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INTERVIEW – Kent, Mike, and Sander of King Loses Crown – February 2013

| 19 February 2013 | Reply


King Loses Crown.  Haven’t heard of them?  Too bad.  But trust me, you will.  These guys put out one of the strongest EPs I have heard in a long time.  They recently took a little time out of their schedule for us…

ToddStar: If it is okay, I would love to jump right into discussing your newest release, You Can’t Escape.  I find myself keeping it in my normal rotation of albums I am listening to ever since I first heard it.  What can you briefly tell us about that disc, that most people may not know on the surface?

Kent: This EP is the result of a lot of work! Mike and I wrote over 40 demos and chose the six that we felt were worthy to release to introduce people to King Loses Crown.

ToddStar: Several songs are very strong.  Are there any favorites of yours that you find yourself going back to?  Any you wish came out sounding different?

Kent: I kept hearing “My Revenge” in my head every time the SF Giants would come back to win at every stage of the playoffs and the World Series!

Mike: “My Revenge” is a good fight song but my favorite from the EP is definitely “You Can’t Escape” because it feel like it encompasses all of the elements of our sound into one track. And because we produced the album ourselves we were able to be picky about every piece of it, so it it’s on the album it’s because it turned out the way we wanted it too.

Kent: We are  definitely 100% happy with the way the record sounds, and that largely because we were able to record and produce it all ourselves.

Sander: My personal favorite is the title track, “You Can’t Escape.” To me it blends all the best aspects of the band and represents one of the most mature arrangements. I like the dynamic range, the unexpected electro bridge breakdown, and the blood curdling scream. There’s a “best rock and roll screams” list somewhere… can we try to get on it?

ToddStar: Regarding You Can’t Escape, were any of the songs easier to write than others?  You often hear about an artist that sat down to write a song and that essentially the song wrote itself.  Were any of the songs difficult to get out?  If so, which?

Kent: I think “Your Blood” came out the quickest. We put that song together in a single rehearsal and it hasn’t changed much since that night. “The Happiness Conspiracy” took the longest to finish – once we started recording it, we realized that we wanted to tweak it some more.

Mike: The finished version of “The Happiness Conspiracy” sounds drastically different from the original demo.

ToddStar: Are any of the songs being better received than others?  I know the critics and reviewers speak of their favorites, but what are the fans and live crowds reacting positively to.

Kent: People seem to really connect with “You Can’t Escape.” “My Revenge” has been popular too, largely because of the brilliant Robots video that Jim Mitchell put together for us.

Mike: “My Revenge” absolutely gets crowd reaction because people have seen the video before seeing us live.

Sander: I’ve heard a lot of good feedback for “Your Blood” as well.

ToddStar: If you had to describe the sound of King Loses Crown to someone who had never heard of you, how would you do that?

Mike: Devo Vs. Killing Joke Vs. Depeche Mode in a fight to the death in the Thunderdome.

Sander: Yep.

ToddStar: When performing live, how do you guys come up with enough songs to fill a set list?  Are there covers or older track not on your latest release that fill those spaces between your own tracks?

Mike: We have a ton of other tracks to pull from fortunately, we wrote over 40 original tracks before we recorded this EP. So we pull from those and throw in the occasional cover.

Kent: We currently cover “Merchandise” by Fugazi – a band that all three of us love. We also make sure to throw in an original of ours called “Fight, Fuck, and Bleed.” It’s one of our oldest songs that we’ve played at pretty much all of our shows.

ToddStar: If you had to pick possible pairings for an ideal tour, what other bands would you like to see King Loses Crown out on the road with?

Kent: Rammstein. Ministry. Rob Zombie.

Mike: Those plus, The Deftones, Queens of the Stone Age, The Faint, Refused, Quicksand – This list could get really long.

Sander: Ditto the above. Would add She Wants Revenge, and anything Trent Reznor might cook up next.


ToddStar: What is next for King Loses Crown? Any plans to record anytime soon or is there going to be a big tour cycle surrounding You Can’t Escape?

Kent: We’re playing SWSX at the Texas Rock Fest, Friday, March 15th at 6:30pm on the corner of 7th and Neeches in Austin. We’re looking to tour this year and hopefully play some festivals. In the meantime, we’ll continue writing and recording.

ToddStar: Do you find any of the other arts affect your music or the way you approach writing, recording, or playing live with King Loses Crown?

Mike: Absolutely! Sci-Fi films and dystopian novels play a big part in the how we want King Loses Crown to sound.

Kent: We’ve felt that there is a cinematic element to King Loses Crown. It’s a similar feeling you would get watching The Road Warrior, Blade Runner, THX 1138, and a touch of the classic Twilight Zone shows.

Sander: I also think we’re a very design-focused band. From the sound, to the on-stage look, to the graphic design of our materials, I think we have a very focused look and sound.

ToddStar: What artists or bands influenced you in the beginning and created your want or the need to be a musician?

Kent: Some of the earliest music that I got excited about was 80’s punk like Suicidal Tendencies, Agent Orange, and Minor Threat. That same energy is part of the foundation of King Loses Crown.

Mike: For me it’s bands like Fugazi, Ministry, Refused and Prodigy that have been a big influence but there really was one moment, one show, that made me want to be a musician. Kent and I saw Death From Above 1979 together in 2005 and when I walked out of that show I swore to myself I was going to start a band.

Sander: The earliest foundation of my drumming comes from playing along to the first two Duran Duran records when I was a young teen. That was followed a couple of years later by the discovery of punk, my first foray into the pit at hardcore shows, and a deep dive into goth and darker music. Later on I discovered that metal music wasn’t necessarily the enemy. So that combination of dance, punk, hardcore, goth and metal was a pretty good foundation for the music of King Loses Crown. If I had to reflect on one particular show that was life-changing and relevant to our music, it was seeing Ministry at the Latin Quarter in Detroit in 1991. Chain-link fences, cauldrons of fire and the scariest pit I’ve ever seen. It felt like the apocalypse.

ToddStar: Are there any bands that are currently releasing music or touring that influence you personally or professionally?  What is the last CD/mp3 album you listened to?

Kent: I’m really into MSTRKRFT, and their style of production. Also, I’ve been listening to Mariachi El Bronx and really blown away by their level of musicianship and songwriting. The last record I listened to was Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works 85-92 – a brilliant record that still stands up today.

Mike: I really like the ††† (Crosses) EP’s, they create a really dark atmosphere. The Joy Formidable, Ritzy Bryan is an amazing performer/guitarist and their songwriting feels genuine and honest to those 3 people. The last album I listened to is the new Gallows album, there’s songs on that album that I wish I had written.

Sander: Agree with Mike on Crosses as well as Deftones. Seeing Quicksand execute an absolutely pitch-perfect, note-for-note execution of their 2 album catalog in SF last month after so many years was definitely an inspiration.

ToddStar: If there were one piece of music in the history of time that you wish you had written, what would it be and why?

Mike: “New Noise” by Refused

Kent: “The Autumn Wind is a Pirate” by Sam Spence, narrated by John Facenda. Nothing gears you up for battle more.

Sander: Having just watched “Sound City” I would have loved to have been one of the artists that recorded there in the 70’s or 80’s.

ToddStar: What is the meaning of life?

Mike: To make it meaningful.

Sander: Relish every moment. This one life is all we get.

Kent: To Rock!

Mike: Yeah, that too.

ToddStar: Other than making sure everyone checks out your website and Facebook, are there any other current projects or sites you would like to promote?

Kent: – support sustainable seafood and fishing practices – there are literally only so many fish in the sea.

ToddStar: Thanks again for taking the time and we look forward to 2013 and more King Loses Crown!!!

Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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