Music, Featured

29th March 2024

“It’s good to listen to everything if you want to progress as a songwriter”- The K’s on their Debut Album and More

Described as a punk pop fusion, The K’s kick-start their acoustic tour following the release of their debut album I Wonder if The World Knows. I was incredibly fortunate to sit down with the lads before their gig to talk about all things from music, to favourite takeaways. I have been following The K’s for a while after seeing them on the bill for Sound City last year. Since then, I have been a massive fan of the band and how they conduct themselves. If you’re not familiar with The K’s, indulge yourself in their music as they climb the ropes in becoming one of the UK’s most promising indie bands.

Thanks for sitting down with me guys and congratulations on the debut album I Wonder If The World Knows. Firstly, I wanted to know how you found the process of writing an album- did you want it to take a particular route?

Jamie: Well, its been a long time in the making. We could of had loads of songs on there, but it came together quite quickly. We started demoing and we narrowed it down to 15 songs and then 14 of the 15 actually went on including the deluxe. There’s one song called Picking Up The Pieces that we actually got the title of the track from but didn’t make the cut, purely because it wasn’t ready but that’s a banger as well but that hopefully should be on album two for me.

Do you have any musical influences in terms of sound and songwriting, to make it broader question, stage presence as well.

Jamie: Yeah, I think I’ve got quite a vast array personally. I listen to a lot of pop music, rock music, a lot of punk- everything from Joe Strummer, Paul Weller, to like- it sounds daft [laughs] but people like Taylor Swift. I listen to everything I genuinely do. I think its good to listen to everything, especially if you wanna progress as a songwriter.

Yeah! I saw your Spotify Wrapped and you had Lana Del Rey on there.

Jamie: Yeah, Lana Del Rey she was number one! I just own it me, she’s ace. And she’s playing at Leeds and we’re there- get in. We’re on Leeds and Reading main stage Saturday.

Nathan: [Excitedly] We’re playing the same day as Blink-182.

Jamie: Oh, are we.

Ryan: We’ll be there Saturday and Sunday, with the Blossoms.

Jamie: It’s gonna be a good weekend that.

What’s the song you’re most excited to play live from the album.

Ryan: I’m gonna say Circles- good for fezzie’s. Or mine is the first track on the album, Icarus, because of the intro, I’m gonna be playing it.

Nathan: Circles has got a massive outro, the drums are really busy [all laugh].

Dexter: I like Black and Blue.

Jamie: Mine is Throw It All Away, that’s my favourite song.

Dexter: I do like Icarus as well.

Jamie: Yeah I love Icarus.

Dexter: For me it’s hard to choose, I think they’re all me favourites.

Nathan: I think it’s a good thing that we struggle to choose, isn’t it.

[All agree]

That guitar riff that you played Ryan on the last song of your soundcheck was really good.

Ryan: Which one was that?

Jamie: Lights go down [loudly imitates a guitar riff]

The first show of the tour is in Liverpool so I have to ask, what is your favourite part about performing here?

Jamie: Scousers are nuts, but in a good way, we love it. It’s always like a good vibe here [all agree] – I hate to use the word vibe- but everybody’s there for a good time. We’ve never played and there’s been a scrap in Liverpool, that’s testament to Liverpool.

Ryan: Yeah it’s usually down south.

Jamie: The further we go down south, if you get to Portsmouth, Southampton, they knock each other about. In Hoping Maybe, we had to stop because two lads were fighting- having a fight in Hoping Maybe!

Really, I thought it would be more rowdy up North?

Jamie: No, they’re a bit mad like but in a good way. We don’t wanna criticise down south but the crowds are a bit rowdy.

Ryan: The crowds are bonkers anyway, we’ve got all our family up north so Dexter’s dad is usually at the front giving it large.

Dexter: I think when we played that Academy in Liverpool last time, it was just one of the best atmospheres we’ve played to. Like the air-con broke so it was just a proper sweat box. Nathan’s got a fan though.

Songs like Heart On My Sleeve, No Place Like Home explicitly share your emotions. There’s a line in the latter, ‘you’re sweating, regretting everything you’ve said. So you crawl around the walls whilst you lie in your bed’- I really resonated with that line.
Would you say it’s important to be candid in your writing as musicians, perhaps when connecting to fans on a personal level?

Jamie: Thank you! That line seems to resonate with a lot of people that which gives me anxiety thinking about it. I reckon as soon as you start writing stuff that’s not true to yourself or you don’t believe in it, then it’s a waste of time. I think that’s where a load of bands go wrong, not criticising, but when you start writing generically..

Ryan: Or writing for other people.

Jamie: Yeah! In this type of music, when you’re singing with such emotion, I’m literally like screaming in peoples faces half the time. I’ve gotta believe in what I’m saying to people to relate to it. It sort of helps that it all relates to my life.

Similarly, a lot of your songs reference your hometown – I mean it’s one of your songs titles. Do you think writing about it is important in staying connected to where you’re from?

Jamie: 100%, its all we know. We all grew up in the same place, Nathan about 10 minutes down the road from us, but all similar areas. We’ve lived there all our lives, none of us have lived anywhere else have we. It’s all we know, every life experience we got is from that town.

Dexter: Yeah its shapes who you are don’t it.

Nathan: I lived in Manchester for four years.

Jamie: [Surprised] Did ya? I didn’t know that.

Nathan: [Sarcastically boasts] Yeah, I’ve got a degree, I don’t like to talk about it.

Dexter: Even in No Place Like Home, it’s everything I know.

Ryan: I really miss home when I’m away.

I guess that’s nice listening to your songs when you’re missing home on the road. It’s like a memoir to your adolescence.

Jamie: Yeah that’s what Lights Go Down is about, just the fact how much we love touring but also how much we can’t wait to get home sometimes. When you go away for a bit and you’re feeling a bit rough. It’s the same with No Place like Home, the fact that when you’re at home you can’t wait to get back out there. It’s just constantly fighting that battle between loving being at home. We love where we’re from but maybe it’s not the best thing for us mentally and physically, with the bad decisions we tend to make.

You enjoy sitting at home for one day and then it gets repetitive.

Ryan: Yeah that’s it, and then you just wanna get back out there.

Jamie: It’s mad when it’s quiet. It’s the first time in weeks you’ve heard quiet. You get in and you drop your bag down and you can’t hear anyone talking and there’s no music on the radio- it’s mental. It’s surreal when you first get home and you sit down and think, this is boring.

Dexter: Heron foods have always got the best deals on though.

Jamie: Have they? What have you been getting from there?

Ryan: Microwave Beef Curries

Jamie: [Disgusted] Beef Curry? I wouldn’t feed my dog that.

What’s Heron foods?

Jamie: It’s a shop back home like Iceland.

What would you say your favourite takeaway is?

Nathan: Shout out Groke Burger in Warrington!

Ryan: A curry.

Dexter: I’m a sucker for a chicken burger.

Jamie: A chicken burger? What? I’ve never felt so disappointed. Think about a cuisine, not taking an order [laughs].

Dexter: Favourite cuisine is probably Italian, I like pasta and pizza.

Jamie: I reckon a curry. Nathan’s dad is Italian so he tells me how good his dads lasagne is.

Nathan: Its so tender. Honestly like you smell it- I’m not gonna go into detail but when you come home from a really hard day and you smell it.

Jamie: Are you still on about this lasagne?

Obviously you’ve got a busy year ahead following the album release, what gig are you most excited to play?

Ryan: All of them!

I saw you’re on the bill for Isle of Wight Festival and the Blossoms Big Bank Holiday Weekend.

Jamie: Yeah, we’re performing at Isle of Wight Main stage on the Friday.

Ryan: We’ve got the Liam Gallagher gig in Malta [Malta Weekender].

Dexter: I’m looking forward to Leeds and Reading me, and Victoria Warehouse is gonna go off.

That’ll be good playing in the sun, but do you not overheat?

Ryan: We done it in Athens- that was hot!

Jamie: Yeah the sun was going down right in front of our faces.

Ryan: The pedals were melting and me guitar was too hot to touch.

Jamie: [Jokingly] Shall we just cancel them? We’re such moaning people, we’ll find anything to moan about. But in the sun yeah, it’s too hot sometimes.

Nathan: I hate the sun.

Jamie: Nah I’m only joking we can’t wait for it. I’m looking forward to our first European headlines in Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam in June.

Ah I’m in Amsterdam at the same time!

Jamie: Are you? You’ll have to come down.

Nathan: The album would have come out then, we might be completely different people. You might meet us and think who are these horrible guys! [Jokingly]

I’m intrigued to know, do you have any pre-gig rituals. Do you do anything weird?

Jamie: Not really, we used to just sit and get bladdered.

Nathan: We tune in now don’t we [they all hum together]. We align our Chakras and release evil spirits.

Dexter: We just try and obtain good positive frequencies don’t we. You are what you reflect.

Jamie: We’re the biggest gimps ever.

Nathan: Eventually when we get big enough, we’re just going to have four gaming pc’s and play Minecraft.

It’s a silly question to finish on, but I always like to know someones go-to karaoke song- do you guys have one?

Jamie: I’ve not sang karaoke in years but if I was going to do it right now..

Dexter: Mine’s Born Under a Bad Sign by Richard Hawley.

Jamie: What the hell is that?

Dexter: [Starts singing Born Under a Bad Sign]

Jamie: [Sarcastically] Oh yeah I bet that goes down a treat!

Ryan: Mine’s S Club 7, Don’t Stop Moving.

Nathan: Mine’s Believe by Cher.

That’s one of mine as well!

Jamie: Why don’t you two have a battle right now?

Ryan: Go on!

No, we’ll do a duet.

Nathan: I’m not warmed up.

Jamie: It’s not like we’re on stage in ten minutes. My karaoke song would probably be, I used to like Gimme, Gimme, Gimme when we were in Sweden last year.

Ryan: We got locked up in Sweden so that was our song.

Locked up?

Ryan: Yeah we got off the plane and they detained us for 24 hours, took our passports.

Just passing the time with karaoke for 24 hours?

Jamie: Yeah we were just pretending we were on the Voice and just spinning round on chairs and stuff.

I had another karaoke song which I thought would be great, I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing- Aerosmith

[They all agree]

Jamie: Why don’t you audition for us now?

[Laughs] I’m not going to sing in front of people who do that as their profession, that’s so unfair.

Nathan: I’ve changed mine, it would be Can You Take Me Higher by Creed [starts singing]

Maybe you should take over from Jamie?

Nathan: I know, I’ve already put it forward.

Jamie: You know, maybe tonight’s the night.

Nathan: I don’t want to sing tonight, I’m too embarrassed.

Listen to The K’s here, and to follow their Instagram for more information on the album and gigs click here

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Header Photo Credit: Ebony Gilliard