Now Anvil is a band that despite the fact that no matter how hard they try can never manage to hit it huge they keep doing new records and with “Juggernaut Of Justice” being the bands 11th full length album its moderately clear why they aren’t huge. Now don’t get me wrong I’m a big Anvil fan and after seeing them live they are great its just the majority of this CD is forgettable. Now by no means is it a bad cd like previously stated its just forgettable. The Self Titled Track “Juggernaut Of Justice” is a good song as is “FukenEh”. Their catchy songs and while others are good they are just forgettable and after listening to the CD you just can’t remember them from the last song. They CD does have some good solos and overall the playing is good. Its worth a listen to for any Anvil fan or someone just looking for a decent metal album.
So starting off I’d like to thank Kingdom Of Giants for their time in doing this interview. For anyone that doesn’t know Kingdom Of Giants is a rapidly growing metal band hailing out of California. They bring a fresh sound to the metalcore genre and with a ever growing fanbase in their future I see nothing but success for them. Kingdom Of Giants is :
Dana Willax – Screams
Stephen Rezza – Cleans/Keys
Max Bremer – Guitar
Red Martin Guitar
Levi Norris – Bass
Truman Berlin – Drums
Now onto the interview :
First off where did you guys get the name Kingdom Of Giants from? Its a very catchy name and to say that it’s just random can’t be true.
KOG : Haha no it is not exactly random. We originally started with the name Hello, Sailor……but when you type that into google…..you don’t necessarily get what you are looking for. So, before we went in to start recording Abominable, we decided to come up with something new. One night, when we got off stage from playing a show, we asked our friend what he thought of the set and he said something along the lines of, “You guys just look like GIANTS up there”. We wanted our name to be something epic….what could be more epic than a Kingdom Of Giants lol.
What made you want to try a 2 vocalist approach? Was there ever any thought before of making it just screams or just cleans, or even trying to do it with one singer?
KOG : It was never a question of whether we wanted just cleans, or just screams, we always wanted both. If you listen to KOG’s vocal work, we tend to have a lot of parts where Dana and Stephen are layering their vocals together and we feel you can’t really do that with 1 vocalist. Another huge reason is that 2 different vocalists bring 2 completely different styles and personalities to our sound.
Based off the songs you have released some could say you run off almost a “The Devil Wears Prada” sound with a few added twists. What bands influence you all musically? And with those bands do you guys try to make your music similar or do you take the approach of creating a whole different sound to add to a genre that is filled with thousands of bands that all sound the same.
KOG : We are all influenced by the bands we listen to. Each of us come from completely different musical backgrounds and styles, and even though Abominable had a very specific sound, we plan to use those different backgrounds to explore new ideas on the full length. As for bands that influence us, Misery Signals, TDWP, Underoath, Drake, ABR, FTFD, the list could go on forever but you get the picture.
From the release of your EP entitled “Abominable” (which was ranked as my favorite EP of 2011!) did you at all ever once think it would get such the response that it did? There doesn’t seem to be a single person that has heard the EP and doesn’t instantly love it. Did you expect that at all?
KOG : To be honest, Abominable was almost a disaster…Everything started out great, we tracked the drums, guitar, bass, keys, and cleans very efficiently. The problem came when we started recording screams. We ended up working with 2 other vocalists before we found Dana, but by then we only had 2 days of recording time left and he knew none of the lyrics. He sat down with our guitarist Red Martin and they went through 6 tracks line by line in 2 days. In the end we are proud of the EP and couldn’t be more stoked on the response it has received so far, we never expected any of this.
Did the idea for a huge bulking “Abominable” monster type creature (you must admit , that was a great way of explaining it) being the cover art come to your mind while writing the EP or is there a back story behind it?
KOG : Before we started on the album art we came up with the name Abominable, which we think expresses the feel of the ep. When we started getting into the artwork, only 1 name came to mind. We knew that none could express the abominable yeti the way Dan Mumford could, and we think he did an amazing job.
This goes to Stephen. For the intro to the opening track off the EP titled “Who I Once Was” did the idea of opening with synth mixed with clean vocals the plan from the beginning or was it something you played around with. Also from a vocalist stand point your cleans are by far some of the best I’ve heard in all of metalcore. Is it often that people say how great your cleans are for being in a metal band? They seem to really help bring a fresh vibe because of how they are put into the songs. Other bands have tried this but I honestly think you guys are one of the few that have nailed it to a perfection.
KOG : Well, I went into the studio knowing I was gonna make an intro for that song .So I had messed around with several ideas. And thanks! I appreciate it. Everyone has there own opinion on how my vocals blend with the band . I get tons of feedback ,both good and bad. But I appreciate all the feedback I get and I use it to help me get better and blend better with the band. I personally feel like the new songs are a better mix of my vocals and Dana’s vocals.With time our vocals mature and compliment one another more and more.
This goes out to Dana. For your screams you seem to mix various elements of metalcore / screamo / and hardcore. Out of these which do you prefer most to do and why? In a genre filled with vocalists that sound the same for the most part your vocals seem to always stick out because of their blend of genres.
KOG : To be honest, I showed up at the studio, got in front of the mic, blacked out, woke up 2 days later and Abominable was done haha I’m just kidding but KOG is really my first real band that I have been a vocalist for, so Abominable was really an experimental stage for me. I have so much respect for so many different styles of vocals so there is no way I could just choose one. There are so many bands out there I think that you have to do something different than everyone else if you want to stand out at all. I can’t wait to get back in the studio and try some new stuff out, it’s gonna be awesome.
This goes out to Red & Max. With the two guitars there are always a distinct sound between you both. For example in the song “Onslaught” you can hear both guitars play a big impact during the song. How do you two decide who does what and how to balance it between the both of you to where one isn’t playing a bigger role in the song than the other?
KOG : We don’t really have a very ridged structure on who plays what guitar line. We really just work together and make sure the song is balanced so that one person isn’t having a bigger role than the other. It seems to work out and really helps for live shows if we share the spotlight.
Onto touring. Recently you guys seem to pushing it big with shows. With headlining shows and playing in various states, how are the shows going and how is touring treating you? Also everybody knows there has to be some crazy story or rockstar moment you guys have had that must be shared.
KOG : There is nothing that we love more than touring and playing shows. We cannot wait until we can get back on the road and start seeing our fans again every night. The shows have been going great though, we have been playing with some awesome bands. As for crazy moments on the road, let’s just say we’ve been on 3 tours now and haven’t gotten through even 1 of them without someone getting arrested haha.
What are your plans for upcoming tours? Do you plan on trying to hit various states? Maybe doing a summer tour to support the EP and what is done off the album? Maybe a Chicago show!!! Also have you guys ever thought about trying to get onto something like the “Warped Tour”. It would give all your fans across the country a easy way to see you guys and would defiantly give you guys some new fans and a way to take KOG across the country.
KOG : As soon as we are done recording this full length we will be touring, touring, touring. It is killing us to not be on the road even right now. So yes, Chicago is definitely gonna happen. We want on Warped Tour for sure, just waiting for that invite haha.
Realistically what are some bands you would like to tour with? I already know The Devil Wears Prada is one of them lol.
KOG : Haha yes TDWP is definitely one of them. Killswitch, WCAR, ABR, WIM, Parkway Drive, Architects, again…the list just goes ooooon.
With the release of your newest song “MJ Returns” it hit off with a huge bang.With over 3,000 views on Youtube in just a few days did you expect that it would take off to such a high degree? Also are you considering this your first single off the newest album?
KOG : We were definitely hoping to get a good response from dropping a new song. It had been so long since we released any new music we knew that fans were getting antsy. We were also really stoked to release it because we have a new drummer and we finally got to show him off. We are really happy that most people love it. This is definitely not a single, it is just a demo version and will be completely re-recording it for the full length.
While on the topic of the new album , what is the current status of it? I know you posted on your facebook that “MJ Returns” will be re-recorded for the album but are any other songs done? Also is there a release date set for it in the band or are you just hoping to get it done within a set amount of time to have it released later in 2012?
KOG : We have mad songs written for the album. We are trying to be as professional as possible and have as many songs written as we can before we enter. The studio time will be booked very soon, and we will let you know of a release date as soon as we can.
With the band currently being unsigned are there talks with any companys to get you signed? Also are there any specific ones that you are trying to contact?
KOG : We are not currently speaking with any labels. We are keeping it underground for now, and word of mouth us our best friend so help spread the word.
With such a strong fan support the band seems to connect with everyone that comments to KOG. Do you feel like connecting with every fan is a strong subject that a good amount of bands lack? What point do you think it makes for the fans to see how open you are with them?
KOG : We are all fans at heart, it’s where every musicians gets their start from. We’ve all reached out to way too many bands and been let down with no response too many times. It’s like your momma always told you, treat others the way you would like to be treated.
Before this is over is there anything I missed that you would like to talk about or is there anything extra you’d like to add? Another story , an announcement, maybe a call out?
KOG : We just want to say that 2012 is going to be a big year for us. We plan on doing a lot of touring and a lot of recording. We also want to say that MJ Returns is only 1 song of many, there will be something for everyone on the new album.
Lastly I’d like to thank you for taking the time to do this. Being the first interview I’ve done this will always hold a special memory for me and to have it being done with one of my favorite bands is even better. Thank you for doing this and I wish the entire band nothing but the best of luck in the future. In the future when KOG is playing near me you can bet I’ll be there hanging out with you guys. Maybe even doing a full video interview. Again though I wish you all nothing but the best of luck in the future.