EMQ’s with KING GORM
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with San Diego, CA based Rock band King Gorm. Huge thanks to guitarist/vocalist Francis Roberts for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name is Francis Roberts. I play guitar and sing in King Gorm. I started the band as a recording project that I wanted live drums for, and the drummer I asked about it ended up wanting to play bass guitar. We decided we’d try to put a full band together so we could play the songs live, and ended up with the line-up that recorded the album.
How did you come up with your band name?
“Gorm” is a character from a Robert Howard story. I keep a list of short words that are both pronounceable and uncommon, which I draw from to name projects and songs. The band was originally called Gorm, but another band appeared in Europe is using that name and a promoter confused the two, so the project was renamed “King Gorm”.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
San Diego, CA! The metal/rock scene here is really good. There are excellent bands at every level and every sub-genre, since it’s quite a large metropolitan area. As far as rock music goes, I think the strongest points in the scene right now are the heavy psych bands and the death metal bands.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
The first full length is self-titled and will be out on July 31! We’ll have a music video out pretty soon and right now the only released song is called “Beyond Black Rainbow”. That’s available as part of the album pre-orders at:
Who have been your greatest influences?
For this project, I’d say that I’ve wanted an organ rock band since I first heard Hammers of Misfortune. This album has a lot of stuff inspired by Rainbow, Deep Purple, King Diamond, Opeth, Yes, Iron Maiden. I know Dylan Marks was really inspired by Billy Cobham in his drumming on this, too.
What first got you into music?
My older brother haha! He used to buy albums a lot, so I just listened to whatever he did. I think some of our favourites were Metallica, Blink-182, and The Offspring. Metallica’s “Garage, Inc” album was probably the first thing that got me to dig a little deeper than the mainstream for new music. When I was a little older, we went to Ozzfest and saw Judas Priest and Black Sabbath, and I think that was the first time live music really clicked for me. When I was about 19, I saw a band called Leather Nun play at a bar and I think that was the first time I realized that a band that wasn’t famous could actually sound and look cool live. Later on, I actually got to join that band, which was cool. John from Leather Nun showed me his friend’s band Slough Feg, and it was through them that I first heard Hammers of Misfortune.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
As far as really famous people go, I think Daft Punk would be an excellent group to collaborate with. They seem to bring the best out of their collaborators, and vice versa. I’d love to know what it’s like working with someone like Max Martin, too. I’d also want to collaborate with someone in film like Hans Zimmer or Tom Holkenborg, or whoever is doing the next James Bond theme song haha.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
I don’t think I’d enjoy a really enormous festival too much unless I was a headliner and got a big soundcheck and stage show, so I think I’d love to play something small and fiercely specific like Roadburn.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
I think it’s gotta be an anonymous fan letter in my mailbox, not postmarked or anything, so it was dropped off by hand by someone who knew where I lived. If you’ve ever thought about doing this, please just don’t. It’s creepy.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Thank you all so much! And please continue supporting your favourite artists any way you can. Someone told me once that I wrote their favourite song, and that kind of stuff really keeps me creating.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
You know, I thought about this for a bit and really think it’s more important to focus on living artists, and also on making sure we work towards providing mental health services to those who need it all over the globe. I’d way rather have all the living talent stay alive than reminisce about all the incredible talent we’ve lost to addiction, mental health, and other tragedies.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
It’s more of a compulsion than anything. I’d usually rather be playing videogames, but every time I do, I have this weird urge to create something instead. Anyway, my absolute FAVOURITE thing is knowing myself well enough to create recordings that give me chills. That’s my favourite thing about music, and I’ve learned how to cause that reaction in myself, so it’s become more of an addiction than anything. That’s also the thing I hate the most about it.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I’d love to see the music industry (and entertainment industry as a whole) to stop fetishizing the starving artist and come to terms with the fact that many of these “starving artists” who become famous have rich parents who will bail them out in a second if things get too bad. We end up with so much incredible art and music that gets lost because there’s no money behind it. I think that’s really sad and I’d like to see more people (who can afford to) become meaningful patrons of the arts.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
That’s a hard question haha. Since it’s relevant to some of my answers in this article, let’s go with “The Locust Years” by Hammers of Misfortune.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
I like vinyl, but I’ve been getting into cassettes lately. I’m listening to streaming audio while I type this though haha
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
I think Quebec City when my old band was support for Alestorm was probably the most incredible crowd reaction I’ve ever had. Hundreds of people who hadn’t heard us before doing their best to sing along to songs that weren’t written in their first language! It felt great.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I’d probably be an architect, graphic designer, or a computer programmer. I find myself drawing and coding as a hobby, and I’ve always thought it’d be cool to be an architect, but it’s a lot easier to be a professional architect/hobbyist musician than it is to be a professional musician/hobbyist architect haha!
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Five close friends. I don’t really have that much fun at dinner parties where I don’t know people really well.
What’s next for the band?
I have no idea. Covid-19 is taking its toll on the USA, and our police brutality problem makes me want to be an activist or a hermit instead of a musician. We’ll see what happens. My next release will likely be solo or with Old Man Wizard.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Haha I’ve never heard of those! I looked them up and I think if I have to judge on appearance alone, I’d call them a cookie.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
I’d love to see anyone who likes this album supporting the musicians who recorded it! Here’s a short list of other projects we’re involved with:
Thank you for your time!
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