PHOTO CREDIT: Juan José Ortiz Arenas
The King’s Parade
I think I reviewed/interviewed the boys of The King's Parade…
a couple of years ago – but they have accomplished a lot since then! I thought, that being said, it was worth checking back in and seeing how things were shaping-up. They talk me through the single, Mother Tongue, and what it was like filming the video. Haze, their new E.P., is getting tongues wagging and picking up a lot of buzz – I ask the band how they are taking the acclaim and whether they have grown in confidence since their debut-days.
Looking ahead; the chaps reveal tour dates and what we can expect; the music that has inspired all of them and, as I had to ask, where that band-name comes from. They discuss how the band came to be and what kind of music they take inspiration from.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Pretty swell. We’ve had a busy week of recording - and we’re preparing for a secret gig in Central London this Thursday!
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
We’re The King’s Parade: a four-piece Alt/Soul outfit from London. We’ve been jamming and living together for four years - and have just released our second E.P.!
Mother Tongue is your new song. What can you tell me about the song and how it came together?
The song came about after going back home for a bit to clear my head.
I grew up in France, and heading back there and seeing where I grew up, reminded me how much has changed over the years. Mother Tongue is about realising you’re losing touch with where you came from. It’s always difficult to get the balance right between moving forward and sticking to your roots.
Ultimately, the person you were will always be within you and it’s important to be aware of that.
The video, shot in black-and-white, looked like it was quite fun. Are videos something you enjoy doing as a band?
We love making videos!
it’s always exciting to see how we can translate what we do musically to film - and we get to work with some amazing people. The difference with this video is that it’s the first time that we’ve shown our faces.
We’ve always been slightly sceptical about doing it because we’re a bit camera-shy, I guess…it felt like the right time (and song) to do it for.
Mother Tongue is taken from the E.P., Haze. It has gained huge praise and featured on some impressive radio stations. Did you expect it to do so well and why do you think the E.P. speaks to so many people?
We’ve been overwhelmed by the response so far...
Of course, we were hoping people would like it as much as we do but it’s always amazing to see how much music can affect people and move them. The more you write and share music, the more you realise that the things you’re writing about are feelings shared with so many people - even the tracks that seemed so personal to you.
We can’t wait to show our fans what we’ve been recording this summer.
Are you looking ahead and writing new material? Are fresh songs forming or are you keen to tour this E.P. first?
Fresh songs are forming all the time, which is great news…ha!
Sometimes, it’s hard to get the balance right between touring/playing and heading into the studio to record new tunes. Generally, though, we’ll know when it’s important for us to keep showing the world what we’re working on.
We don’t want to slow down at all!
Can you take me back to 2012 and your earliest days? How did The King’s Parade come together? Who chose the band name and what is the meaning behind that?
We all met at uni. in York.
Sam (Keys) and I did the same course (Music Tech) and we started playing together to make some cash on the side. We really liked the idea of starting something more serious and, soon enough, our courses were not our top priority. Sam knew Tom (Bass) from back home and Chris (Drums) was already playing with a few bands around town - so we poached him (haha).
Our first rehearsal was in Chris’ bedroom and we instantly all got along. The first song we jammed was Vagabond - and it ended up being the title-track of our first E.P. There’s never been any talk of stopping since then!
PHOTO CREDIT: Arie Van Der Poel
Choosing the name was a long process! We had all kinds of ideas including ridiculous anagrams using the first letters of our names. In the end, we chose ‘The King’s Parade’ because we always used to joke about how strict Chris was about rehearsal times. We would jokingly bow down to him and how we were his ‘Parade’.
Pretty silly really, but we love it!
In your music, I hear snatches of Detroit, Memphis and New Orleans; bits of Alabama Shakes and Leon Bridges. It seems America and its music has a big impact. Would that be fair to say?
Definitely fair to say!
We’re influenced by so many different musicians but we all have a common appreciation for Soul and Blues. The States have produced so many incredible voices and musicians.
We’re looking forward to the day we can bring what we do over there.
PHOTO CREDIT: Wunmi Budo
Who are the artists you all grew up to – before you came into music?
My mum was a Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Queen fan. My dad was into his Jazz and Blues - so he was listening to Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin; Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone…etc. In-between all this, I was listening to the Chilis, Linkin Park and Jeff Buckley. So, it’s fair to say, I was exposed to a fairly broad selection.
Luckily for me...it was only the good stuff.
Is it true you used to play on a Hawaiian cruise ship? How did you get roped into that and was it, like you cheekily allude to on social media, your Beatles ‘Hamburg days’ rite-of-passage?
Yes, it’s true!
It’s the first thing we did after we came out of uni. We wanted to make some money to move down to London - but we couldn’t face the idea of not playing together for that amount of time. We thought, the best thing to do, would be to apply to be the house-band on a cruise (and we got it!). Haha.
Well; it was definitely a rite-of-passage! The playing was non-stop and we had to nail a hell of a lot of tunes. Playing every night for three-months-straight definitely makes you tight, if nothing else!
Since then, you have done less impressive gigs like Secret Garden Party and some big festivals. Is touring and performing at big events something you all love doing? How important are these gigs when it comes to testing and strengthening your music?
Yep. It was all downhill from there!
Playing those gigs is what we work towards. It’s the best feeling. At the end of the day, you can’t beat the feeling of seeing people react to your music right in front of your eyes. Our fans are amazing - which helps a lot, too!
Listening back to your slightly old material like Vagabond (E.P.); it seems Haze, and your new single, shows you have incorporated new sounds and got tighter as a band. What would you attribute this to?
We all live together in London and play, basically, every day in a shed - in our garden. Over time, we’ve experimented with new sounds and ideas. The songs are evolving all the time - as all art does. With these progressions and changes come new sounds and textures.
PHOTO CREDIT: Wunmi Budo
Can we see you on tour anytime soon? Where might we be able to catch you?
We’re heading off to Germany at the end of the month for a few days to start touring our second E.P. We’ll be tackling the rest of Germany - as well as the U.K. - and others later in the year. You can check out all our live dates on our website.
Until then, we’re playing a secret show this Thursday in Central London (see Facebook) - and we’ll be playing an intimate show at The Hospital Club on 6th September - with some amazing friends of ours.
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Too many to name!
We have our own Spotify playlist - where we put up all the new artist we love listening to at the moment - and it’s updated weekly.
Go check it out on our Spotify page!
If you had to select the one album (each) that means the most to you; which would they be and why?
Olly: Jeff Buckley - Grace
Possibly the main reason I started writing and playing.
Sam: Ben Folds - Songs for Silverman
My brother introduced me to this and I became completely obsessed. I learned every part (not that I could play all the instruments...) which sparked an interest in recording when I tried to re-record the album by myself - not to be heard by a wider audience.
Tom: Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color
It’s just that one album I can listen to over and over again without getting bored: I learn something new every time I listen to it. An absolute cracker!
Chris: Radiohead - Ok Computer
The first album that really caught my imagination, lyrically.
What advice would you give to any new artists starting out right now?
If you genuinely believe in what you do: you have nothing to worry about. It’s a long road but persistence and hard work will get you where you want to be. If you love what you do, you’ll stop at nothing.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Olly: Go on then…Jeff Buckley - Lover, You Should’ve Come Over
Tom: Over My Head by Alabama Shakes (those vocals, though!)
Sam: Always love when this song comes on! A classic but, hopefully, this will introduce it to someone out there: Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac
Chris: Sweet. I'll go for Subterranean Homesick Alien by Radiohead
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