Saturday, August 27, 2011

interview with NYC doomsters KINGS DESTROY

I'm particularly happy to feature NY's premier doomsters KINGS DESTROY here, because the band's debut "and the rest will surely perish" had been in my opinion one of the most promising of last year and the following interview with vocalist Steve is very cool. Indeed, beyond all interesting things he has to say about his band, this experimented, talented and very friendly guy gives us here a fantastic testimony about the evolution of NY's underground scenes throughout the last 20 years... So read and enjoy this one, there's lots of nice things to learn and remember... plus pay attention to his last words and you could easily win a FREE T-shirt !!! I'm sure this band 's gonna be major in a very near future, so be prepared for that, and as Steve precises it, the album can now be downloaded for free from their FB page, so don't hesitate a second more and experience some of the most original Stoner DOOM coming from the USA...

* About 8 months after the release of "and the rest will surely perish", what's your actual appreciation of this debut album ?
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by appreciation of the album. We've had a great response from everywhere in terms of reviews..all of the major blogs, Decibel, Village Voice etc etc. If you mean our own appreciation of the album from the bands perspective, i think overall we are happy with it. Its a great first look into the band and I think you can hear us finding ourselves in the studio. Even though we have all recorded in our previous bands many times before, playing slow is a totally different experience. Luckily Rob (drummer) has had some experience in his old doom band The Begotten which put out an album on Man's Ruin records. If you put my feet to the fire(american expression), i think we were a little conservative on the record overall and we realized it almost immediately and the new stuff is not conservative. Reviews are great but we play for ourselves!

* The production by Sanford Parker is truly remarkable, how did it happen to have him like producer ? I guess his experience helped you to find your sound, that particular atmosphere ?
 Sanford was great to work with. He flew in from Chicago and lived with us for 10 days while we recorded in our friend Rob Grenoble's Studio Water Music. Its one of the biggest and best recording studios on the East coast of the US. Sanford is just easy to work with. He came into our practise space, listened to us play for an hour, had a few opinions and then we were in the studio. He is a total pro and we all worked our asses off to get the tracks down. He asked us if he could take the tapes back to his studio in Chicago to mix it and we were fine with it. He has a great ear. I think a lot of what he does these days is more on the aggressive side of metal than KD but its pretty clear he understands how to get a deep aggressive sound out of a band. We highly recommend him.

* Some of you have a HC background, your band's name sounds more HC than doom or stoner, you come from NY too and finally still mention this style in the musical genres that you play (although I honestly don't find any special HC influences in your songs, except maybe the final part of "old yeller" ) anyway don't you think that could lead to a bit of confusion for some potential (metal) fans?   Our roots are in the NYHC CBGB's scene. Since I wasn't in Killing time, i'll be happy to tell you that Carl (KD Guitarist) and the boys in Killing Time were some of the pioneers of bringing metal into hardcore in NY back in the day. We were seeing bands like St Vitus/Painted Willy/Gone/ The Melvins/Black Flag etc etc Even though we played hardcore, we had and have a deep respect for all things metal.We listened to more Slayer and Metallica than hardcore even back then. Having said that, bands like the Cro-Mags and Leeway were playing some serious metal and touring with bands like Motorhead so I don't us hardcore is very metal from our era. As for our name,it's quite simple...a lot of us lived in the Bronx. We couldn't afford Brooklyn or Manhattan so we lived in the Bronx. One of the biggest Graffiti gangs in the Bronx at that time was called Kings Destroy. It was lead by a guy named Cope. In the NYHC scene at that time graffiti and hardcore crossed over..there was a lot of mutual respect between those 2 worlds so we honored the taggers by naming the band after the Bronx's greatest grafitti crew.

* Quite many quality live videos of Kings Destroy can be viewed on youtube but now there's an official clip for the song "the mountie", with ha very nice result, is it all your idea and self-production ? In the second part especially I feel a different guitar sound from the album, more psychedelic, right or is that the product of my smokey imagination ?  
We are fortunate to have some very talented friends in the film industry. For "The Mountie", our very good friend and Carl's lady Lucia Grillo wanted to do that video. She is a gifted filmmaker and has shown short films at the Cannes Film festival etc. We gave her complete artistic freedom to do what she wanted with the song and we were very happy with it. We like to see how people interpret our music and we respect peoples artistry in adapting the music to a different format such as film.  The Mountie was written in the vain of a French tragicomedy Corneille or Racine. Its about a real life figure in our lives whom we made up a story about. He has a sad hard existence but in the end rises up to reach his glory/potential while at the same time dying for a cause that he believes in--all dressed as a Canadian Mountie....true story.

* Have you been satisfied with the work of The Mapple Forum for the release of the album ? Have you been contacted by some other (bigger) labels, what's gonna happen for the next release ?
The Maple Forum is an offshoot of the Doom/Stoner Blog "" JJ Koczan is the sole proprietor of the website and the label. When Kings Destroy first got together I sent him an email telling him who we were and he wrote about us. As it turns out he really liked the band and we were not interested in a big label at the time. He became a great friend and does it all, he runs the label, he runs his blog and he plays in bands (Maegashira,Myclops) He is a great, humble, super smart guy with an even greater wife. We knew he was the guy to put the album out and he accepted immediately when we asked him. As for the next album, we are definately open to a "larger" label and have had some interest though I cant say whom or how. If people are interested in the next album, they should get in touch with us. It is a hot topic of conversation within the band right now. Europe especially interests us.

* I would qualify your style as an hybrid form of traditional doom mixed with mid 90's stoner, do you situate K.D. in one scene more than the other or you absolutely don't care about that ? Through your experiences and feelings do you feel both scenes must be distinguished ?
We just wanted to start out playing slow, super heavy and with melody. We dont ascribe ourselves to any scene. We know the guys in Winter and have been friends with them for awhile and our old band Minds Eye played with Kyuss in 1993 at CBGB's there were probably 50 people there to see us and no more than that to see them haha. Funny how things change. To be honest, scenes are limiting and we want to be open to playing with anyone and for any genre of fan to see us. We played a hardcore show with Ringworm a few weeks ago and it went great. it seems we are a lot more animated on stage than a lot of doom /stoner bands. Our lyrics have a message and i guess we cant get away from our hardcore roots when it comes to playing live. Thats just who we are. We like to bring it onstage. 

* The only problem I have with your album is about its too short duration, seriously I 'm always amazed that 45 minutes can pass so quickly, you need to change that for the new album !!! How is it working on new songs, don't you feel a bit of pressure ? 45 min seems like the right length for us. We keep our songwriting pretty stripped down in general. Probably because we are used to writing 3 min hardcore songs so 5 minute songs seem like an eternity!! We haven't written the 10-12 minute song that a lot of Doom bands have and that doesn't seem to be who we are..who knows though we have been doing a lot more experimenting in the practise room !

 * Since the release of the album, if I'm not wrong, you've haven't played that many gigs but they were always with nice bands like Naam, Winter, ORange Goblin, The Gates of Slumber, Truckfighters... how was the response generally ? In september you have a small tour planed with Shroud Eater, a great opportunity to play in other (new) states ?
We have had some great times playing  with a lot of great bands..Winter, Apostle of Solitude,the gates of Slumber, The Brought Low plus all of the bands you mentioned. The band Shroud Eater is a great story, totally cool band from Miami, Fl. I sent them an email telling them we dug their sound and it just so happens the band was going to be down in Miami for a weekend as friends. Jean from Shroud Eater invited us to play so we show up and play in was awesome. We also met Tim from Hollow Leg there...great band , great guys check em out. Unfortunately Shroud Eater had to cancel the minitour up north but we got Borgo Pass from Long Island to step in. Another great band. We really enjoy helping other cool bands out. We know a lot of clubs in NYC and we are happy to put on shows ourselves if we like the band and they need help. NY is a hard place to play because there is so much competition every night . There are tons of shows going on. Thats what happened with The Truckfighters, they are well known in Europe but not so much in NY. Kings Destroy booked that show and we packed it out for those guys to come and play. We like the old DIY style...we help you, you help us down the road ( French bands included!!). But yes September will be cool and hopefully we will have a bigger West coast tour in the late fall. 

* You had the honour of playing with Winter for their first reunion-show just a few days before the Roadburn fest... This was in a small club in NY, the atmosphere was certainly particular that night, how did you enjoy that ? I suppose you knew them before, as they are mentioned in the thanx list of the album, certainly not as an influence !?
Yes Winter invited us to play a small show right before their Roadburn appearance. The venue is crowded when there are 75 people there. That night there were over 200. It was awesome . Stephen from Winter has been a great friend to Kings Destroy and we like them a lot. Ill tell you what we love about Winter. In 1991 those played about 20 shows, maybe 30 in NY ...No one was doing what they were doing back then. Everyone in NY was playing fast and metallic almost the original metalcore. We knew who they were and we respected what they were doing. Remember we were a little different than your normal NYHC kid back then. We loved to see St Vitus or Sleep or The Melvins. so Winter may not have been a direct influence but certainly they are an indirect influence and we consider them friends. We are thrilled with their recent success.
* Did you receive good reception from Europe ? What would be the most exciting if you come down here in the future ? 
We have received only positive encouragement from Europe. One of our main goals as a band is to tour Europe and hopefully that will happen in 2012. We are all of European heritage (Swedish, Polish, Irish, Italian) and I have a very close relationship with France so lets make it happen!! 

* Anything to add (merchandising...) ?
Friend us on Facebook. You can download the album for free. Kings Destroy will give the first 5 readers of your blog who email us a free t shirt. We are all about supporting people like you who keep the scene alive and better. Thanks a lot for the opportunity to speak to you and your readers!!!/KingsDestroy


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