King's X: The mainstream rock band who fuse metal attack with celtic-tinged U2-isms

Sunday 1st July 1990

Their albums 'Out Of The Silent Planet' and 'Gretchen Goes To Nebraska' have met with huge critical acclaim stateside for KING'S X. Dave Caughey caught up with the band.

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"It's such a personal and all encompassing thing, it is our lives. To talk to someone for a few minutes in a magazine - there is no way that it can be anything but misconstrued. I'm not reluctant however to talk to about my faith to someone on a one-to-one basis."

The major problem, which faces Christian bands on tour, is that of keeping fellowship. Does this hamper the band members' spiritual growth?

"I have fellowship all over the world now, with the guys in the band, our families, the people from our home town, and people like yourself when we go around the world.

"If we truly have tapped into something and realise that Christ is who He said He was, then we have to grow, otherwise we don't even know him." Lyrically King's X are not straightforward, but appear to be aiming at the thinking man. Are they deliberately writing mystical lyrics to cause listeners to think?

"It's everyone else that decides our lyrics are mystical, and decides everything about King's X. We are just the three guys that we are, we believe what we believe, and write what we write, because that's who we are. I don't think that anything we do is a 'deliberate attempt' for anything, except to be ourselves, to play the music we enjoy, and be as honest as we know how."

King's X are one of the very few bands of Christians who have successfully infiltrated the secular music scene. Should other bands concentrate on making an impact in the secular world instead of 'limiting' themselves to a Christian market?

"I think it is important that we not even say that there is a Christian world and a secular world - there is a world. Man created the secular world and the Christian world, God created the world, He created us." Stryper have recently found it a hindrance to be tagged simply as a Christian band. In this light what do King's X think of journalistic pigeonholing of bands, in particular, 'white metal'.

"I'm not one for labels. I think that once you start putting a label on something, you are taking away from it what it really is. I don't know if it has anything to do with the music or the message or anything like that. I think if someone is going to conjure something up and build a facade of Christianity or just rock'n'roll, people are not going to tap into it and say 'that's great', because it's not great." Musically King's X defy explanation, merging funk, gospel, psychedelia and metal to create a most heavenly sound. Suffice say that pigeonholing the band would do a great disservice to their originality. Jerry hesitates when I ask him to describe the band musically.

"To be completely honest I have a really hard time describing ourselves musically, because I do not want to put any tag on it. Once you say 'this is what it is', if you go outside of it, it's not that anymore. I want to be free to be whatever."

Sounding so different from the run-of-the-mill band, did King's X find it difficult to get record company interest, or was it not in the forefront of their minds?

"We'd been together about eleven years before we got a record deal, I guess it was kind of difficult. Ultimately you need to have a record out so that you can continue to play your music. Otherwise you'll just play in clubs around town, and have to get jobs, and not really do what you want to do."

Did King's X consciously go out to sound original or did it just happen."

"No, as a matter of fact when we got around to being King's X, Sam Taylor our manager saw our potential. He told us if we would just be who we are, and just play what we feel, then that would be the best we had to offer. We didn't set out to be different. If everybody would just be honest and true to themselves, whether it be in music, writing or plumbing, they would find out that they are original."

Both on stage and in the studio King's X appear to be an extremely tight unit. Is everything they do musically collaboration?

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