Today at CVLT Nation we bring you a very special interview with the Seattle Neo-Folk artist King Dude. His music drips with Old World doom & his haunting melodies might be the soundtracks to your nightmares. 2011 is going to be a very grand year for him – a European tour & his soon to be released album on Dais Records. Now travel into King Dude’s mind & check out the interview after the jump…
King Dude : Slaves
Things are going pretty good thanks.
Where is King Dude based?
I live in Seattle, Washington.
Do your surroundings have an effect on what you create?
When I write or play music it’s usually inside, so no…I’ve moved about 5 times since I’ve started King Dude and the only thing my surroundings really affect are what kind of ambient noise is getting recorded along with my songs. When I lived down by this river the sounds of boats were picked up on the song Black Triangle, and at our last place the neighbor’s dog would bark a lot when I would record so that’s on some of the Tonight’s Special Death record.
How did the whole concept of King Dude come about?
I was really bored and wanted to play music that didn’t require other people. So that’s really it. The name was a bit of an inside joke between me and a couple friends, but after awhile I really liked it.
Yeah, I don’t have to write King Dude song lyrics if I don’t want to, so I think that makes it bit better. Sometimes in Book, I am a bit forced to get things done – like, we have a show and the songs need lyrics, or we are recording and I have to write lyrics that week in the studio. Also, I don’t have to take other people’s feelings into consideration with King Dude, so I think it can be a bit more honest or artistic.
You have been in many musical projects over the years, what makes this one special to you?
I guess it’s a really introspective journey for me. I like the creative process and recording best, so it’s a lot of that for me…Also I don’t have anyone in the band with me, so if it fucking sucks, it’s all my fault you know? I guess that’s pretty special.
Why do you think so many really rad heavy front men are picking up a guitar & going acoustic?
I had no idea that they were!
Take us into the mind of King Dude: what inspires your music?
Death, religion, love, Lucifer, nature, primal feelings…Stuff like that.
To me it seems that many of your songs invoke a vast sense of space…is that something that is important to you?
That’s probably all the white noise playing tricks on your ears.
Yeah, I don’t know? I guess it’s an amalgamation of all the different stuff I listen to. I’m an American who loves neo-folk, country, goth, folk, psych, and all different kinds of music. It usually ends up as a big mix of my influences. One thing I won’t do is be afraid to make a real country-sounding song. I serve the songs, so whatever they need to get written is what I end up doing. I work for them.
Do you think there is something more sinister about heavy lyrics sung over softer music?
Yeah, definitely. It’s a lot different than screaming over really loud metal, you can actually hear and understand what I’m saying and I think that tends to set people a little off. Lyrics-wise, it’s a lot of the same stuff as my other bands, but this gives me an unfiltered sort of quiet voice to speak to people with.
Who are some of the female vocalists that inspire you?
My wife Emily is great, she sings on a lot of the King Dude stuff. Chelsea Wolfe has a wonderful voice, we are recording some songs together next week in LA. Jessy from Tiny Vipers is an absolutely incredible singer. I love Nico and Earth and Fire too. I like strong singers, men or women.
How important is touring to King Dude?
We are going to Europe this fall for a few weeks so pretty darned important I’d say. Although, I have a life at home that I enjoy very much and that keeps me from wanting to be on the road all year round. I am not very interested in touring the full USA. I’ve seen most of it a couple times over and I don’t like a lot of it. I also don’t like traveling by car or van. If I can fly to a city I like, play a show, hang out with my friends, have some drinks, then fly home, well that’s all I really want.
Who translates the musical message of King Dude into the visual message?
Emily does a lot of my videos, but all different people have made stuff for us. Marielle directed the Black Triangle video which stars Emily, and other folks have stepped up to make videos for me as well. I truly just feel blessed to be working with all these immensely talented people. I am glad they can find the inspiration to make anything from the songs.
CVLT Nation would like to thank King Dude!