ROX Radio

ROX TV

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

In Profile - Little King

 

Band Name: LITTLE KING
Country: USA
Label: Mad Bell Records

1. Let's start at the beginning then. When did the band form? 

Greetings...great to be with you. I know you're in the UK...fun fact: I lived next to Hampstead Heath in 1974-75. So I guess that makes me part English! My Great Granny Rose Aronsfeld emigrated from London to Texas in 1896 as well.

So, 100 years after that, I formed Little King in El Paso, Texas (in November of 1996.) I am the only original member, but the drummer I was playing with right before Little King formed, Scotty Boom Botty Marestein, was the bandleader in another band I was in called Tweed Quickly. We've toured etc a lot since then...and here we are again, almost 30 years later, at it again. As info, Little King has released 7 albums and 3 singles since 1997, and more music is on the way. Yes...we've been at it for a minute.

2. Who is in the band?

Currently, Scott is playing drums and Manny Tejeda is on bass. We talked about Scott, but Manny has been on the last 2 albums (Occam's Foil from 2019 and Amuse De Q from 2021) plus a single ("Silver Tongue" from 2023). Scott lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Manny is in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. It is no coincidence that we are playing those cities this summer (July 26 in Chapel Hill, NC, July 27 in Winston Salem, NC, and July 29 in Rehoboth Beach, DE).  It will be fun to visit their homes and rock for their people. In fact, I lived in Rehoboth for 7 years and met Manny there, and this will be my first ever show in that area. I am STOKED...to play for my friends who knew me as a musician but never got to see me live...very exciting and fun.

We typically tour with David Hamilton (cello), Christina Hernandez (violin), and Jessica Flores (Vocals and Sax). Unfortunately, the July shows came together rather quickly, so we won't have the pleasure of their company this time. But, we ARE working with two new players! Christina Thompson plays Trombone/Sax/Trumpet and sings, and Kris Whitenack will be joining us on keys. Have never toured with a keyboard player before, so we are working as we speak on some new arrangements. 

With a primarily 3-piece band, there can be a tendency for the bottom to drop out a little bit live because there are no overdubbed guitars, particularly in the guitar solo sections. And that's FINE, really...most of the time. But for this tour, we want to experiment with filling up a bit of that space with keys and brass. I think that these two are gonna make some serious magic...they are great players and humans, for sure.

4. How would YOU describe your sound?

If I had a guitar string for every time I've been asked that question over 28 years...well, I'd never need to buy strings again!

I like the term "Dynamic Progressive Rock." We have some progressive tendencies, both literally in our lyrical content and metaphorically in our musical arrangements. Little King isn't a dance band playing in 4/4 in the same key for an hour. Our songs vary in tempos, time signatures, and DYNAMICS. 

I was describing to Christina Thompson on the phone this morning what I wanted...from the loudest in-your-face bombast to the quietest little horn solo...we wanna take you on a ride. So, there is a lot of variance, and that leads me to the Progressive rock side of things. But traditional prog can be lengthy and dense...I prefer shorter arrangements and emphasis on memorable songs and hooks in that context. It's a hard thing...complex yet accessible compositions...but I think we have gotten pretty good at it.

5. What are your musical influences?

I have no idea where to start or stop with this list, but I'll try. Let's go with my playlist from the last 7 days, shall we? Hang on...

Okay: Stevie Wonder, Rush, Megadeth, Midnight Oil, Night Verses (Oh My God), Above The Law (90's Hip Hop that just kills), Neil Diamond, ZZ Top, Jeff Buckley, and Boston. 

6. What have been up to lately? any new stuff to delight our ears?

For sure! In addition to the east coast shows in July (see attached flyer), I have 5 new songs that are almost done musically. I have a lyrical theme, too, but I'm not quite ready to share that just yet. It will be a concept piece that focuses on the confluence of three distinct cultures that came together in Arizona in the 1800's and is a big part of the landscape of downtown Tucson, where I currently reside and rehearse. 

There is an acute focus on the "problems" with immigration in this country and it has been exacerbated by a lot of right-wing histrionics. I live on the fucking border, yo. The fear and hand-wringing by people who are thousands of miles away from here is ridiculous. I'm not saying there aren't issues at the southern border...there absolutely are. But it's a lot of thinly veiled racism and intolerance. I will be tracing back to some of the roots of this area and elucidating the fact that immigration in 2024 is an extension of what was happening here almost 400 years ago. There is a story in there with a human element, too. Will be fun to flesh it all out soon!

8. Name something about yourselves that fans won't know

Hmmmm...I was a high school English Teacher for a couple years. I guess maybe our fans know that, though. How about the fact that I have been to every state except Alaska (and maybe Nebraska...not 100% sure.) Also, I chopped the tip of my right middle finger off when I was little and I have lost some feeling in it. Makes finger picking difficult! Scott has a birthmark on his eyebrow and Manny wears his underwear backwards in case he has to...nevermind.

10. Do you have any superstitions? Any things you do before a show?

Warmup, sobriety, stretch, and GO FUCKING HARD on stage. You get one chance, and I'm getting older. I wanna make sure we leave it all on the stage...there is an intensity and playfulness balance that we consciously toggle between. The only real Superstition is Stevie Wonder in the car before the show...

12. Any final thoughts?

Please check out our entire (almost) catalog at www.littlekingtunes.com 
Also, our social media is updated frequently @Littlekingtunes on IG, FB, and YouTube. I think you might find your third favorite band there!

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyed reading this and reliving some personal memories with you,my brothers. Looking forward to making more...

    ReplyDelete

Hi and thanks for your input!

recent

Iconic vinyl: Axe Attack Compilations

  Axe Attack Compilation Albums by K-Tel:  Two compilations that rocked school kids in the 80s! In the pantheon of compilation albums, K-Tel...