Some four or five years since they stopped being an active band, Toronto's Royal City are back in the news, as their long-awaited, career-spanning b-sides and rarities compilation is finally scheduled to see the light of day on June 23rd.

The official announcement began circulating this week but I was lucky enough to catch wind of it earlier; in my capacity as the band's occasional, unofficial roadie/loyal fan/friend, I was asked to pen this new record's promotional bio this past July. In any case the record's finally done, a lot of people are really stoked about it, and rightly so; it's a cool collection of lost and alternate songs and Royal City fans are in for a treat (and likely an occasional, "What the--where's ___?! That was always my favourite song!").

It seems as though the founding members of Royal City aren't particularly keen to talk a whole lot about this release; to be fair, Aaron Riches, Simon Osborne, and Jim Guthrie have been separated by miles of asphalt, oceans, and budding families/careers for the past few years and their band is a bit of a fond but distant memory. I'm pretty excited because, if all goes well, I have something of an exclusive interview with Simon scheduled for today's show and we'll chat about this record, the band's status, and whether a Royal City reunion could ever happen. I think we might be able to get some dirt on Jim's new record too, as Simon plays bass in his band, so stay tuned!

UPDATE: Hear this interview with Royal City's Simon Osborne:


Are you a fan/collector of b-sides by any particular artist? Do you or have you ever collected singles just for the 'extra' songs? I do.       

Photo: Royal City (circa October 2000): l-r; Nathan Lawr, Jim Guthrie, Simon Osborne, Aaron Riches); Raleigh, North Carolina, shot by Vish Khanna.  

posted by Vish Khanna on Apr 02, 2009