Band Of The Week #0096 - King Nun
This week’s Band Of The Week is the wonderful King Nun, who have just released their debut album ‘Mass’ via Dirty Hit. The record sees the Wandsworth quartet embracing the dark side of their music style. We had a chat with lead singer Theo Polyzoides about the release.
What is the story behind calling the album Mass?
Mass is defined by religious ceremony, something sizeable without definitive form, and that’s what I believe music is …
Give us a fly-on-the-wall snippet of what the recording process was like?
A joy and an honour to be in the studio and, in the end, I was thankful for the panic attacks and the near mental breakdowns.
In what kind of timeframe did the songs all come together; and how many songs didn’t make the cut?
The album is a mix of songs written when we were very young and some that we wrote in the studio. In a way, we have been working on this album these last five years. Four or five songs got left behind, but I even think the outtakes were really good and I hope they get to see the light of day sometime in the future.
Talk us through some of the lyrical inspiration. Was there a concept for the album as a whole, or was it a naturally ‘coming of age’?
I had really bad writers block when we first started the record, so the only thing I knew would work, was to tell the truth. I know my way of doing that is through metaphors and visuals, but I think fiction is more revealing than just reality.
Black Tree was a bit of a departure from anything we’d heard from you before; did that have something to do with you releasing it as the lead single?
We wrote the whole album without specific singles in mind. Black Tree was just a necessary part of the puzzle and when it came time to choose a single we realised it was the most provocative of them all.
What made you include Chinese Medicine as the only previously released song?
The album needed something anthemic … the album and the song share faith as a theme.
You’ve had a pretty good run of support slots in the run up to releasing the album. What would your dream line-up be?
R.E.M to headline (so they can get back together and I can witness the performance that’s inspired us so much); Richard Hell & the Voidoids; Sonic Youth; a young Bob Dylan and Joan Baez; Blondie.
Were there any bands who influenced the sound on Mass?
Richard Hell & the Voidoids have been a great inspiration to us since day one, and it goes without saying that R.E.M are my favourite band ever, so they influenced the record a lot.
From the melodic indie of Transformer, to the chaotic disco vibes of Low Flying Dandelion, how would you describe the album in one word?
On theme with the final lyric of A Giant Came Down which is “closes with a joke”, give us your best one liner.
I like what mechanics wear, overall. (Credit: Stewart Francis)
Feature by Tyler Damara Kelly
The band's album release comes in the wake of a huge summer for King Nun, including a recent support slot for Foo Fighters, and a wealth of raucous performances at festivals up and down the country. September also saw the band play a run of headline shows in the US, alongside some support slots with Reignwolf, whilst October will see them return to the UK with The Struts. The full list of dates can be found below.
9th - Rough Trade East, London
11th - Academy, Manchester (with The Struts)
12th - Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh (with The Struts)
13th - Leadmill, Sheffield (with The Struts)
15th - UEA, Norwich (with The Struts)
16th - Kentish Town Forum, London (with The Struts)
17th - Great Hall, Cardiff (with The Struts)
19th - O2 Academy, Leicester (with The Struts)
20th - O2 Academy, Bournemouth (with The Struts)
22nd - 013, Tilburg - Holland (with The Struts)
23rd - Zappa, Antwerp - Belgium (with The Struts)
24th - Trianon, Paris - France (with The Struts)
25th - Burgerhaus Stollwerck, Cologne - Germany (with The Struts)
27th - Columbiatheater, Berlin - Germany (with The Struts)
28th - Technikum, Munich - Germany (with The Struts)
29th - Fabrique, Milan - Italy (with The Struts)