Dover grunge outfit Kingskin release their second album, Slug, in November, recorded with legendary Producer Steve Albini. Glasswerk recently caught up with the four-piece.
Obvious question: what was it like working with Steve Albini?
Working with Steve was a dream come true for the band, he recorded Nirvana’s In Utero which is definitely a favorite for us collectively so we were all super excited to work with him. The sessions were pretty intense as we only had five days to get everything done, overall it was an amazing experience that we’ll never forget.
It must have been pretty mental going to Chicago to record the new album, let’s hear about your experience out there.
Mental is the only word for it, everything from tussles with Mexican taxi drivers trying to rip us off to doing our best for ‘Brits abroad’ on new year’s eve in a local bar called ‘the hungry brain’! We were so up against it with our recording schedule we didn’t actually get to see much of Chicago. Luckily there was this cool bar near the studio that played metal full-blast all day, all night and had these insane burgers named after famous bands. I recommend the Metallica.
And tell us about the new record, what can we expect?
Our last record Rhyme for Smalltime took a long time to complete as it was recorded over loads of different sessions. This time we only had five days to do everything, as a result I think Slug has a more intense energy to it. There’s some kick ass tunes on the new record, some big melodies, powerful arrangements and all with that Albini stamp on them.
What was it like growing up in Dover?
Dover is a weird place that thousands of people travel through every day, to and from France, but no-one ever stays. Aside from that it’s pretty much the same as any other small coastal town. Lots of kids with nothing to do. Dover (and Kent on the whole) seems cut off from the national music scene. Travelling to London was the only way to see the bands we liked.
How would you describe the Kingskin sound? What three artists or bands do you see as your biggest influences?
Each member of Kingskin has quite diverse music tastes so there are so many different influences. However for this record we were particularly inspired by the Seattle grunge bands of the 90s hence our choice of recording engineer. Bands like Alice in Chains and Nirvana. There are definitely a few tunes though that were inspired by our love for The Clash.
What do you think of the current state of rock music in the UK?
Its Biffy and Muse. Apart from those guys I can’t think of any amazing UK rock bands, I think its highlighted by all these old bands reforming, they need to because there’s been nothing to fill the space they left. We all went to see Alice in Chains recently and they just blew our heads off, I can’t think of a UK band that could do that. Although there are two bands working with the same label as us, Pig Iron and Sons of Merrick, who are pretty cool.
What’s the best gig you’ve had so far?
We’ve been gigging for donkeys now and over the years have had some bangers but earlier this year we played the Hevy festival. This was a really special gig for us as it was close to our hometown so we got to play to a lot of our old friends and shared the bill with some really cool bands like Ash, Gary Numan and Feeder. It was the first time there’s been a big event near Dover and growing up there was nothing like that, so it was special to be a part of that festival