Salt Lake rockers Royal Bliss wait out the storm, finally release new CD

You would think by now that Royal Bliss – described at one time as the “unluckiest band in rock” following a series of well publicized traumatic incidents – would have seen it all.
But frontman Neal Middleton said while writing material for the band’s latest album, Waiting Out the Storm, he went through some experiences that were new to him, including the death of a friend. He also became a father.
“A lot of things happened to me over the past two or three years,” Middleton said during a recent tour stop in Santa Rosa, CA. “After you have a kid it puts a lot of life into prospective, you’re living for somebody else at this point.”
The result is some of the most personal lyrics Middleton has ever released.
Waiting Out The Storm is the eighth album from Salt Lake City’s veteran rockers. The 11-track CD will be released Tuesday. Royal Bliss will celebrate the release of their new disc with a concert at The Complex Tuesday night (an all ages show).
For fans who can’t wait until Tuesday, they can see the band perform at in-store appearance and meet-and-greet at Graywhale CD in Taylorsville, 1773 West 4700 South, Monday at 7:30 p.m. where copies of the CD will be available.
While Waiting Out The Storm has songs that deal with Middleton’s family, that doesn’t mean Royal Bliss is taking the pedal off the rock motor.
The honeymoon with Royal Bliss’ first major label release ended after Life In-Between came out in 2009. The result is a lot of built up angst and aggressive songs about Middleton’s experience – and breakup – with his record label.
“They wanted to take us in a direction of super commercial rock,” he said. “We wrote about 80 songs for the record. And our management said no to all of them. They said there wasn’t a hit in there. We said, ‘You’re wrong. These songs mean a lot to us.'”
Royal Bliss split with their managers and record label, Middleton wrote the songs “Smile” and “Monster” about the label, and had tried for a year-and-a-half to get their new CD released.
It was also around the time the band split with the label that the boys from Bliss met producer Brian Virtue (Chevelle, Deftones, 30 Seconds to Mars).
“He was the driving force to do the record we wanted to do,” Middleton said. “He said, ‘If you want to do a Royal Bliss record, I want to do it.”
The result, Middleton said, is, “The best record we’ve ever done.”
He said the lyrics show how the band has grown over the past 15 years, calling them “more mature.”
The experience of watching his wife’s cousin on life support after a car accident and the emotions the family went through, “the way it affected me was crazy. I had never felt anything like that.”
Those experiences were put into words on “Wake Up” and “High On Fire.”
The first single off the album is “Crazy,” a song Middleton wrote about being away from his son and his family while on the road, something that gets harder as his two boys get older.
“I have to try and stay focused on the road doing the rock-n-roll thing, Middleton said. “But I make sure to do the video chats with kids each night. I try to keep two worlds in balance.”
Middleton calls his wife his biggest supporter.
“We as a family, in the long run, believe it’s going to be worth it.”
Royal Bliss, who are now touring as a quartet following the departure of rhythm guitarist Chris Harding, said they routed their current tour so it would coincide with the album release in Salt Lake so they could, “celebrate with the people who have kept us alive.”

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