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With their epic, anthemic sound, Royseven seemed set for uber-stardom, especially in Germany where they were groomed by the local branch of Universal Records. But a shake-up at the label and a lay-off of several years means it’s very much a case of starting over for the Dubliners. With their new single all over the radio, singer Paul Walsh talks about riding the corporate rock rollercoaster, HANGING with Bryan Adams and the group’s glad-to-be-gay new video
Stuart Clark, 04 Apr 2011
“Sorry, I just can’t stop yawning!”
It’s barely gone six on a Thursday evening and Royseven’s Paul Walsh looks like he’s Father Jack-style chugged down a bottle of
Dreamy Sleepy Nightie Snoozy Snooze. Normally I’d be worried that this desperate yearning for 40 winks has something to do with my interview technique, but Paul and the chaps are just back from a rigorous bout of German promo, which allowed for little in the way of quality duvet time. Not, I hasten to add, that Clonmel’s most rocking and rollingest former resident is complaining.
“It’s been a busy but brilliant few weeks,” the bequiffed singer enthuses between revitalising sips of Southern Comfort & red. “We had gigs in Hanover on Tuesday and Wednesday for something called CeBIT Sounds, which is a technology and music festival, and before that we were doing loads of radio and press interviews. We’re associated with the Volkswagen Sound Foundation, an annual initiative whereby a panel of industry experts choose three bands – one rock, one pop, one R&B – who receive a tour bus for the year, a five-figure cash sum and loads of great gigs. Our mentor and the guy who insisted on us being one of those acts is Henning Wehland, the singer with a really famous German band called – unfortunately – H-Blockx. I wanted to ask him, ‘Do you know what your name means in an Irish context?’ but it never seemed the right time!”
Cathy Davey was the subject of considerable internet sniping before Christmas when she became the face of Lexus cars in Ireland. How have the German bloggerati reacted to Royseven hooking up with Volkswagen?
“It hasn’t in any way been an issue,” Walsh says. “I don’t know what Cathy’s deal with Lexus is, but Volkswagen have been doing their Sound Foundation for at least 10 years now, and pump a lot of money into music. I was talking to the Marketing Director yesterday and they’re actually considering starting their own label, so it’s that level of commitment. I think that criticising bands for accepting sponsorship is more of an Irish and British thing, and largely unfair because record sales are down and musicians like everyone else need to make a living. As long as you’re not artistically compromised by it, I can’t see a problem.”