Little King Says More Music Underway with Shows Too!

Mixer upers LITTLE KING have had a handful of releases thus far, including most recent being called "Occam's Foil" released just last year in 2019! But not only has that release made it's rounds, but there is even more all new music in the works as well. As of right now, the band plays on playing some shows soon enough, with more music coming soon too. Find out what more was said from the band below.

1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

I formed Little King waaaaaay back in 1996 after my first band in Texas broke up.  From there, I have had an evolving (and sometimes "rotating") group of guys.  The current drummer, Eddy Garcia, has been playing on Little King records since 2008 (Legacy of Fools), and the current bass player, Manny Tejeda, just joined last year.

The whole point, even back when I started, was to make the process as fun and memorable as possible. Part of that "mission statement" has been to always make records and play shows with my super-talented friends.  I think a big key to my longevity as an artist, in addition to the gaps between releases, of course, is that it is such an enjoyable experience to make albums with my friends.  I feel very lucky to have such good mates who are willing to subject themselves to my madness!

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

My first name, "Ryan," is translated to Little King from Gaelic!  I was struggling to name the band, as as I said before, I always just wanted to make music that I wrote with a large group of my buddies. So I was sort of making fun of myself..."Little Tyrant" might have been more appropriate. Actually...I think they would all tell you I am pretty mellow when it comes to writing their part and recording them.  I want THEM to have freedom of expression and creativity, and that gives them room to experiment.  It works!

Also..."Don't let the Little King do the thinking for the Big King!" 🙂

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

We are currently based on the shores of Southern Delaware, although we record in El Paso, Texas, where I lived for 15 years. In fact, I have made all 6 of my records in El's a THING!  Some day I will break that streak, but for now, I am proud that I have made so much music in my adopted hometown of El Paso.  I say "Adopted" because I was born in California, grew up in Seattle, went to school in Arizona, moved back to Cali, and have now lived on the East Coast for 6 years. Gypsy living, to be sure.

Southern Delaware is Cover Band Hell!  We live in a very touristy place called Rehoboth Beach.  It's dead for 8 months, but when Memorial Day rolls around, the tourists from DC, Philly, Jersey, and New York invade.  And what do they wanna hear? COVERS!  So we don't play much around here...but that's about to change.  We have some friends called Lower Case Blues who we love...they are also a 3-piece and absolutely ROCK.  Awesome musicians and humans, and I will do anything I can to get the word out about them.

4. How would you describe your style?

We've recently been asked that A LOT, as the new album, Occam's Foil, is so diverse stylistically.  I would say it's Melodic Progressive Rock, I guess.  We are not a classic Prog band with 10 minute epics and tons of time changes. I do embrace the odd times and virtuosity, but I get bored with traditional prog very quickly.  I like songs, hooks, something that sticks in my brain.

As I said, I grew up in Seattle in the 80's, and so Manny and I both claim a good chunk of Grunge influence (Alice in Chains and Soundgarden, in particular.) Eddy is in another Metal Band called Pissing Razors which is sort of in that Pantera thrash vein, and we all love metal.  I am older than Manny, so I go back to Maiden and Judas Priest and early Metallica, while Manny is more about Deftones, Korn, and the like.  We all love Rush and Zeppelin and Steely Dan, too.  Lots of influences, but it all ends up sounding like Little King, somehow!

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

My discography is as follows: Transmountain (1997), Time Extension (1998), Virus Divine (2003), Legacy of Fools (2008, OD1 (2014), Occam's Foil (2019).  As you can see, I am very consistently inconsistent with my musical production.  That's changing now, though.  We are doing really well with the new record, and I am energized and writing as we speak.

I think my main MO is to write songs that are diverse in mood, texture, keys and tempos, and to write lyrics that provoke some deeper thought.  I have a degree in Creative Writing from UTEP, and I take my words SERIOUSLY.  That's my legacy, and I am not gonna be remembered by lyrics about banging hookers by the light of the dashboard!  I was an English teacher, I spend a lot of time thinking about imagery, avoiding cliches, double-meanings, alliteration, and originality.  Hopefully, that comes across!

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

Yes! I have 2 new songs almost done and bits and pieces of a few more. We have a couple pretty famous producers we are talking to about making another LK record in 2020...very excited about that.  I always write the music first and then go back and fit the lyrics later, as I have to play and sing all of my songs.  Gotta make sure they are nailed musically!  But I may change that up a bit this time.

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

We have drummer locale issues!  Seriously, Eddy lives 2000 miles away and is currently on tour with Overkill.  My good friend and longtime collaborator, Scott Marestein, lives about 450 miles away in North Carolina.  So we are auditioning some regional guys in the hope that we can play more shows on shorter notice in the area.

Other than that, we have some festival shows starting with the Cherry Blossom Festival in early April, a "Possible" show at the Whisky in LA in May, and then a showcase down in Nashville.  But when we find our drummer (I think we just did, actually), we will play another 50 shows this year.  I can't wait!  Haven't really toured extensively for a long time, and I love love love it.  Our live show is a whole different animal, to be sure.

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

More records, for sure. More shows, as well.  My stated goal has always been to make 10 records, but now that I am about to start #7, I hope to surpass that!

I want to tour in Europe, too.  We do really well over there with reviews and sales, and I love Europe so much.  With the current political climate in the USA being what it is, I might even live there for a few years and base ourselves in the UK or mainland Europe.  I love my country very much, but I am absolutely aware that there are many amazing places outside the US and I am totally down to try them out.  My son is 13, so that might be a challenge (I'm a single dad), but he's a great traveler and adventurer, so it's a significant possibility.

9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

EVERYTHING can be found on our web site,!  We have streaming links, YouTube videos for every song from the last 5 albums as well as interviews for Occam's Foil that discuss each of the new songs in detail (very proud of those), and more.  We are also very active at College Radio, so please do call and request us!  Finally, our FB and IG pages @littlekingtunes are updated almost daily.  We have a nice little digital footprint out there...I hope people follow it and give us a spin.

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

This is not what you will hear anywhere else. Little King is unique, diverse, passionate, heart-felt, well thought-out, and unapologetic.  We want you to think more deeply, to explore the textures and emotions in our music, and to let them seep into your consciousness...and hopefully your playlist, too!

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