To Kill A King
Since re-releasing their debut album 'Cannibals With Cutlery' on Xtra Mile Recordings, as well as joining seven other artists on the label's 10th anniversary 7” series in October 2013, To Kill A King have somehow crammed more in than seems at all possible. Since then, they've toured the UK with regular gigging buddies and multi-million album sellers Bastille, and played their first European headline tour, including several sold out shows in Germany & Belgium, with their drummer Josh Taffel suffering a fractured hand along the way. But the show must go on, and 2014 is bound to be just as busy, with their first US tour including SXSW, and main support to Bastille in North America and Canada across March and April, as well as a short stint in Arizona planned with Xtra Mile label mate Frank Turner in April. Back in the UK, they’re joining Neil Young & Crazy Horse, alongside The National, at Hyde Park in July.
2013 could be seen as a breakthrough year for the band, who've existed since 2009. One of the hardest gigging bands in the UK, To Kill A King played The Great Escape, Dot to Dot, Reading & Leeds, Bestival and Leefest, amongst others. They were main support to Bastille on their March & October/November UK and European tours, supported The Flaming Lips at the Brighton Dome, and embarked on their own UK headline dates culminating in a sold out show at London’s KOKO in October. They also performed backing vocals to the platinum selling Bastille single ‘Pompeii’. On top of this, the band unleashed a series of ‘guerrilla gigs’; acoustic sets played nationwide showcasing their five-part harmonies in unusual and secret locations such as the DLR, upon river banks, in shops, at train stations and fans’ homes.
It doesn't end there. They continued to produce their YouTube series ‘Ralph’s Balcony’ which featured collaborations with artists such as Bastille, Emily Wood and We Were Evergreen. To Kill A King also run a successful spoken word and open mic night ‘Play All The Things’ at the Old Queens Head in London. Their remarkable self-made success is pure hard work and a reluctance to look back; why savour everything when you want to keep pushing onwards?
“It's very much been a DIY thing, though we also have some very talented friends who've helped us,” explains vocalist and guitarist Ralph Pellymounter. “We've struggled and are now determined to cling to what we've made.” Having experienced a large share of drama and excitement last year, along with the rejuvenating effect of new members Grant McNeil and John Taffel, the band is keen to keep their momentum. “The songs for the second album are sounding bigger already,” admits Ralph. This makes sense as the band's audiences have grown to between 2000 and 5000 people since 2009, an exhilarating rise from the smaller, intimate rooms they've been used to. It's all fuel for the fire that keeps the wheels turning and the road goes ever on. “I really like to keep writing and moving forward. The studio is still magical to me.”
This bodes very well for the music, and for the growing dedicated fanbase who will continue on this journey, seemingly with no scheduled breaks to simply admire the scenery.
To Kill A King are Ralph Pelleymounter (vocals/acoustic guitar), Grant McNeil (electric guitar), Ben Jackson (synth and keys), Josh Platman (bass), and Josh Taffel (drums).