Fresh off the N4 stage at last month’s London Community Festival, VH caught up with rock new-comers King Nun. Made up of singer and guitarist Theo, guitarist James, bassist Nathan, and drummer Caius, we chatted about their new EP, dinosaurs, and the importance of an M&S salad…
First of all well done on playing such a sick set, how did you guys find it?
C: I almost threw up afterwards from the heat.
T: Yeah I had the sun right in my eyes but apart from that yeah we had loads of fun! We like making music and to do it on a sunny day like this with an audience like that was wonderful, marvellous.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
T: A Long time ago we realised that if we spend the last few minutes before gigs very separate then we’d all come back together. So we decided that we had to make a chant that we had to come together to do before the gig. But it couldn’t just be any old sort of like ‘were all this were all that were gonna charge the stage’ we had to make it a bit embarrassing so that we were prepared for whatever might come our way. So it’s embarrassing, shall we do it?
N: No its a secret!
C: Hugely embarrassing.
J: It’s really embarrassing and it is a secret.
Definitely keep it a secret, that’s probably part of its power…
J: Yeah exactly! If you’re ashamed of yourselves then you can’t sink any lower, and if you’re at your lowest point you can only go up
When you’re going to shows and you have to grab a bit to eat, do you have a go to quick meal?
N: Right! I’ve got this, right so listen – when you’re on tour, when you’re doing a show you don’t have a lot of money, sometimes you get like a certain amount of money a day and sometimes you don’t. Now, for four quid, and I know it’s only four quid, you can get two salads from Marks and Spencer.
M&S? I wasn’t expecting that…
N: I know! makes us sound like proper rich boys! But they really fill you up all day and you don’t feel grim when you’re playing on stage.
C: If you have a greasy burger it fucks you up! Meat sweats! You’re sweating and sweating the burger out too!
T: Slaves said something that I thought was really good which was don’t eat an hour before you play and it’s something I really follow.
T: Yeah, exactly like swimming! I found rice and salt in the evening means that I don’t have to eat until the next day.
You’ve got a few singles out already, what are your plans for the rest of the year?
J: We have a new single out called ‘Chinese Medicine’, go have a listen to it and it’s the first single off an EP we’ve been working on for a very long time now.
T: About a year and a half…
J: But that means we’ve made it as the best we can. You know it’s all of our favourite songs that we’ve written and we’re hugely excited to show it off.
One of the questions I wanted to ask, as a fan I bought your vinyl recently with ‘Sponge’ and ‘Hung Around’ on it, where did the vinyl idea come from?
N: Thank you! Without trying to sound really cool and indie, I spent my first ever pay cheque from my paper round when I was 16, on a few 7 inches in Kingston! We all love the idea of a physical format. Obviously downloads and Spotify and stuff they’re great don’t get me wrong, but having an actual physical thing like a CD or vinyl or whatever, even a cassette. Just owning a physical thing that yours.
C: They give a more weight to the music I feel – it’s a tangible object do you know what I mean, rather than just a file online.
J: I saw a tweet earlier of someone saying they like vinyl because it means Spotify doesn’t spy on them – I hadn’t considered that angle before, but I probably won’t again…
So, what are your favourite dinosaurs?
C: Oh! All of the fucking ones, the Triceratops and Velociraptors from Jurassic Park! They’re historically accurate.
J: I tell you what, this is going to get really nerdy, but, when I was a kid, I used to go to the Natural history museum in London all the time and there used to be this giant animatronic T-Rex. I was terrified! There was this bit just as you’re about to leave, it would look at you! That was the best thing! I think they’ve changed it now but I miss that T-Rex and for that reason, that exact T-Rex is my favourite.
T: I want to say… What’s the fucking massive pigeon called?
J: The Dodo?
T: No it’s got a big beak and massive wings!
J: Oh! The Pterodactyl!
C: That’s not a pigeon!
T: That’s the one! mainly because of the T-Rex song when he pronounces it [DOES DEMONSTRATION OF WEIRD PRONUNCIATION]… Oh no, that’s going in print isn’t it…?
J: Put it in big italics!
Where did the name King Nun come from?
T: So, it’s kind of like we all knew initially it had to be something ‘big’ sounding because at the time we were way heavier than we are now, so Nathan and Caius were spamming our Facebook group chat with names that sounded big – one of them said King and another said Nun so that came together…. Or I can give the alternate answer that isn’t true but sounds way better…
Yeah, what’s the alternate answer?
T: We just needed something big that had sort of religious themes to reflect the cult of personality that’s in music.
C: and we thought for hours and hours.
J: We locked ourselves away.
C: We hired a crack team of experts to find that name.
T: And we started the way that R.E.M go their name – just throwing chalk at a wall and in the air and moonlight there was saw, ‘King Nun’!
N: There’s a third answer which also isn’t true…
C: We looked to Leonardo DaVinci.
N: We looked to the Renaissance!
J: There’s quite a few answers we could tell you which aren’t true.
N: Another one would be that I did a back-flip while looking through the dictionary.
T: Another great answer is that King Nun was my name when I lived in New York in the 70’s.