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juggling multicolored psychedelia all the way through God's country

interview + images: Daniel Perlaky
video: Jeff Scher

Brooklyn three-piece American Royalty laced the Texas sun something dark and sweet during Fun Fun Fun Fest, which, thanks to Graham and company, is the most well-curated (and fun, obviously) festival in the US.

American Royalty are exactly the kind of friendly fellows you'd want to have a chinwag with after wandering the fest for days, and they turned us on to the art of Jeff Scher, the brilliant animator behind many of their videos. Cheers to each of our corners of God's country as Marc Gilfry lets us in about some of his own.

When you're back in your hometown, what's a place you try to go to?

My home for the past 5 years has been Los Angeles, but I was raised about an hour away in a town called Rancho Cucamonga. When I'm "home", I try to take a very special secret hike up in the hills that is not so secret anymore. There's no trail. You follow a creek up about a half mile, cross over fallen logs and exposed rocks, pass an eroding car that was pushed off the side of the ravine decades before, climb two waterfalls by rope and then find yourself in a little slice of graffiti paradise. There's an 8 foot deep pool of water at the foot of a small waterfall/waterslide, and you're completely surrounded by jutting rock faces that have been slathered with graffiti since I can remember. It's a strange man vs. nature dichotomy. I don't know whether to be ashamed of mankind's need to piss all over everything or to just sit back and revel in the depravity of the whole thing. Though the artwork is amateurish, if you squint your eyes and just barely let the light in, you can lay in the water and wade through a world of neon and Technicolor.

Where outside your hometown have you felt really inspired recently? Why?

Montana. Driving through Montana, you come to appreciate why it’s called "God's Country". It's dramatic and beautiful. I started to fantasize about owning a huge plot of land with a couple hundred cattle and sitting on my porch smoking a big pipe of tobacco. Retirement plan? Problem is I don't know shit about cattle ranching.  This video is cheesy but gives you an idea. I love that place and want to go back. 

On the road, what's a moment where you thought "wow this is a scene I should burn into my memory"

We traveled through the Pacific Northwest and brought a bunch of camping gear. We camped in Yellowstone and in another spot in Montana. I'd say one of the most memorable scenes was making dinner just as the sun was coming down over Lewis Lake in Yellowstone; cooking hot dogs and baked beans on an old Coleman stove that my dad gave to me. We camped in the trees and felt pretty damn secluded. That night, at about 3am, we woke up to the howls of wolves. I'll never forget how deep and throaty and resonant that sound is.  

if you squint your eyes and just barely let the light in, you can lay in the water and wade through a world of neon and Technicolor.

Who's a lesser-known musician you've seen or played with that really impressed you? Why?

The Gorlons! From Springfield, MO. Fucking great band. It was their first time playing together as a band. Serious freak beat, psych rock vibes. loved it. We partied with them after the show at Ross' place over a campfire and some beers. Great guys. Great band. Be on the look out for their first release. 

When you're jonesing for inspiration, what do you do to help get it flowing?

I like taking long drives and drinking an unhealthy amount of coffee and Red Bull. I need the uppers. I'm 23, but I feel like I'm getting old and slow. 

+ American Royalty bandcamp
+ American Royalty soundcloud