“Shouting until you’re red in the face can be really therapeutic,” explains Royal Brat vocalist Alex Uhrich.
That description perfectly captures the raw, untamed urgency of his Minneapolis garage-punk trio, which also features bassist Shannon Boyer and guitarist Clara Salyer.
Last year, Uhrich created a Facebook post stating his desire to start a punk band with women musicians. His label, No Problem Records, had worked to put out a split release from Salyer’s other band, Whatever Forever, and Kitten Forever. Inspired by the post, they sensed a fresh collaborative outlet could work, and Boyer was soon on board.
Royal Brat was born.
The group’s initial batch of raucous, two-minute jams came together at lightning speed.
“We wrote our first song, ‘Gut,’ in an hour,” Salyer explains. “It’s mainly always fast and fun, but never thoughtless.”
The explosive “Gut” would become part of Royal Brat’s five-song debut EP, Negative Bone, which was issued in November 2015 via Uhrich’s label.
“The creative chemistry was immediately evident, and we wrote the tape in like two months,” Uhrich says. “We like to keep [our songs] pretty short and concise, but I also think we try to write stuff that’s dynamic and nuanced.”
Their boisterous, rowdy live shows and catchy, combustible songs quickly stirred interest within the local music scene. But just as the group was starting to take off, Salyer was presented with an unexpected opportunity midway through 2015: She was asked to play bass for Babes in Toyland on that band’s high-profile reunion tour.
Even though playing with the Twin Cities grunge-punk legends showcased Salyer’s considerable talents to a wider audience, she was excited to return home last fall and resume Royal Brat.
“I guess [the Babes tour] kind of slowed our roll for a little while,” Salyer says, noting that Uhrich and Boyer were thrilled for her. “But it also gave us space to really recognize that Royal Brat was something we all cared about.”
Now that the group is back to writing, recording, and playing live, fans should expect new material soon enough. “Right now we have demos of a ton of new songs,” Salyer says, hinting at a new release come spring.
With the fractious election behind us, we could all use a refreshing jolt. Royal Brat’s tempestuous music serves that purpose, and their inclusive live shows inspire a sense of community. And, thankfully, the band seems reinvigorated and anxious to offer up more.
“I would like to think we have more work to do,” Uhrich says. “The unpredictability is part of the fun for me. I definitely didn’t think any of this was going to happen when I made that Facebook post.”