This article offers extensive material, including number of interviews with Royal Thunder through out the year 2017. First of all, video interview with Mlny Parsons and Josh Weaver in Berlin 8th December before their live show. Next, there are two email interviews with Mlny about her most favorite albums, latest album WICK and lyrics. The last section is very personal and took me a while to decide to release it. Mlny’s compliments ensured me, it was worth it. Hope Royal Thunder music would help more of us. Please share your story.
Live photos & video credit: Anna Pospíšilová
Video interview with Mlny Parsons and Josh Weaver in Berlin 8th December:
Mlny Parsonz – The Top 10 Albums Of
Mlny: These albums come to me in no particular order. They are the albums I shout out when someone says “pick one” with all music I am drawn to anything that makes me feel something. I look forward to seeing you in Berlin! I would love to spend time with you if we have the chance!
Jeff Buckley – Grace (1994)
Album Grace tugs at my inner wandering teenager. The person in me that has tasted things I should not yet have tasted. And although they were good they were maybe mostly wrong.
Neil Young – Harvest Moon (1992)
Harvest Moon reminds me of the forgotten important trust in my life. Sad and lovely, all the same.
PJ Harvey – White Chalk (2007)
White Chalk is an ethereal drug trip through time and space. All I want to do is curl up and weep in a confined space not loud enough for anyone to hear… it’s like being in the woods naked or in a dirty white gown. A bride lost and groping the trees on a desperate journey for answers that she already knows.
Tom Petty – Full Moon Fever (1989)
Full Moon Fever stands its ground. It to me is an album that says, ‘fuck no- this is mine and you can’t have it’. Power and certainty exude from this album. It is victorious and strong.
The National – Trouble Will Find Me (2013)
Trouble Will Find Me came to me at a time in life where trouble did find me. Consequence was dancing before me and the truth if he matter was standing nose to nose with me. It was a soundtrack to my reckless life and my restless head. Today it reminds me of that time but now it is a soothing journey back into that time with deep reflections undying regret for the person I was and maybe he person I still am.
I want to share and interact and pour out. I want to connect and disconnect.
Rome – Flowers From Exile (2005)
Album Flowers From Exile was an anthem for me for a time. It’s like a long song as I walk down the isle to marry my future. It might be beautiful but it feels tragic. But the music is hypnotizing enough that I keep walking into the burning flames.
Arcade Fire – Suburbs (2010)
Suburbs is a reminder of my past and the people I once knew and loved and eventually lost. I wonder where they are. I wonder who we were and I wonder why we lived there in that forgotten place. Some of them are still there, dying. Some of them are alive and free. It paints pictures in my mind while I listen. A lyric…”I look for you, in every passing car.” That moves me even as I Type that.
Kiss – Rock and Roll Over (1976)
Rock and Roll Over from Kiss – What can I say? If you think kiss sucks you’re wrong. Just listen to his album and you will agree. Kiss for some people is a silly i wanna rock and roll old man band. This album and many other kiss albums will show you that kiss IS a rock and roll band. I hope it rolls you over to the other side. Har har… dad humor;-)
Scorpions – In Trance (1975)
In Trance because Klaus Meine is a beast. I went to the Albertina in Germany and stood nose to nose with the original artwork from the blackout album that dokken recorded w the scorpions. Klaus was undergoing vocal surgery during that time and came back strong and ready to try again. I have so much respect for Klaus Meine and undying faith in his ability to crush it. I admire his strength and ability. That album kind of reminds me of the road and all the love find and left behind on the road.
Rainbow – Down To Earth (1979)
Down To Earth is what I wanna be when I grow up haha. A BADASS. The riffs and the strength of that album… they are undeniably aggressive and strong. It’s like winning a fight but kind of knowing you had it, going in. I never feel down when I listen to it and I appreciate every jingle and jangle, every harmony and every harmony and dance that this album has to offer. Put it on and cut that Fuckin rug already!!
I spill my guts out, according to how the music makes me feel.
Congratulations for your upcoming European tour. I am currently arranging with Frank, to check you guys in Berlin. How did you manage to arrange current EU tour? When we spoke last time, we were talking about Baroness, Spain and festivals. From what I understood, your favorite Spain is missing and this will be your headliner tour, right?
Spain is not in the run for now. Of course, eventually it will be. I have an obvious love for Spain. Spain is coursing through my veins and I will always be and feel connected to it. I feel like the next time we are there I’m going to have to schedule extra time to spend time there. Even if I wasn’t half Spaniard, I would still be in love with that beautiful country band the people of Spain. I grew up spending every summer there. For every pipe protruding from a stone wall, and spilling water from it for people to bottle up and drink/cook with. For every window I opened and felt the breeze of the sea and heard the town church bells ringing. For every bowl of warm chocolate milk my abuela would pour for me and for every coin spent on fresh bread from the bread truck. For every tray of pastries my little arms carried up the hill to my abuela and abuelos house. For every night walk and night star I encountered- there is love in my heart for the country of Spain. I won’t ever abandon my love for Spain:-)
Congratulations also to be nominated and playing on event(s) associated with Loadwire Music Awards. I believe, this is one of the best tools for getting more fans. Do you start to feel lately rising number of your fans?
Ya know, I don’t pay attention to gaining popularity or climbing some sort of social ladder. Not that you’re implying that we are…. but, man, I just wanna play and I am beyond grateful that anyone even cares enough to listen. I hope our music does for people what music has done for me. Music has walked me through All of my life events and it has healed me and guided me. It has shaped me and in a lot of ways it has made me who I am today. I formed opinions and attitudes based off what i was listening to. I wan to give back and give away. I want to share and interact and pour out. I want to connect and disconnect. I hope what we are doing as band does ONE of those things for people listening. Hopefully, most of all, they are moved and inspired . I feel incredibly undeserving of such recognition… truly…. i can’t wrap my mind around the acknowledgement of what we have been doing. Fuck, its like a dream. I am Just looking forward to being in the same room as some of Rock and metals biggest legends. And I’m so excited to open an envelope and announce an award for a band I don’t they know who they are. And to see them receive an award and share that beautiful moment… I can’t wait for that:))
Your schedule now seems to be busy as hell. What do you do to keep your voice long term healthy? From the video footages, I can see you sing always up to the maximum.
I am just giving whatever it is i have every time I open my mouth to sing. I’m thankful that I’m able to sing and I will always try my best to give my all. I how for the best and try try try to not worry. That’s not to say that I don’t haha. Because I do from time to time. But I am thankful most of all that i still can. By the way, thank you for all of your compliments. You are kind and we appreciate the good things you have to say.
We are on a journey and happy to ride the unpredictable sonic wave.
Could you also please mention your gear collection and especially what bass gear and microphones do you prefer?
I will sing into anything. Ha. I really should have my own microphone. I recently sucked a microphone while singing as I was taking a breath and I sucked into my mouth probably a decades worth of spit ha. I almost puked! It tasted so fuckin bad. I own a guild 1979 b301. A bb series Yamaha bass is pretty much my girl these days. Yamaha supplies us with amazing guitars and basses. I am really impressed with the quality of their gear. I have pretty much always used my concert bass solid state sunn head and my 2×15 sunn cab. Orange has supplied us with excellent gear but that’s a treat and rare when we get to use it. We use orange when we make albums, mostly. I love the ad 200. It sounds AMAZING. I am not so much a gear head. It’s too bad josh weaver can’t answer this question (founding member of this band) because he is the biggest gear head I know. Such a. Smart dude and incredibly passionate and knowledgeable when it comes to gear.
I am so sorry this took so long to get back to you! I’ve been so busy and tired ha. I really appreciate you. We have had some good talks and it is my hope that we can meet in person in Berlin. Anything we can do to make that happen….. let me know. Here’s my personal # in case you lost it: ###-###-####
All the best and thank you so so much. Love, Mel
Email Interview with Mlny (Spring 2017)
I understood, you were not satisfied with the interpretation of the Crooked Doors record, but I would like to risk it and hopefully, you will find mood and energy for my thoughts. We can of course keep some of your answers on lyrics private and not release them. So, once again, thank you. First of all, how was the writing on your latest album? Was it going step by step, or the variations between going bad/going really good were much wilder?
It was finding my voice. I was on an endless search for the words to express what i was feeling, burning deep in my soul. I accept and welcome any challenge in life. Making this album was a challenge-emotionally, spiritually, physically. But without putting hard work into something you love and want….what’s the point? I never gave up on myself or the music (although I had my moments) and in the end…..art!
Another thing, which I enjoy on your work is a gradation of the albums. Towards the end it gets darker, louder, emotional and actually catchier. You open the albums with “single” rock’n’roll pieces as Burning Tree or Time Machine, somewhere in the middle you start raising the bar with pieces as Plans and while you get towards the end by pieces as Turnaround or One Day, it’s very intensive experience. Are you working with this effect on purpose?
Absolutely not. I can assure you that our band is not comprised of formulas. We have always come to the table with honest contributions to each song. There is no plan and never will be. The music is making us in many ways. We follow it. We are on a journey and happy to ride the unpredictable sonic wave.
These days, I also spent some time with Woven hand’s album Star Treatment, and I found some similarities within the dirtiness of rock and also some melancholic moods. Please comment what sort of your musical and cultural roots are you trying to incorporate in your music?
We aren’t trying to incorporate any sort of style. At all. No one does a better you than you. And that’s what we strive to do……stay true and authentic. Never seeking out the latest trend or sound. I don’t want to hear music that is fake. I want to feel something and believe in whatever the artist is presenting. I wholly respect the music that is being made by Wovenhand. We opened up for them on early 2000….and it is in fact, REAL. I hope to enjoy many more years of the making music.
Talking about roots, I would like to compliment you on your incredible singing and ask you to mention some of your female singer early inspirations. That’s why I mentioned early on very emotional song Plans. Do you have interest in soul music? “Love, love, love!” “In me ehee”
I can’t say I tap into any conscious ideas of role models or singers I looked up to. Of course I was influenced by music because it was all around me growing up. My mother didn’t speak any English for most of my childhood. She is from Galicia, España. She listened to a lot of rhythm and blues because it was slow and easy for her to understand. Bands like Metallica and Megadeth, FNM, The Scorpions, Nirvana….all made me want to play music. Although I grew up dancing and playing piano, I ended up dinding myself in the underground metal scene screaming in a grindcore band. Ha. That was a special time for me as a musician.
Do you read some inspirational books or even poetry to continuously grow in writing your feelings and laying down stories?
I don’t take influence from reading although I do read a lot. I honestly never write unless I’m in the studio. And it’s always after a song is finished. The song (instrumentally) is very evocative and from there, I spill my guts out, according to how the music makes me feel. Or what it makes me think about.
If we can talk about lyrics, in general I got feeling it’s mainly about one understanding him/herself, his/her emotions and continuously “growing”. Where do you get your inspiration? Personal life, literature or even stories from your surrounding?
My life. Every experience worthwhile, gets filed away in my heart. I live, love and always try to learn. It is important to always see/find the silver lining no matter what level of hardship you endure. And taking something from the good in life, too…..that’s important. Learn from the good and add to it.
Compared to Crooked Doors lyrics, which meant for me emotional rollercoaster, WICK shows to me rather long term challenges and actually even wider spectrum of topics, than just life changing break-up.
Since Crooked Doors which everyone heard a year after we made it…..we all have moved on. Again, ‘the past is over’ becomes relevant. WICK is and always will be full of mysteries. Things I won’t ever reveal. Years have gone by since the last album we made. No one in this band went into a freezer. WICK is less of a soul Searching soundtrack (for me). It can be whatever the listener wants it to be. I was more grounded and more or less standing before life events knowing what I needed to do next. There was no time to think this time. I just dove in and made solid decisions for my life. And some have yet to pass.
Crooked Doors Lyrics
Ear on the fool: Follow inner voice! However, is it always the right source? (If I can relate it to song Plans: “I thought I did the right thing when I went back for you.”) Early last year, my ex-girlfriend went to work as a snowboard instructor for few months, as her main job application would take few months. We were just renting an apartment together too. However while, she was away, the contact was getting rare and shorter. I tried a lot to save it, but going back for her, was not the option, as she lost my trust, as the similar thing was happening year before that and she started to lie as well. Talking about inner voice: Is it some higher power or is it coming from inside?
Both. You have to learn how to hear the voice that is in a lot of ways, a compass. You have to check your thoughts with reality. Do you feel this way as a result of facts? Or is it just feelings? You have to check yourself and run it through a filter…. You determine who or what that filter is. (Thank you for opening up – by the way. I’m sorry to hear that. Breakup and heartache like that is a hard pain to overcome. But time heals)
- One Day – This song spoke to me the most. Somehow, I placed my frustration aside and tried to see her position: Huge uprising with new world around her, but afterwards even bigger fall: “Life set me free and cut me down the middle”. I could almost her saying: “Don’t help me. Let me suffer, I deserve it!” (However, that feeling causes a vicious circle!) Loud voice inside is getting louder and louder and it’s really hard to fight it. Some make it less loud with various substances, but it leads to other mistakes eventually. But from your lyrics, I have a feeling, if we did sth wrong, we have to find energy to fix and apologize to get rid of the rock in our heads (and chest)…
- Mlny, it’s actually a rare case, when a singer takes a role of a bad girl and shows “her” mistakes…
- I remember lying on a couch at my friend’s apartment, fucking tired in my head, after few whiskeys with headphones, as I couldn’t sleep and air “screamed” with your lyrics. I forgave her that night. I understood, she couldn’t resist her demons and it must have been killing her what she did afterwards. Eventually, after some time, I said this into an empty room: “Thank you for leaving in a really bad way! It made me reach the worst bottom, but eventually made me better person and hungry for life.” That night was a crossroad, as whispering backing vocals in One Day say: “Go and grow!” Simply either move on or keep suffering…
- The Bear I & II – I finally understood, she was not fully selfish (“I would only make you cry, cry!”) In general – we have to get away from the blindness, get to know ourselves and our feelings. But it might come back in cycles, with other obstacles and life challenges. But if you know how to fight it as Greg Puciato sings in The Black Queen: “I know hell’s where you’ve been, but That Death Cannot Touch you anymore”
May I ask you Mlny, what inspired you for lyrics of those songs?
Wow. That’s why I do what I do. For moments like the ones you have mentioned here – that you had. I had different experiences that inspired those lyrics. But similar reactions as far as going through forgiveness and having these wild revelations and realizing that I would eventually find my way despite how tormented I felt at times. But I tormented myself, in retrospect.
Mlny, what do you do now to Walk through the green grass and into the sunset? (I work much harder to make my dreams true, I became a better listener, I am working on a healthy life style including meditation and I also found new love.)
What do I do? Don’t give up. But let go.
Thank you and looking forward seeing you live in Czech Republic.
Thank you, Dan. This was one of the most unique and interesting interviews I’ve probably ever done. If you wanna talk more via skype – I could make the time. Just let Frank know. Great interview, Dan. Thank you for the time you took to do this.