Having released their much anticipated album “Carousel” through Nuclear Blast, Metal Wani’s Vaishali Jain had a chat with guitarist Mike Entin on all things Speaking The King’s.
Greetings from Metal Wani Mike! First off our team would like to congratulate you over the successful release of your debut Speaking The King’s album titled “Carousel”. How are you feeling?
Thank you so much for listening! The strongest feelings we have right now are being excited and anxious. This is the moment that we have been waiting for, getting all of our hard work out to the public and seeing how people embrace Speaking The King’s sound.
You guys have previously released a couple of tracks from the new album and since its release, the album is gathering a huge audience. You must have received several responses from friends and fans alike. What are some of the best responses that you have gotten so far?
We have definitely received some amazing reviews from friends, fans, and critics alike. From our EP HERE TO STAY to CAROUSEL, our sound has definitely matured and headed towards the catchier route than a heavier route and we really weren’t quite sure how people were going to react to that. The fact that we kept a heavy element and didn’t leave that completely behind still keeps the attention of those who enjoy those breakdowns, but still preserving those hooks that everyone can sing along with. One of the biggest compliments we have received is being compared to A Day To Remember but making it our own and not just another cookie cut sounding band. It’s really awesome to read all the different reviews and see them talking about how we blend heavy, yet still melodic and memorable seamlessly.
“Carousel” with its captivating riffs, remarkable drumming and inimitable vocals has gathered some great reviews from around the globe. One of the many things about the album that has gotten reviewers talking is the evolution of the band’s sound in the last 5 years. What are your thoughts on this?
We love the evolution and the direction we have decided to take on Carousel. The EP was written before Bobby had joined the band so the sound wasn’t clearly defined yet. It was half singing and half heavy, very influenced by A Day to Remember and others of the time. Once we realised what a gem of a voice Bobby has, the option to go towards something more melodically based was clear as day. We knew what a strong and unique voice Bobby had to offer so when we were writing Carousel, it was very influenced by the choruses and not specific breakdowns or verses. We wanted to do something a little lighter but still have those heavy elements and not completely change from the EP.
The album is an absolute gem when it comes to recording and production! Can you tell us how these two processes came about?
Thank you so much, and the person we can credit that to is Steve Evetts. We were so lucky and grateful to have landed Steve to man the helm of the Carousel recording. One of the coolest aspects that Steve brought to the table is that he spent a solid amount of time working with us in production. In the weeks leading up to our scheduled recording time, he would come and sit in on our practices to listen to each song and structurally/musically take notes and suggest different ideas that we hadn’t thought of or heard. It was great having another pair of ears on the music because we really thought that he brought out the best elements in each song.
As for the actual recording in the studio, it was full of so many amazing moments that you would listen back to, and your eyes would open so wide because you couldn’t believe how the song was turning out with every layer. Steve was very on point when recording and only liked working with one (with the exception of guitars) instrument at a time. He doesn’t like too many cooks in the kitchen and would push each of us to grow as musicians with every song. We really feel like with his drive and musical inspiration, it pushed us to make the best product possible that can be heard throughout the energy of every song.
Which song was the most challenging to record?
The most challenging song to record was “Shipwrecked” for sure. That song is very intricate with all the changes between verses plus making sure that they are clean with every instrument. The song in general is definitely a wild card on the cd because it has so many different influences of music throughout, but like Speaking The King’s, there isn’t a specific genre you can pinpoint it to. We actually really enjoy that element about us because when it comes to touring, we can fit in on almost any tour.
You guys have surely come a long way and put a tremendous amount of work and devotion into finally making this debut happen. How much of the band’s journey so far does this album reflect?
Carousel IS a reflection of what we have gone through as musicians and as individuals. It touches bases on all aspects of life and all the sacrifices that come with being a musician… or being a human for that matter. We love writing music that can be relatable to anyone, so someone can instantly connect with a song after hearing the chorus. One of the best moments we experience is when someone talks to us about how a song meant so much to them – because they have gone through those tough times and the music is what got them through it all. Our fans are always the number one priority and getting to know individuals on a personal level is a bonus we get from doing what we love.
The lyrics video to the track “Motion Sickness” has created quite a buzz. What have you got to say about the lyrical theme of this album?
This song really stood out musically and lyrically so we decided to make this the first impression of how STK had matured from the EP to Carousel. “Motion Sickness” is about being away from the one thing in life that you can always count on. This could apply to almost everyone and every situation, not only a touring musician but someone that has possibly lost a loved one or maybe a business man providing for their family but having to be absent for so long. The chorus is very uplifting and is very easy on the ears whereas the verses are really heartfelt, singing to that one person that’s motivating you to get through the tough times.
According to you, which song has come out to be the strongest?
This has to be one of the hardest questions we get asked about Carousel because we love all of them for so many different reasons. I can narrow it down to two candidates, which we love for different reasons. “Choke” is one of the biggest sounding songs on the album that is radio friendly. It is not only massive sounding to us but the lyrical content is what the whole theme of the album is based around. The song is about sticking with your dreams and passion despite everyone telling you that it’s dead end or that you will never amount to anything. The other song that we love and looks like it’s becoming a fan/critics favourite is “Caught in the Middle”. The energy that this song brings really sets the tone of the band and how we all live. This song is a relentless journey through pummelling verses into a chorus that you won’t be able to get out of your head – even after just one listen. The breakdowns are there for anyone that wants to get their dance on but the chorus is there for everyone to come together and sing along.
You guys have been on the Nuclear Blast Records bandwagon for over 2 years now. How has the journey been so far?
Nuclear Blast have been nothing but amazing for this band. We are grateful for everything that they have provided us with, including the opportunity to record with our dream producer, Steve Evetts. A lot of people have questioned the signing of a pop-punk band on a heavily metal roster but NB saw the potential in us and the possibility to transition in to a warped tour inspired market. It is AMAZING to say that SLAYER, MESHUGGUH, and DIMMU BORGIR are our label mates, especially since I am a mega Slayer fan and they were one of my major influences whilst learning to play guitar. We can’t thank them enough for everything they have provided for us and can’t wait to grow with them as band as well as carry the torch for our genre of fans!
So far Speaking The King’s has toured with some amazing bands. Are there any others you are looking forward to share the stage with soon?
There are so many bands that we would love to tour with and would love to get the opportunity to get the crowd warmed up for the headlining act – but it’s so hard to narrow it down. One question we actually like to ask someone who is interviewing us is what bands they would like to see us on tour with? It’s so hard to get a straight answer because our music is so diverse that the usual response is “almost anyone”. Some people have said we would fit great with BRING ME THE HORIZON or A DAY TO REMEMBER, some say newcomers PVRIS, and some said THE USED. We honestly take every response as a massive compliment and would love to play with all of those bands but we aren’t picky. If a band gives us the opportunity to hit the road with them and share a little of the spotlight, we would jump at the chance instantly. Hitting the road is definitely the main objective of the band now that Carousel is out.
After all the admiration “Carousel” is receiving worldwide, you guys must have already started planning out the band’s future. Is there any new material you guys are working on?
As a musician, you are never done writing. We have been working on some newer material but we are still waiting to find out on what the crowd favourites are and why. It’s so difficult to tell what the people’s favourites songs will be at this stage because the music was only recently released and it still needs time to grow and develop.
The touring leg looks pretty tied up for the band this year. Can we see you in India anytime soon?
Touring the world is definitely the next step in this band’s career. Properly touring the states then making it to the UK will be the first steps, and having the honour to play in India. It would be a dream come true to build a following and go over for a show and get to fans on the other side of the world. So the best is… hopefully within the next year!
Thank you so much for talking to us Mike! We wish you all the best with your future ventures. Your fans down here in India would love to hear from you! Do you have message for them?
We just want to thank Metal Wani taking the time to check out the cd and give us this opportunity! We also want to thank anyone that has giving these American boys a chance and for listening to Carousel, and to tell their friends to check it out! We hope to make it over to you shortly and, and do keep listening to the new songs so you are prepared when we do make it to India!!!!