Described by Tom Robinson as a band with “Bluesy soulful vocals and an accomplished sound worthy of reaching a far wider audience”, The King’s Parade are a four piece Soul/ Indie group from London. Taking influences from the Motown era and adding their own modern twist, the band have taken to playing in the streets full-time as a way of promoting and sharing their music. The group’s recently re-recorded single ‘Vagabond’ has already reached over 150 000 plays on SoundCloud and is due to be officially released this November.
Alessandro Capuano grabbed the chance to interview the guys who are rocking the streets of London…
Q: First of all, thank you for the interview and congratulations for the lovely gig in Trafalgar Square on the 6th of August 2013. Where are you from? Please tell us about you, how the band was born.
A: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the show. We’re actually from all over the place. Chris (Drums) is originally from London, Tom and Sam (Bass and Keys) are from Stratford-upon-Avon and I’m originally from Saignon (in the South of France). I lived there for 14 years and then moved to Sydney, Australia. After high school, I moved to York in the UK to go to Uni and that’s where I met the boys. Sam and I were actually on the same course and started playing as a duo for events around the campus. Eventually we decided we should expand a little and Tom came into the equation (Sam knew Tom from home and they had played together in the past). We met Chris through a few friends in the Uni Samba Band who suggested him to take on the drums. After jamming out a few sessions, we knew things would work well between us.
Q: We listened to your songs and we loved them. We found some blues influence… can you describe your genre? Who are the artists who influenced you the most?
A: We often get asked how we would describe our sound and to be honest it’s quite hard to pigeonhole it. For the moment, we call it Soul/Indie/Pop with influences from Blues and Motown…But that’s a bit long winded so we usually cut it down to Soul/Pop. We’re all huge fans of Motown and Soul. We collectively rate Stevie Wonder as one of our favourite artists but our influences come from all over the place. From Bill Withers to Alabama Shakes.
Q: How do you link your name, “The King’s Parade”, to a song called “Vagabond”? where does the song come from?
A: We used to nickname Chris ‘The King’ because he would often organise rehearsals and make sure they ran smoothly. Eventually it got to the point where we joked about being his minions and so The King’s Parade seemed like it suited us. It also works on an ironic level because we play in the streets and are far from being ‘fit for a King’… Vagabond is our main concept throughout the album and a lot of the themes in our songs come from that concept. I’ve travelled a lot throughout my childhood and it’s a great thing but with it comes a sense of belonging nowhere and a constant change of environment which can often take it’s toll on friendships and family. These songs are metaphors of the feelings that come with moving around so much and experiences that you have and miss out on.
Q: Please choose 2 songs that you love the most from your repertoire and tell us why.
A: Funnily enough if I asked this question to the whole band, everyone would have a different answer but we would all have Vagabond in common. It’s a favourite to play not only because it’s the first song that made us decide to really give music a go but also because it gets the best crowd reaction at gigs. As for the second favourite, I think I would have to choose Bunched Up Letters. The energy that we let out when we play it comes straight from the soul. The song is about our experiences when we started up as a band in London so there’s a lot of strain, struggle and pain in it. Be it from deceptions to income issues – we all have something we connect with in it.
Q: Your are an indie group… what do you think about today’s mainstream music? Is there something you like about it? Anything you would change?
A: Mainstream is sometimes hard to define these days because so many different and bizarre creations and compositions make it into the charts these days (eg. What the fox say??). In that sense I think it’s great that there’s diversity and when I listen to the radio I like to think you can get a mix of things (depending on the radio station). But one thing which I think is suffering more and more with modern pop is the focus on lyrics. As a kid who grew up on Nat King Cole, Bill Crosby and Aretha Franklin; I find it very hard to deal with when songs have terrible lyrics and essentially express nothing… I’ll sometimes get into rants about this so I should probably stop myself now!
Q: Can you tell us about your future projects, songs and gigs?
A: For the moment, we’re pushing our music as much as we can. We’re making people out there aware of our music and we hope that word spreads. We’ve recently been meeting up with very interesting people who want to work with us but at this stage we’re not ready to reveal any information. All we can say is that the four of us have never been so determined and eager to get out there and play our music, so 2014 is going to be a big year for us. See you at our next gig in November.
Check out their facebook for details on gigs and news: facebook.com/thekingsparade
Check out their soundcloud for a listen: soundcloud.com/thekingsparade
Check out their Twitter for thoughts: Twitter.com/thekingsparade