Interviews: Little King


On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the  Progressive Rock band Little King from the USA. Check out the interview and follow the 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?

My first name, "Ryan," means "Little King" in Gaelic. Or close enough, I guess. So when my previous band called Tweed Quickly dissolved, it was an easy transition. I was gonna do it my way, you know? So it seemed appropriate. I like to have a sense of humor about myself, too. I am not really a tyrant, I swear! So it's funny, at least to me.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

I don't even know what genre we are...do you? Rock, prog, alternative, metal, etc...they all appeal to me as a listener and as a player who is constantly challenging himself. I think our music reflects that. I don't mail it in, especially when it comes to the lyrics, so I write songs that are somewhat hard to play while still (hopefully) pleasing to the ear. They are certainly hard to play and sing at the same time. As a listener, I am all over the place. Perhaps that is a function of getting older? But my playlist this hour has been The Eagles, David Byrne, Mozart, Dio, and Toots and the Maytals. My friends hate me when I DJ in the car! So that eclectic list reflects the style of music that I create within. Which is, I guess, limitless.

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

Well, my band changes every album. I have literally never had the same lineup twice on any of the 6 Little King albums. Now Manny Tejeda, the bassist and sometimes singer, he's a relatively new friend from Delaware. I've lived here for 6 years and have probably known him for 4 years. He's one of my best friends, and we just hit it off. He's an American citizen, but he's originally from the Dominican Republic. Dude has some flavor, for sure. He's a character, and that fits right in with the rest of us. Eddy Garcia, the drummer and recording engineer, is an old friend of 20+ years and someone who I've collaborated with since we made Virus Divine in 2003. He engineered that album at his studio in El Paso, but he played drums on all of the last 3 records (Legacy of Fools, OD1, and Occam's Foil) as well as turned the knobs. He's a beast...played with Ministry and Overkill and has a sick band called Pissing Razors. Those are metal bands and we are not, but I think Little King gives him a chance to stretch out and play some different styles. He excels at everything, for sure. Just listen!

4. Each band member favorite band?

Mine is probably Rush (RIP Neil Peart...miss you, man.) Manny would probably say Deftones or Korn, and Eddy is a Pantera or AC/DC guy.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

I am definitely inspired by current events, my kids, and the experiences of my past. I am not a bystander to life...I like to get in the mix, and I've had a bit of gypsy road. Different careers, a couple marriages and children, 6 albums, and lots of tracks behind me. Certainly enough inspiration in my own existence, but I try not to be too self-centered. There are so many things happening in the world right now that are unprecedented in nature and scope, so the ground is fertile for a lot more music, and soon!

6. Where was your last gig?

First Live in Brooklyn...I played a little acoustic set there. My good friend Danny Garcia owns it, and he is actually the brother of our drummer, Eddy. Danny and I have a lot of history, too! He owned the club where I got my start in El Paso back in the mid-90's. In fact, I had the CD release party for our first record, Transmountain, at his place (The Attic) back in May of 1997. So it was good to play a few songs for him in New York. Other than that, it's been writing and recording. 2020 is the year of the live performance, God willing.

7. Where would you like to perform?

Europe. For sure. I have been to every state in the USA except Alaska, which will happen at some point this year. But I haven't played in Europe and have only traveled a little over there since the 90's. We do well over there with press and sales, so I think that's my target. Again, the Coronavirus has thrown all of my plans into a lurch. But if I could choose, I'd do a month in the major cities of Europe.

8. Whom would you like to perform with?

Tool, Foo Fighters, Porcupine Tree, Dream Theater, Alice in Chains, Modest Mouse, Pearl Jam...you got a hookup?

9. Whom not?

I'll skip this. My mom would be pleased.

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

No. My personality is the anti-stage fright. Preparation meets opportunity, right? We don't take the stage unless I feel we are ready to deliver a 10 out of 10. If we play poorly, it's still gonna be a 7-ish. If you are rehearsed and a team, then we rely on each other through rough patches of a set. I am not scared! And at the end of the day, if we put our best foot forward and still don't reach people, well...fuck it. I'll come watch your band.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

In no particular order, I'll go with Rush, Steely Dan, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden, Metallica, ACDC, The Talking Heads/David Byrne, Yes, Judas Priest, The Grateful Dead, Neil Young, John Mellancamp, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Widespread Panic, Tupac, Snoop, Ice Cube, Dre-era Death Row and Aftermath, Santana, Crowded House, Buena Vista Social Club, Peter Tosh, and so so so many more.

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

My seed. A little little king, as it were.

13. What do you think of your fans?

I'm in awe of them, that they would spend the time to give a shit about my music and words. It's incredible, really. Objectively...I sit on my bed in the dark and fiddle around with chords and arpeggios and notes. They come together because I'm Obsessive Compulsive about the need to create a musical and lyrical legacy. I record them with my friends... People like that? Care about it? Actually LISTEN to it in the car and at home? I still, after all of these years, can't get my head around it. I think "gratitude" would be a massive understatement. 

14. What do you think of our site?

I don't know, yet! My publicist didn't tell me who you are, but I absolutely promise to check it out and let you know. Appreciate you interviewing me, though.

15. Something to add?

Please visit our site at www.littlekingtunes.com if you like rock music. There is a lot of info, press, music, video interviews, and more. I promise you this...you'll find a song you wanna play again and again.

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