Interview with King & Country

Bridgend/Newport based four piece, King & Country really blew me away when I saw them live recently, they were energetic and passionate and they had some great songs too!

Second EP ‘Mountains’ is a great pop/rock record, which should definitely expose them to a bigger audience, it’s well written, huge sounding and catchy as hell!

We caught up with the band, who are Ashley Taylor (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Thomas Taylor (Lead Guitar/Vocals), Matt Smith (Drums) and Ben Taylor (Bass/ Vocals) and asked them some questions.

Who are you and what do you do?  We are a four-piece rock band from Bridgend South Wales called King & Country.

Where did the bands name come from?  Thomas: The name King & Country was thought up with the three of us (Ashley, myself and Smith) on our way home from University driving through the country lanes of our hometown. We always had a love for the countryside and we felt that being a British band that King & Country was something personal to us but had a British sound to it.

How did you get started?  Smith: King & Country started in 2011 with Myself, Ashley and Thomas, at our local rehearsal studios. We were all friends in college before hand and decided to start up a new project on our second year at University. We spent many a late night jamming ideas where we eventually came up with tracks ‘Breathe In Breathe Out’, ‘Think Before You Speak’, ‘Time Will Tell’ and ‘A Working Man’s Life’ taken from our debut E.P ‘Changes’. We then recorded these with Producer Dan Lancaster at ‘Glasseye Studio’s’ in Hertfordshire.

What have you got going on at the moment?  Ash: We are currently booking up shows in March and April, as we want to get our name out there and push our music outside of Wales.

Favourite music and why?  Ben: Well I think we all have a variety of different influences, Myself and Smith enjoy some of the more hardcore bands and heavy stuff, and the twins prefer lighter indie based music, but then we all enjoy the big British bands such as Young Guns, Lower Than Atlantis, Deaf Havana, Don Broco and Twin Atlantic to name a few!

Favourite book and why?  All: Of Mice And Mine and 50 Shades Of Grey.

Favourite film and why?  All: We all like the Hangover films, The Inbetweener’s, Broke Back Mountain, mainly stupid comedy’s.

Best experience in the business?  Smith: Probably our E.P release for our New E.P ‘Mountains’ in Hobos, our local music venue. It was an insane night.

Why should soundscape readers care?  Ash: I think its hard to tell people to listen to you when you are an up and coming band, I suppose I would say, we are honest, genuine guys who love to play and write music together.

Tell our readers an interesting fact about the band?  Ash: I have a twin brother (Thomas) in the band.

Ben: We jump around a lot on stage.

What’s the best and worst things about touring?  Smith: We wouldn’t know, as we haven’t toured yet. (Hoping to soon though).

Most embarrassing thing to happen to you while in the band?  Ash: Not many embarrassing stories to tell I’m afraid, but I think for me it would be embarrassing to get heckled at a show. I’d like to think I would have a quick comeback, but would probably fail miserably.

What’s your writing and recording process?  Smith: We tend to just jam ideas in the practice room, Ash or Thomas will usually come up with an initial idea on the guitar or just start playing jamming. Then Ben and myself will jam along, until we have a rough structure that we can work with, we will then talk about parts/fills/riffs what we want the song to be about, How many choruses etc. So it’s mainly a process of jamming ideas, and constructing something from that.

What inspires you?  Ash: Watching bands play sold out tours around the UK and Europe. We have watched Young Guns since their first UK tour. It was when the Cardiff Barfly was still running and they played to a half empty room. If you look at them now they are selling out University halls! The Welsh music scene has produced many talented and successful bands such as Bullet For My Valentine, The Blackout, Lostprophets, Kids in Glass Houses, Funeral For a Friend and many more!

Best thing about coming from Wales?  Ash: There’s some great bands coming out of South Wales at the moment, so its great to be a part of a community that is being listened to and appreciated.

Who are your role models or idols?  Smith: we all have different idols, I love Travis Barker as a drummer!

What do you think the hardest thing about the current business is?  Thomas: I think the hardest thing about the business is gaining the right person to listen to you. There are probably hundreds of bands out there that could easily get picked up. As most people know, sometimes it’s about being in the right place at the right time

Favourite Batman actor? Ben: Has to be Heath Ledger who plays the Joker as I like men with lipstick.

Smith: My boy is batman, I love men in leather!!

Well, thats King & Country, a great band who you should definitely check out. The band are really hard working and gig a lot so make sure you catch them soon.

You can check them out on facebook here –> King & Country

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