For years I have been a fan of the music and the message that The King Blues broadcasts. As the years have gone by their sound has evolved, from band members leaving, to them splitting up and to their powerful and amazing reunion. Well if you didn’t know already let me gladly be the first one to tell you that the King Blues are back!
Some of you may know them for such songs as Save The World, Get The Girl, I Got Love, Headbutt, What if Punk Never Happened and more recently Off With Their Heads, but the gang is back with what looks to be an exciting new step in their career.
I was lucky enough to speak to the lead singer Itch, who kindly took the time to talk to me about touring, growing personally and as a band and what we can expect from the new album The Gospel Truth which hits the shelves on April 14.
So, Itch, you have just finished your most recent tour, how did it go?
It was wonderful, it felt very rewarding to be playing the first headline tour since we came back together. All of the shows were beautiful, it was nice to get back in the little venues and play in front of people’s faces. Just really enjoyable.
The new album, The Gospel Truth, comes out on April 14, what can fans expect?
It is a very different record, we haven’t really done anything like it before. Each album is different, I think that’s what has held us together. We wanted to change the formula. It still is the King Blues and it has been very fulfilling. We didn’t want it to be a throwback, or a ‘do you remember that band’ album, we wanted to go for something a bit different. The album is really about my journey through 2016 and about all the things that happened in my life.
When I was younger I knew everything and as I have gotten older I realise there is still a lot I don’t know and it is kind of about that. When we released Off With Their Heads it was very quick and now we are going for the full length album. I didn’t want to write about the obvious, it wasn’t going to be 12 songs about Trump.
This album is very honest, we asked people to send in their stories and the honesty that came from that was beautiful and I would say formed a stronger connection between us. It is strange, listening to all of these people saying very similar things about how they felt anxiety or felt alone, it just goes to show that a lot of people feel like this. It was just beautifully honest.
There is a lot of uncertainty and the more personal it got the more universal it was. This time it was about being involved and opening up.
So from the first time you guys got together in 2006 did you ever see yourselves getting to where you are now?
Well we started in 2004 actually, that was the first real release of a home record, we were very underground at that point. Then we would always say we would be the biggest band in the world and people would laugh at us if we said that. But if you are in a band and you don’t want to change the world then what is the fucking point? There are far easier ways of making money and stuff but as a band you should want to change the world. That’s the thing about rock and roll, with some of the best rock music coming out of Britain, you want it to change things.
For me it isn’t about the 9-5 or the money. It has been a crazy road. I guess we are a bit of an anomaly as a band. We don’t keep up with trends or fashion because that’s exactly what fashion is, its new and as soon as something else comes along it goes out the window. We have had people stick with us through all of it and it has been wonderful.
The connection between you and your crowd is great, I mean you have people come out to shows with bags of food ready to be donated to a local centre and help people. Has it always been like that?
That’s what is kind of amazing, that music can help so many people together. There’s more to life than the 9-5, watching Big Brother or putting a Starbucks on every corner. Music is about love and unity.
It’s very easy to feel alone of weird for believing in love and the world coming together but when you come to a gig and find other people who feel like that then it is beautiful. I don’t think of the crowd as fans, I think of them as a a family and a community, as friends.
So the last time I saw you was when you were playing with Enter Shikari at Alexandria Palace last year. Just after Jamie Jazz (guitarist) was leaving. The crowd were chanting his name, really going for it. How did that make you feel?
We have been through it all together, the highs and the lows, the ups and the downs and the sides to sides. We were both there since the very beginning. I think I can relate to him more than anyone else and he can relate to me more than anyone else. I keep an eye out for his new projects and I am really excited for him, I really wish him the best.
Now you have played headliner shows, Glastonbury. 2000 Trees and you are playing Download this year. How does it compare to playing the smaller venues.
It is a completely different thing really. We play headline shows in places like our home town and it kind of feels like a victory lap. For me playing festivals is very satisfying. You can go on stage and be playing to a crowd where people might have just heard your name, or don’t know you or are waiting for the next band, but it is so satisfying that by the end of it they are like “who is this band?!” Headliner shows you have everyone screaming for you, and don’t get me wrong it is great, but winning over a crowd who may not know you takes you back to the days when you first start out.
A lot of your stuff is very political, just like Off With Their Heads, would you say this is something that also comes up in The Gospel of Truth?
There is some political stuff in the new album, a lot of our stuff is rather political but this time we go at it from a different direction. I am just very passionate about politics and what is going on. There are a few tracks on the new album like Bullingdon Boys and Nike Town. With Nike Town I think it will surprise a lot of people, it is certainly political. Then there is also New Gods.
The thing is it is slightly different because we didn’t want to be predictable, wanted to keep things fresh. At some point I will come back and write about Brexit and Trump and write a protest album, but I am looking forward to The Gospel Truth.
Now you are coming to close to the album coming out and the new tour starting, are you looking forward to it?
I’m bored as hell, I am ready to get back out there. I am working on some other projects at home, I am starting to write a book and finishing off some poetry and trying to keep busy. But I am ready to go back out there and tour. The great thing is that we are playing a lot of towns where we wouldn’t usually play. Like the Scunthorpes of the world, we have never played in Scunthorpe and it is really exciting because they can usually be some of the best shows.
You can catch The King Blues’ new album The Gospel Truth on April 14, and from April 22 you can catch them playing at venues across the UK.
For more information on the gig, and to buy tickets, pre-order the album and find out a bit more about the band visit http://kingbluesofficial.com/.