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Interview with KYNG - Trampled Sun Debut Album Out in Stores!

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Photo credit:  Katharine Guerrero

September 27, 2011 – The time has come. TRAMPLED SUN, the highly anticipated debut album by Southern California’s KYNG--singer/songwriter/guitarist Eddie Veliz, bassist Tony Castaneda and drummer Pepe Clarke Magaña—was released today on REALID Records (through Warner Music Group’s Independent Label Group).  The album’s first two singles, “Falling Down” and “Trails in Veins,” were mixed by Mike Watts (Adelita’s Way, Hopesfall, Quicksand, Brand New).

“Falling Down” recently debuted on the BDS Active Rock chart at #38 and is in heavy rotation on SiriusXM’s “Octane” channel, while “Trails In Veins” can be heard on the “Liquid Metal” channel, thanks to the support of Program Director Jose Mangin, who has championed KYNG since hearing early demos a couple of years ago, some of which were played on “Octane” before TRAMPLED SUN was even in the works.  SiriusXM was instrumental in bringing the band to what became their record label (REALID/ILG) and managers (In De Goot, who also represents Shinedown, Chevelle and others).

KYNG’s self-proclaimed "California Heavy” sound is a unique and universally appealing combination of heavy and captivating concepts, channeling influences from Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin to Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age.

Download TRAMPLED SUN on iTunes

Check out the OFC insider interview with KYNG's bassist Tony Castaneda who talks about the formation of the band and stories from the road. Before KYNG was a glimmer in the trio’s eyes, bassist Tony Castaneda and drummer Pepe Clarke Magaña were members of the Latino metal band Ankla, which toured across the U.S. with bands such as Ill Nino, Nonpoint, In This Moment, and Hatebreed. They were also a part of Ozzfest in 2007 and Tony retells in the interview Ozzfest backstage and onstage stories!


Interview took place on September 23, 2011.

OFC: KYNG is described as a California Heavy band. Can you describe the genre of California Heavy?
Tony: California Heavy is pretty much a term that we coined and basically it defines where we come from. We are from Los Angeles and we are from the grimy area of Los Angeles. It’s not your beautiful Beverly Hills and Hollywood dreams. We come from the part where it is a melting pot. So musically in California there is a melting pot of genres.  We’re passionate about the classic rock, we’re passionate about modern rock and everything in between that has to do with rock. Whether it is heavy metal or rock n roll or classic rock, we pretty much just meshed it all together and make it the term “California Heavy.”

I hear “Falling Down” is getting a lot of air play on Sirius XM Octane channel. What was your reaction when you first heard "Falling Down" on Satellite Radio?
I was super excited just because before our presence was on Octane we were being played on Liquid Metal, which is also on Sirius XM. We’ve gotten lots of radio airplay on satellite through Sirius’s program director. And it wasn’t until we actually started getting a lot of push behind us with the record label, management and going out on the road that we actually got into a better position to put "Falling Down" on a rotation on Octane. So when we found out we were on Octane, I was super excited because it is just that much bigger than Liquid Metal as far as listeners go.

So what does it take for a new band to get their songs played on the radio or Sirius XM Radio in this case?
There are so many answers to that question.  It could be who you know, it could be how good your music is and it could also be being at the right place at the right time. There are so many bands out there that are awesome and their music is amazing but they don’t have that push and they don’t have that direction and sadly they don’t go anywhere. So really it takes a lot of everything, whether it’s luck, knowing somebody and getting out there making sure your music is heard everywhere.  There is no one right answer and we were just so fortunate so far.

What was the record making experience like?
The recording process was really long because of financial issues that we had; recording is not cheap.  It’s just three of us in the band and we’re not wealthy. We’re just 9 to 5 workers, we gathered up some money to get the studio and begin to record. We went into the studio knowing some of the songs we wanted to record and for other tracks Eddie and I wrote songs actually in the studio.  There’s a bonus track for the CD package that you can get online called “Shine Like Before” and before that particular song was written by Eddie, it was pretty cool because he recorded guitars and vocals for the song separately and then we went in and we recorded the entire song. I recorded bass tracks and Pepe recorded the drum tracks. We kind of just free flowed it. I wrote baseline around it to my liking, then I showed it to the guys and the guys liked it.  There are also two songs at the ending of the album  “Beauty of the End/Shorelines Pt 1 & 2.” “Beauty of the End” is an instrumental track that I went in and recorded in the studio and then  Eddie went in and did the guitar and it came out beautifully as an instrumental track that we are really proud of.

Is there any song on TRAMPLED SUN you’re particularly proud of or happy with the outcome?

I’m happy with everything of course because we put so much work into it. I would have to say “Beauty of the End”, which is the instrumental track I mentioned, I am very proud of it because I wrote it for my father and it’s something that I hold dear to my heart because I wrote it for him.  My father passed away in March of this year of cancer and I had the opportunity to spend a lot of quality time with him and talk about things that one would only wish to talk about with their parents and what they would like their kids to do when they're gone.  Although it was a really rough experience, the outcome is the time we spent together which is why I titled the track “Beauty of the End”.

I understand you and drummer Pepe were formerly members of a Latino Metal Band Ankla. When did you and Pepe hook up with Eddie? Or shall I say when was KYNG formed?
Well before I joined Ankla, Eddie and I use to play in a band called Ounce of Self and we were very, very proud of that project. Eddie and I had been in the band together for a while so he’s like a brother to me.  Ankla was doing a CD release show in at the Whiskey in Hollywood and they were about to go on the road so they invited us to do the show with them. Then they hit the road two weeks later and I get a phone call from the guys from Ankla asking if I would be able to help them out on the road and join the band. We were just kind of  filling in positions as musicians in Ankla and so we decided “hey, let’s just do something on our own, lets create something together.”  And I said “hey, I got this guy back home and his name is Eddie” and showed him the music and Pepe loved Eddie’s vocals and I said "you’re going to love this guy!"  On the road we listened to a lot of Black Sabbath and heavy metal. Just everything we listened to on the road we would just kind of pin point and say “yeah, that’s what I want the band to sound like and… I love this band too.”  I wanted to incorporate everything that we love which is exactly we did with Kyng. So when we got back, we decided to part ways with Ankla and got together with Eddie. There was instant chemistry and we started the writing process; it just came so naturally.  “Falling Down” was actually the first song we wrote together.

Very cool you played Ozzfest when you were with Ankla,  What was that experience like being on board with Ozzfest?

It was a dream come true, I mean any inspiring musician who was into heavy music their dream is to play Ozzfest and it was a dream of mine and Pepe’s and it was just a dream come true. It was a heavy metal summer camp! You’re being on the road touring with pretty much Osbourne. You get to see Ozzy play every single night with bands like Lamb of God, so many bands. Just being on the road with them, getting to know them, hanging out with them, partying with them, talking to them about music; it’s so surreal. It’s one of the best experiences I have ever had as far as being on the road.


Would you get to hang out with Ozzy and his band?
You know the closest that we came to hanging out with Ozzy was with his drummer at the time Mike Gordon. He took a liking to us, he saw Ankla play and I remember I saw him in the catering area and I said “hey man, thank you so much for coming out to see our show. It means a lot to me. I am a big fan of yours.”  And he’s like “oh man, absolutely you guys are awesome” and I said “we'd love to go up on stage to see you guys play.”  Mike said “That would be awesome..done!” So that same day he got the head of security from Ozzfest to escort us all the way to the main stage and we pretty much stood right behind Mike Gordon’s drum set as Ozzy did his show and it was awesome!  I mean it was so cool!  That is the closest I got to hang out with him. As a matter of fact, now that you mention it, the day we did rehearsals I remember I was walking towards the studio just wandering around and I remember I saw Ozzy from a distance with that hose that sprays foam and as I looked over Ozzy yells out “yeah!” and he just turns the hose on and soaks me! (Laughing) So I was just like WOW, it was so awesome!  Anybody else I would have been super pissed, but it was Ozzy soaking me so I was like wow that’s so cool! (Laughing). I just got sprayed by Ozzy and that is the closest I came to hanging out with him I guess.

Cam De Leon, the acclaimed artist for surreal darkly fantastic imagery, created the cover and booklet artwork for TRAMPLED SUN.  The artwork should certainly immortalize KYNG and the new album.  Cam is known for visual illustration for movies like Hook and Ghostbusters.  How did KYNG engage Cam De Leon?
Well I met Cam De Leon through bands Ankla and Karnivool from Perth. We made really good friends with those guys. So every time those guys would come to California, they would always call me up and we would hang out. And there was a show that they did in Los Angeles and I remember after the show backstage, I was introduced to Cam by John the bass player.  We became friends. He is a fan of the drums and I told him “hey, my drummer gives lessons and if you’re ever willing to get some lessons from my drummer, he would be happy to.” He loved the band and he always offered to help us if we ever needed some art. So that’s how that happened.

Can you share any behind the scenes, back stage stories from the road?

It’s not really much going on that’s crazy other than just partying and joking around with each other bonding with the guys.  I bonded with the guys a lot; all the guys of Pop Evil, all the guys from Egypt Central. It’s like we are always talking about music and showing our mutual respect for each others' musicianship and just being out there roughing it on the road.  I have made really good friends with them. You know Matt who is the bass player from Pop Evil, we’re bros.  We were just swapping stories on how we learned how to play bass. We are on the bus sometimes and they do this Xbox Hockey Tournament. They actually have a Stanley Cup that was made for them.  It’s so cool how serious they take it.  It is all in good fun. All we can say as far as tour bus stories goes, somebody farted again in the van and it’s really stinky you know.  There’s not much going on in the van other than sleeping or listening to your IPod or reading a book or calling family members back home. All the fun happens after shows when everybody just gets together and hangs out.

If you could pick one band or artist that you could collaborate with who would that be?
The Red Hot Chili Peppers and that to me would be a dream come true!

What do you think of some of the new music applications that are coming out like Pandora and Spotify?

I think at first they were hurting artists but I think now, the way radio is operating, it doesn’t seem like radio is giving new artists much of a fighting chance.  You got these program directors who are great at what they do according to themselves and the people around them.  And that’s not taking any respect away from them because they know what they are doing. But I think if anybody gets used to doing something, they kind of lose sight of what’s to come. Because life continues to move forward and you got these artists who are kicking butt right now on radio that have been around for a long time and all the new artists, so many that are great, are not really given much of a chance.  Luckily for us, we have a great team working for us and we’re actually getting ads on radio so I’m not speaking for us. I am speaking for how I have seen other bands struggle out there.  We are just so fortunate to have a good team around us you know. So I think Pandora and all those internet sites help out bands because I have discovered so many bands just on Pandora alone with the suggesting they give you.  As far as royalties and internet sales, it’s kind of double edge sword.


Do you have a personal message to impart to your fans Tony?
Just stay true to what they love. There’s a lot of fads that come and go, there’s a lot of trends that come and go. We just want to let people know that we are here to stay.  We are here to leave our mark and we are here to keep going strong as long as the fans will allow us to.

Interview by Sally Rosen - OFC Contributor

Last Updated on Saturday, 22 October 2011 13:04  

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