“We would like to support Little Comets!” – An Interview with To Kill A King

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I met up with Ralph, Ian and Jon from folk rock band To Kill A King at their Portsmouth support date whilst they were on tour with Dog Is Dead. We talk album recording, vinyl and Daft Punk covers.

Have you been to Portsmouth before?

Ralph: This is our first time in Portsmouth ever actually!

Any plans to come back to Southampton on your next tour?

Ralph: We’d like to! If tonight goes really well, then we’d like to come back this way. We’ve got a little tour in September/October sort of time.
Jon: We love The Joiners! Lots of cool bands flock there.

You’re headlining Koko in London soon!

Ian: We are, we’re sort of excited and shitting ourselves at the same time. That’s on 29th October. It’s been the first time we’ve done a sort of ‘tickets go on sale at 9am thing’.
Ralph: People set reminders on their phones and we got a message where they were like “I don’t get paid until the Monday afterwards, I hope there’s still tickets!”

Last time I saw you in Southampton was about a year ago, you’ve come a long way since then!

Ralph: I think more in the last 4 months especially. We were sort of doing the rounds and the Word Of Mouth thing definitely helped get it to the slightly next level! The last four months has been fantastic!

I think your videos are really cool, you clearly put a lot of thought into them.

Ian: Yeah we put a lot of thought into them, we do manage a lot of the angles and everyone gets involved in the band. With that sort of stuff, we feel like we’ve been doing them for ages but it’s only been in the last 4 months that it seems like sort of it’s twigged, that everyone’s like ‘wow’. So they’re finding all this backlog of stuff as well which is great!  Videos that we put hours of work in and they had 100 views for 6-8 months suddenly have shot up!

The video for Funeral especially reminded me a bit of Little Comet’s videos.

Ian: I’ve not seen their videos, but everyone keeps talking about them!
Ralph: We would like to support them! That can be the title of your article “We would like to support Little Comets”

They’d be a cool band to support, they’re quite a laugh!

Ralph: So are we! You’d never know that!

Festivals, you’re playing Reading and Leeds! Ralph and Ian you both went to uni in Leeds?

Ralph: We are yeah! At Leeds we both studied music. We were in a band called Kid iD
Ian: There was time enough with doing the course to just practise playing.
Ralph: There was time enough to do a full job and raise a kid! It wasn’t a particularly taxing course. Which is what Josh did!

Your album was out in February, it’s a really lovely album! Did you do anything for Record Store day at all?

Ian: We didn’t this year. Last year we did a thing which was Bastille’s remix of Bloody Shirt and our cover of Video Games. But our favourite store is Banquet Records, we’ve done a couple of in-stores there and they’re really nice. That’s in Kingston.

Any other Record Stores that you particularly like?

Ian: There is Jumbos in Leeds that I like!

Ralph: And Crash!

Jon: Truck is really cool, they do good coffees there!

Are any of your records on vinyl?

Ralph: We’ve gonna have vinyl out for the album soon! We’re in talks…

Jon: With each other!

What do you reckon about vinyl? I think it does warm up tracks.

Ralph: It’s interesting that when the CD came in, they said it was going to be the death of vinyl, but in the past two years vinyl sales have been going up and  CDs have been going down. CDs will die and it’s just gonna be online, but people always wanna buy something.

Jon: Vinyl is the highest quality you can get!

It’s a nice way to listen to music! For your songwriting process, I assumed Ralph you write the lyrics and go to the band with them?

Ralph: Yeah, I’ll write the lyrics and the chords and the melody. If you strip it back, it’s just acoustic guitar and vocals, that’s pretty much what I bring to the band. Then we’ll sit in a room together and arrange it together. When it works and feels good, once you get to the end bit and it’s all amazing, you forget about the painstaking process you went through to get there. There can be quite a few arguments and people switching parts and that sort of thing to get there but it’s fun!

Where abouts did you record your album?

Ian: All over the shop! We tried out a few different producers and went to some lovely studios: Konk, Rack, and State of the Art. We did that and some of those tracks ended up on the album, but we ended up using Ben our keyboardist, he ended up producing 2/3rds of our album! That we did all as one chunk over the summer.

Jon: The guy that engineered our album also engineered Dog Is Dead’s album, Mo Hausler. And Everything Everything.

They’re one of my favourites! Have you got any hot-tipped bands that you’re listening to at the moment?

Ian : Peter and Kerry are someone we did a living room gig with, ‘Sofa Sounds’, their album is great. They’re touring with Lucy Rose at the moment.

Ralph: Another band are Spring Offensive a well.

Daughter has done the new Daft Punk song cover. Are there any covers you’d like to do?

Ian: Is it the new one? I love that song!

Jon: Dancing Queen cover!

Ian: Ralph likes to pick songs with female vocals!

How did you come about touring with Dog Is Dead?

Ian: We’ve known them for a bit, we played with them about two years ago and sort of stayed in vague contact. Then we were playing in Nottingham and I was in a pub having a beer before the show, and I bumped into their manager. He asked me if we wanted to support them, and I said ‘yeah’! Quite often that sort of thing happens, and never follows through, but the next day he phoned us!

Thanks for your time guys, have a good gig! 

https://www.youtube.com/user/tokillakinguk

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