Interview: Kings Kin at Café Kino, Bristol – 09/03/2019

Bristol’s fuzzy riff rock quartet Kings Kin drew in a hefty crowd at Café Kino for their slot supporting Burnout on 9th March. After being seriously impressed by the band’s intoxicating raw power and quality music, I grabbed the opportunity to have an informal chat in the café upstairs to find out more about the newcomers.

Alright! Tell me a bit about Kings Kin and the story of the band so far.

Joel: Harry and I went to school together and started to play a bit together during high school and sixth form. Then we both came to Bristol to uni for music purposes and jammed semi-regularly. At first, we were called Catastronauts and played one gig under that name. So yeah, we played around for a bit and had another guy on bass, but he broke his foot and moved back to Sweden. So then we got Robbie in on bass, and we’ve just been gigging around Bristol since.

How long has the band been going?

Joel: Full force, for about a year and a half.

Who are your main influences then?

Robbie: Mozart, mostly, for me, I’d say.

Joel: What about Chopin?

Any Rachmaninov?

Robbie: Don’t get me started on Rachmaninov!

Sean: Tchaikovsky is so underrated too…

Love it! Seriously, though?

Robbie: Royal Blood’s got to be a massive influence.

Harry: Queens Of The Stone Age, mate.

Sean: DON BROCO.

Joel: I’m gonna say Turbowolf, man. Hands down. Chris, the frontman, I just learned everything from him. He’s just so weird and so memorable!

Yeah, I love Turbowolf as well!

Joel: Our main aim is to support them at some point.

Robbie: Yeah, support Turbowolf, play Wembley and then we’re done, haha.

How do you go about writing the band’s music? What’s the process?

Robbie: *Pointing at Joel* He’s our writing process, mostly.

Joel: Sometimes, I’ll write songs on my own, but then, at other times, Sean’ll come up with a riff and we write around that. Seany is a riff maker. He is a carpenter of riffs.

Robbie: The Tony Iommi of the twenty-first century!

Joel: The bare bones of it is that sometimes I’ll write songs, sometimes Sean will write riffs and we’ll jam it. Robbie’s a sweet songwriter as well.

Robbie: Yeah, the first thing we wrote was Sean coming in with a riff and then we had a song.

Joel: The rest is history…

How much has the band gigged so far?

Robbie: We’ve been gigging a fair amount, but it’s only been around Bristol. We’ve got an upcoming gig in London, which is on the 23rd at The Beehive.

Joel: Yeah, and then we’re playing down in Torquay with LoveButter. Yeah we’ve been gigging around Bristol a fair bit, but we’re trying to branch out a bit now.

How have you found the Bristol scene?

Robbie: A lot of venues are really good because they put on gigs all the time, but a lot of other venues also don’t really know what they’re doing.

Joel: I think the best venue we’ve played at is The Crofters Rights.

Robbie: Yeah, it’s got to be Crofters.

Joel: I think Bristol’s sick. You get a lot of those weekly, local bands’ gigs at The Fleece or whatever, but it’s the gigs like this, man, downstairs in a café in Stokes Croft that are sick.

Robbie: I think we were all really surprised by today. I wasn’t expecting it to go anywhere near this well.

Harry: You’re also pretty much guaranteed to get a good crowd at Crofters as well, though.

Yeah, I’ve really liked Crofters every time I’ve been. What would you say your aims for the next year are?

Robbie: Become world famous!

Harry: We’ve got a new song coming out soon. We’ve already got one song on Spotify, ‘Walking Home’, but we’ve got the next one coming out probably around the end of April or in May.

Joel: Yeah, it’ll be around then. We’ve got a little B-side to go with it too. I guess our aim’s just to branch out and play elsewhere, trying to make a name for ourselves wherever we can. Play s****y little gigs anywhere.

Robbie: Yeah, we’ll build up the repertoire, play s****y little gigs in… like,Basingstoke, or whatever.

Joel: And Slough!

Yeah, you’ve got to play Slough, haha!

Joel: Yeah, we’ll play Slough, man.

Have you got any interesting anecdotes from your time as a band to share?

Joel: Our old bassist climbed up a tree, fell out of the tree, broke his ankle, moved back to Sweden to get an operation, and never came back.

Harry: Nah, it was a longboarding accident! He just went down a hill on a longboard, came off, broke his ankle…

Sean: He was talking about it for like two weeks, wasn’t he, about how he just wanted to longboard again.

Joel: I thought he fell out of a tree?!

Robbie: Nah, nah. He was climbing a tree, then he came back down safely from the tree, and then there was someone there with a longboard in this park with a very steep hill, St. Andrews park.

Joel: Wait, are you taking the piss? I thought he fell out of the tree!

Robbie: No, we were at the top of the hill, saw him come off and looked down, thinking, Yeah, he’ll be fine. He’ll get up in a second.’ And then a couple of minutes passed and he didn’t get up, so we legged it down there.

Joel: Woah, I genuinely didn’t know that. I really thought he fell out of a tree! That’s well funny.

Haha, unfortunate but certainly amusing. So what made you decide to do music?

Robbie: Well I’ve been playing the violin since I was six years old, so I’ve always loved music. I moved off the classical onto folk. Then, from that, onto guitar in secondary school, and decided, ‘F**k it. I’m not going to do anything at home’, so then decided to come to Bristol and study music where I met me boys!

Harry: I’ve been playing drums for, like, fifteen years. My dad bought me my first drum kit when I was little, and he said that if I got good he’d buy me a proper kit. So I got alright and he bought me a decent kit.

Joel: Yeah he’s still waiting on that proper kit from his dad, haha.

Robbie: Any time now!

Sean: I was about twelve years old, addicted to video games, man. Dad was like, ‘You need to get off them video games, man. Do you want to learn to play guitar?’ So I was like, ‘Yeah, alright. F**k it! It can’t get any worse.’ He bought me a s****y, twenty quid guitar, and I turned out to love it. I gradually weaned myself off video games and onto guitar. Got me off the X-Box!

Joel: I kinda played guitar for a long while, but was always more into the production side of music – I came to Bristol to study that at UWE. It’s just fun, man. The best thing about the band is that, even know, it’s not about the destination of ‘making it’ – the journey’s just so much fun.

Sean: Awhhh! That’s so CHEESY, man…

Robbie: No, it’s true, though.

Joel: We can do gigs like this for the next two years, and I’d be well happy. It’s fun, man.

Robbie: It is fun. As much as stress as it is, like earlier on today was, getting all the gear down and all that. It is stressful, but it’s so worth it.

Joel: But all the big bands say that the best years were slumming it, trying to make it anyway.

Robbie: It’s those twenty or thirty minutes on stage, where you’ve got a crowd and it’s fun. To quote Patrick Duff, ‘I become the crowd!’

Joel: Who’s Patrick Duff?

Robbie: He’s a lecturer at BIMM, haha.

That’s great to hear. Finally, what’s your one favourite part of making music?

Robbie: Shotgun not first!

Seam: It’s a bit like a game, isn’t it? Y’know, I keep coming back to video games, but it’s true! You just want to keep coming back to it.

Robbie: One of Joel’s songs actually came from a project he’s doing at uni, making music using 8-BIT. He came up with a little riff and decided that it was too good to waste, so he whacked it over to the guitar and it’s now the B-side for the new single.

Joel: Yeah, I love it, man. It’s just addictive.

Harry: It’s addictive and it’s fun.

Robbie: Once you get a taste for it, there’s nothing quite like performing in front of people. I used to play in orchestras, and I always thought there’s nothing like that, but playing in a rock group in front of a crowd of people who love that music… There’s nothing quite like it.

Joel: Yeah, straight into me veins. Straight into me veins.

Definitely! Anything else you’d like to add?

Robbie: Yep. Riff rock and cheesy jokes!

Joel: We’ve got a single, ‘Walking Home’ on all streaming platforms. It’s even on Deezer, if you listen to that. I don’t judge!

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