This post is a *little* late but technically it wasn't my fault. I was lucky enough to interview Ralph and Grant from To Kill A King earlier this year, for NTU's FlyFM. For whatever reason my article wasn't posted on FlyFM's website, so I have decided to be a little naughty and post it here, because I loved meeting the guys and was/am proud of my interview (they give good chat haha)...
On Thursday 18th January, the Bodega welcomed the highly talented, To Kill A King. The London-based 5-piece have recently released their new album, The Spiritual Dark Age, after a couple of years away. I met with Ralph and Grant from TKAK to talk more about the album, the creative process and their in-band fist fights.
|The guys from 'To Kill A King' looking smart|
Photo credit: http://clashmusic.com/live/to-kill-a-king-and-misfires-play-our-clash-x-metropolis-studios-event
Fans have seen them play numerous gigs across the UK, including in frontman, Ralph Pellymounter's home town of Leeds and To Kill A King are also set to take their tour across Germany in March, on their ‘Compassion is a German word’ tour. “We love our German fans”, Ralph and guitarist, Grant, told Fly Fm just before they went on to play their set. They also love their Patreon supporters. Patreon is a service which allows fans to fund the band, in a way. You can choose to give $5 to $50 a month. It’s a mutually beneficial service whereby the funding is rewarded with exclusive recordings, podcasts etc.
As for Nottingham, it’s not the band’s first time here. They have played Splendour festival in the past and were back again last summer to play the ‘Dot to Dot’ festival. They said they thoroughly enjoyed ‘Dot to Dot’ and it helped them grow their fan base here in Notts, so let’s hope they’ll be back again soon. [They will actually be back at Splendour this year and I am hoping to catch their set!]
When asked how creative differences in the band were solved Ralph was quick to say they regularly had fist fights, but luckily he was only joking and the band are much more democratic and peaceful in their decision making. Someone who does have fist fights (probably) is a cage fighter who attended one of their shows, stripped off and proceeded to slow dance with their drummer, Josh Taffel. The guys said that was one of the wildest things to have happened at their shows.
There is an online series called ‘Ralph Gets High’ which isn’t actually as controversial as it sounds. The band take themselves to higher environments, such as the Emirates Skyline in London, and play songs acoustically there. The next instalment sees them inviting all their friends to join them on a rooftop to perform a ‘To Kill A King’ song, much like their previous cover of ‘Choices’ which they did a few years ago now with Bastille and Emily Wood, amongst others.
Dan Smith from Bastille recently tweeted Ralph, asking if To Kill A King would like to join them on their Reorchestrated tour but unfortunately, the guys couldn’t confirm whether this was going to happen and Ralph said he “hasn’t received an official offer yet”. Again, when asked about his much anticipated project with Dan Smith, Annie Oakley Hanging, Ralph apologetically remained tight-lipped. Watch this space to see which TKAK/Bastille collaborations will or will not happen. [I can tell you that the collaborations totally happened and they performed 'Cut Her Down' at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the 'ReOrchestrated' tour, and there is a planned 'Annie Oakley Hanging' album in the pipeline.]
On stage all five members were incredible. Such talent! It was so nice to see huge smiles on their faces and lots of jumping around and genuine enjoyment radiating from the band. Grant was so enthusiastic he managed to break two guitar strings in quick succession, much to Ralph's amusement. It was nice to see a varied age range in the crowd too as it demonstrates the band’s wide appeal. They performed a lot of songs from the new album, like 'Good Old Days', 'My God and Your God', and of course 'Spiritual Dark Age'. They also performed older favourites like 'Bloody Shirt' and 'Funeral'. Both songs I adore.
After the gig, the guys all hung around to sell merch and talk to fans, some of whom had travelled as far as Ohio to be there.
The new single ‘No More Love Songs’ has had air play on Radio 1 which is exciting and Huw Stephens is a fan. Coincidentally, another band which have had their songs played on Radio 1 is Childcare, who were supporting To Kill A King on their UK tour. Childcare (Ed, Emma, Glyn and Rich) were fantastic. They were full of energy and seemed to love their debut Nottingham show. They really livened up the crowd, as did singer songwriter Soham De who came on before them.
Considering the album title, most of the songs are surprisingly upbeat. If you like good, loud music, you'll be kicking yourself for not being there. Unless of course you were there in which case well done you. *high five*
Psst..there is an upcoming 'To Kill A King' gig at the Omeara London on 28 May and they are being joined by the equally fantastic Charlie Barnes. It's all for a great charity called Music Support, so get yourselves down there!