Backstage Royalty is made up of three brothers: Carson, Caleb and Cadyn Prince along with a friend that plays bass, Kyle Fritz. To date, they have released one full-length album, which is self-titled and an EP titled “Stand for Something.” We were able to talk to Caleb about the bands beginning, how it is to work with brothers and new music to be released.
Nathaniel: How did you guys get started?
Caleb: We started about 7 years ago.. we were under another band name called Solid Choice.. actually our first band name was Light Switch, but that turned out to be a name already taken by another band that was already doing stuff so we changed it to Sold Choice.. Once we came out with our first CD, my brother asked what we wanted to call ourselves, do we really want to stick with Solid Choice? We all sat down together and that’s when we decided to be Backstage Royalty. We’ve been a band for about 5 years under the name Backstage Royalty.
Nathaniel: How did you come up with the name Backstage Royalty?
Caleb: Our last name is Prince.. and the band being mostly made up of us 3 brothers, my older brother wanted our name to be a part of it somehow.. Prince had already taken the name Prince, so we can’t really do that.. we wanted to have a more humble approach, and that’s where the backstage part comes from.. at shows we always try to be humble, always being backstage, willing to talk to anyone that wants to talk to us. As we were brainstorming, it was crazy, my brother said, “Royalty”.. and we put the two together and got Backstage Royalty.
Nathaniel: How is it working with brothers?
Caleb: Working with brothers is a joy and a kill. It has it’s moments of greatness and it has it’s moments of you are absolutely driving me nuts. One, because it’s hard to get things done just because you are family.. I’m the manager of the band and it’s hard to get things done sometimes like practices.. we all live at home together and bond well together so sometimes it’s easy to think we don’t really need to practice. It is a joy to get on stage, look on both sides of you and behind you andhave your brothers up there with you.
Nathaniel: Who are your influences musically?
Caleb: We all have different kind of people we like to listen to throughout growing up. When we released our first album, we were listening to a lot of Relient K and Anberlin so that came out in our sound, the punk rock sound. One of our bigger influences was Linkin Park. We started listening to them and the whole rap/rock/screamo feel is what we were going for, we liked the sound, we liked what they were doing and so they became one of our bigger influences. Petra, an old, old band that most people don’t know about. My dad had all their CD’s, it was honestly the only thing he listened to that was rock. So we really got to know guitar solos and rock from them. Honestly, I am the screamer of the band and I hated screamo. I didn’t like screaming, I found it very annoying. When I first started listening to Underoath I thought, this is the devil’s music or however you want to say it. Slowly, you start listening to different things of rock and then it dawned on me I was starting to like it more and more. We did a show and I had friends that said, “Hey, I like this part of your song, but you should try screaming.” And I thought “what?” Every band member wants to find their point in the band where you’re known for this. I was just a guitar player, not really doing anything, my brother was the singer and I wanted to try to do something so I said I would try screaming. My first attempts to scream, you could barely hear it, they had to turn up the mic so you could hear it. When I tried it live, I screamed louder, people really started to get into it. People enjoyed it more than I thought they would. Then from there I watched YouTube videos to work on it.
Nathaniel: What’s been the biggest challenge of being in a band so far?
Caleb: People. People are probably the hardest part of being in a band. We trust too many people. I was brought up with your word is as good as you. I took that too far. We have been under a label before. The label sounds good, people say we will get you this and that. You know, you are in the industry and trying to find any loophole, thinking “yes, this could possibly take us where we want to be”. Most of the time it’s all about them. At the same time, you don’t want to say it’s all about me, but could you at least take my considerations to a point? We’ve been screwed over multiple times by people saying one thing and not doing it or they’re doing something completely different.. and that’s not our vision and we’re in the band.. and in the end it ended up costing us money. Honestly, I would say, for a band, if they want to do it right then do it yourself. Don’t depend on that many people, because people will let you down.. unfortunately.
Nathaniel: Are you guys signed to a label?
Caleb: We were signed to a label. I can’t talk too much about that. At first it was a great label.. we were really happy, but then through the process of recording our album.. it wasn’t for us. Something was going on, we felt like it was taking away our creativity.. and it didn’t feel right to us.. and we ended up getting out of it, by the grace of God. We just couldn’t do what they wanted us to do, because their whole vision.. was we want you guys to be in a band.. they wanted to create they album artwork, but I wanted to create it.. I want to have my input, this is our album. Then with shows.. they said you can have maybe, a show a month.. you don’t do a tour. Touring is where you get to know fans.. that’s what I love.. I’m not personally a studio person, I’m more of, let’s go do a live show and meet as many people as I can in that time frame. It was just very different goals.. they had a vision of what they wanted to, which was great, but for us, we don’t fit that vision.. we don’t want to be that. We decided to get out of it, it cost us a lot more money than we were expecting.. which was hard, because you are talking to who was then friends that you had made.. and now they’re jabbing you in the back for money.. and that hurt.
Nathaniel: Are plans for the future to stay independent or work out something with a label eventually?
Caleb: It’s a very hard question. The thing is we were so fired up.. because they said, “hey, we’re a Christian label”.. and honestly, Christians are the most damaging, because you’re thinking.. they’re Christians, they have the same values as you do, but most of the time they don’t. In the end, it’s all about the paycheck.. they have to make money too. For us, if we ever got signed.. yea we could sign again.. to a label that was good.. like Rise Records, Victory Records.. that’d be fine, because they have the name, they have the title, and it really helps a band get to the next level. At the same time, be more cautious.. next time we go through it.. getting a lawyer to look at the contract.. look at everything and see if this is what we want for our band? It’s not that we won’t ever do it again, but being a little more cautious.
Nathaniel: How has all this challenged your faith?
Caleb: Leaning on God. Saying God is this what we want? Is this what you want us to do? When you do things on your own.. it never works out. There has been so many times when I say, “I found this”, “I did this”.. and how many times it crumbles to the ground..with the label, we took the credit for finding.. and God said you weren’t leaning on me, you weren’t trusting in me. Even now, we have this fear, because we haven’t had many shows, wondering, “God, is this what we’re suppose to do?”.. At the beginning of the year, even had thoughts of maybe we should just quit as a band, because we are not really doing anything.. all of a sudden Creation Fest contacts us and says we won the competition.. so it’s been a really big up and down roller coaster for us. Through it all we’ve learned to give it all to God and really lean on him and leaning on each other too.. we are brothers, we have to stick together in this and not back down.
Caleb: Show experiences, we’ve had multiple great show experiences.. probably one of my favorites was a church out in Ohio.. this church group brought it way more than I was expecting.. we were nervous to play the show, at the same time pumped.. this church was moshing in the church, they crowd surfed.. they went so hard and it was really encouraging to us. Creation Fest, we’ve been able to play there two years in a row and every year it has been awesome.. more and more people get to know us.. it’s a great time to get to know fans.. we’ve never the type of band that hangs around back the whole time.. most bands hang around back, building up the suspense for the fans until they actually come out on stage, we’re the opposite of that.. we don’t want to be that band that nobody sees until we sign a few papers after the show and then we’re out.. we’re going to hang out at our merch, so people who want to hang out they can come talk to us. We have that connection with our fans, there’s no barrier between us. We’re down to Earth guys, we’re not that special.. we want you to come talk to us. Those are my favorite things about shows.. getting to know people, having fun with the band and not making stressful for ourselves.
Nathaniel: What are thing you have learned from other bands?
Caleb: More publicizing. One of the things we have a hard time with is going to other people’s shows and handing out CD’s, being more confident in our music.. but we are always thinking.. is this legal? are we allowed to do this? (laughs). Other bands have told us just make sure to read the fine print when recording.. they’ve also told us, get a feature with a band.. grab a band that’s more popular and they can help you get to the next level. Do a good music video. Everything you do, do it with professionalism.. we really, really try to push ourselves to do that. It kind of helps determine, is this a high school band or are we really trying to go somewhere? It’d be nice to be the band that has thousands of fans at each show, go on world tours, every show is booked out.. we’ve never really thought we’d get to that point, but we just want to have enough fans to where we can do what we do.. what we love to do and be okay financially and in life.
Nathaniel: Any new music coming out soon?
Caleb: We do! My brother, Carson, who is the lead singer, he’s really the brains behind the whole band musically wise.. we are working on a single now and we are doing another cover.. not at liberty to say what song that is yet, but it should be coming out sooner than later. My brother is scattered brained.. more scattered brained than I am.. he will start a project and get close to the end and then start working on something else.. so we have songs in the works, but not complete ones yet.. we do have a few songs in the works though.. one we are really focused on and a cover we are really focused on that we are going to try to get out as soon as we can. Hopefully, in the next year or so we’ll come out with another album that’s going to take us to the next level and get us to where we want to be sound wise and everything.
Nathaniel: Sounds great! Thanks for your time!