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Royal Haunts plays by his own rules

Meet the up-and-coming, genre-defying Pittsburgh native

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When asked to classify his music, Anthony Resch, aka Royal Haunts, says dark pop, but collectively, his music doesn’t fall under one genre, unless “moody” counts as one. For Resch, making music is more about feeling than genre.

His 2018 single “The Art of Stealing from Yourself and Others” is a slow, minimalist, piano and vocal track, while another recent release, “Ghost Of The Spirit Of The Future,” is an ominous and chilling electronic trap track with no lyrics.

In the upcoming weeks, Resch will release an A/B side single featuring “GHOST!” and the self-titled “Royal Haunts,” whose eerie mood comes just in time for the spooky season. 

Typically, Resch writes his songs with pop or rock structure. When sitting down to make music, he draws on influences from previous experiences and the world around him. “It’s a combination of me trying to access my inner vibes while also trying to push what’s possible in the studio. A lot of time that means reaching into the parts of my past and different parts of music,” says Resch. The result is always gloomy – a cloudy sky on a cool day. 

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Resch grew up listening to Bob Marley and Toots and the Maytals. His dad was a guitarist in a reggae band. From there, Resch’s interest in music graduated to alt-rock then pop, then indie rock, and eventually R&B. Traces of these influences are heard in the drumbeats of “Tropical Depression” or the smooth, soulful singing on “Summer Solstice.”

“My sound can conform to whatever influences from my past that I’m latched onto in that point in time,” says Resch, drawing from the atmosphere of the cities in which he’s lived. “Music and visuals are tied together for me. In my late teens, I was trying to be in different places to find the visual energy that I was looking for.”

Resch briefly lived in London and New York before returning to Pittsburgh. London’s gloominess matched how he felt on the inside. New York fulfilled his desire to seize the day. But Pittsburgh’s mix of old and new is where Resch drew much of his inspiration. 

“Through those experiences, I did find the aesthetic I was looking for, but when I came back to my city, I realized how much of my whole sense was cultivated by Pittsburgh,” he says. “It’s got this weird energy where it's gothic and classical, but it has a very proud and mystical vibe, right up alongside the blue-collar, working-class energy. I think that has influenced not just my music but me as a human being.”

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