yeah, being married to founding member and lead guitarist Josh Weaver makes for smoother chemistry in Royal Thunder.
“I, um,” Parsonz said, pausing to calculate the time they’ve been together. “I’ve been with Josh for almost half my life, and we’ve been married for eleven years and just always have had such a connection with music. You would never know we’re married; we’re like best friends. We don’t really bring our marriage into the music, but inevitably when you’re playing music with your partner it’s going to translate in some way whether it’s energy or subconscious chemistry.
“I do think it makes for a chemistry and energy you can’t really explain.”
And all that flattering praise for the new record? There may be one person not following it too closely. “To be honest, I don’t read a lot of the press because it can make me feel too much pressure, and it makes me feel bad,” Parsonz said with an almost apologetic laugh. “But I hear a lot of good things, and I’m grateful for that.”
Parsonz said that as much as the number 106 has followed Royal Thunder, the band doesn’t believe they’re cursed, or, alternately, given their rapid ascendance in popularity, blessed.
“No, we definitely worked our asses off,” Parsonz said about any cosmic benevolence the number may carry for the band. “I think it’s just interesting. It was like, 106 was such a huge part of our lives, and now it’s being sent out even further into the universe. It’s really cool.”
IF YOU GO Valient Thorr, Royal Thunder, The Kickass, Holy Grail
WHERE: The V Club, 741 Sixth Ave.
WHEN: Tuesday, June 12, 9 p.m.
COST: Advance $10, at door $12
INFO: www.vclublive.com or (304) 781-0680