The Royal Sitars Are the World’s First and Only Royal Headache Sitar Tribute Band
Take a listen to the mysterious bands Indian interpretations of ‘Eloise’ and ‘Distant and Vague’.
In 1965 the Kinks released “See My Friends”, one of the first Western rock songs to include Indian raga sounds. Though the low tuned guitar sound is often mistaken for a sitar, Ray Davies apparently found inspiration for the song in India when he encountered fishermen chanting on their way to morning work.
Though there are fewer chanting fishermen in the streets of Sydney’s inner west, the Royal Sitars are another band inspired by the sounds of India - and Royal Headache.
The mysterious band have released instrumental versions of Royal Headache's “Eloise” and “Distant and Vague” on UK label Agitated and have so far made one public appearance at Carriageworks’ At First Sight festival.
Listen to the tracks below and read a chat we had with the self proclaimed ‘maharaja of the band’.
Noisey: Who is in the band now? Who was on the recording?
Royal Sitar Maharaja: Royal Sitars features an array of talented and extraordinary musicians, all with a deeper knowledge of their instrument that extends beyond the mere physical realm.
Have any Hindustani bands approached you for some eight hour sitar marathons?
Some, but none that have really made us feel that we are on the same path. We encourage offers of collaboration, and are always open to invitation.
UK label Agitated approached you pretty quickly. Is this testament to Royal Headache’s popularity or the awesomeness of your sitar playing?
As a forward thinking label they approached Royal Sitars with the goal of sharing the music to a wider, international audience. Royal Headache may be popular, but instrumental music is the universal language. Especially when led by the tranquil tones of the sitar.
You are an instrumental band but are you looking for any agitated frontman who runs around stage, asks for the guitar to be turned up and abuses the crowd in Hindi?
There is little time for that kind of drama in the serene world of the Royal Sitars
Are there any further recordings planned? Maybe you could do a Camperdown and Out track, Bed Wettin Bad Boys or even some early Nintendo Police?
The future is always moments ahead. Royal Sitars have an array of material both Royal Headache, and original, currently being prepared.
The Royal Sitars record is available now through Agitated.