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April 2020

King Nun: "Something’s cracked, and music is progressing like no other time"

With their latest EP, King Nun are ready to claim their throne. Theo Polyzoides tells us more.
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Published: 12:32 pm, November 13, 2018Words: Martyn Young. Photos: Sarah Louise Bennett.
King Nun: "Something’s cracked, and music is progressing like no other time"

"It’s absolutely, phenomenally massive.”

Those are the words of Theo Polyzoides as he describes their debut EP, ‘I Have Love’. He’s right to describe it in such excitable terms: this is the release from King Nun that we’ve all been waiting for.

It’s been around two years since the band exploded onto the scene riding the banger bus that is the Dirty Hit label and the band have forged a reputation as the excitable punk kids of the flourishing indie scene. Now though is when the real stuff starts as they release their first proper EP. For singer and guitarist Theo, it’s been a wild ride.

“Initially, coming out with Dirty Hit there was a massive reaction immediately out of the gate, it was like, 'Oh my god! People are listening to our stuff'. I don't know what we were expecting, but it was definitely numbers that were microscopic. It all hit us at once, but since then it’s been unbelievable. It’s tough to process, but we’re really grateful.”

King Nun have taken their time making this EP, but for Theo, it was all part of their evolution.

“What went into the EP initially was a reasonably strong idea of aesthetics,” begins the ever-exuberant singer. “A kind of tough love way of songwriting, where we ended up getting tested. The songs became so real and so significant so quickly; us as a band and the EP became completely symbiotic. It became absolutely what we’re about.”

On the EP, the band have captured all the visceral, kinetic energy and pop hooks that have made them so thrilling. After a couple of years of relentless gigging and honing their craft King Nun are ready for the next level.

“Intrinsically within our genre the performance is really important,” explains Theo. “You have to make sure that what you’re putting in matches what you’re putting out otherwise you’re just leaning on the genre and giving nothing back.

"As to how it sounds, we have to thank the producers for that. We’ve worked with some beautiful, fantastic producers. Predominantly we’ve worked with Jolyon Thomas, who’s done the two Slaves albums, and Rupert Lyddon and Jon Gilmore [he’s worked with The 1975, btw]. These three producers are sensational and have helped us out a lot.”

“We love this music to death, so when we can do it and get it right it’s infinitely inspiring,” adds Theo.

The EP itself finds King Nun broadening their approach lyrically while ramping up the heaviness and the hooks musically.

“There’s one about family ['Family Portrait'] that I think is very important,” reveals Theo. “It’s just a change in outlook that I feel that we had that’s a cornerstone. Also, it’s just a catchy melody, and I like the song. There’s another, which is the title-track, that I feel encapsulates it.”

It’s clear that it's a special collection of songs for the band.

“When we were writing it we said it was all going to be love songs, punk love songs,” reflects Theo on 'I Have Love'. “They were all going to be kind of tragic and happy and violent in their execution. As we were doing it and real life was happening all the time, the way these songs and our lives were coinciding with each other and falling into each other that’s what that song represents to me. It feels like an absolute zeitgeist of our time working on it.

"All of the lyrics were just cut up from other stuff. I don’t think I wrote a line on the song. Somehow, when I listen to it back, I’m like, 'Ah, Jesus Christ! There is something in there that I can relate to'. I hope that other people find that as well. It’s a bit manic.”

“For the first time in a long time there’s music coming out that isn’t just listenable for that week or that month”
Theo Polyzoides

King Nun have been at the heart of an indie scene that is thriving and capturing a new audience. For Theo, it’s been a motivating experience.

“I feel excited. For the first time in a long time there’s music coming out that isn’t just listenable for that week or that month,” he says. “There’s music coming out that’s sticking with me. Something’s cracked, and music is progressing like no other time that I’m aware of. I’m not going to pretend that I’m really clued in with modern music, but I love a lot of the new indie stuff, I love a lot of the new punk stuff that’s coming out. It feels very inspiring to have that going on and have serious inspirations in the modern day instead of looking back to the seventies.”

So, now that the EP is done the next big question is what do King Nun have planned for their debut album? For now, Theo is remaining coy.

“We’re moving towards it as opposed to it moving towards us. We’ve made some movements.” The pressure isn’t too much yet, but it’s obvious the album is looming in the background. “I feel like I have a red dot on my forehead,” says Theo.

There is one word the singer will use when describing what we might expect from a King Nun album and that’s ‘Loads’.

“Just loads. I think I can reveal that without getting a finger chopped off,” he laughs as he tries to avoid a telling off from his management for saying too much.

At some point in the future though there’s definitely going to be a King Nun album, and it will have songs, and loads of King Nun. That’s good enough for us.

Right now though as the band ride the wave of their debut EP and forthcoming headline tour, there’s a lot to look forward to as Theo delivers a promise to the fans who have eagerly awaited these moments: “You can expect more ferocity than you’ve seen from us before and everything you’ve come to expect.”

Taken from the November issue of Dork. King Nun's debut EP ‘I Have Love’ is out now.

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