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December 2018 / January 2019
Feature

King Nun: "We've waited so long for this. This is fucking it, man!"

Nothing is standing in the way of these noisy young 'uns.
Published: 12:20 pm, January 16, 2017
King Nun: "We've waited so long for this. This is fucking it, man!"
Reminiscing about early shows on a freezing winter evening, King Nun frontman Theo remembers a novel way to get people’s interest at the local boozer in west London.

"We got so annoyed at being asked to turn down or quieten down, that the introduction to every song we did would be the intro to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit'. People thought we were that type of band, so each time they thought we were about to burst into it, we'd end up cutting it and jumping into ‘Tulip'. Slowly they got more and more annoyed with us."

The George’s loss is without a doubt the globe’s gain. King Nun are the type of band who don’t need comparisons, over-the-top hyperbole or a name-check from rock royalty - they have that key ingredient in abundance which makes a band an immediate hit after one listen. And that’s a hunger for what they do, a rabid need to play music and get it out into the world and on those stages.

"I think the overarching thing is, you want to shoot people with that feeling you get shot with when listening to the bands you love," details Theo. "Like that ferocity in Richard Hell's music that just charges you up for some reason, I inspire to that passion and the ability to just shoot energy into people with what we do."

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If there’s ever a way to describe what King Nun do best, then a high-powered shot to the chest is probably not too far off it. Bursting with youthful energy and an unbridled passion for what they do, King Nun are the injection of adrenaline needed to kick new life into the world we see around us. Like a triple-sized trifle, they shake you about and grab your attention on first taste, unveiling a delectable core of hook-worthy anthems that brim like the Pixies in their prime.

Meeting while all were at secondary school, King Nun was born out of necessity and boredom more than anything, something to do during the dull lunch hours between advanced Maths and English Lit. We've all been there, but instead of playing football on the field, King Nun were laying the groundwork for something greater - even if they didn't realise it at the time.

"We were like 16 at the time," explains bassist Nathan, "so we didn't expect anything to come from it, but we just started playing together and having a bit of fun. It was just something to do at the time and then we realised that actually, this is something we really enjoy doing."

"The first time I met James was when we were both put in the same music room together to practice," Theo remembers. "I went in there, and I don't really know why, but I went in there looking to form a band. I just saw James some sort of classical stuff - I can't remember what you were playing?"

"It probably wasn't anything impressive," replies lead guitarist James. "I was 11."

"But I think if you meet someone who also plays music, I think it builds that driving force to be in a band," explains Theo.

Bristling with energy, and after meeting drummer Caius through friends, King Nun became an entity that together stands as something far greater that any of them could put into practice themselves. Yet, for a band that surge with a vigour that announces from the first note that they were born to be heard and experienced live - those formative years were spent away from an audience. Mainly because they had no other choice.

"We would send like 10 or 15 emails a day out to venues, asking them to play," recalls James. "And they'd like the demos we'd send over - but would always ask how old we were."

"Our manager would have to trick venues into letting us play," jumps in Theo. "We would turn up to these blues pubs and sit through two hours of people covering ‘Hey Joe' and then jump in for two or three songs maximum."

"If we did a gig, which was extremely rare, we always had this thing where it would only be originals - we wouldn't cover anything."

Why would you, when you have certified screamers such as ‘Tulip’ and ‘Speakerface’ - the two opening gambits to the King Nun party that whisk effortlessly with true nuggets of pop crunch drenched in a wall of sound that buries you quicker than a demolition. It’s an introduction out into the world that grabs you by the throat and pulls you in, and in some way - the tracks had exactly the same effect on the band themselves.

That moment where it all clicked is something Theo recognises clearly.

"I think that moment where it clicked came with ‘Speakerface', which was actually one of the first songs we ever wrote together. Like, it's so rhythmic-based and when we started clicking into that we sort of realised that we were sorted there. I feel like what and who we are now has been sculpted around that song."

"I think that song is quite good for us," notes Nathan. "Like in terms of having a lot of space to, not mess about but have a bit of fun with it. We spent so long writing it, changing it, reshaping it and finding out how it feels - all those little details."

"At heart," comments Theo, "We’re a really rhythmic band and I think that shows in both of those songs and why they work for us as a band."

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It’s seemed to of been a lifetime for the band, but now they’re ready to show the world exactly the soul of who they are and what they do. Finally, a band born to play live can take their anthems out to the masses, and realise what they’ve been destined to become.

Theo realises just how vital that stage is for them. "We're in it all to play in front of people, I have no idea what the psychology is in it, but it's just like an inherent need when you start playing music that people need to hear it in the moment you play it. The second we started playing actual proper gigs that weren't in churches or at The George or blues nights, it was like, we couldn't believe there was an applause for it and we couldn't believe that people would dance to the songs we made."

For King Nun, the horizon is here - there's huge shows, landmark moments, breathtaking trips and more to be had, and the ride is already primed for an explosion that'll shake thousands into life. It's an energy that bounces 'round each of them, and one that's headed only one way.

"We've waited so long for this,” details Theo. “Like - this is fucking it, man!

“Even to fathom that we'd have an audience now where we can release something and a couple of people would hear it is amazing, so we want to fucking jump on it and give more and more."

"When you wait so long for something, you kinda doubt whether or not it's a good idea," reflects Nathan. "It's nice after putting up with, well - being miserable at times, to get such a positive reaction. It's so rewarding.

"We don't want to waste any more time now, we want to do it."

"Yeah this is it, man," exclaims Theo. "It's the way it's got to be."

Their time is now. There’s before King Nun and after King Nun - we know where we’d rather be.
"stopper" ]




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