TWO-PRONGED INTERVIEW w/ Of The Earth & All Kings Fall
from the desk of Robby Ray| LIFE, MUSIC, & MUTINY
Everybody likes a little controversy, a bold statement. To grab attention. To turn some heads. All Kings Fall is the best band in Wisconsin. Exclamation point. Read it again and then check their event schedule, attend and find out for yourself. Not that it’s a competition (it’s not), but if it was.. then they already won whether you think one way or the other about it. Their performance brings an intense brand of thrash that is tough to match and truly unrivaled now that they’ve teamed up with another group of metal crusaders to pummel ears and egos show after show after, you get it. But total badasses can have heart too, I had the pleasure of a quick conversation with All Kings Fall alongside fellow Waupaca WI-based metal quartet Of The Earth. Because why interview just one band when you could chat with two? Here’s part of our transcript with some of my unabashed commentary for context:
Let’s start by discussing Of The Earth’s live performances. I’ve heard the tune “The Final Solution” enough times from the crowd to know it’s a monster track for you, what new song(s) in the arsenal do you think might connect best with the audience going forward? Pick 1 or 2 and state your thoughts.
OtE: We have a few new tunes we are throwing down live, but I think Lords of the Underground is our new mainstay. It is directly influenced by our immediate music family and the community at large. “Lords” is for the Sisters and Brothers we know who put their marrow into their music and suffer just to give everyone a piece of themselves, as well as the great folks who attend and connect with that art. Without them, there is no music community and so the song is about keeping a straight back and a stiff upper lip, the strength of self and chosen-family.
I can dig that, big time! So, I downloaded Vol II: Patient Zero from www.oftheearth.bandcamp.com about a month after its release and was impressed with both the musicality and lyrical content. Fill the audience in on the creation of sound and style of these jams.
Nathan (OtE): When Roger and I started OtE, we made our main goal to be free to involve any influence without restriction and ranging from John5 to Iron Maiden, the Doors to RATM, AIC to Joe Bonamassa, Donnie Darko to Robert Frost…the sound is coming from numerous angles, both musically and lyrically. We had a course set, but once Eric and Jake were locked in [bass and drums respectively], the groove exploded and our foundation was solidified. The five tracks are wholly different from each other but all share an energy that is intense and personal; we believe it finds a way to endear itself to countless types of music fans from any walk of life.
**Today is the perfect day for Spotify users out there to create/add Of the Earth to a playlist. We all know streaming is taking over and if you ain’t downloading tunes, you must be streaming riiiight??**
Hey All Kings Fall, I was blown away when I first heard you playing “Drink To The Lost” and “Bury The Hatchet” to a packed venue just outside of Wausau back in January. I made my way to the front and knew then how truly powerful your stage presence was – Does your fanbase have a favorite few songs that you hear requested most? Curious, do you like performing certain tunes more than others?
AKF: As far as the songs on the album are concerned, people seem to react the most to Elephant Graveyard (Mike’s personal favorite), Bury The Hatchet, and Drink To The Lost which Mitch and Jonathan agree that it’s a blood-boiling blast to play.
What is the best platform to find your music? Do you prefer a specific site? Also, anything in the works as far as new releases go?
AKF: We use all the different platforms, so whatever gets the metal to your ears the fastest! iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, etc…physical copies are available on CD Baby, but the best way to get one is to come thrash with us at a show. We play a few new tunes in our current set and if all goes well, we hope to release Grip Control by Spring of 2018.
Sidenote - Grip Control is the working title of their next album/release and as an adage, I wouldn’t usually include tentative info but you might see Grip Control promotion in the near future so why not bookmark them at www.cdbaby.com/allkingsfall now ahead of time? Go ahead, I’ll wait…
Let me throw out a hypothetical. Nathan (OtE), you notice there is trouble headed your way from down the street and you have no choice but to fight back. Which member of All Kings Fall are you picking to be on your side during the skirmish and why?
Nathan: If there is a brawl headed our way and I need one of our brothers in All Kings Fall, I obviously choose Mitch. Any long-haired ginger that smiles as often as he does is fucking dangerous. That’s real.
Party vibes up and Anchorman-esque street fights aside, I asked All Kings Fall if they had a favorite member from Of The Earth (not taking anything away from the rest of the crew of course) and what downtime is like for them?
AKF: Hmmm…we have to go with drummer Jake on this one. He’s our guy. He’s helped us load, unload, set up and tear down more equipment more times than we can count and he’s always down to thrash too. We go way back with OtE and there’s always good energy when we jam with them. Most of us hang out on a regular basis, cookouts are best when schedules allow all eight of us to congregate - we hold great respect and love for our brothers in OtE.
The camraderie between your bands is evident. You’ve been playing many shows together, not just a run here and there, but really taking the state by storm. Enlighten us with a favorite story you have, whether it be them as a group or one of the dudes; can be funny, serious, shittalk, praise, anything…
OtE: We have known the guys in All Kings Fall for quite a long time, different combinations of members have formed groups in the past. It started with Jake being friends with Mitch (AKF lead guitarist) and then becoming a permanent member with us. The whole co-experience has been very tight and real! We were kicking it with Jon [ drummer] not too long ago and talking about how thrilled we were to be submitting a order to physically press Vol II: Patient Zero. He congratulated us and asked the quantity, and we casually told him the amount and explained that because of life obligations we were holding off on a higher number. Without hesitation, Jon offered to match us dollar for dollar, he selflessly did this and said he “hates seeing talented bands being held back because of finances and you’re my brothers.” It took a tragedy in his life to make this possible, but he chose to take that moment in time and make something positive out of it for his people and grow his family even larger. He suffered an [undisclosed] loss that caused him to open his arms even wider. He’s a goddamn teddy bear and you can quote us on that!
It was a tremendous, insightful conversation and I’m glad to have shared a portion with you, the readers. These raw and real gentlemen are all humble, hard-working thrashaholics with mad love for the whole Midwest underground. We, as a collective, can take a lesson from them; help when and where you can, have each others’ backs out there and come equipped with heavy ass tunes. They’re standout metalheads through and through and I know that both bands have big plans for WisconSIN and beyond – kick back, watch it unfold, and then get those beers and devil horns up at a show near you, pronto!!
ALL KINGS FALL FACEBOOK
OF THE EARTH FACEBOOK