Holly Royle is a musician who shares her talent with the world through her band Disconnected Souls. She writes and produces music, sings, and plays the keyboard and guitars. Besides being a talented musician, Holly Royle is also an inspirational writer and music journalist. Her articles on women in Metal are both powerful and insightful and have been inspiring for me personally.
I had the privilege to chat with Holly Royle and ask her about her band Disconnected Souls and their upcoming plans, as well as her views on many issues.
Hello, Holly. I’m happy to chat with you. How are you doing today?
Hello Mirk, thank you for having me. I’m doing well, thank you!
You released your new single “Kintsukuroi” last month. How are you feeling about the way it was received by the fans?
Yes, I’m feeling really good about the reception we’ve had. Our lyric video exceeded expectations for views – this was especially great as it’s our first lyric video. Both journalists and fans have given us some wonderful feedback too!
That’s great! How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard Disconnected Soul’s music before?
Now, this is the question! We are a band of many genre and style influences. We tend to describe our sound as being cinematic as we incorporate so many atmospheric synths and orchestral elements into practically everything we do. “Kintsukuroi” certainly leans more into metalcore/ anthemic realms, with some progressive elements seeping through too. Oh, and we’re pretty heavy.
Brilliant! You released your debut and only album so far in 2020. Is “Kintsukuroi” part of a new album or another kind of a major release you’re working on?
Our plan currently is for “Kintsukuroi” to feature on our next album. We are being quite ambitious, both in terms of the styles of our new tracks and the overall length of the album, so that’s why it’s taking a while!
In order to get to know you better and from a different point of view, how about playing some imagination game? I will set a scenario in an alternate universe with new rules and see how you’d react to the different situations. Ready?
Yes, I’ll do my best. We play a lot of D&D so hopefully, that’ll help me!
Wonderful! Let’s begin then! In a universe where you are made the queen of a country, what would be the first law you’d make?
I would like it to be a legal requirement for everyone to wear cloaks on a daily basis. I think there’s an element of grandeur missing from our wardrobes. Yes, so assuming inequality has been abolished prior to my coronation, I’ll go with the cloaks.
I really hope your kingdom will be in a colder part of Earth then 😂 In a universe where humans can choose either to be able to teleport from one place to another or travel back and forth in time, which superpower would you pick?
Oh, as tempting as time travel would be I can see various things going wrong. I think teleportation would be more useful in daily life, I’d certainly get more done if I could teleport. It would make live shows an awful lot easier to arrange too!
In a universe where you’re the statue of liberty, what object would you be holding instead of a torch?
I think it would be either a cup of tea, an antiquarian book, or a cat. Maybe I can find a way to balance all three?
That created a hilarious visual image in my head 😂 In a universe where money does not exist, but instead, people pay for things by making other people laugh, how rich would you be considered?
I have quite a sarcastic, and slightly dark, sense of humour so I like to think I’d be moderately well off.
In a universe where the senses of taste and hearing are mixed up together, what food would you imagine Disconnected Soul’s music would taste like?
Fletch has a habit of mixing tomato juice with violet gin… I think that sort of odd mix would represent us quite well. People seem to either really like us or not quite get us… like that unusual gin mix!
In a universe where making magic is real, what would your favourite spell do?
I’d like a spell that manifests dramatic music. I think life would be more interesting if epic music played at various events/ activities in everyday life. Although, it could be quite disconcerting if a battle song suddenly started playing…
That would be wonderful! Thank you for playing, Holly! I hope you enjoyed this!
We live in an era where social media became essential for musicians to reach fans and promote their music. In your opinion, what are the cons and pros of social media having all that power in the music industry?
I think social media can do a lot of good. Musicians and fans can connect in a more personal way than has been previously possible. We have definitely reached new fans that would most likely never have found Disconnected Souls via other means. My main issues are to do with the algorithms that make it harder for smaller profiles to gain reach and the bias toward sponsored posts and e-commerce. I remember when social media had very little to do with selling products and bands seemed to grow so much faster. Maybe I’m looking back through rose-tinted glasses though. It’s important to remember that social media isn’t real life and the numbers and stats don’t represent your worth as an individual, a musician or a band.
Thank you for your wonderful insight! Have you ever faced any kind of sexism in your professional or personal life? How would you deal with sexist behaviour and what advice would you give young people around the world who face any kind of discrimination?
Unfortunately, yes. I don’t receive many sexist online comments but I’ve certainly had a few. I tend to just ignore them as it’s not worth my time and energy fighting back when I could be doing something much more fun. No one is entitled to my time, certainly not idiots online. In person situations, I have tried to call out, or at least make people I’m with aware of an incident in case anything else happens. I’m also hoping to use my experiences in my academic work to share awareness and insight further change. My advice for online situations is to report accounts and call it out if that seems a suitable option. Each case needs to be considered individually. In person situations can be harder in some ways. If people feel able to report cases I highly recommend that they do. However, I think it’s important to never pressure someone into reporting an incident if, for whatever reason, they do not wish to. After a negative experience, maintaining as much control over the situation as possible is important. The more we talk about these issues and bring them to light, the more we can help to bring change for the better.
Thank you again for sharing your wonderful knowledge with us! And thank you for giving us this interview, Holly. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for having me, I’ve enjoyed answering these questions! Hopefully, my answers are interesting. We have some exciting new music coming over the next few months, so watch this space!