Interviews: Puppet Kings

In this new occassion we have had the opportunity to interview the Rock/Metal band Puppet Kings from UK. Check out the interview and this band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1.Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that? 

Tom: Puppet Kings comes from the idea of Puppet rulers in the world and how they fulfill the needs of foreign powers but not necessarily the needs of their people. Ultimately these Puppet rulers or Kings would eventually be overthrown. I wrote a song about it and thought it would be a cool name for the band. I love History and Politics and try to include elements of it in my lyrics. In music you could even compare it to bands being puppets of record companies. 

2.Why did you want to play this genre? 

T: I've always been obsessed with Rock n Roll. Ever since I picked up an electric guitar and got in a band at school. We formed a Led Zeppelin covers band and I grew up learning classic rock songs and just became a disciple of Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Richie Blackmore, SRV and Slash. Rock and roll picked me. There was no choice in the matter.  I'm just a white guy trying to play the blues. 
Harry: It's just so fun to play! You can let loose and go complete balls out rock. I love feeling the groove as well. Nothing like playing right in the pocket.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed? 

T: Yes we played together in separate bands in and around the Brighton Scene and we always had mutual respect for each other. We were big fans of each others music so when we both became available to play together in the same band Puppet Kings, it made perfect sense. Check out Harry's old band "Death Ape Disco". They are fantastic. 

4. Each band member favourite band? 

T: Alice in Chains for me will always be number 1. Its that combination of heavy sludgy guitar work by Jerry Cantrell with these lovely twisted vocal harmonies. They can be brutal and ugly one moment and then euphoric and beautiful the next. Its the melody mixed with heavy which gets me every time. The songs on the surface are simple pop rock songs but there is always really intelligent, thoughtful, complex stuff going on underneath. 

​H: Probably Avenged Sevenfold to me. The musicianship is phenomenal and the songs just resonate with me a lot. I'm always flabbergasted by M. Shadows' vocal range and ability. There's no better metal vocalist in my eyes, and everyone else would agree if they were honest with themselves.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs? 

T: Anything can inspire me to write a song. Reading a book, watching the news, getting my heart broken again and again (he says playing tiny violin) The song on our new EP called Mountain Song was actually inspired from getting a parking ticket for stopping momentarily in a no stop zone in London. It was caught on CCTV and I had to pay a big fine. It got me thinking about how there is so much surveillance and technology in modern life now and the song touches on that yearning to escape to simpler time of mountains and forest. Hence Mountain song. 

6. Where was your last gig? 

T: We played at the Star Guildford which is a great venue and one of the best in the South East. Some idiot landlord has built some flats next door and started to make noise complaints and they are now threatening to close it down. Stuff like that really annoys me. I've seen so many great venues close down due to noise complaints usually from landlords looking to make huge profits from luxury flats. The venues were there first. If you don't want to be disturbed by sound then don't move next to a live music venue. Its a simple as that. I would urge everyone who cares about live music and local venues, to sign petition to save the Star Guildford.

7. Where would you like to play? 

T: Brighton Concorde 2 is my favourite venue in the World. Right on the sea front. Perfect size. Great sound. I've seen some awesome bands there including Dillinger Escape plan, Orange Goblin, White Denim, Band of Skulls, Nile. We are due to support Slade there which we are really looking forward to.  

​H: I've been to 2000trees Festival in the last couple of years and I couldn't think of anywhere better to play to be honest. The atmosphere, friendliness, buzz is second to none and it's just the best vibe. Bands play then stay the whole weekend and watch other bands, it's just so damn good. And that's exactly what I would do! Download Festival is obviously a big one for me too and talking venues, probably Brixton Academy. Been there so many times and just love the place.

8. Who would you like to support? 

T: Would love to play with Royal Blood again as they are also a 2 piece and their success is really inspiring to us. The dream would be to whip out Man in the Box with Alice in Chains at somewhere like the Brixton Academy. That would be insane. 

​H: There's a really awesome band called Marmozets. I love their music and they just seem like so much fun. I've seen them in interviews and they're a 5-piece band with a unbelievably gifted female singer made up of 2 sets of siblings and they like playing football on tour, card games, they just seem like an up and at em bunch of dudes I'd love to hang out with.

9. Who not? 

T: I wouldn't want to play with Dillinger Escape Plan. They are so brutally fast and heavy we would sound like a couple of pre pubescent choir boys next to them. Then again it might be fun!

​H: Anyone who isn't a fan of Nintendo. It's essential to have Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart, Mario Party sessions or at least a love of it. It just wouldn't be doable in my eyes otherwise.

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that? 

T: Definitely. Stage fright is all part of it. I would say try to embrace it. Try to harness that nervous energy and use it constructively. The best way to overcome stage fright is just to keep playing live and practicing a lot. If you have practiced hard and you are really good then stage fright starts to fade and it becomes all about trying to blow everyone away. I used to get a really wobbly left leg when I first started playing but that settled down as got more confident. There comes a point when you just think; fuck it! What have I got to loose by making a tit of myself on stage?

​H: A major reason I'm able to enjoy playing the drums so much live is that I'm at the back and it almost feels like no one can see me (because I can't see them due to stage lights!) so I can get away with all my facial expressions when I'm in the moment. If I was up front I'd be a complete wreck.

11. What bands have inspired you the most? 

T: I would say the most inspiring bands to me would be the bands we have played with. There is nothing better than being on a bill with a fantastic band. That drives you on to play better and try and get as good a reaction from the crowd as possible. The most inspiring bands I have played with are Harry's old band "Death Ape Disco", "Stark" "International Diamond Thieves" and of course "Royal Blood". All bands we played with a lot on the Brighton Scene. 

​H: The whole reason I pursued drums with a passion is The Rev from Avenged Sevenfold. I just thought he was so cool and I wanted to do everything he could. He really kept me focused in the early days of my drumming. Wouldn't be anywhere near where I am now if it wasn't for him. The bloody legend.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for? 

T: We played in a really rough pub once in Brighton. It was pub more suited for football matches and stabbings than a live band. We were really nervous before we played because it was barely a venue and not at all a rock kind of a crowd. We weren't sure how loud guitars and drums would go down in such a place. But surprisingly, it totally worked out and they loved us. They loved us so much that at the end of the set they wanted us to stay on and play Oasis songs for another 2 hours. Everyone wanted Wonderwall. This group of girls came up on stage mid guitar solo and were begging us to play Oasis songs in exchange for sex. They were shouting in my ear while I was widdling away. It was insane. We never bothered to learn any Oasis songs so we just played Black Sabbath instead.

​H: The only vaguely weird one I could think off the top of my head is when a woman loved our set so much that she said she was starstruck and had to get some air outside. I'm sure the real reason was I was so sweaty and smelly that she just had to get away from me. Don't blme her.

13. What do you think of your fans? 

T: Man our fans have been so supportive and stuck with us through different line ups, long hiatus', and terrible haircuts. I would describe them as an incredible loyal bunch and hopefully we have repaid some of that support with our banging new EP. 

14. What do you think of our site?

T: I love the track by track breakdowns on a particular album and the way you look at the meaning of the bands artwork. Ive also been digging your video of the week by band Ravenface. Song is called colder. Really good stuff and the video is nice too. Love the leaves on the drumkit.  

15. Something to add?

T: Yes our new EP "The Mountain" is released in March but you can listen to the lead single "The Message" on you tube. Check it out. We shot the video in a 2000 year old Roman Amphitheatre in Bulgaria. . Its probably the most rock and roll thing we have ever done!

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