Kyng Frontman Eddie Veliz Talks Debut Album, Touring + More
Kyng, a West Coast trio, are earning critical acclaim and gaining lots of fans with their debut album ‘Trampled Sun,’ which was released in September. The disc’s first single, ‘Falling Down,’ has gotten much radio play.
The band recently toured with such acts as the Sword, Wayne Static and Eye Empire, among others, and will head out on the road later this year with Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity.
Their eclectic influences are evident within the music and breathes life into a familiar sound that hard rock fans know by adding a modern day twist to it. In an article we ran recently, Kyng frontman Eddie Veliz discussed the band’s Latino roots, and here the witty rocker tells Loudwire about the new album, touring and why he wants Corrosion of Conformity to baptize his children:
Congrats on ‘Trampled Sun.’ It has gotten great reviews — one review called it ‘timeless sounding metal.’ How does all of this positivity make you feel?
It’s great. I mean we love the fact that it’s being well received by a lot of people, not to jinx it or anything but people have been writing good stuff about it; even the bad stuff that’s written it’s not too bad. So it’s kind of cool, it makes us feel really good that it’s being received well.
Can you tell me a little about what inspired the album?
Lyrically, it was just a lot of life stuff that was happening, a lot of personal stuff; it’s really deep and sad. It’s kind of a melancholy thing lyrically but that’s the beauty. I think it came from the inside and the vocals and the melody and some of the lyrical content is in there and the ugliness comes from basically where we stem from. We come from this ugly little part of East L.A, so there’s a lot of ugliness in the album, as well, so it has that whole scheme, a very beautiful pallet if you may.
Why did you guys decide to call it ‘Trampled Sun’?
You know the original was suppose to be called ‘Stages’ and we had all the songs grouped into threes or fours and we were going to name each section of the album but we started running out of time and the whole concept just kind of fell apart in the end — which was a good thing because we were just like, “’Trampled Sun’ is such an awesome song let’s call the album ‘Trampled Sun’.” It’s kind of poetic within the name itself, it sounds great when you put it down and when you look at it you’re like, “Whoa, what is that?”
Tell me a little about the two singles from the album, so far — ‘Trails in Veins’ and ‘Falling Down’ musically and lyrically.
‘Trails in Veins’ is one of those songs, I’ve witnessed quite a few people in my lifetime succumb to addiction. It’s one of those songs where, I hate generalizing all the material in it, it’s one of those one’s where you kind of just watch somebody kill themselves because of addiction and you try to help and eventually the help goes nowhere. You just watch them dissolve; their body withers away and in the end you can’t do anything about it because you knew the outcome, you know what’s going to happen.
In the end, they dissolve and it’s just a big mess and you really can’t do anything about it because it’s about the person who’s addicted and has that sickness and they’re the ones who can change their own life, so that’s the lyrical content. The music it’s kind of the same, it’s being as brutal as possible. The middle section, that’s just a lot of pain and anger, just that stubbornness and that’s a little behind ‘Trails in Veins.’
‘Falling Down’ is one of those triumph pieces. When we created Kyng, [bassist] Tony [Castaneda], [drummer] Pepe [Clarke] and I, some friends and family were just kind of like, “I don’t know about this music thing, I don’t know if you guys should do it, maybe you should change your lives, I don’t even know if I like the music very much” — they just try to pull it away from you. You just have to get that mindset of I’m not doing it for you, I’m not doing it for anybody else , I’m doing it for myself, we’re doing it for each other. Pepe, Tony and I, this is our lives, this is our career, this is our passion for life so you’re not going to see us ‘Falling Down’ and we’re just going to keep on moving no matter what gets thrown at us.
Can fans expect videos for either of these songs?
We are definitely in the works of a video for ‘Falling Down’ — we’ve been spit-balling ideas left and right, we just don’t know when it comes down to budget. We want to do like an animation and all that kind of cool stuff. In the end we just have to work with what we got. We have a few ideas and hopefully something comes out soon. We have a few weeks off [in October] and we’ll probably get something done by then.
You guys recently toured with Wayne Static, Eye Empire and a couple of other great bands. What is your relationship like with these guys?
It’s very cool, when we first started the tour we started in Sacramento and we make this ongoing joke about every time we go on tour it’s like the first day of school, everybody’s in their clique and in their circles, nobody’s really saying much. We’re a bunch of clowns; we walk in and we’re like, “Hey brother, how you doing?” just with open arms and just trying to get everybody to be a family as soon as possible because we’re going to be seeing each other every day for the next couple of weeks so you might as well make a blast out of it. We all came to know each other really fast. Kyng has been lucky to grab these tours with bands who are just a blast. Everybody that we’ve toured with has been outrageously awesome guys.
And you guys also have a big week of dates in December; what are your thoughts on touring with Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity?
I don’t know if words can describe — my head exploded, I don’t even know, it’s so surreal. I just can’t wait ’til we’re on our way and we open up and I get to see the guys from Corrosion and Clutch. I’ve never met them, I’ve met the guys from Corrosion as a fan. I had to sneak backstage and hide from security. It’s just going to be awesome; I don’t know what else to say, it’s going to be mind blowing and I just hope we all have a blast and we could become longtime friends and they could baptize my children or something. [Laughs]
If you could collaborate with any music artists, who would they be?
Can I pick Tony Iommi? I’d love to work with Dave Grohl or Queens of the Stone Age. I’d love to work with the guys from Clutch, there’s so many I can’t choose. Paul McCartney — can I work with him? [Laughs] If we could just do a ‘We Are the World’ type song with all of my legendary rock ‘n’ roll guys, that would be awesome.
What influenced the album’s ambitious multi-part closing song ‘The Beauty of the End/Shorelines Pt. 1 & 2’?
That song was supposed to be recorded into three parts and in the end we just mashed it all together to make it this epic piece. Tony, our bass player, he had lost his dad to cancer. He came up with the beginning which is ‘The Beauty of the End’ and he had this bass line that he couldn’t get out of his mind and he just started writing it and he was telling me how he was feeling and what was going on in his brain and I felt for him. I think we all know somebody that has cancer or who has passed away from cancer. I started playing some soulful notes, over his soul, that bass line is coming from Tony’s soul, so I had to be very delicate with notes. So we made this beautiful piece in memory of his father and anyone that we’ve known who has had or passed away from cancer.
Then it transfers into probably our heaviest song, it’s the fastest one for sure, it has that thrash vibe which is ‘Shoreline.’ The lyrical content of that song is heavy as well, it came from one of my best friends and mentors in life, Rich Gonzalez — he was in a motorcycle accident and he was dead on arrival and the EMT came and they revived him and he was brought back to life and he’s crushed, now he has a broken back and he’s in a wheelchair for the rest of his life and he’s always on pills. The guy is always in pain but it didn’t stop him, he keeps moving and that guy in his condition now has done so much, more than people who are not in a wheelchair. This guy is still building motorcycles; he built my motorcycle from scratch, from the ground up. He’s still living life and that’s the point of that song, all of the lyrical content is about him waking up and his body might be struggling but his brain is still on it and emotionally he’s on it and his soul is still on it.
At the end of that song it breaks into that slow acoustic two-part harmony which is just the spirit rising and then you hear at the end of the song the heart coming back in which is him living life all over again.
Just wondering where the name Kyng came from and why the ‘y’ instead of the ‘i’?
[Laughs] I wish I had a more interesting story for the Kyng. We were just sitting around trying to come up with names and we had this list of names and we were trying to be all deep, we have to make this name big and so huge. I remember just thinking to myself, after having meetings upon meetings about this crap, I don’t even care what we call the band anymore. Tony called me up and he was just like, “Hey Pepe and I were talking and I think we should call the band Kyng” and at that point I was just like “Yeah, whatever” and rather than K-I-N-G let’s just place a “Y” in place of the “I” just so that it’s not blatant.
I felt like I didn’t want to be like “yeah, we’re kings” the “I” just didn’t seem right. So we settled with the “Y” because we’re kings of nothing and on top of that it didn’t matter what we called the band; it didn’t matter what the name was because most of the bands we love and know have the crappiest names when you just look at it on paper.
If you don’t look at the name for what the music is, it’s probably a crappy name, but because the music behind it makes that name godly. The music behind Alice in Chains or Tool, that’s what makes the name. It’s music that makes the name always. You can have the best band name in the world but if the music sucks well then the name’s crappy. And then it causes fights because you could thing you came up with the best band name in the world and the other guys are just like, “I don’t like it.” [Laughs]