Band Interview: Kingdom of Giants

Commonly known for exposing the darkest niches of the mind, Kingdom Of Giants has brought yet another album that brings attention to some of the harder topics in conversations. We got the chance to talk with the California metalcore outfit and discuss the various ideas that surround each track off their new album All The Hell You’ve Got To Spare, out today on InVogue Records.

For more on Kingdom of Giants and to stay up to date on the latest news, you can follow them on their socials: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Purchase


Before we delve into the various aspects of each song, the album contains a lot of raw and intense emotions. During the creation process, were there any points that you hit where it just didn’t seem to be coming together or moments where it became hard to open up and convey what you truly wanted to convey?

Honestly no, this was the easiest and most natural writing lyrics has ever come to me. It was enjoyable. I don’t know if it was because I liked the instrumentals so much more or just because I am finally comfortable with putting myself out there, but I didn’t need to reach for anything to write about. I would listen to the song, it instantly made me feel a certain way, and I just started putting pen to paper.

The album opens up with the track “Cash Out” which talks of choosing a large salary over happiness. This is something that so many musicians and artists struggle with; what is your personal experience and why do you think so many tend to fall into this mind set?

My personal struggle with this is being 18 years old and having experienced just about nothing in my life. Just to have my teachers and guidance counselors sit me down and tell me, “Well you’re about to graduate, what do you want to do with the rest of your life? Oh yea by the way this decision could potentially cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars and a decade off of your life, no pressure.” I feel like it’s pressure from parents and being afraid of disappointing someone that holds us back from following our dreams. I just know I’m looking back on my life and saying, “At least I fucking tried” regardless of how it plays out.

Moving on the next track, in “Lowlife” you guys featured Charlie Muscle, which adds an unexpected twist to the song. What determined adding this specific feature to the track and was it always written with that in mind or did you have to rework it later on?

We definitely wrote that part instrumentally with some sort of feature in mind but we didn’t know if we would be able to pull it off or just how possible it would be. There were a lot of things we’ve always wanted to do with an album and we just kinda thought, “What is holding us back from doing all these things we want to do?” So we went for it. I literally just sent Charlie a message on facebook and we coordinated the whole thing. He was especially down after I sent him the lyrics and song concept.

Can you tell us a little more about the inspiration behind “Damaged Goods?” What were some of your personal influences that came along with this song?

In a nutshell, “Damaged Goods” is about the day that my brothers and I learned that our father had passed away. It’s about how different personalities handle death differently and I don’t believe there is any right or wrong way to deal with it. It personally destroyed me at first and I was uncontrollably crying, but my little brother was kinda silent, most likely just because he was so young and he didn’t understand what that fully meant. But when we had the funeral it really settled in for him and our emotions completely switched. I think it took seeing my little brother in pain to man up and be stronger than I thought I could be to be there for him and my family.

As the album stylistically differs in ways compared to your guys’ previous releases, “Bored To Death” sees a return to the nonstop level of intensity with its torrid, rampant pace to it. Was it important to include a handful of tracks that maintained that connection to previous material?

Yes, I think it was very important to have our experimental tracks and our developmental tracks, but when it comes down to it, we love writing heavy music. We are just trying to find new and interesting / creative ways to do it. Some of the heaviest bands of all time did it without any chugging breakdowns or blast beats and we admire them for that. Northlane’s Jon Deiley put it very well in an Instagram post when their album dropped. Everyone is expecting these certain key ingredients for a metalcore band and it’s the bands that are writing outside the box that are really making the biggest impact.

One of the standout lyrical moments on “Runaway” that comes to mind is “it is an art becoming who you are”. As an outsider, it seems to correlate to how different the process of becoming who we eventually become is on a person by person basis. Could you elaborate on not necessarily just that part, but what “Runaway” means singularly and how it fits into the album?

Well, most everyone knows about the fear of change, but “Runaway” is about the fear that you can no longer change. It’s about getting caught up in bad habits, and feeling like no matter how hard you try you cannot break them. It takes a lot of effort and is a very long, hard process. I mean you can literally get in your car and drive 500 miles, surround yourself with the same type of people and find yourself going back to your old ways without even realizing it. The song was heavily, heavily inspired by the word, “Alazia” from “The Dictionary Of Obscure Sorrows”, which I highly recommend everyone go check out on youtube.

Kingdom Of Giants – Tunnel Vision Ft JT Cavey

Off of the album “All The Hell You’ve Got To Spare” out NOW CD/LP: http://store.invoguerecords.com Spotify: http://spoti.fi/2rEk4uB Apple: https://itun.es/i6d89Db Keep up with Kingdom Of Giants Online: http://facebook.com/kingdomofgiants http://twitter.com/kingdomofgiants http://instagram.com/kingdomofgiants —- HAVE I BEEN CONSUMED CALCULATING EVERY MOVE AS IF I’VE GOT SOMETHING MORE IMPORTANT TO PROVE AS IF I AM

There are contrasting styles littered throughout the entirety of All The Hell You’ve Got To Spare, but one such poignant moment is when “Shade” transitions into “Tunnel Vision”. With the atmospheric, electronic melody that drives “Shade” it transitions quiet well into the aggressive, high energy sound of “Tunnel Vision”. Do you feel these sorts of moments are the tone setters for the album and what was the decision behind including a transitional piece like this?

Shade’s place and purpose on the album was to give the listener a moment to breath, absorb, react, think, and be lightweight to cool off from the 1st half of the album. KOG albums tend to be very intense from front to back and we wanted to make sure our listeners could really take in each song and not get lost in the entirety of the album. It also worked really well as a transition between, “Runaway” (Our “softest” song on the album) and, “Tunnel Vision” (Arguably the heaviest / fastest song on the album.

You guys chose to work with a few fantastic features on here, all of which differ from one another. One such feature is Daniel Gaily on “Lost Cause” which has an incredible instrumental set-piece as the song wraps up. How did you decide upon highlighting his feature best and what was the instrumental writing process like compared to including a vocal feature?

Daniel Gailey is a monster for starters. We chose for Daniel’s solo to be in “Lost Cause” because we felt that it was one of the most interesting songs instrumentally on the album. It’s the first time we’ve really played with different time signatures, and we let the drums be very loose & groovy. We figured why not showcase one of our favorite guitarists in our favorite instrumental. There was actually a time when we considered letting the song be an actual instrumental song. The process was actually extremely similar to a vocal feature. Daniel is a great engineer and is able to record himself. So I just sent him the song, and he sent me back a version with his solo on it, and another file with just his guitar solo so it could be mixed in. It went very smoothly and we couldn’t be happier with the result.

On “Motif,” the lyrics express the feelings of being trapped in a rut with the rest of the world and drained of creativity. Can you point out certain moments throughout the years of Kingdom Of Giants where you’ve felt this way and how you’ve pushed through, individually and as a band?

Yea I feel like we live in a weird time for music. It’s so easy to record and put music out to the world that everyone is doing it and you really have to sort through the “mess” to find a band doing something truly unique. I felt this way during the process of writing our album, “Ground Culture” actually. Lyrically I felt like everything I was saying had been used before and every new band was saying the same shit as me. I just felt like….how many more songs can we write before we are just out of gas ya know? I think I was able to push though when we started writing the new material because I loved the songs so much more and they actually spoke to me. I think branching slightly away from the classic metalcore sound that we had saved KOG for sure.

“Speakeasy” is a song that I think a lot of musicians and artists can easily relate with. When it comes to living a different lifestyle than most are used to or agree with, what do you think is the hardest part? What is the most rewarding part?

I totally agree. I was just sick of shitty people living shitty uninteresting lives telling me what I should or shouldn’t do with mine. How bout you get yours lined up first before you go preaching to me. I think the hardest part is taking that risk for sure. It’s an investment without a doubt and a scary one because years and years of your life are going by and your watching everyone “grow up” around you. They are all having babies and buying houses and here we are just playing music haha. I think the rewarding part is when you find out that those same people are actually jealous of your lifestyle. Least amount of money I’ve ever had, happiest I’ve ever been.

Closing out the album is “Grey Area”, which features the beautiful vocals of Caitlyn Mae. What was the deciding factor to close the album out on a more somber note, especially one where the featured vocalist seems to be the one driving the song forward?

Honestly it kinda felt like “Speakeasy” was really the closer of the album for us. We played with putting “Grey Area” in different places on the album, but having 2 slow jams just felt like it broke up the flow of the album too much. It was a song that we really wanted to have so we put it at the very end to kind of put a close to the album and cap it off with a cool style that we hadn’t really gotten to write before.

Now that we’ve gone through various aspects of each track that makes up All The Hell You’ve Got To Spare, it’s clear that there’s a lot of more direct messages contained on a track by track basis. What would you say the overall message is that you hope listeners take from the record in general?

The message from this album is what KOG’s message has always been. Find comfort in chaos. Find positives in negatives. Know that we are all going through our own personal hells, and that you aren’t alone.

Much Love,

KOG

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