God Bless Saint Luxury: An Interview with Broke Royals

Over the span of three years, Broke Royals’ Philip Basnight and Collin Cross have been carefully creating their latest release, Saint Luxury. They spent a long time thinking about how each song would fit together and if it really captured every part of the story they wanted to tell. The creative process this time around would end up being drastically different, and for the better.

The majority of the lyrics were written well before they entered the studio, which was something they hadn’t done before. It helped them focus on writing about people asking the right questions versus people saying they have all the answers.

“In so many instances, people are selling you a product or narrative that erases any room for ambiguity; vacuum-sealed pitches meant to assure you there is nothing left to worry about,” Basnight said. “We wanted to distill this big concept into something lighthearted and coherent so we thought, ‘What better way than an angel leaving heaven?’ It completely fit with the idea we were building. An angel who leaves heaven, where they have all the answers, in search of questions; leaving the structure and safety that she knew for the wild unknown.”

From there, they created a storyline that unfolds through the eyes of this angel and her search for the answers to these questions. They tackle topics such as societal norms and faith, but the album is by no means a take-down of either topic. Their goal was to focus on their personal experiences and the transitional part of their lives that they’re currently in.

“Earlier generations often went straight from youth to adulthood by getting married and having children at a younger age,” Basnight said. “Today, many of us spend longer in the space between youth and adulthood, which gives us more time to ask hard questions and re-examine things we may have previously taken for granted. Not to say that older generations lived unexamined lives, but the extra space encourages it in a way we haven’t seen before.”

This process of storytelling completely changed the way they look at how they write and record music, from how they incorporate themes to song structure and lyricism. By making music this way, it gave them a center that they could always move back to, Basnight said.

However, not all the songs made it onto the album. As with all their releases, they ended up with more songs than they needed to tell their story. That isn’t to say these songs will never see the light of day; it just wasn’t their time yet.

“There are always more stories to tell but each song on this album was carefully chosen,” Basnight said.

Since releasing the album in August, they’ve been able to take these songs out on the road with unique live arrangements. Each night, Basnight, Cross and touring guitarist Ben Wilson get to experience the audience’s reactions to the new material and see which song connects with them the most. Every night is different, in the best way possible, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.