In our latest Band Spotlight, we catch up with Theo Polyzoides from King Nun about music, inspirations and more.
What inspires the band outside of music – think of people, places, movies for example?
Anything could inspire us. I don’t think we look to anything specifically at all. Everything in our lives, and the particular time of our lives we’re living in, will pour into what we’re writing. No matter how absent-mindedly we might be calling the chord, beat or lyric, we’re always pulling from that soup of everything. These things might be hard to stick down with specificity because of how natural it is when a song happens. In some songs, I can feel exactly where we were drawing from; sometimes I can’t at all and it comes later. In a Tom Petty documentary that I watched years ago, the man himself was asked about where his songs come from and, referring to the source of it all, he said he “tries not to look it in the eye”. There’s a superstitious thing going on; musicians are graced by their songs and I often think it’s best to let them come, in case we end up chasing them. I’m very sorry, readers, for that massive load of vague and pretentious wank, but that’s how I really feel about it.
What challenges do you face as a band?
There are lots of challenges. Artistically, maintaining integrity is a big thing. That means facing the ease of access that modern production can bring; making sure we’re writing for ourselves and not our genre; and ensuring that the lyrics, however they come, are honest. The maintenance of our equipment and technical ability is another stack of things. There are lots but it’s all dwarfed by the music. The music and the art around it is all that counts, and if it’s good then everything else is a means to that end.
Talk us through the inspiration behind the forthcoming I Have Love EP?
I think a big part of it was a change in perspective. Around the time our second single Hung Around came out, I was in a bit of a mess and it took the breakdown of a relationship I was in to get out of it. Around that time, we wrote the song I Have Love – the title track of the EP – and suddenly we saw the whole collection of songs in front of us. They’d be sad, happy, funny, angry and a proper zeitgeist. It suited my situation perfectly. It’s Love as I know it at this time in my life. There’s some dark stuff in there, but there’s a proactive lens on it. Family Portrait goes through helping family in need at a personal expense; Chinese Medicine goes through the madness and personal acceptance [of sorts] of faith; Greasy Hotel is a song for the protection of our live audiences; while Heavenly She Comes and I Have Love paint a picture of love in chaos. They’re love songs written in the most King Nun way possible. Listen guys, sometimes you’ve got to get pretentious or that might’ve been longer than it already is.
What does success mean to you as a band?
To inspire as we have been inspired on as huge a scale as possible.
What are your plans for the rest of this year and into next year?
We’re in the studio recording an album now and will be until January. And we’ve got a headline tour in November and some one-off shows either side of then.
What would be your key tips to other emerging bands?
I’m not qualified to give tips. But, having said that, I realise the importance of making your live audience a safe place to have a good time and that every band, regardless of size, should ensure that. They should also get into Abba and R.E.M, and listen to Frank Ocean’s cover of Moon River because it’s sick.