It was towards the beginning of the year – in March actually – that Highwire Daze caught up with Speaking The King’s at the world famous Whisky on the Sunset Strip. Just prior to their opening up for the mighty Iwrestledabearonce, we conducted an interview with all of the members in the dark stairway of the legendary nightclub. Since that fateful night, their Nuclear Blast debut EP entitled Here To Stay has seen the light of day, and Speaking The King’s is now ready to reign into the big leagues. In this interview, we discuss their signing to Nuclear Blast Records, their wondrously heartfelt songs, the triumphs and difficulties of being a band on the rise, and many other topics of interest. Read on as we sit in the dark to converse with Speaking The King’s…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Speaking The King’s, and what’s the most embarrassing song on your IPOD.
Bobby: Bobby, I sing. And the most embarrassing song I have on my IPOD is probably anything that has Justin Bieber in it. I listen to Justin Bieber and I’m not bummed out about it.
Will: My name is Will and I play drums in the band. My most embarrassing thing I have on my IPOD is probably going to be Call Me Maybe.
Mike: My name is Mike and I play guitar in the band – most embarrassing song is probably going to be either –there’s gotta be some Spice Girls on there or maybe some Ace Of Base. There’s gotta be something like that on there that I haven’t listened to in a while – just for reference.
Brad: My name is Brad and I play bass and I have you guys crushed – and I think it would probably be any of the Paris Hilton songs I have on my IPOD. (Collective groans from the band)
Justin: My name is Justin and I play guitar in the band. And I also have that Paris Hilton single – Something About Stars – I don’t know – it’s got stars in the name…
How did your recent show with Darkest Hour go and did you get to hang out with them at all?
Justin: It was great! They were really, really nice guys. We got to hang out with them a little bit beforehand. We hung out with them for a while afterwards as well. Really, really nice guys. Great experience! We’re big fans of the band – we’ve been listening to them for a long time – and it was cool to finally meet them and just see that they were actually really, really cool people – makes it that much easier for you to really like a band when you find out that they’re normal, cool people. No ego – none of that stuff – they were all just really cool, down to hang out – and just nice, nice people.
Have you ever played with Iwrestledabearonce before?
Bobby: Yeah, we played at Slidebar with Iwrestledabearonce – we got to open up for them there, too. It was a lot of fun. They’re really nice people – love them all.
What could we expect from a live Speaking The King’s show tonight?
Mike: You can expect a lot of energy. We put a lot of time and dedication into this band, and we really feel like it shows throughout our shows, because we actually interact with the crowd – we make eye contact – we try to get them involved as much as possible. Instead of being musicians on a stage playing, we like to think of ourselves as being kind of one with the crowd. We have a better show when people get into it – I mean, we have great shows all the time, but it’s just more fun when everybody gets involved.
Orange County is finally getting some bands signed. Heartist and At The Skylines are on Roadrunner and you guys are on Nuclear Blast now. How surprised are you to see that you guys are signed on to Nuclear Blast?
Mike: It’s straight up a trip, because I remember listening to Dimmu Borgir when I was going through high school and just a lot of Black Metal – and there was never one thought in my head while tripping out on the strobe lights on the DVD of just Silenoz shredding –and I’m like, “Oh yeah, they’re going to be our label mates! We always talked about –we figured if they ever came to town, it would be awesome to go to a show and throw on some sandals, tank tops and board shorts and be like “Label mates! Let’s hang out!” (Much laughter) But yeah, it’s definitely an honor. Nuclear Blast has been around for so long, and it’s just like a blessing in disguise. They know what they’re doing, and we trust them cuz they have the longevity and they have the roster – they’ve been there – they’ve done that and they know what to do.
Justin: I’m super stoked on being label mates with Meshuggah, because who doesn’t love Meshuggah?! Unreal, unreal.
Will: I’m super stoked to be label mates with Municipal Waste –a good thrashy band. It was kind of a surreal moment when you’re like, “Wait? Who’s on that label again? No shit!” It’s very much an honor.
Has there been any strange or unusual things happen on the road or at a show? Anyone do anything crazy onstage?
Justin: I’m constantly on the verge of falling over. I got caught by a couple of girls at Chain Reaction and by some people at the House Of Blues the other day. I lost my balance and would go backwards and there’s no stopping me! And luckily, one of our friends who takes pictures for us – Steve – kind of caught me. And the other time, I was going headfirst off the stage backwards, and these two girls in the front row caught me – kind of because they had to – but thank God they did or it would have been a really rough night.
Bobby: I tend to step on everyone’s feet and take off their shoes onstage for some reason. I’ll jump off a box or I’ll walk behind somebody, and they’ll step back and I’ll end up taking their shoes off. It’s kind of bad – it happens at almost every show. It’s not gonna happen tonight though – I promise.
Brad: Actually the exact same thing happened in the filming of our music video Casanova too. Shoes ripped off our feet somehow…
Tell me about that song Casanova and what inspired that.
Bobby: I wrote that song a little while ago. I’ve always loved the song and I really wanted to use it for a band that was going to do something with it – so I’m thankful I was able to do it with this.
Mike: It’s honestly what the video depicts. It’s about promiscuity, but it’s kind of like when you see that one person – even if you make a glance at them – just by looking at them, you can tell that you have that fire within for each other. Just a simple gesture or a couple words and you know that you are head over heels and so you have a connection within. So that’s what it is in a nutshell. The video makes it look a lot more vivid, but we had a blast filming the video and we think that it definitely gets the point across with the lyrics and everything else.
Pick one more song – maybe a newer one you’ll be playing tonight – and what inspired the lyrics.
Bobby: Tearing Down The Walls is one of the songs that we’ll be playing tonight. That song means a lot to me personally. We have a lot of people who tell us that there’s no point in doing this anymore – it’s so saturated – it’s the same thing – it’s hard to make a name for yourself. And that song is kind of in a way sticking it to all those people and saying, “We’re here. We’re doing this right now. We’ve built and we’ve destroyed and we’ve loved and lost and we’ve had to rebuild again.” And that’s basically what the song is about – just rebuilding from the bottom the same thing that you’ve been doing over and over and over.
Justin: It’s called perseverance. Don’t give up. When a little adversity is shown, don’t give up! Keep on going and do what your heart desires. Nobody can take that away. Until you know for sure that whatever you are trying is impossible, just keep on going at it. Hard work – dedication – all of that stuff. It’s very cliché sounding but it’s a very real thing for us. We’ve all built and seen things fall apart playing music for however long we’ve been playing. It’s rough sometime to watch things you build with your bare hands essentially – you put your blood, sweat, heart and soul into something – and to see it fall apart sometimes in really unfortunate. It takes a toll on you after doing it for so long.
And you’ve all been in other bands in the past that have fallen apart?
Justin: Yeah, yeah, which is why we’re all here thankfully.
Brad: I think something that’s really important – to me, there’s nothing worse when a band makes it seem like being in a band is miserable. But with that said, it’s really, really difficult. We work really, really hard. We spent a lot of money, we spend a lot of time, a lot of effort – and we give up a lot of things, which that’s no secret. But the reward is incredible! I think that’s part of what the song is talking about too – working extremely hard and trying to break through to that other side where – it’s not about money or any sort of fame or whatever – but to where music is very rewarding – so it’s kind of what it’s about.
Bobby: It’s definitely about persevering – it’s about overcoming everyone and everything and doing what you love to do because you love to do it.
Speaking The King’s…! Speaking The King’s what?
Brad: If you finish the saying or however you put it, it would be Speaking The King’s English. But it’s actually not really the specific meaning of the term that drew us to calling ourselves that. It is actually taken from the movie Inglorious Basterds. There’s basically a really epic, huge turning point in the movie where a character’s cover is blown and he knows his life is going to end. And the whole scene is in German, and the only time English is spoken is when he breaks it and says, “Well if this is it old boy, I hope you don’t mind if I go out Speaking The King’s.” And he’s talking about English. And really, our band name isn’t as much about the literal meaning as much as it is how gigantic, epic, monumental and big it was to us – we couldn’t get away from it. It just seemed so enormous and that’s what we wanted our band to be – we want everything about what we do in this band to be larger than life.
Do you have messages for your fans out here in the Los Angeles / Orange County area?
Bobby: It’s been a long time coming. We have a lot to give you and we’re super excited to get this album done and get on the road and get everything going again. We want to thank everybody for sticking around and sticking by us – and hanging out for the however long we’ve been doing this – coming out to shows and liking out posts on Facebook. Even the little things like that means the world to us. We appreciate every little thing that they do definitely.
(Interview and Photo by Kenneth Morton)
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