King Nun burst onto the music scene back in 2016, consistency releasing banger after banger through the huge indie label, Dirty Hit (home to The 1975, Pale Waves). Known for their unbelievably enthusiastic live shows, including many of lead singer, Theo’s signature guitar jumps, King Nun are a band that everyone should be aware of. Having just released their debut album ‘Mass’, I caught up with Theo before their show at The Leadmill in Sheffield supporting The Struts.
How did the band meet?
I was a proper loner in school and our guitarist got told to sit next to me in assembly and we just got talking about music. All musicians have an attention seeking thing and in school, we just all had that so formed a band.
How was the songwriting process different for the album?
I think every time we’re going into a studio we usually have an idea of the thematics that we’re going to do. I like concepts so we have a lot of fun with that. But the album came so suddenly that I didn’t have time to think about the concepts or anything. We did the same technical process which is always very collaborative, but I had terrible writers block at the beginning but we tried hard with it so at least we can say that.
Are there any consistent themes running through the album?
Yeah, I think the fact that we wrote some of the songs when we were really young and then some of them were super recent there’s like a theme of growing up within it. It’s sort of coming of age, that’s how I think of it. I can see a conversation with myself happening in it.
Can you describe the music on the album?
In the past I’ve said things like ‘aggressive loving punk’ but I really hate the word ‘punk’. I honestly don’t know at this point. Maybe I’m consciously trying not to think about what it is, I don’t really know what to say beyond rock music?
Why don’t you like the word ‘punk’?
Well, it’s hard, I think punk addresses community now and to me, that idea is really important. But what punk describes sonically is going on a lot in pop music right now. I think the way that the words get used needs to be more about the people. I don’t see us as part of the punk scene though. The visuals that go along with this album seem to be a lot darker than previously, but the opposite case for the music. Was this juxtaposition a conscious choice for you? Our collective dream as musicians has always been to be able to write a good song on an acoustic guitar so that explains the conical lightness. Like if you strip back everything and just have the song in its rawest form without any production, you still know what type of song it is. We just want it to be concise and strip away the cliches.
Where does lyrical inspiration come from?
The late, great Tom Petty once said something about not wanting to look inspiration in the eye, incase it runs away, and I feel sort of the same about that. I don’t know where it comes from exactly, but I know it’s there. I care a lot about communicating things but I don’t care too much about grammar or sense, so lyrics are just a way to convey context for me.
Do you enjoy touring as a band?
Getting music out there for people is a huge honour for us and we love it. It’s a bit of a pain in the arse sometimes but sometimes its fantastic. It’s really cringe but when you’re on stage, nothing else matters, I could do without setting up all the equipment every night but the performing is the bit I live for. I’m addicted to escapism and it’s just like leaving the earth for a bit.
Near future plans?
Well, the album has just come out but we’re trying to write the next thing to come out which I have a theme for already. We might just do a sequel to the album at one point and just go proper Pink Floyd for a bit. We’ve got loads of plans for what our stage show is going to look like, trying to figure out how we can do. Stadium level show on a tiny stage. I also kind of just want to make a film as a band, but not about the band. I don’t have the skills to do that but it’d be cool.
And finally, any band recommendations?
There’s this band I love at the moment called Track Not Found, they’re this super young band I saw at a festival last year. They have incredibly important songs that just sound like complete music freedom. And there’s this really small, super cool band I’ve been getting into recently called The Beatles.