Special thanks to Chris A. For conducting the following interview.
Listen to the entire interview with Eddie Veliz from Kyng below:
[ca_audio url=”http://www.unsungmelody.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Kyng-Interview-Eddie-Velez.mp3″ width=”500″ height=”27″ css_class=”codeart-google-mp3-player”]
Today we’re welcoming Eddie Veliz from Kyng. Eddie is the vocalist and guitarist for Kyng. Thanks for joining us, and welcome to the Unsung Melody family. Eddie, can you give me a bit of a history lesson about your band. Where’s your band from, who’s in it, and what are you guys up to?
We are from Los Angeles, California. East Los Angeles to be exact. The band formed about 3-1/2 years ago. Pepe (drummer) and Tony (bass player), they were in a band together at one point in time. Tony and myself were also in a band together at one point also. We all just decided to create a side project called Kyng, that turned into the bread and butter. It turned into the little band that could. We were kind of tired of our other bands. The band that I was in, this guy was kind of like a Hitler. He just wanted everything done his way, and it wasn’t working, at all. I’m not sure if the guys were in the same kind of boat, but I guess they kind of were. So, we decided to get the side project going, and do a little jamming. We said, “Let’s do some Sabbath, Opethy-kind of vibe stuff, and see what we can come up with.” Then, all of a sudden, Kyng was formed. Falling Down was actually the first song that we had written together, and it turned out to be our first single.
*You can check out my concert photo gallery of Kyng here.
What led you to go with the power trio format? You’re holding down the vocals, and playing guitar in the band. Might I add, you do a great job by the way.
Thank you very much. Originally, the idea was to have a 2nd guitar. Once we started writing though, I just felt that we didn’t need it. We weren’t trying to be Thin Lizzy or anything, we just wanted to jam. I just felt that another guy in the band would be too much of a commotion. It could be another speedbump to get around. I just like doing things on the fly. A lot of things come spontaneous. That jam aspect of things. I love Zeppelin, they are one of my favorite bands, and the whole jam aspect that they had was a real inspiration. It was what I wanted to do. So, I told Tony, I said, “If you want harmonies, and guitar harmonies, then let’s just do bass guitar harmonies. Bass and guitar, we’ll mesh that together. You just gotta pick up your game. You need to get a little more notey on the bass. “ He’s like, “You’re right, let’s do it!”
I’ve spun several tracks. I got a heavy vibe, kind of a stoner rock style, with a really good old school rock and roll feel. I watched Falling Down, and Spit live on YouTube, and I gotta admit, I love the vibe. I love the energy, the headbanging. Is that kind of what folks can expect when they see you live?
100%. The album is different from our live show. There’s a lot more energy. It’s extremely intense, and I think you’ll get a different vibe from it. As for the whole stoner vibe, we feel that we take from all the classic rock bands. We feel we are more of a free from classic rock band, than a stoner band. I don’t even think that we fit into that genre. It’s fine though, we’re not opposed to it. We love a lot of those bands too. The band was never an idea of putting us in a genre. We don’t even know ourselves. We call ourselves a heavy metal band disguised as a rock band, or vice versa, depending on the situation. To us, we’re just writing music, we’re not trying to re-invent the wheel or anything like that. We are just trying to do things a little differently. My favorite bands are Cream, and Jethro Tull, and Sabbath, and Zeppelin.
Your album is called Trampled Sun, you mentioned the live show has a different vibe to it. Tell me a little bit about the record.
The record was really my brain-child. (laughter) I’m just kidding. We didn’t sit down and say, we should write a song that sounds like this or that. It was just, I had an idea, and we finished that. Tony had an idea, and we tackled that. We just started forming these songs. If you listen to the album, it’s different from beginning to the end. The songs are crazy. They’re all their own entities. They’re all their own characters. The vocal melody is the common thread that ties a lot of these songs together. Otherwise, they are all different. When you go from Falling Down, to Takes Its Toll, to The Roses, and you end with The Beauty Of The End/Shorelines Pt. 1 & 2, it totally runs the spectrum man. It’s everywhere. We love that about the album too. It’s like putting your iPod on shuffle when you hear the entire album. It’s great because we have a lot of people come up to us, saying that every time that I listen to your album, it’s a different song that grabs me.
Was that diversity in style, or were you just recording cool songs?
There was really no plan. We never meant to do much of anything. (laughter) We just wanted to get the songs going. We were just excited to actually have songs! That’s it. Now, we have too many songs. We can’t even play them all live.
One of the things that I liked about the songs, is the vocals. You are a clean, clear vocalist. I can understand every word you say, and I think that is pretty important. How important are the vocals in the songs that Kyng performs?
They’re a major part in the performance, and the recordings of these songs. Because, as I said, we are a rock and roll band disguised as a metal band, or vice versa. There are so many heavy riffs in this album. We’re a heavy band. We’re virtually a heavy metal band, BUT anybody could get our riffs and sing a death metal scream over the top of them. Then, you’ll just sound like any other band. We feel that we’ve successfully merged heavy riffs with clean vocals, that don’t sound corny or cheesy. There’s a real blues element to everything we do. No matter how heavy, no matter how many blast beats Pepe is throwing in there…He’s a great drummer. He’s phenomenal by the way. That guy is non-stop. He’s hits toms everywhere, he’s blast beating, he’s choking the cymbals. Then you got Tony, who’s totally from the school of Geezer Butler, playing a ton of notes. He’s just non-stop, his fingers are flying everywhere. I’m in the same boat. I love Jimmy Page, and Tommy Iommi, and all those guys, so to try and merge all that in with clean vocals, while making it as heavy as possible, I don’t think very many bands are doing that these days.
You’ve been out on the road with guys like Pop Evil, and Black Stone Cherry. They give 100% at every show. The road is pretty challenging, what’s it like for you guys out on the road?
For us, it’s extremely challenging. It’s literally just us three. That’s it. No crew, no sound man, no merch dude. When we’re out on tour, it’s just us. It’s the bass player, the drummer, the guitarist, that’s it. We’re in this van that you are in now.
We’re doing the interview in their van. We’re living the dream.
Yeah! (laughter) You’re in my bed basically. We come in, we set up our own gear. We play, we jump off stage to sell merch. Then we pack the van. We do it all ourselves. There is some dude on the internet posting some kind of crazy shit, saying that we are a band that was put together by the record industry. Little does he know, that we’re in a fucking van, doing everything ourselves.
You’re on tour now, and you’re with Megadeth. It’s gotta be pretty fulfilling to be out on the road with an icon like Mustaine and his band.
Oh man, are you kidding? This is like a dream of mine. To go back to what you were saying about being out with Pop Evil. We’ve been able to jam with so many different bands. We’ve did the Pop Evil tour. We did the Black Stone Cherry tour. We were out with Danzig. We did the Orion Festival. We were handpicked by James Hetfield of Metallica, where Suicidal Tendencies played after us. We played with The Sword, and Red Fang, whom we love. We could go all night. Clutch! We toured with Clutch and Monstro, and Corrosion of Conformity. We’ve jammed with all these bands, and I don’t know that there are that many bands in this genre, that could actually cross-over with all those other bands. Our last tour was with Seether, Eye Empire, and Sick Puppies dropped off somewhere along the way. Then our very next tour is with Megadeth. Think about that. I don’t think that there are very many bands that could hold their own across that spectrum.
Well, you know, there’s a lot to be said for being able to play to your audience. If you need to metal it up, or you need to make it a little more radio friendly, you can do that too. The fact is, you are in a business, and this is how you make your living. One of the guys in the band is from Mexico originally.
Yeah, my drummer, Pepe Clark.
So, you’re almost an international band in some regards.
Are you able to capitalize on that? Mexico is such a freaking Metal country. They’re so into metal. Are they into your band?
I don’t know. I really don’t know if they are or not. It’s funny, because everybody in the band is Mexican. I’m half Mexican, half Cuban. My bass player is 100% Mexican. My drummer was born and raised in Mexico. Tony and I grew up in Los Angeles. I don’t know if they know though. We’ve never really tried to tackle that. We don’t want to be known as, this Latin band. We didn’t want to create that stigma of being driven by our culture, or our ethnicities. We’re just a band. Regardless of race, or ethnicity. We want to be known for just the music, and not for where we’re from. It’s always a big shocker when people find out that I’m Latin. They’re like, “You are? You’re so white looking!” (laughter) I don’t get it either, but you know what, I am.
Eddie, I thank you so very much for joining us. Best of luck to you guys, and be safe out there on the road. Thanks for the hospitality.
Purchase or preview Trampled Sun by Kyng from Amazon below:
Check out the official live video for Falling Down by Kyng below: