Guss Royall
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Guss Royall

Waterloo, IA | Established. Jan 01, 2012

Waterloo, IA
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Cedar Valley rock band Guss Royall unleashes new album New Year's Eve"

WATERLOO – It’s a new year with new opportunities for Guss Royall, a four-piece alternative rock band from the Cedar Valley.

After bagging the top prize — a $5,000 recording contract — at their first-ever live music contest in 2017, the band known for high-energy performances and blues-driven guitars will unleash their latest tunes on stage at Spicoli’s New Year’s Eve bash.

“People might say that rock is dead, but you can say a band like Guss Royall will resuscitate that,” said sound engineer Dylan Drake, who produced their album, “RunRun.” “It brings some life back in to the radio ... it takes a special kind of chemistry and special kind of group dynamic to pull those things off the way they did.”

Lead singer and guitar player Rich Budde and longtime friend and drummer Adam Damon began writing songs together in 2010. Since then, bass player Jason Willey and guitarist Michael Pittman have joined the group.

“It has just snowballed into what it is now,” Budde said.

In September 2017, Guss Royall competed in the Battle of the Bands hosted by Forte Studios in Boone. The group sailed past the first round of audience-based judging to the final round against five bands across the Midwest. A panel of musicians, inductees of the Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and an Iowa State University music professor scored each band’s performance.

Guss Royall swept the competition and nabbed the Forte Studios professional recording contract.

“There were so many other good bands there that we were so surprised we won,” Budde said. “When we went in, we really didn’t know what to expect.”

Josh Jacobsen, owner and manager of Forte Studios, said his goal is to put the Midwest on the map for music “instead of musicians going away to L.A. or Nashville.”

Guss Royall played one of their new songs live on Rock 108’s Noise for the Garage last Sunday.

“It’s really refreshing to work with a four-piece group that are all pulling a lot of weight into the collaboration and planning the songs together,” Drake said, who is a former bassist with the Marines Corps band in North Carolina. “To work with that group was a real treat as an engineer and producer. They really are the real deal. I really do think they’re going to go far. I believe in them and the music they’re making.”

Guss Royall’s steady rhythm and catchy vocals can be heard on the new album, and Budde said the band’s progression over the years also is a staple of the new songs.

“There’s a lot off new ideas on this record, but at the same time we haven’t strayed from the Guss Royall sound at all,” he said. “There’s more feeling and emotion behind every instrumental part and vocal parts — you can really tell we’re all on the same page musically and it’s the perfect amount of serious and fun.”

Their high-energy performances and stage antics have been attracting crowds and landing them on stage with some of the country’s top performers.

They took the spotlight ahead of internationally known Mumford & Sons during their 2015 Gentlemen of the Road tour’s stop in Waverly. Later that year, Guss Royall was set to share the stage with Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots fame, but he unfortunately passed away just days before.

In 2018 the band was on the roster for Waterloo’s “My Waterloo Days” celebration, the “Galactic Get-Down” music festival in Houston, Minn., as well as venues across Iowa.

The group is looking forward to more albums and shows in 2019.

“This is just the beginning for us,” Budde said. “This is the goal. This is what we’ve been shooting for.”

“RunRun,” as well as three other LPs, “Guss Royall Side A,” “Guss Royall Side B,” and “Fate, Pride, & Bowties,” all are available on Spotify and iTunes. - WCF Courier


Guss Royall - Side A (2015)
Guss Royall - Side B (2016)
Guss Royall - Live (2015)

Guss Royall - Fate, Pride & Bowties (2018)

Guss Royall - Run Run (2019)



Guss Royall is an Alt Rock band from Northeast Iowa. Having quickly gained notoriety in the top clubs in the area they've broadened their schedule to include some very successful appearances including in 2015 where they took part in Mumford & Sons' Gentlemen of the Road festival in Waverly, Iowa. Later that year they were to share the stage with Scott Weiland, but he unfortunately passed away just days before.

2018 saw Guss Royall join Waterloo Iowa’s annual celebration ‘My Waterloo Days’ at the Riverloop Amphitheater as well as being invited to play ‘The Galactic Get-Down Music Festival’ in Houston, MN.    

Currently, GR has three five song LP's out: Guss Royall Side A, Guss Royall Side B, and Fate, Pride, & Bowties (all produced with Michael Cutsforth, Mix Castle Recording) and an EP titled Run Run.

In late summer of ‘17 GR participated in their first and only ever battle of the bands hosted by Forte Studio (Boone, IA). After being judged by a board of some of Iowa’s most accredited musicians and inductees of the Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, they won. The prize was a fully produced album free of charge, which became 'Run Run' released Jan 1, 2019.

The goal is to get new music out and be heard! High energy live performances are their strong suite and they’d love the chance to play for you! If you'd like to hear Guss Royall's music, you can find all current recording's on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, etc. 

Band Members