Tony Reid, guitarist for the Florida based death metal band King Conquer spoke to me recently about their new disc, America's Most Haunted. This is a heavy, brutal disc, so hold on tight and get ready for a ride you will not soon forget. This full-length is really an unbelievably punishing record crammed full of memorable moments. America's Most Haunted sees the band delivering an inspired and lethal dose of groove laced hardcore and death metal. Here is what Reid had to say.
You guys just finished up a run through the United States as part of the NoMercy Tour. How did that go? Were the crowds receptive to your music? Tony: The tour was amazing, we have been on U.S tours before but nothing quite this large. So it was very exciting to travel to all four corners of the country to deliver our live show. The crowds at the shows were very supportive, even if it was their first time watching us perform, which was great! Considering this was our first real run through the country, we were really surprised by how many fans had traveled distances of up to 3 hours to watch us play. Little things like that is what makes these tours worthwhile. We also ran into a lot of vehicle problems about 3/4 of the way through the tour and that was a serious headache for us, but nonetheless we had a great time on the tour.
The name of the band King Conquer is interesting to say the least and sounds as if there is a story behind it. Where did the name come from and what is the story? Tony: The name King Conquer was originally formed by Adam (bass) and Chris (drums), the last original members in the band today. They put together an EP called Conquer years back under a different band name (Dark Skies Have Fallen) which was released in 2004-2005. When the band wanted to change their name, they looked back to the old Conquer demo and thought the name itself delivered the idea of power and strength. They added King in the name because what better way to describe someone with power, strength and the ability to take control. So that’s how the name King Conquer was created.
Now that your brand new CD, America's Most Haunted, is complete how do you feel about it? Are you satisfied with the outcome? Tony: We are really excited that the album is finally complete and set to release soon. We wanted to top our EP and come out with something that was really going to wake people up. We couldn't be more satisfied with the outcome of the album, and Charlie and Phil at Sonic Assault studios really did us a favor by letting us write, sleep and record at their studio. Definitely made the writing/recording process a lot easier being there in the studio. It was a bit of a learning experience going from 6 tracks on the EP to 13 on the full length, but we are proud of what we created and now we will be prepared for when it comes to writing our new record!
What was the writing process like for this CD? Did you guys all write together? How long did it take? Tony: The writing has always been our favorite part of the process. We actually started writing songs and riffs while we were still on our last self-booked tour in February, which definitely helped when we got home considering we were set to go record in April. We all wrote together, everyone throws in ideas and their opinions and it was up to John and I to craft the idea and bring it to the guitar. Chris made up a lot of our heavy parts on the drums before we would bring our guitars and bass in. It's a lot easier to get things accomplished when you have 5 brains working at the same time. The writing of the album started when we were still on tour in February till just a few days before scratch tracks started in April. There was some writing going on while we were actually recording as well. We would get ideas and were able to add something or change a riff on the track, which is always spontaneous and fun. All in all I would say about two months it took to write America's Most Haunted.
How did you end up picking just this particular title for the name of the album? Tony: That was the easy part. Adam wrote a song called "America's Most Haunted" which you can find on our record as the title track and we all knew once we heard the name, that it would be the perfect title for the album. Because it grasped the stories and messages of the record so well, that we decided to name the debut album that.
Are there any tracks on America's Most Haunted that are personal favorites or that have good stories behind them? Tony: All of the songs on America's Most Haunted are all about personal stories we have gone through. We all took part in writing different songs because all of us wanted to contribute to the big picture. For instance, Adam wrote a song called "Turmoil Before Enlightenment” which is a song about him living with the constant pain and torture of Multiple Sclerosis. Adam even does vocals on the track to express how he feels about it. For it being death metal, that song definitely bleeds passion. The rest of the songs all have stories behind them, and we wanted our fans to get inside our heads and hear our stories through song.
After listening to the record it seems that you guys tackle some pretty serious subject matter. Where does your inspiration come from? Tony: Our inspiration comes from a lot of different things. Whether it be family and friends to music and personal issues. A lot of my inspiration comes from Adam, and how he puts 110% into everything he does. Even with him living with a horrible disease he still is able to give it his all on stage, cram himself in the van with the rest of us on tour, and to top all of that off he has a lovely wife and 2 children at home that he has to protect and provide for. If that isn't inspiration then I don’t know what is.
Your songs are so hard and intense that I am sure they translate well into a live setting taking on a whole new life in front of a live audience. How does it make you feel when the emotion and power that you envisioned in the recording studio, come to life while playing in front of a crowd? Tony: That is our favorite part about everything, is being able to feed our energy to the audience live. We want to be able to show the crowd how intense each song is right in front of their faces and really produce as much energy as possible. When we see the audience get as involved in the music as we are, it’s definitely a great feeling knowing that they are understanding the situation and the emotion that comes from our set.
What kind of touring plans do you have in support of America's Most Haunted? Tony: We will be announcing a brand new tour for December very soon. Considering the album comes out right before the tour and the tour itself being very heavy, we think it is going to make a great gift for everyone this Christmas!
Any closing words? Tony:America's Most Haunted comes out November 9th in stores and online every where and pre-orders for the album are already online. We also have 2 tracks off the album on our MySpace page already for you to get a taste of what the record has to offer. All of our tour dates, songs, merch and all band information can be found on our MySpace page. You can also get information and follow us on Facebook and twitter. We hope you all enjoy the album and we are very excited to meet everyone at our shows.
What artists would fans be surprised to find on your iPod? Tony: That would probably have to be Mayday Parade or Breaking Benjamin.
Tell me about a book or two that you’ve read that you think other people should read? Tony: I think everyone should read 'The Great Gatsby.'
If you had not become a musician what other career path would you have liked to attempt? Tony: Before I joined the band I was a motorcycle salesman. I would have liked to pursue corporate.
What three words best describe your band? Tony: Intense, energetic, fun.
If you were a superhero, who would it be and why? Tony: If I was a superhero, I would be Spiderman. Because he has always been a childhood fave of mine and he kicks serious ass. [ END ]