An Interview With The Rising Pop-Rock Australian Group BETWEEN KINGS On Their Latest Tunes, Postponing Their Album Release and More!
Rising alternative pop-rock band Between Kings recently released their Antidote EP via The Regime. Produced by Jimmy Messer [AWOLNATION, Kygo, Kelly Clarkson, Selena Gomez], this new 4-song EP is named for the band’s radio single “Antidote,” currently making waves at alternative rock stations across the country and rising up the Alternative Radio chart. With its personal take on mental health, “Antidote” is a non-judgmental observation of how people cope with the pressures of modern society – a timely topic as the world navigates the heightened pressures of our altered lives. Between Kings has also issued the music video for another featured track on the EP, “Too Young To Give A Fuck.” The band called upon their fans worldwide to submit videos of them dancing and singing along to the anthemic song. The Antidote EP, also featuring “Bad For Me” and “Show Me What It’s Like To Love,” is the first half of new music coming from Between Kings this year, as the coronavirus affected the rollout for their full-length album, Young Love, which will now be released at a later date.
“Everyone in the world is struggling, not just with coronavirus itself but everything that has come along with it – loss of loved ones, jobs, stability, loneliness and a massive rise in mental health issues,” shares the band. “We’ve also been hit by this too as plans, dates and events were pushed or canceled. The full album release date kept getting pushed back due to studio time, but we, and our team, really wanted to be there for the fans in this hard time and bring some new music on the original release date. So, we’ve broken the album up into two parts! We’re actually really excited to do this so we can give something to everyone now and when the lockdown and restrictions start to lift, we can get everything back on track to bring the second half to you later in the year. We truly feel like this is our best work and we hope you enjoy! We’ve put so much time and passion into these songs that we are proud to say we’ve found our signature sound!”
The Australian-bred, Los Angeles-based quartet – Nic Machuca [vocals], Jordan Coyne [guitar], Jayden Marsh [bass], Nick Fanning [drums] – are at once a throwback to those times when rock ‘n’ roll music could save your life and a glimpse into its possible future. Between Kings released their debut album, The Escape, in 2018, which showcased their penchant for arena-rock choruses and emo-punk influences like Blink-182, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Linkin Park and Rage Against the Machine. With the help of Messer, their new music demonstrates a real progression in songcraft, a modern-day pop hybrid that incorporates scratching, synths and even hip-hop beats to a classic rock palette that evokes both The Beatles and U2. Between Kings, whose music has been streamed over 1.5 million times on Spotify, started out playing open mic nights in Brisbane before tackling the club circuit and then becoming one of Australia’s top touring attractions, including an outing with Escape the Fate. Now based in the States, the sky is the limit for the young four-piece.
Connect With Between Kings Online Here: WEBSITE
Learn more about Between Kings in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today. So how are you and the rest of the band keeping busy and musical these days during this crazy Covid-19 pandemic? How are you staying connected to your fans? Is it hard to be away from each other or are you all part of each other’s quarantine crew?
It is our pleasure. During this time, we are just focusing on the small things. Keeping active and making sure that practice doesn’t fall to the wayside. It is easy in times of rest to let things slip but we are using it to our best advantage and making the most of it. When it comes to our fans, we are trying to break down the walls and barriers to show them who we are as people. Getting more personal and opening up to everyone especially during Covid-19 where people may be feeling down and alone. We have been feeling it being away from our homes so we are trying help out those in the same situation and give them a distraction/respite from it all.
What kind of music do you think is going to come out of these challenging times? Are you all working on anything new right now?
Now is the best time for new creation. With boredom comes experimentation and that will lead to some new music never heard before and will really help shape the new wave of music. We are currently releasing our EP on the 24th of April with our title track “Antidote” that has been going amazingly well and we are so proud of it and everyone that has been involved in all its stages. Writing never really stops for us, we keep it going 24/7-365 so there is always something new coming around the corner.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could all be in this group together? Do you find that your band name still represents you and your music today? Where did your name come from exactly? What other names were you considering?
It all started back in University where Nic, Jordan and Jayden met. It all started in those practice rooms with Nic and Jordan playing guitar and writing music and quickly evolved from there. Then, we posted an ad online and Tricky (our drummer) walked through the door. We never sat down and decided we wanted to be an official band; we just kept progressing and getting better because we were having so much fun. The name came after an intense night of Scrabble. We were all sitting around the board dishing out punishment if you couldn’t get a better word score than the work previously placed down. Between was on the board and King was running off the N. Then, Tricky had nothing to put down so he threw down an S and after the punishment we were left with our future band name.
How do you think your hometown has influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group? If not, why do you think that is? What was it like leaving Australia and moving to Los Angeles? How did that big move effect your music and the band overall?
Brisbane has such a small music scene compared to LA but the music scene from our point of view are similar. Everyone who is in the live music scene are there because they love fostering new and upcoming bands and they love the feeling and rush that live music brings. Because we came from such a small city, we learned to really appreciate the work that goes into every show and all the people who help run the nights as without them we have no place to live out our dreams. Moving helped us simply reach more people.
I am so sorry that you had to postpone the release of your full-length album “Young Love” since you couldn’t get into the recording studio to finish it. I love though that you are instead putting out the “Antidote EP.” Tell me how you came to this decision and how this has all been for you guys?
We were devastated that we weren’t able to do a full album with the pandemic stopping us from getting more studio time. We have all the songs written and ready to go, so we can’t wait to get back in and finish it all off. The decision to release an EP while we wait for the pandemic to settle was an easy one. We have this music ready and figured why not just release it in two parts.
What was it like putting your EP together and working with producer Jimmy Messer who has worked with so many big-name artists?
Working with Jimmy has been amazing for us. He has helped us capture these songs perfectly and without his help they wouldn’t sound the same. He has worked with some of the biggest names in the business so to have him agree to work with us and help us define our sound was amazing.
What was the inspiration for your newest single, “Antidote”? What was it like making the music video for it? How creatively involved with the process of making it were you and others in the band?
The inspiration behind “Antidote” came from a personal constant struggle with mental health. The song deals with coming to terms with needing help to get through each day, so it’s pretty close to home for us. When it came to the music video, we had a blast working with some amazingly talented people who helped bring our vision to life. It was great getting to be behind the scenes working with the crew. We even got to make a few sneaky cameos which we were excited about.
I always like to ask bands how much you hang out socially apart from when you are creating and performing music?
We never leave each other’s side. Back when we lived in Australia, Jordan, Nic and Jayden lived together and before Jayden moved in, Tricky was also living in the house. We are like brothers in every essence of the word. Now, with Covid-19, we have moved it more online and play a lot of online video games together. We have always had similar interests and it is because we are such great friends that the band works as well as it does.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
It really depends on what we’ve done most recently but I (Nic) would say we all love preforming live than anything else. It is such a rush and all the hard work that has been put into writing really shines through when you are face to face helping everyone forget anything that might be going on in their lives even if it is for a moment.
What do you think makes for an ideal show for this band? What have been some of your favorite shows and venues lately?
We treat every show the same – we go out and perform the best we possibly can each and every night. It is about making the most of everything you’ve got at your disposal. Every venue is different and has its own unique style so we just keep to our high energy show and inject as much liveliness and fun as we can. We have loved playing every venue in America but, it was great fun to play those iconic venues we all heard about growing up like The Viper Room, Hard Rock in Vegas, and The Whiskey A GO-GO.
Do you have any tour dates scheduled for later this year? Have any dates been canceled yet due to the Coronavirus?
We had an entire tour that has since been cancelled. We are waiting for this whole thing to blow over before we start announcing tours as things are still changing every day. Hopefully, we get to hit the road soon though. We are starting to get serious cabin fever!
With all the different social media platforms out there, how do you balance it all? How do you think that social media has impacted this band? How often are you all on your different sites interacting with fans? How have you been able to utilize it through the years?
Social media is the best way for us to be in contact with all our fans and we love it. Social media becomes your second job as a musician because you want to keep everyone updated on all the new and exciting things going on in your life that is all a direct impact of the love and support that the fans give to us. We try to be on social media whenever we aren’t doing anything else and restricting the love and support shown to us. We personally love asking questions to our fans because we want to know what they all think and are doing; they have invested so much in us and we love doing the same. We try and show absolutely every stage of our music on social media as well. If you tune into our Live streams you are likely to hear new music being made that you’ll hear on the next EP or Album.
What musicians have really been inspiring you all since you first started making music? Who would you still love to work with?
We all grew up listening to similar bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queens of the Stone Age, Blink-182, Paramore, System of a Down and so many more and that is what connected us all at the start. We find inspiration in almost anything we listen to because every song has something to teach you and something that is unique to that song. Personally, I (Jayden) would absolutely love to be on stage with Bruno Mars. I grew up listening to Motown/Soul/R&B and his swagger, stage presence and songs remind me most of what I loved hearing as a child.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
We hope people connect with our music the same way we connected with the songs that inspired us. We write music we love about things that influence our lives. The message we want to give is one of humanity. We are all human, we all deal with our own demons from love to lust and everything in between. If we can use music to help ourselves and others through all of this, we will be happy.