Music | Interview | King Eider


By Kieran Webber

The Edinburgh five-piece are fresh from their Glastonbury show, to which they were personally booked by the one and only Michael Eavis. They have become known for their electric live performance and the rampant acoustic-indie blues anthems. They are the sort of band that work perfectly with a  few ales and a good dancing partner, it is easy to see why they are sought after at festivals.

After hearing the beautiful ‘Fire’ I was hooked on the band and at every opportunity am looking to catch these guys live, although that dream hasn’t been granted yet I did manage to share a few words with the band.


CLUNK: First off I want to thank you for taking the time to answer our questions!

KE: Our pleasure! 

CLUNK: How did King Eider come to be and what was the infuence behind the name?

KE: King Eider started out life initially as an acoustic guitar, violin, cello, bass and drum outfit, mainly focussed on a more traditional folk sound. Fast forward to today and we’ve lost our cellist and it’s replaced by keyboard. We’re creating more of an alternative/indie sound now, still influenced by our roots in folk, but more modern, more unique. 

So I used to work [Reuben – lead vox/acoustic guitar] in a real ale pub when King Eider was starting up, and we were struggling to find a name. At the time there was a beer called Yellowhammer on tap and we quite fancied it, but soon discovered it was taken by some American band. Yellowhammer also turned out to be a bird name so we found ourselves looking at bird and beer names and landed on King Eider. It seemed appropriate as it’s a bird that migrates back to the Lake District, where 3 of the band are originally from.

CLUNK: What was the infuence behind the video for ‘FIRE’?

KE: We were influenced from a lot of places really. We wanted to created a beautiful looking video that fit the song, something quite moody and mysterious I guess. I initially sat with a friend who directed the video and we chatted about what we wanted it to be, we looked at a load of videos on YouTube like ‘All the King’s Men’Wild Beasts, a version of ‘Afterlife’Arcade Fire, and ended up writing a storyboard, choosing a location and shooting a load of footage, What you see today is what we ended up with! 

“We’ve been listening to a lot of modern electro/indie music lately. Stuff like the Wild Beasts, Glass Animals, Foals, Unknown Mortal Orchestra etc. Our tastes vary through the band and admittedly don’t always hit the same note but to create a unique sound I think a diverse range of influences is key”

CLUNK: How do you prepare for a show the size of Glastonbury?

KE: Just practice, practice, practice. We picked apart our set and looked at how we could make it interesting and engaging, captivating the audience with four part vocal acapellas but also driving them to come up and boogie for our more punchy numbers.

CLUNK: Do you prefer venues or festivals?

KE: We feel at home at either. Exposure at festivals is obviously a plus but if we get to play amazing venues like say KoKo in London, it’s just as exciting and can be just as fruitful.

CLUNK: What for you is the most thrilling and attractive element of playing in a live band?

KE: Just getting our music out there. Standing on a stage when we all really connect, when the crowd hears what we’re doing and hear what we mean through our music, that’s a feeling you just don’t get from anywhere else.

CLUNK: As a band do you have a collective influence or does it vary?

KE: We’ve been listening to a lot of modern electro/indie music lately. Stuff like the Wild Beasts, Glass Animals, Foals, Unknown Mortal Orchestra etc. Our tastes vary through the band and admittedly don’t always hit the same note but to create a unique sound I think a diverse range of influences is key. 

CLUNK: Explain to us how you write new material?

KE: We all collectively contribute to what we release and what we play on stage but it generally starts out as a simple hook written by myself or Josh, usually a finger pick or a piano part, something that establishes the vibe for the track and what it’s going to be. I’ll always have an idea of what I want to go where but this is totally fluid, whenever we practice if something doesn’t sound right or if we’re just messing around and hear something that fits better than the first draft, nobody is precious, we’re all open to each other’s input.

CLUNK: What are 5 essential items you take with you whilst on tour?

KE: Hmm.. I guess spare strings is an essential, spare everything really.
Josh has got really into leaving his power pack for his keyboard around so we double check that every time..
Books. The drives can get pretty crummy.
Wet wipes.. For festivals anyway.
Our a-game, obviously?

CLUNK: Do you have any pre show rituals?

KE: We’ve shared dressing rooms with bands that rev themselves up, get into some kind of trance, recite the Rocky speech.. maybe that works for them. We usually tend to stand with a guitar and practice our four part harmonies, make sure our voices are super warmed up and just generally get ready. Mind you our bassist has been known to do some pretty hip heavy stretching, maybe that’s just as disturbing as the revving up..

“We’ve shared dressing rooms with bands that rev themselves up, get into some kind of trance, recite the Rocky speech.. maybe that works for them. We usually tend to stand with a guitar and practice our four part harmonies, make sure our voices are super warmed up and just generally get ready”

CLUNK: How does it feel to be personally chosen by Michael Eavis?

KE: We’re pretty honoured. We went to play a gig in a working man’s club in Pilton as part of a competition to play the Pilton Party.. There we are in the pub before the gig and the man himself walks in, next thing we know we’re on stage and he’s watching our whole set, we get approached after and get asked to play at Glastonbury. It totally came out of the blue and in quite a flurry, to meet Michael Eavis and have our music recognised by him was totally amazing.

CLUNK: Lastly, what can we expect from you in 2016?

KE: We’ve got one festival left to play on our calendar, The Kelburn Garden Party, back up on our home turf in Scotland, after that we’re planning to bunk down and finish off a new album we’ve just recorded, set to be released in early 2017. We’re working with a producer which is a totally new journey for us so we’re keen to see how our music will develop during the process. Other than that we’re working on a new music video and promotional material for our release with the plan to tour in 2017, so look out for us then!


clunkmag

This is a surf, music & lifestyle website based in Newquay, Cornwall.

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