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King Canute - LIVAMP

King Canute

King Canute are an Essex based UK touring band featuring Jon Lett (ex Ghost of the Highway) on Bass/Vox, Chris Woollams (ex Cypher-16) on Drums and Tommy Gentry (Zico Chain) as our live guitarist. We're currently working with writer Stu Deards (Ex Cypher-16) on our debut album.

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Livamp: Your debut LP is about to come out. First of all, congratulations! How was this process different than your previous EP releases and what were the biggest challenges you've had to overcome?

KC: This is probably one of the biggest challenges we've ever faced as a band, we view the EPs as little insights into our world, so a full length needs to be something special so that it doesn't grate or become boring. To tackle this we've now got a guitarist - this adds another element to our sound and really fills it out in ways that we never thought possible. The biggest challenge however was a mental one, after the last tour we weren't in a good place and needed to take some time out just to recharge - it was during this break that we decided on getting a third member and that really injected new life into the material we had written, as well as into us as a unit. The next biggest challenge will be not eat as many pot noodles during this recording process: recording in time can be difficult when you're stuffed full of freeze dried noodles.

Livamp: You guys have been around for some time - both as King Canute as well as in prior bands. What has changed and what hasn't, both for you as musicians as well as how you see the industry?

KC: The landscape of the industry has undergone a massive shift in the last few years, with both positive and negative connotations. On the well publicised and depressingly negative scale, venues are closing, bands are ending, labels aren't taking any chances on new sounds. But on the flip side, I think the power is now back in the artist's hands - possibly more than ever! There are so many tools to get your music out there and negate the need for a record label - if you're prepared to put the work in yourself. I think the biggest change however has been in ourselves - when we started out we had the mindset of "If we release this, then people will take us seriously" or "If we're on this label, then people will take us seriously" - maybe because we're a bit older or maybe we've just become slightly jaded by it all, but now we don't care too much about how seriously people take us. We're going to keep doing what we do because we love it - if other people dig it then we will welcome them into our world, if not, that's okay too.

Livamp: Flipping through articles and reviews online it feels like there's no consensus on what your "genre" is (if that's even a relevant concept these days). But how do you define your sound as well as your brand, for lack of a better word?

KC: The Genre-brigade really confuses us. These days we say Alternative Rock because with the new guitarist that vague description fits us the best. We've been dance-punk, post-punk rock, there's some metal elements on the album. I don't know - to me we're just a rock band. There's some singing, some screaming, some heavy guitars and drums, but then there's some lighter moments on the album too. So its difficult to put us in a box. To me we're a rock band in the broadest sense.

Livamp: You guys have toured a ton. Best (or most amusing) memory from the road?

KC: We seem to have spent most of our life as a band on the road, and in this time there's plenty of stories - many of them not suitable to be shared without an age rating approval. When we're missing home or maybe the tour isn't going so well, or we're just bored, we tend to play horrible pranks on each other. I don't remember how it all started but it came to a head on the last tour when we had to call a band meeting in the van to end the game.

There was hair-removal cream in hair gel, things ending up inside other members bodies - for real - it was getting out of hand. I guess some of my favourite memories, besides playing to great crowds and meeting great people, were some of these pranks. We filled Chris's snare drum with cake decorations - he kept them in there for like a month too. We covered him in flour after he got off-stage in Birmingham too, that stuck for days. It sounds like we do everything to Chris, but its just because everything he does to us is totally not appropriate to put in an interview! But aside from that, nothing will ever beat the feeling of staring out to hundreds of faces, all sharing the same energy and experience from your music - those are my best memories and if my life ever flashes before my eyes - I know those will be the moments I see.

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