Royal Pirates (로열 파이럿츠) is a Korean-American rock band debuted in 2013. The band consists of Kim Moon-chul (vocals, guitar), and EXSY (drums)
The group was formerly known as Fading From Dawn from 2004 with the guitarist-vocalist Kim Moon-chul, drummer Soo-yoon (later changed his stage name to EXSY) and bassist Richard Kim, Moon-chul’s older brother. They used to play at several Korean events in California, such as the annual Korean Festival in Orange County. After Richard’s death in April 2008 in a car accident in Pomona, California, they rarely played live anymore since they had no bass player. They changed their band name to Royal Pirates, as they could no longer be Fading From Dawn without Richard.
With their talent and originality thermos bottle parts, Royal Pirates gained fame on YouTube by uploading covers. In September 2008, Moon-chul and Soo-yoon posted their first cover “Time is Running Out” by Muse on their YouTube account. After that, they kept uploading rock versions of hit songs such as “Nobody” by Wonder Girls, “Mirotic” by DBSK, and “Circus” by Britney Spears, the latter reached 18 thousand viewers in just two weeks and was also featured on Britney’s homepage.
Their first original demo was released on the internet was “Royal Villain”. Soo-yoon’s song “Like Butterflies” was also released soon after.
In May 2009, Royal Pirates appeared on Korean News Channel YTN where they were presented as an independent rock band which became a new YouTube sensation, getting over ten thousand views with their powerful instrumentals and brilliant videos.
They covered the song “Sorry Sorry” by Super Junior in Spring 2009 and after the video was posted on the Korean website Cyworld meat tenderizer unseasoned, the band received an invitation from the writer of Star King to appear on their show. However, the band declined the invitation since they had “major conflicts with school” and “scheduling was difficult for both of [them]”. Also, they did not want to leave the image of a “Cover Band” to the world and to Korea.
James Lee joined Royal Pirates as a bassist in September 2009 and in October 2009, Royal Pirates appeared on KOME channel to introduce their new bassist.
In March 2010, Royal Pirates released the music video for their new original song and demo “Disappear”. They declared that “This is not the actual debut of Royal Pirates. This MV was made independently for the fans and also for promotion of the band.“
Royal Pirates made their Korean debut on August 25, 2013 at Inkigayo with their digital single “Shout Out”.
On January 15, 2014, Royal Pirates released their first EP in Korea “Drawing The Line.
On March 24th 2014 hydration fanny pack, Royal Pirates released their first album in Japan “Shout Out”, which also included English versions of the songs Shout Out, Drawing The Line and Fly To You.
Royal Pirates performed on several music programs as guests of Kim Kyung Rok of “VOS”.
The band also performed on a world tour with actor Lee Min Ho. As guests on the Reboot: Minho Tour, they performed at venues in South Korea, Japan, China and more.
On August 27, 2014, Royal Pirates released their second EP “Love Toxic”, which included the English versions of the songs “Betting Everything” and “You”. The band then later released a Taiwanese Deluxe version of their “Love Toxic” EP, featuring tracks from the “Drawing The Line” EP, as well as a Japanese edition, which included the Japanese version of the title track “Love Toxic”.
On November 30th, 2015 the 3 members of Royal Pirates returned with a 6 track EP titled “3.3”. Their title track “Run Away” was made into a music video. Member James Lee had a nearly-fatal freak accident prior to this comeback which made him give up the bass after 13 years bottle and glass. He returns playing the keyboard and programming which you can see in the MV of “Run Away”. Enik Lin of EDM group IAMMEDIC helped write and produce the track. He also can be seen in the MV as well as in the follow up MV for “Dangerous”.
James Lee announced his departure from the band on January 31, 2017 via handwritten letter on his Instagram account.
Published on official YouTube channel.