A Chat With: King Shelter
This past summer we got to welcome King Shelter to Montreal at their show with The Frights and be their first Canadian interview! Through the banter; we spoke with Taylor, John and David about their new and old music, how responsible they are while on tour and they asked us about Tim Hortons!
To start off, you guys have been asked this so much but what is salad rock?
Taylor: It was mostly our drummers thing. Blogs have taken it and run with it a bit further than we ever expected, its cool. I mean we let people run with it but we’re not really holding onto it. I’d rather go by scum rock to be honest.
The idea of salad rock though was just funny cause we play a lot of different kinds of rock. Its like “what kind of music do you guys play?”-the salad was a nice way to say a healthy mixture of all the rocks. So we started calling it salad as a joke and it kind of stuck.
What artists made you guys want to start making music?
T: We all have different tastes.
David: I’m not a huge endorser at this point in my life but for me it was Blink 182. I learned guitar so I could play Dammit. My friend could play it and I thought it was sick so I taught myself guitar. Also, for me Death Cab For Cutie; they really got me into music.
T: For me I come from a family of musicians. My dad had us all learn piano first then we picked our instruments at a certain age. I picked drums and I played drums for a long time. I started playing music with friends and writing so I picked up guitar and I listen to a lot of Radiohead so I always liked what they did. I thought it was really interesting so I guess mine would be Radiohead.
John: I was a little late to the game, I was a sports guy growing up. But now some of my big influences are probably Dr. Dog and a band called Whitney.
You guys have been touring a lot, what’s a tour story you can tell us?
Everyone at once: We’ll have one tonight! To get our drummer back across the border with no passport. We might not get across. Yeah, our drummer didn’t bring a passport. It's not smart but it's not the worst situation we could be in.
D: Do we have any crazy tour stories though?
J: We’re pretty low key when we’re touring
T: I don’t know, I’d say that our direct opener for our last tour in Idaho was a group of juggalos and they did magic tricks. They were stabbing each other in the face and hanging weights by their nose…
D: We got kicked out of a bar in Boise for singing Chop Suey too loudly
J: We also ran out of gas in Utah… you guys heard of Utah? (laughs)
J: We don’t have any good stories I think that’s the thing
T: Just say we’re very responsible guys!
Photo by: Coralie Daigneault
Is it your first time in Canada?
T: We toured with The Frights in May and we went to Vancouver and that was our first time as a band going to Canada and we just played Toronto. But yeah, pretty much first time for all of us. It's surprisingly different from America then I expected. Vancouver’s like Seattle but with even more heroin. Toronto was actually pretty cool and here would be cool if I knew what the fuck was going on! Everything’s in french, I did not see that coming.
Your album comes out in the fall, are you guys excited about it?
Altogether: Oh yes!
T: It’s gonna be a lot different. The songs we have on Spotify right now, none of us really love. For the music I was trying to make I wasn’t as much hands on. I kind of got taken out of the project so this time I’m a lot more involved. Its gonna be a bit more psychedelic.
D: Music nerds are gonna love it!
T: You’ll probably feel the Radiohead influence. We’re trying to go more mature and melodically complex and do interesting things. We don’t want to do the same shit that’s already been done by other bands.
(a bunch of banter)
Okay we’re gonna flip the interview, what is up with this Tim Hortons?
Ic3y: the coffee isn’t great its whatever
They just shove it in my face everywhere! Quit trying to shove Tim Hortons down my throat, literally. It's a little much, do people love it that much here? Ic3y: I think it depends
Is it like Dunkin Donuts?
Ic3y: I guess its the equivalent
For the record we haven’t been there but Mikey from Frights told me he went and there’s flies and it's not good, he said the whole experience was poor. Every exit from Toronto to here has one! I also dated a Canadian girl that was obsessed with Tim Hortons so that jaded it for me as well, I never want to try it.
She dumped him
But look at me I’m trying to be a rockstar so who’s winning? Hahaha a next question!
How’s the writing process ?
T: Typically I go alone to write all these demos and I’ll demo them out and then I send them to the guys and we go from there. I try to write every single part and then they can adjust it from there. It works smooth. We don’t really sit in a room and be like “let’s make a song”. I usually send them some stuff and we meet up and work on it.
I want to talk a bit about the music you have released now, it’ll be old news but I want to know more about the album art
T: We just knew what direction we wanted to go with the next album we’re putting out. The 3 singles that are out, to me are like satirical pop because I don’t really like them. I wanted the album covers to relate to that, a picture of us and almost cheesy. I just wanted the whole thing to be kind of a cornball. The next music we’re putting out is very dark…so we’re taking a hard turn and I wanted it to be almost shocking. Also, the songs themselves didn’t feel very serious to me. The lyrics are very serious but the sound of it sounded very cartoony walking down the street so I wanted it to match that vibe.
Now that’s over!
T: Yeah, we’re excited! Our live set is a much more accurate representation of our sound. I think up until this next record we spent most of our efforts making our live shows the best as we possibly can make it. The recordings that are out right now, we haven’t spent as much time or much of our emotional time either on it until this next record.
Go to drink?
J: Rhum diet coke D: Vodka soda
One thing on your rider? Bagels!
Favourite song by The Frights?
A band you’d like to tour with?
OutKast, Jimmy Eat World and The Killers
Check out King Shelter here !