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His Royal Highness

by Archives April 11, 2007

Royal Wood is ready to claim his seat among Canadian Kings of pop-noire Rufus Wainwright and Hawksley Workman. This multi-instumentalist composed, recorded and produced his most rich and dignified effort yet, A Good Enough Day.

The accomplished musician is more than ready to back it up with tour dates this spring. But before gracing Montreal, Wood demystifies his album, opens it up at the hinges and lets us in.


A Good Enough Day is your second record, but your first album on Emm Gryner’s label Dead Daisy Records. How did this come about?

It was a long and winding road. My last album “Tall Tales” had found its way into DDR’s hands and started the ball rolling in terms of interest. When the new record was complete, I wrestled with how and where to put it out, and eventually Dead Daisy made the best sense. They were fully behind the record, and it is the kind of a label that allows for artistic freedom like very few others out there. At the end of the day, after every idea and discussion, the final say is always my decision with DDR – and I relish that.

What does your album title A Good Enough Day signify?

It is always a good enough moment in time to seize life. The making of A Good Enough Day meant that I had reached the next stepping stone in my career. I set out to make something different from anything I have made before. I wanted to make a departure from my last effort; a beautiful and holy record that would stand up against what usually hits the airwaves.


Can we talk tracks? What is “A Mirror Without” about?

“A Mirror Without” is about the idea that we are nothing without someone to share our life with. What good is a mirror unless there is a face to look upon it? What good is a life unless there is a loved one to experience it with us?


What inspired your song “Siren”?

“Siren” itself was inspired by the age old concept that it is better to have loved and lost, then never to have loved at all. We are the products of what we experience day to day, and a lost love helps mold us into who we are now. We should be thankful for it, in all of its stages. From the first spark to the dying amber.

What are you saying with your song “Step Back”?

“Step Back” is about taking stock of life, reviewing the situation, and dealing with what has to be done in order to better ourselves and our current predicament.


What is behind your song “Acting Crazy”?

“Acting Crazy” is about a love between two people that ends, not of lost affections, but out of situations beyond our control. Roads diverge and sometimes two can not take the same path. When this happens it is a breakdown instead of a break up.


Great Canadian musicians contributed to your album like Hawksley Workman and Kurt Swinghammer. What was it like working with them?

Hawksley, Kurt and I have been fans of each others music for a while now, so it seemed natural to finally have them in the studio. Both are beyond professional and beyond genius so I sat back and let the magic happen on both of their performances. I really tried not to influence what they played for their perspective parts and just let them take shape themselves. As expected they struck gold.


Is there a reason why Hawksley Workman appears as guest drummer on the particular song, “Forever We’re Tied” and not another track like “Step Back” or “A Mirror Without”?

Hawksley had heard some of the initial demos for the record, and was kind enough to ask if he could play on the record in anyway. My drummer Adam Hay, at the time, had very much influenced the parts for “A Mirror Without” and “Step Back” in the rehearsal stage, and I couldn’t imagine any one else playing the parts but Adam. He is a tremendous talent at what he does. On “Forever Were Tied” though, it made sense as a song to have Hawk’s style of playing on the kit. He is such an artist at the drums and plays it as only a songwriter could.


What is the common thread running through A Good Enough Day?

The theme of this record in the broadest sense is life itself and the emotions that come with it. We are on a roller coaster after all, and we are along for the ride until it stops.

Royal Wood plays Casa del
Popolo Wednesday, May 9.

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