SB.TV’s Natalia Jorquera caught up with The King Blues fresh off their European tour, Itch and Jazz talk arranged marriages, denting America and surprising fans with their hotly anticipated next record…
You’ve just finished your first European tour, how was that?
Jazz: It was a learning experience, it was tough, but a good kinda tough; playing to new audiences and winning them over, or at least attempting to win them over.
How was it playing to a European audience, Itch, you’re quite a wordsmith, did you find the language barrier caused a problem?
Itch: I think the music got to do the talking, I’m not sure if the lyrics came across; I think people were kinda confused, but that’s ok.
Jazz: They felt the passion we felt for our music and that got over the language barrier somewhat.
When choosing supports for tours and shows, how much involvement do you have?
Itch: Complete, 100% – it’s always us, we always try and bring in people from different genres, we want to keep it interesting, we don’t want to just tour with the same bands over and over again and become predictable. We like to use what we’ve got here to showcase new bands, bands that perhaps people ain’t seen before.
The Silcox and Eye remix of The Future’s Not What It Used To Be was playlisted as Zane Lowe’s hottest record in the world, what sort of response have you received?
Itch: We’ve always been cynical of remixes, I mean we’ve never even collaborated with another artists before, but when we put it on we were like fuck man, this is pretty cool.
Jazz: It gave us hairs on the backs of our necks. There is always a worry when you put a remix out that your audience wont take to it, but we ran with it and the response has been amazing.
You’ve never really stuck to one genre, with the success of the Silcox and Eye remix should we expect dubstep on your next album?
Itch: Maybe a little bit, I don’t think there will be any more than there was on Punk and Poetry, but it’s not like we’re going dupstep, that ain’t happening. We’ve done pre prod on our album and we’re going to go in and start recording it in December. Half the songs are already done, it’s sounding different again, I don’t think it’s what people are going to expect.
John Feldman is currently producing your next record, how did that collaboration come about?
Itch: I think someone showed him a YouTube clip last year and he was digging it, so he jumped on a plane and came over and we hung out at Bestival last year. For the past year or so we’ve been going back and forth doing some demos. In the past we’ve always stuck with one producer, so for us to go with someone else it was quite a big step, picking producers is kinda like an arranged marriage, cause you never really know how it’s going to be in the studio until you’re there. With Feld it has been cool, he understands the band, he understands where we are coming from, what we’re doing and he is also an activist musician himself, so he gets it.
You’re going to be recording the album in America, are you going to turn all American on us?
Itch: In America they make drums sound better than they do in the UK. The studios they have there are top, in the past and we’ve always turned the opportunity down, but this time I think we’re ready to take that leap. Ready to make an album where all the songs are as good as they can be, we’ve got time to experiment and make things sound right for once.
Are you interested in cracking the American market; is that something that appeals to you?
Itch: I want to make a dent in America and have people know who this band is. The more we travel, the more we learn and the more we question what we believe and it almost confirms what we believe as well. I do believe the world is a small place and that people are very similar – no matter where you go.
Back to Punk and Poetry, you’ve called it a protest album, what were you protesting against?
Itch: it was initially a protest album against the coalition government. When the Tory government came into power we felt we really needed to make a stand and to try to look forward and predict what was going to happen. When they came into power we knew it was only the beginning, that this was a government that was going to be making a hell of a lot of changes really quickly and for the worse for poor people.
You’re putting out the next record less than a year after Punk and Poetry, what are the major influences on this record? Maybe the London riots?
Itch: The riots are definitely on there, there are a lot of things on there, but with us we never try and look at the negatives and say ‘this is bad, this is going on’ – no-one wants to hear a lecture, it’s boring, who wants to put on a record and hear that? You want to put on a record and have something that can touch your heart, so that is kinda the idea with this record. I think the messages this time are a little deeper, this time it’s not as pow in your face, they’re not lyrics that can be written on a protest sign.
As artists, do you feel a certain degree of responsibility to speak about these types of issues?
Itch: I don’t think it’s my responsibility, if we were to go and make an album that had no politics on it, I think that would be absolutely fine. I don’t sit around listening Woody Guthrie all day; I like music that makes you shake your ass. I think for us as a band, The King Blues, we feel that it is a part of what we do, it’s not a responsibility, it’s just something that we are passionate about. It is something that riles us up and gets angry, and I think the anger is what drives this band and what gives us the focus to do what we’re doing.
The Future’s Not What It Used To Be (Remixes) EP is available on iTunes HERE
Interview by Natalia Jorquera