The Royal Foundry: Kickass, bold and classic
The Royal Foundry is one of two husband-and-wife bands on the Blundstone Playlist. Musical marriages rule! Jared Salte and Bethany Scumacher even met at a gig. On a November day in 2009, Jared’s alt-pop band, the Junkyard Poets, arrived for a show in Beth’s Alberta town, and Jared caught a glimpse of her walking into the hall.
Three years later, they got married – and within days they started on another journey, establishing The Royal Foundry as an acoustic folk duo.
“It was more convenient as a married couple to just get in a van with a banjo and acoustic, and there’s very little expenses that way,” Jared told The YYSCENE. “We loved doing it and that’s how we started writing because it came naturally.”
Beth agrees. “For Jared, starting out in music was the most natural transition because his father was a touring musician. He grew up surrounded by music and luckily loved it. When Jared and I got married, the same natural progression into starting a band occurred. We never had a conversation about it; it happened so organically.”
CBC Music, among others, was blown away. “The Royal Foundry are like Stars if they played acoustic instruments, or Bahamas if he permanently shared the stage with Feist. Love this band!”
Of an early song, “Running Away”, the CBC’s Grant Lawrence said, “If Mumford & Sons ever held a Super-Jam with Arcade Fire, it might sound something like The Royal Foundry’s new single.”
The original acoustic version of their 2014 single, “All We Have”, gained them international exposure through the John Lennon Songwriting Competition and ABC’s Rookie Blue, and in 2015, they won $75,000 at Alberta’s Peak Performance Project to help fund an album.
Even as an acoustic duo, The Royal Foundry packed a punch, and it wasn’t long before they enlisted more instruments. What started as a folk duo quickly evolved into a full throttle alt-pop quartet featuring Jared and Beth on vocals, keys and guitars, Robbie Szabo on cello and drums, and Jeremy Dehek on bass.
This summer, two years after winning the funding for the album, they released “Lost In Your Head”, complete with a keyboard-laced, radio-ready reboot of “All We Have” – featured on the Blundstone Playlist. While shooting the video, Jared and Beth came across a 1950s diner frozen in time. “The owners saw us hanging by their giant pink Elephant and asked if we wanted to shoot inside the diner, then also offered to let us shoot with their pet monkeys!”
Aspiring artists should look beyond their intimate projects, says Beth “Educate yourself. The music industry is more than just writing songs – do yourself a favour and get involved with your arts community and learn about the business of being a musician. Networking and being kind to EVERYONE you come across can really benefit you in the long run.”
The couple is selective about what they wear and they look for brands with a commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable development. “What we wear ripples down to our music, so aligning ourselves what like-minded brands is an important factor,” says Beth. “We love our Blundstones because we can trust that brand. Our music is kickass, bold and classic. Wait, no, that’s Blundstone. Or both!”
Beth says that life is their muse. “A lot of our songs were inspired through us being married and also being in a band. The ups and downs of what’s going on not only with us but in our family, community and the world. The places we get to travel to because of our music and being with your best friend makes things easy.”