I had already placed Kyng on my list of bands important to rock’s future well before their Bass player Tony Castaneda sold me a t-shirt. The bass player in my own band said they were right up my alley a few years prior. So while I didn’t show up to the Minneapolis night club First Avenue in mid October planning on dedicating an entire piece on a power trio from L.A., it was clear before the end of Kyng‘s set that I would in fact be focusing my energy on one of rock music’s brightest bulbs.
Back up a few days. The new Kyng record Breathe in the Water appeared in my inbox. Produced by what has become my go-to producer for an early sign of awesome, Machine (Clutch, Crobot), Kyng‘s latest slab of rock offers the riffs of previous records but shakes some of the dust off the stoner metal sound. Burn the Serum got my attention. But Breathe in the Water gave me wood.
Good news for fans of hard rock. The long running story of bands just busting their ass until they make it is becoming real. Singer/Guitarist Eddie Veliz refers to Kyng as his last gasp. Jamming with Tony as a side project turned into a full time band pushing to make it real. Let’s talk about the band.
Eddie Veliz – Lead Singer/Guitar. I know great musicians grow but how in the hell was this master of balancing the riffs of the guitar and melody of the lyrics struggling to find his way in music? He’s not just a breath of fresh air on guitar. He’s an amazing singer. He may not be Freddy Mercury. But he’s also not Bob Dylan or Tom Petty (no disrepect). And those guys are huge. If, like me, you enjoy listening to the audible journey of growth. Buy Kyng from the beginning to the end and listen in that order. Eddie Veliz should be a player in Rock’s future. Get used to it.
Tony Castaneda – Bass/Backing Vocals. Don’t let the amazing hair and Crobot T-Shirt hypnotize you. On second thought. Let the amazing hair and Crobot T-Shirt hypnotize you. Often times the rhthym section (bass and drums) are expected to stay out of the way. Not in Kyng. In Kyng, you need a fucking badass riffing monster on bass. Watching them live, you may fear for the well being of your entrails as he delivers a bass riff so sick you’ll need to go to Canada to afford the medication. Off stage he is a worker bee thanking you for coming out. Posing for a selfie. And of course selling you a shirt.
Pepe Clarke – Drums. Is there a name that puts a smile on your face more than Pepe? Pepe fucking Clarke is a giant on a five piece. I have played with and witnessed great drummers. And I can testify that Pepe belongs in that class. Fills so tight you need to be wearing sweatpants to hear them after a Thanksgiving meal.
You get the picture?
Kyng is wrapping up a tour opening for Clutch and Zakk Sabbath as I write this but I am quite sure after the holidays they will be back on the road supporting Breathe in the Water. A record Eddie claims was written out of darker times. “We are a three piece. So, if someone is having a bad time, that energy seeps into the area and the people around them”. We can all relate to being in a toxic relationship at some point. Eddie was in one when his brother passed away. Being on the road at the time he never felt he had a chance to grieve. Music was his reprieve from both the relationship and the loss of his sibling. Breathe in the Water is a fantastic record. And if it was in any influenced by the loss of his brother than it’s a wonderful tribute.
Important rock n’ roll is starting to re-emerge. It’s what I write about. It’s my raison d’être. For fans of rock music bands of the Kyng ilk are important to rock’s future and fortunately showing up more and more. As a fan of bombastic shows I can testify that Kyng‘s stripped down no frills show will remind you why you love this music. Support rock. Support bands. Support Kyng. And would it kill you to buy a t-shirt?
Or their latest record Breathe In The Water?