We cover all points (Surfaces? Corners? You know what we’re getting at) of the globe here at Moshville Times. Today’s BotD come all the way from the other side of the Pond. Take it away, The King of Mars…
We’re all from the Chicagoland area.
How did you meet?
Most of us met at Columbia College, Chicago. I knew Matt from a guitar class and he introduced me to JJ. From there, we kept adding members until we got to 9 and realised we could barely fit on a normal stage anymore.
How long have you been playing as a band?
The King of Mars has technically been together since 2015, but we’ve been through a lot of lineup changes since then. Our current lineup has been together for about 6 months.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
I was watching the show Adventure Time and they have a King of Mars in one of their episodes. The King turns out to be Abraham Lincoln and he plays a super bad-ass character. After I saw that, the King of Mars was stuck in my head and I decided to go with it.
What are your influences?
Since we have so many members in this band, our influences are all over the place. I listen to a lot of rap and 90s grunge, but a good majority of our members love/study jazz so we have a very eclectic mix of music to pull from.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
If you ever wondered what a sonic baby between Radiohead and Red Hot Chili Peppers with a horn section would sound like, then look no further! We originally formed as a traditional four-piece rock band but have since evolved into a larger group with synths, auxiliary percussion, and a horn section. The sound shakes the foundation of traditional rock music by encompassing jazz, funk, and soul musicality alongside insightful lyricism.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
A good amount of my lyrics tend to be on the darker side. I struggle a lot with addiction and depression. Music has always been a good outlet for me to deal with those issues so those themes are super common for me to write about.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We put a lot of time into preparing for live shows. You can expect a really tight rhythm and horn section, in tune three part vocal harmonies, improv solos, high energy and decent amount of awkward stage banter. I’ve lost track of the number of shows we’ve played at this point, which seems like a good sign.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
One time at a Chicago show, an audience member kept yelling at us to turn up the trombone. I started poking fun at him on the mic saying, “That dude must really love him some ‘bone!” He didn’t take kindly to that and started threatening to kick my ass. I proceeded to start the next song before he could say anything else. At the end of the show he came up to me and apologised and said he was a new fan.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
We use a Tama drum kit, Fender bass, Fender Strat guitar, Gibson Les Paul guitar, and a Nord keyboard.
What are your plans for 2018?
Our album, Bleach and Aspirin, comes out on October 26th so be sure to follow our social media and Spotify pages to hear that! We also have our album release show at Reggie’s Rock Club in Chicago, IL on October 28th! That’ll be a huge Halloween show complete with decorations, a costume contest and a killer lineup! After that we’ll be heading to other major Midwest cities to support the album.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
I would love to open for Father John Misty. He’s been a huge influence on me since his first album came out and being able to set the stage for him would be amazing. One of my favourite local bands is Sir Mango. Those guys are great people and even better songwriters. They’ll be joining our bill for our album release!