Last week folk-indie band To Kill a King performed three back to back shows across the capital taking multiple venues by storm. I was lucky enough to both attend their first night at The Borderline, Soho and to chat to Ben (synth + vocals) and Josh (drums) ahead of their second night at Oslo, Hackney.
D: How was last night?
Josh: Yeah, fantastic, it had been a really long time since we gigged!
Ben: I felt like it went well last night, considering how long it had been.
D: You guys were incredible, you looked like you were definitely in your element.
Ben: Yeah I was absolutely loving it, I loved every minute of it.
Josh: There’s something about being on stage, you are just so connected with what you’re doing and even though you’ve maybe played the song a thousand times, there’s always something different. It’s like a football match, you know when you score a goal it’s the same set up but no two games are the same. It always exciting.
D: LP3 is coming soon, how has the process been, it’s been a long one for you?
Ben: Yeah it’s been really long, it’s happened without us really noticing it to be honest. We haven’t really taken any time off but we’ve just done a little bit every week and after however long it’s been, we were just kind of like, oh shit we just recorded an album! We’ve been doing it for so long, you just forget that you’re working towards an album.
Josh: It all became very clear to me when Ralph made a playlist of a version of the album, we had quite a lot of songs for it, going through that playlist we realised we had actually done it, it was all there!
Ben: Fingers crossed it’s all recorded now, just a few more tracks have got to be mixed. We haven’t gotten release plans yet. It’s close.
D: Any favourite gig moments in your career thus far?
Josh: In Sion, Switzerland, we were taken around by the man who was voted by the town as man of the year. Everyone loved this guy, he took us around and fed us, took us to a restaurant, it was a nice experience.
Ben: I think the one that jumps to mind with me is doing a stage dive in the encore of our Shepherd’s Bush show, managed to swim to the back, say hello to my brother and swim back to the front for the end of the song. My brother got it all on video.
Ben: It’s weird that you don’t notice it when you’re in it, a couple of years we did two European tours, two UK tours, the States. At the time we were just on the road all the time.
I’ve been working with up and coming bands on production, I see them online on the road and think about how I’d like to do that then realise, fuck, we did that! That was me!
Josh: We’ve met so many people, when you stay with fans you end up meeting wonderful people but you’re being accepted into someone’s home, members of their family might not be a fan! Those are fun experiences, they’re nice ways of touring.
Ben: We’ve been focusing on the album, but after we finish it, hopefully in the next couple of weeks, we’ll have a gap and that’s when we’ll probably get bored. We’ve always done a lot of collaborations so we’re thinking of something like that, but no ideas are fully formed just yet, but we’re cooking some up.
D: When was it that music became a full time thing for you?
Ben: Pretty recently for me, I also do music production, and until this year I’ve always done web design as a way of fitting around the band. You have to be at the top of the game to make a living of it, so we all sorta do bits and pieces and try to make it as close to what we do as possible. It can be hard for anyone to find jobs that fit around touring schedules.
Josh: Part of the survival aspect of an indie band is to know that it’s quite D.I.Y and that you’re going to struggle most of the time, if you accept that you’re in a better stead to survive. Any money you make goes back into it, the cost of touring is immense, the cost of gear breaking, the list is endless. You’re trying to sell your tickets, trying to sell your merch, and you just about can breakeven on a good day. It’s a real battle, unless you really love doing it, you’re fucking mad.
Ben: Sometimes you do think why are you doing this, but you know it’s 100% better than not doing it.