Destruction Of A King: Tearing It Up DIY Style
Destruction Of A King presents a lethal amalgamation of hardcore, punk and metal in the grand and glorious DIY tradition. The Los Angeles based collective has just unleashed their third testament of tunes entitled DOAK – and recently played an off-the-hook record release show at White Oak Music & Arts. Fans of bands such as The Ghost Inside and Stick To Your Guns will surely want to check out what the dynamic DOAK has to offer the world at large. Prior to their devastating set at WOMA, we caught up the the entire Destruction Of A King assault force to discuss their brand new album, the lyrical content. and tearing it up DIY style. Read on…
Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in the band.
Justin: I’m Justin and I play bass in the band.
Alex Portugal: Alex, vocals.
Diego: Diego, guitar.
George: George, guitar.
Alex Olmedo: Drums.
Where are you guys from and what is the music scene like there for people who aren’t aware?
Alex Portugal: For the most part we’re from the LA area, we have members from the OC area, Whittier, Chino Hills and La Puente. As far as the music scene, we think it sucks right now. It’s not like how it used to be when we were younger. Now it’s about playing a show with your specific genre and we feel back then, when we were 16,17,18 you could mix all the genres. You could have metal and hardcore bands all on one bill and it was a lot more fun. That’s just my opinion.
How does this new album DOAK compare to the other two?
Diego: I feel like we really took our time on this album. It took what, four years to put this album out? A couple of songs were written in a certain state of mind and then the last couple of songs were in a completely different mentality. I feel like you see growth in certain songs. Some songs are just talking about dumb shit, some songs are more real. I feel like we really poured ourselves into this album, lyrical and musical. We try and push ourselves a little bit more.
How easy or difficult to release these albums on your own?
Justin: I think most of the difficult part is the promotion. We have to self promote it, we don’t have a label backing us. We don’t have ads, marketing so it’s all on our own. Other than that, it’s not too bad. What stopped us from putting it out was the recording. Just the marketing aspect I think is the most difficult when we’re trying to put an album out. Trying to promote it and get it in every kids hand it can possibly get in.
Alex Portugal: I think DOAK is pretty prideful in being DIY. We showed ourselves that back in 2010 when we made an EP, make money off it and toured by ourselves. We did that with the second release, and with a third release coming there were a few labels we talked to but it wasn’t anything we couldn’t do on our own. Just because you have a label doesn’t mean that everything is just going to be amazing for you, so we did it DIY. We were fine with it. But in the end, we can always use more help but at the same time we have a pretty loyal fan base and it helps us out a lot, so shout out to the fans!
Let’s talk about some of the songs. The lyrics are pretty powerful. Select any two songs – what inspired the lyrics?
Alex Portugal: One song I’ll talk about “I Still Fly” – on our 2010 release we had a fairly popular song called “I’ll Keep Flying.” That was about my mom, I always talk about it on stage that she supports what I do. She’s helped us out before financially with merch and stuff when we had nothing to put in. “I Still Fly” is a song about my dad, so for me that song meant a lot because now I have a song for my mom and a song of my dad, which we actually shot a music video for. There’s pictures of all of us with family members, so that song means a lot to me. It also touches into my grandpa’s life, my dad’s dad. He was the one that got me into music. He gave me all of his equipment before he passed away. A song on the complete other side of the spectrum, “Fuck The World.” That’s a song we just had fun writing. We had everyone collaborate lyrically with that, the two emotions a human can feel the most is love or hate. That song is either you love it or you hate it. The lyrics are pretty in your face and you probably shouldn’t show your mom or dad. But, that’s our way to have fun. It’s worked for us and we just like to make a few jaws drop.
There are some pretty jaw dropping lyrics on this, that’s for sure. What kind of reaction have you had from some of the graphic lyrics?
George: I think people who have been listening to us since the beginning know that it’s stuff we’ve been doing for a while. Those songs that are on the album were written back when we were still in that same stage, I guess. Like Diego said, that state of mind, where we were feeling that lyric wise. It’s been – people have always either liked it or hated it. They either like us a lot or they don’t really care. (The lyrics’s) don’t have to be all like every message has to be positive or like – powerful. I think it’s the same response we’ve always been getting about those kind of lyrics. They like it or hate it.
If you guys could tour with any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Justin: Deftones, for sure. It’s my favorite band.
Alex Portugal: I’d say AC/DC, best rock band ever.
Diego: I’d say Deftones. I’ve been listening to them since middle school. I’d cry if we opened for them.
George: I’ll be that guy and say Metallica, because they’re fucking Metallica. That’s all you need.
Alex Olmedo: I’ve never thought about it, but I’d say what they said.
What can one expect from your show here tonight at White Oak Music?
Alex Olmedo: New songs that we haven’t played.
George: Good times. It’s going to be fun.
Justin: A lot of hip hop energy. We like to incorporate that into our live performances. At least I do.
Alex Portugal: Yeah – we don’t have really have the choreographed dips or trying look to tough and stuff. Honestly, we like to dance so if we feel something in a song we’re moving our body. We’re not going up there and trying to act like we’re tough, we just like to have a good time. We want everybody else to have a good time. If they’re into it, they’re into it. If they’re not, that’s cool.
Justin: We’re not standing in front of a mirror being like, alright you do this and you do that. We’re just feeling the music.
George: We’ve been in that past stage where we all try to do that – all doing the same thing at one point, not only are we too old and too tired to be jumping around for the entire set. Like he said, we just feel it. You might see some moves you don’t really see people doing to hardcore music.
Whats up next for you guys?
Alex Portugal: Before the album we weren’t too sure what we were going to do with the band. We’re all growing up, but we’re still pretty young. Most of us – the average age is 23/24. Life happens, some of us are getting married. Some of us have family stuff going on, financial, just like any other human. We love playing shows, just because we’re in a band doesn’t mean we need to tour year round. We do have some tours coming up, we haven’t announced anything yet. We’re trying to do the US then hopefully go overseas but do it financially right. We’re not stopping. We’re going to keep writing music. Just because we’re not touring year round doesn’t mean we’re not around. You’ll keep seeing us. There will be another record. We’ll keep going until we die.
Members: Alex Portugal – Vocals, Diego Figueroa – Guitar, George Gonzalez – Guitar, Justin Marino – Bass, Alex Olmedo – Drums
(Interview by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)
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