Swampy Savannah sludge has many variations — see Kylesa, Baroness or Black Tusk for some examples — but Royal Thunder takes a classic-rock route. With big, heavy riffs and bassist Mlny Parsonz' dark, slow-burn blues vocals, the Georgia band sounds like Deep Purple writing a soundtrack for a remake of The Craft. We spoke with guitarist Josh Weaver, a Southern gentleman, and man of few words.
You guys have a pretty distinct aesthetic. Did you have that particular sound in mind from the beginning?
When I started the band in 2004, I wasn't really going for anything specific. It started out as a three-piece instrumental. The schedules [of the members] never matched up, so we ended up looking for more members. Mel already played bass, so it was a no-brainer to have her play.
This seems to be a good time for women in heavy music. As a dude in a female-fronted band, do you have any thoughts about that gender shift?
There definitely seems to be more women in heavier bands, I see that, for sure. It's almost one of those things where you can't explain why it's happening, but it's awesome. It's great to see talented women performing and playing music.
What have been your most exciting experiences as a band so far?
It's just been very humbling playing in this band, and amazing meeting nice people on the road. It seems so surreal at times, when there are so many people there to see you. We're just all very thankful to be doing this.