New Band of the Month: Pistol Kings
As you are more than accustomed to by now, you ‘orrible lovely lot, we here at this here Cultured Vultures love you a bunch. But, because we can’t put Skippy in your lunch, we instead try to appease your ravenous appetite for new music to both feed you satisfactorily and fatten you up so you can never leave!
Anyway, one of those ways we do it is by offering up a selection of bands for you to fight over and consume like the feral beasts you are. The last time we offered you up a choice, in your drooling droves you all ordered indefinable noiseniks Pistol Kings, so here they are, served up as your New Band of the Month.
Don’t rush your food though, because indigestion, but also because we went and tracked down Pistol Kings for a quick Q&A before we prepped and plopped ’em on a plate for you. All of the band got involved for this, and gave some great insights into where the band are coming from, where they’re going, what keeps them going there, and what makes them tick. Among other things.
This London based band continue to push genre boundaries as well as stretching the limits of their own sound, and with this good start you’ve gotten their year off to, it looks like you’re going to be hearing a lot more of them from here on out. Enjoy.
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Hello, who are we speaking to today, and how are you? You’ve been voted Cultured Vultures New Band of the Month for February. Congratulations!
Hey! Thanks so much for having us and for putting us on! We’re all sat answering this together, which is Tom (Singer and Guitarist), Dan (Drums and Backing Vocals) and we’ve got Jake on bass.
For those avid voters out there who lead you to victory, who’d also like to get to know you a little better, could you tell us a bit about the band? How you came to be?
Tom: Yeah thanks so much to everyone who voted for us! I basically met Jake on the gig circuit a couple years back and started the band with him. And we know Dan because we actually played a gig supporting his other band at the Scream Lounge in Croydon! He was absolutely smashing the shit out of the drums! So when our old drummer Ben decided to leave the band, I knew exactly who to call!
Dan: I got a phone call and said yes!
What particularly struck me about your sound, and perhaps what I most enjoy, is the way you manage to incorporate numerous genres into your songs, whilst always maintaining a core sound that is yours. I’m assuming this comes from a particularly eclectic set of influences within the ranks. Who would be some of your biggest influences?
Tom: Thanks so much! That’s exactly what we’re going for, haha!
I’d probably say our fundamental influences lie with the likes of Biffy Clyro, Arcane Roots, Foo Fighters.. that sort of thing! But we each have our own tastes and they’re quite different, so I imagine that contributes to the multiple‐genre feel we capture in our songwriting.
Speaking of your genre jumping, is this a conscious effort in the writing process? Did you always want to mix and match musical styles or was it just how things came naturally? Is the writing process a methodical and thought out plan or a jam free for all?
Tom: Well, it’s probably a bit of both actually. I think all three of us find that a lot of bands are happy staying within their comfort zones, but actually, that gets boring pretty quick! It’s more interesting seeing a band that can build from a really quiet, heartfelt ballad with minimal instrumentation that later crashes into crying guitar solos and pained vocals, than it is to see a generic rock band playing four‐chord songs for their whole 45 minute set. At the same time though, we don’t really go into the rehearsal room saying ‘hey guys, I’ve got a rock section in 5/4 but I’ve found a way to make it fit this indie riff’, that kind of just happens naturally, which I think is what we like so much about being in this band!
Dan: I believe in letting it happen and taking its own course. There are times that the song needs some constructive guidance but the majority of the time it’s great to just jam it and see what happens.
Jake: I wouldn’t say it was a conscious effort, it was something that just happens naturally for us. Tom might come up with an idea or a chord progression, then we just Jam around it, till we roughly get a feel for it, then we might come up with another idea during a jam and songs just progress like that. One of us might just slam into a drum solo or a funky guitar solo or a pushed 4/4 bass riff, then we find a way to combine the ideas together and cut and add bits till we have the instrumentation for a song. Then we leave Tom to go write some lyrics, the first time Tom usually shares lyrics is on stage or in the recording studio which leaves Dan and I excited as well!
Outside of music, what else inspires you creatively or just generally in life to pass the time? What gets your lyrical juices flowing too?
Tom: I guess I should answer this one haha!
I like reading, but mainly cult classic books such as The Vampire of the Vanities, American Psycho, Generation X, etc etc. I definitely like searching for lyrical inspiration in day to day life too. London is a great place because there’s so much going on all the time, and I think if you’re looking in the right places, you can find some really interesting things to write about.
How are things looking on the horizon for the band? What are the big plans for 2016? New music? I know you’ve got some big tours coming up.
Tom: I think the main thing for us this year is going to be songwriting. As I mentioned briefly earlier we had a member change in Dan ‐ he’s pretty new to the band. So I think honestly our music will change somewhat, I’m not sure how, but we’ll most likely be looking to get some new tunes written and recorded and then we’ll try them out at some festivals this summer. I guess then maybe, we could be looking at another EP? Some more tours.. that sort of thing!
Dan: I may have just joined but this year is gonna be a busy one. A lot of plans, a lot of hope and the passion is gonna carry us through this year with heads held high.
Though you are our new favourite band, what other new bands would you recommend we check out? Friends? Tour mates? Just damn good bands?
Tom: You know, this one is so tricky! We actually love all of the bands that we were being nominated against for this month! Trevor’s Head, we’ve had so many good times with and will definitely be playing more gigs with in the near future. Same goes for Long Teeth, we know Jade from her other band DOLLS and both of her projects are incredible live and on record. And I know Ballin’ Jacks through playing drums in Paves, and we’ve had some great gigs together!
So to give you some new ones, definitely Coach‐House! We’re going on tour with them in late March. Mystified are also well worth checking out ‐ one of the most energetic live bands you’ll see! Demob Happy are also definitely in my top ten! I’m going to stop there before my mouth dries up!
Jake: Same as Tom but I would also like to suggest a band we met last summer called Xander and the Keys. They’re from Bournemouth but they’re definitely one to watch this year!
Lastly, we here at Cultured Vultures are proudly represented by Voltaire the vulture. If you had an especially cultured vulture, what would you call it?
Dan came up with the best one here. We’d call it ‘Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Batman Hulk Spiderman And Flash Combined ‐ Steve for short…’