Royal Hunt

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Royal Hunt


Originating from Copenhagen, Denmark and formed in 1989, Royal Hunt is the creation of keyboardist and composer André Andersen. “If I won the lottery I would buy a bigger house closer to the sea, a bigger studio in the house, an absurd amount of vintage gear for the studio, a newer Harley, a personal tour bus, a lifetime supply of Jack Daniels, and another lottery ticket,” says Andersen contemplatively, injecting a modest but firm banter into his words. If his answer is any allusion to his life, music must be integral to his life. It’s not far from the truth.


Born in Moscow, Russia, on December 16, André discovered that he had a natural proclivity towards music at a very young age. He began his musical education at the age of five with piano lessons, before graduating to guitars and whatever he could touch in his teens. To his band members he is considered a musical genius. It was when he was 14 that he discovered and defined the three major influences of his life — classical music, classic rock and progressive rock.


“Classical music has always been a major influence to me because of its beauty and virtuosity,” explains Andersen passionately. “Classic rock — for its sound and attitude, and progressive [rock] for its elegance and complexity.” With these three influences in mind, Andersen begun writing music he wanted to listen to, shaping the inevitable sound of Royal Hunt: a sophisticated hurricane of noise layered with rapid guitars and elegant narratives about life.


Despite the quintet’s worldwide success, its dynamic has had an unsteady history. Andersen is the only member who has been there since Royal Hunt’s genesis and has maintained its integrity since ’89. Currently the band comprises of drummer Allan Sørensen (Cornerstone, Prime Time), bassist Passmark, multiple Copenhagen Guitar Battle winner Jonas Larsen, and Pennsylvanian-born vocalist DC Cooper (Silent Force, Amaran’s Plight), who received classical training under renowned opera teacher Charlotte Coleman.


Interestingly, the relationship between Andersen and Cooper have not always been so amicable. When the vocalist signed with Royal Hunt in ’94, before the band’s huge success following Moving Target (2005) and Paradox (1997), he was not expecting to be fired four years later without any notice. Prior to the assumed contract renewal for Cooper, Andersen wrote and official blog post announcement that their vocalist, Cooper, was leaving the band. This was how Cooper discovered he was fired. In interviews afterwards, when the blond vocalist was asked about the slight, he maintained a polite pragmatism.


Cooper was invited to rejoin Royal Hunt in 2011, where he currently remains. “I am where I’m supposed to be,” says the vocalist now, quoting his self-prescribed axiom. “[It’s] my own advice to myself. It means enjoy what and where you are in life because that’s the way it’s supposed to be in the big plan of life. If you don’t like where you are, you have the power to change it or embrace it.” Wise words from a man who when prompted about his ultimate dinner party, listed David Paiche from Toto, Weird Al Yankovic and The (original) Wiggles.