Meet The Royal Royal: Worship Music’s New Duo
By Hannah Goodwyn
CBN.com Senior Producer
Nathan and Gabriel Finochio are The Royal Royal. The two Canadian brothers are new to Christian music, but their cool sound is sure to make them a known name this year. Even beyond that, The Royal Royal’s clear desire to see true, joyful worship flood churches is exciting.
Recently, brother Nathan shared some thoughts about the duo’s debut album, The Royalty, who they are and what kind of worship music they plan to make.
What's the story behind your band name?
Nathan: We wanted to be called Royal, but it was taken by another band, so we went with The Royal Royal. (laughs) The idea stems from the Pauline teaching of a nation of kings and priests.
Talking about your debut album, The Royalty, you've said, "We need to see old truths as though they are new." Explain.
Nathan: The whole goal of a preacher is to re-present or repackage the Gospel creatively on Sundays. He does not preach the same sermon on redemption from last year, even though doctrine has not changed. No, he comes at it with fresh style and speech. That is what we believe we are called to do: to make timeless truths as fresh as the day’s sky, even though the sky is as old as grandpa! That's what God does everyday. Making old things new is a divine function. God is into renewal, and so must we be.
What would you say to someone who says church and faith are old-fashioned traditions?
Nathan: We would say, "Yes they are, just as justice and love and mercy are old-fashioned traditions." Our generation often fails to see the incongruity of what C.S. Lewis aptly named their "chronological snobbery". Old does not mean antiquated. Now, old things certainly can be, but many are not. What we seek to do is reveal the absurdity of using the modifier "old" as pejorative ideologically. Bread is an old idea, should we boycott McDonalds?
You're Pastor’s Kids and your blog says that “church never sucked” for you. What was different for you than a lot of kids who have turned away from faith because it wasn't an awesome experience?
Nathan: Church never sucked because we grew up in a Charismatic church where there was plenty of loud music, where we were encouraged to get involved and participate in the music ministry at a very young age, and where the focus of the church was on the young of the flock. In addition, my parents are real Christians, so that makes life as a kid amazing.
How is working with your brother on something so spiritually significant as worship?
Nathan: My brother and I champion one another in music; our only concern is that the song is the best. When the focus is on the project, peripherals become lost. Additionally, we do the majority of our writing together and as a locked 50/50 split, no matter who contributed what. That takes away ego and helps us focus on the best ideas for the song, because hey: we both still get 50 percent. This is the stuff that sours relationships. We prefer to have awesome, defined fences so as to make great neighbors. The road dynamic is like any close-quarters sleepover that goes on too long: crazy! We get irritated and tired, but you learn to get time alone, etc. We both love reading theology and writing so we often withdraw to recharge this way.
"Praise Him", the first single off of The Royalty… What's the story behind that one?
Nathan: “Praise Him” was written with [Hillsong UNITED’s] Matt Crocker at our house. Matt had walked down the wedding aisle to a very celebratory song and we wanted to capture that vibe and make it worshipful, because we are of the conviction that joy ought to be a Christian mainstay, particularly in praise. So Matt and I set out to write the song. We worked and worked and worked on it; it was a labor. Then one day, all the elements were right and there it was.
Is there another song on the record that has an interesting story behind it? Do share.
Nathan: “October” was written during a season of discipline in my life. I was a bit of a maniac in Bible College, and the Lord had to deal with me on some issues. I think the best songs come out of real life.
Do you have a favorite track?
Nathan: “Your Voice” ... It's taken right out of my devotional life. I sing many songs to the Lord that aren't for recording, just for me and Him. I decided to just plop a couple in there to show people what that looks like. I love those secret moments with Him.
Hannah Goodwyn serves as the Family and Entertainment producer for CBN.com. For more articles, visit Hannah's bio page.
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