Royal Oak – Five Questions With

Royal Oak
Photo Credit: Jessica Dawn

Royal Oak shares their latest single, “A Song For Ya”

Drawing inspiration from pop-punk, EDM, 80s synth-pop, hip-hop, and everything in between, the four-piece Vancouver band Royal Oak has captured the maximalist energy of their anything-goes live show and distilled it into a string of high-gloss pop singles. Since their debut in 2015, Royal Oak has toured with the likes of Said The Whale, Hey Ocean!, and Ivory Hours.

Like many other songs, “A Song For Ya” was inspired by a breakup. Though it’s about one of the band member’s relationships, the song was written collaboratively by all the band members. Over Zoom, each band member would take turns tackling the song structure, vocal melodies, and lyrics.

Visually, the pop-punk song follows the aftermath of the couple from Royal Oak’s previous single, “Steal My Hoodie.” The band has built a story around this couple and the stages of their relationship from their own experiences. The band created the artwork for “A Song For Ya” by referencing the artwork for “Steal My Hoodie,” printed on instant film.

Watch the lyric video for “A Song For Ya” below and learn more about Royal Oak via our Five Questions With segment.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hey readers! We’re Royal Oak, a four-piece alt-pop band from Vancouver, BC. We’ve been playing music together since we were kids and as Royal Oak since 2015. Aside from music, we’re big into food, bad memes, and firing up the ol’ GameCube.

Tell us a bit about your most recent release.

Our newest single is “A Song For Ya,\.” We’re 1000% obsessed with it. It’s our take on the post-breakup “I’m better off without you” song, and it comes from a very real place. Back in 2019, our bass player’s girlfriend broke up with him… halfway through our Canadian tour. So when we started writing songs over Zoom in the early COVID days, our singer Austin played this punchy, driving demo for us, and it fit those feelings of bitterness perfectly. We dug back into the aftermath of that breakup, and “A Song For Ya” kinda wrote itself quickly after that.
The song definitely leans into that punky vibe that we grew up on, so if you like the idea of glossy pop-punk (with a lot of emphasis on the pop), you’ll dig this one.

Where do you tend to pull inspiration from when writing?

Musically, we pull from everything (seriously, everything). Listen close enough, and you’ll hear R&B, pop-punk, EDM, and even a hint of prog-rock in there.

Most of the time, we’re a “music first, lyrics second” kinda band, so a lot of our inspiration for songwriting comes from how the song feels. We tend to write directly from our own lives, so every track ends up as a mishmash of all four of our personal experiences.

Do you have any upcoming shows you’d like to tell us about?

This is kinda different for us, but we’re playing our local Emo Nite for the first time in March. We were very much part of that scene in middle/high school, so it’s gonna be fun to rip out some of our favourite pop-punk covers. Not totally sure when that’s happening yet, but if you’re in the Vancouver area, keep an eye out! Gonna be very, very fun.

Otherwise, nothing is 100% set in stone, but we have lots in the works. We haven’t really toured since the pandemic, and we’re excited to get back on the road this year and hit up some festivals.

What’s your goal for 2023?

Honestly, we just wanna be really, really busy with shows and songwriting. We’re going to release a record this year—our first since 2017—so that’s a big one. Besides finishing the tracking for that, we’re hoping to get into some bigger festivals and maybe head down to the States for the first time.

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