SXSW ’14 SPOTLIGHT | Blacklist Royals

By  | 

A couple of days ago, I was telling you about a band that would be returning to SXSW this year, so today I decided to tell you about another band that will make their way back to the SXSW stage next week: Blacklist Royals.


Formed in Huntington, WV in 1999 by twin brothers Nat and Rob Rufus under the name of Defiance of Authority, the duo relocated to Nashville, TN in 2004. It was around that time that the pair welcomed two new band members Eric and Danny, and decided to change the name of the band to Blacklist Royals. After winning the attention of Paper and Plastick Records (owned by former Fueled By Ramen founder, Vinnie Fiorello) with their 2006 self-released album “Born In Sin, Come On In” and their 2008 EP “Six Strings”, the punk-rock group released their first full-length album “Semper Liberi” (ndb: “Always Free” in Latin) in 2010.

With Nat on guitar and vocals, Rob on the drums, Eric on bass, and Jamie (who filled in for Danny after his quit) on guitar, the band got familiar with a lot of festivals stages including Vans Warped Tour in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2011, The Fest, or even the Heavy Rebel Weekender in 2008. After a fall out in 2011 because of a lack of new material and of excitement from Eric and Jamie over the musical direction the band was taking, Nat and Rob started fresh with two new band members, Dirk Mathews on bass and Brad Blanco on guitar. Now, after three years of touring the States, Canada and even Europe, the group is getting ready for the release of their new album “Die Young With Me”. Nat and Rob Rufus took a complete approach for this new album, which has been described as a “truly autobiographical collection of songs,” and a “personal and collective journey of love and heartbreak”, tackling, among other things, Rob’s fight with cancer throughout his childhood. “Every song is really personal and about a specific person or situation,” Nat Rufus shared. “It’s definitely a way different writing proceeds than our first record.”

With their DIY roots and die-hard spirit and love for music, the band managed to create a sound of their own and quickly grew a pretty strong fanbase (they recently reached more than 10,000 likes on their Facebook page) as well as the praise of media-giants like the LA Times and Fuse TV.

Most recently, Blacklist Royals released a lyric video for “Righteous Child”. The song is from the 7” EP of the same name that was released late November 2013 and which features two songs from the band’s upcoming album “Righteous Child” and “She’s The One”.

Blacklist Royals will be performing at the SXSW Official Showcase at Headhunters (720 Red River St.) on March 12th, and will then perform at the LIL Big Fest Party (March 13th), at the Big Picture Media Showcase on March 14th and finally at the Quantum Collective Southwest Invasion Party on March 15th. But until then, make sure to keep up with the band on social networks:






30-year-old writer, photographer and design editor located in Bordeaux, France. I bring queer content everywhere I go :) Inquiries at