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Interview: Spring King


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Apparently, Spring King is comprised of “three handsome, tender and sensitive young men who love to play hard and relax harder.” Oh and “a cross-dresser.”

They’re one of this year’s hottest newcomers, and they’re about to take their full length on their biggest UK tour to date.

Spring King (Credit: Amin Musa)

(Amin Musa)

Three years ago, the post-punk Northerners were making noise in an empty house whilst their parents were away. Feeding the need to perform live, their relentless touring schedule has found them on the road for the past two years.

In between writing, learning to play all essential rock instruments (just in case), feeding kangaroos in Australia (a tourist highlight) and being the first band to be played on Apple’s Beats 1 Radio, Spring King released debut, ‘Tell Me If You Like To’ earlier this year.

On record, their relentless riffs never cease and the vocals show no signs of ache or break despite their emotional strain. The songs push into one another with mere moments left for breath. Fiery in its attitude, and either lovingly tender or secretly dark in their lyrics, their short 35-minute spurt conducts eclectic energy.

Front-man, Tarek Musa says: “We’ve been playing some of the songs for a long time now and over the past year we’ve really found our ‘pocket’ with them.

“Everything feels very natural now; it’s all about enjoying the songs instead of trying to remember parts.”

Noting in particular, sultry but urgent track ‘It’s So Dark’ for triggering memories of writing that song, he breathes, “it feels good” in that performing live for Spring King is separate to what we hear recorded.

“It’s a different experience” he explains, “the relationship between the song and us always changes, we perform them with varying emotions each night.”

Twisting in distortion and clattering left, right and centre, Spring King have been acclaimed for their knife edged noise. Acting as producer and writer, the front-man says, “I listen to a lot of classic 60s pop…”

The freedom of jangling harmonics on ‘The Summer’ and psych-kissed ‘Heaven’ have fallen under the woozy influence. Including these pop sensibilities “but balancing that with our love for playing loud, intense music” is something that has “taken us to where we are.”

"The thread that ties the spring King songs together are pop melodies, driven guitar hooks and a touch of madness. A simple but effective formula.

“There’s a dark element to our music lyrically, but energy levels are always up-tempo…

“We like to sweat.”

For the band, ‘Demons’ perhaps sums this up best. Bassist, James Green explains: “I think a lot of Tarek's lyrics are incredibly relatable. 'Demons' is speaking openly and honestly about moments of self-doubt that we all face and have to overcome daily.”

Chugging through, there’s desperation in declaration ‘I wanna let go of the demons.’

Guitarist, Pete Darlington, adds, “Lyrically, I think most of the stories behind the songs are self-evident.”

Though teases, “There are a few where we're referring to a particular war or conflict that you may not pick up on.”

This is all part of Spring King’s game. “People like to lose themselves at our shows” as the music switches hands to whoever is in the audience, “They like to sing along and our music gives the fans and us a chance to experience the songs on many levels depending what they want to take away from the music that day.”

Whether you connect to the slightly gawky side of Spring King, with their zapping guitar solos, or find escape in their finger biting honesty, or prefer to sweat out the worries of millennialism in their frenzied chorus; we’re all a Spring King in some way.

“Whether young or old, I think it is human to struggle in your own way, and that’s what we try to write about.”

The band’s latest struggle comes in a love-letter to ‘Detroit’. The city is well worth a visit, "there’s a lot of great food and record stores out there” they share, before ending with exclaim that “The Motown Museum is great!”

Playing Tripadvisor with their hook 'I don't wanna be, nowhere else except for Detroit City.' There's suspicion that the boys aren't there just for the "excellent sports."

Admitting that “it’s hard to write blatantly soppy love songs, it’s definitely not something we’ve ever done.” The front-man says, “But Detroit is an attempt at that.”

Heading out on a run of the UK, Spring King are “chomping at the bit to get back into club venues and play some fast, loud, sweat driven shows.”

Still running from the momentum of the summer’s festivals, the band appreciate their catalysed rise from bedroom to rising legends in the indie Twitter-sphere.

“Occasionally you have to take a breath and step back. When things start to pick up, you can feel a pressure to change things up quickly to maintain the interest from the outside.”

Still learning how to balance these things, for Spring King the classroom is on the stage. You won’t want to miss these swots and their A* performance.

Spring King play

11 Glasgow - Stereo 
12 Newcastle - O2 Academy 2 
14 Manchester - Academy 2 
15 Sheffield - Plug 
16 Leeds - Wardrobe 
18 Birmingham - Institute 3
20 Stoke - Sugarmill 
22 Nottingham - Rescue Rooms 
23 Oxford - O2 Academy 2
26 Bristol - Thekla
27 Brighton - Concorde 2
28 London - Koko

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