King Leviathan Interview
Few bands have created such a stir as Brighton’s King Leviathan. Their debut album Paean Heretica featured in many of the top 10s of 2017. I was lucky enough to have a chat with frontman Adan Sedgwick ahead of their Sophie Stage Bloodstock appearance. I began by asking Adam for a quick history of the band and to introduce us to the current line-up.
Adam: “We are King Leviathan – a four-piece band dedicated to misery, suffering, violence and speed from the day that we formed back in 2014! We are: Adam Sedgwick – Vocals and Guitar; Rob Kuhler – Backing vocals and Lead guitar; Sam Forrester – Bass; Danny Yates – Drums
The band released two EPs, King Leviathan and The Shrine before the epic Paean Heretica last year, and the difference between the first EP and the album is instantly noticeable. Is Adam surprised by how much the band has developed in three years?
Adam: “I wouldn’t say surprised – but more that as we grew as people, the band has as well! The Shrine and our Self Titled EP were mostly influenced by hammer horror movies, HP lovecraft and the occult – whereas Paean Heretica was influenced more by reflecting on ourselves or our personal experience. Musically this was true as well as we wanted to throw ourselves into the extreme music that was always just below the surface of the EP’s and that we were being so heavily influenced by!”
If you’ve heard it, I’m sure you’ll agree that Paean Heretica is an astonishing debut release. Were the band pleased with the response it received?
Adam: “Incredibly pleased and honoured by the love we got for it as well! It was something that we didn’t expect to be honest, and it has truly blown our minds!”
We then returned to find out a bit about who are the main influences for the band?
Adam: “We’ve all got so many – but the unifying bands for us have always been Behemoth, Sylosis, At The Gates, Paradise Lost and a healthy dose of Black Sabbath!”
But the question we all want to know: Surprise us with something you also like? What’s the guilty pleasure?
Adam: “Haha! I’m proud to embrace my love for these artists! But hopefully they’re a tad surprising! Grimes, Phantogram, Lady Gaga, White Lies, Haim, Aurora and so many more!”
If you’ve followed the band on social media or live you will appreciate just how hard they have worked to build up a following around the country. I don’t think that all metal fans understand the challenges that face new bands today. A lot of them base their views on the Iron Maidens and Metallica’s of this world and the huge machine that surrounds them. How hard has it been?
Adam: “Incredibly hard! But every moment has been rewarding. The drives have been long, with equipment piled up all over us (Although I need to apologise to the rest of the boys for my talent of being able to pass out asleep in the car or the van as soon as the drive home starts) and it’s we’ve had so many disheartening moments where we’ve had little to no people watching us as we play and sometimes had to sleep in the van as our accommodation has fallen through, PA Kits explode, my amp or guitar has died (more than once!) – but for every negative moment, we’ve always had each other!”
You’ve obviously had some magical moments as well. Can you share a few with us?
Adam: “Oh absolutely! We’ve had so many wonderful moments – one of these moments was earlier this year at our Brighton show. The room was packed to the rafters, and mayhem was everywhere – but sadly my equipment broke halfway through the show leaving me with only my mic! This lead us to strip down to just Rob playing guitar (which has happened so many times – my gear is really unlucky) and being able to go a little bit punk for once – carnage ensued and everyone watching just became electrified, so it became one of our greatest shows we have ever played! We’ve had so many other incredible shows as well, performing at Bloodstock, Uprising, Thrashersaurus, Amplified, Mammothfest, MACC… There’s just so many wonderful shows that we’ve been a part of, and we’re honoured to have been involved”.
The band played the Hobgoblin New Blood Stage at Bloodstock in 2014. What do you remember of that day?
Adam: “Personally, I remember being at the side of the stage and trying not to lose my mind with excitement! It was such an incredible experience, sharing that moment with all our wonderful friends from Brighton, as well as some new friends we’d meet afterwards!”
This year the band have a Sunday slot on the Sophie Stage. Will you be there for the whole weekend?
Adam: “Sadly we’ll be missing the Thursday night – BUT we’ll be there from Friday all the way through to Sunday!”
Who are you looking forward to seeing at BOA this year?
Adam: “For me, it’s At The Gates, Pallbearer, Gojira, Venom Inc, Onslaught and Memoriam – but I’m really excited to see so many of our friends playing throughout the weekend, including Conjurer, Mortishead, Democrates, Dawn Of Anubis, Reprisal, Sodomized Cadaver, Kinasis, Negative Throught Process and so many more!!”
So, what can we expect from King Leviathan? Why should those who are undecided come and watch?
Adam: “Recently when we played Amplified, our guitarist Rob couldn’t make it – so we decided that for one show that we would do it stripped back and bare bones… But what we didn’t realise how close to the bone this felt and how honest we felt when we were playing! SO, we’ve decided that for the rest of our shows, we will be stripping back to our bare bones – no costumes, no lights, not smoke – just speed, misery, violence and the most raw and truest form of ourselves”.
Adam adds “From what we learned at Amplified, it’s going to be loud, violent and miserable”.
As a veteran of Bloodstock, I asked Adam about the who experience. For anyone who has yet to experience Bloodstock, why should you go?
Adam: “It’s one of the greatest weekends of the calendar! The music is always insane, the food and beer is incredible and the Bloodstock family is always one of the best families ever!”
The band has played with some decent bands in the past. What are the highlights so far?
Adam: “Abhorrent Decimation, Divine Chaos, Vehement, Wretched Soul, King Goat, Countless Skies… SO SO MANY!!! It’s so hard to count all of them!”
It would be remiss of me to have closed the interview without passing comment on the forthcoming hiatus. The band has made it clear why the band have taken this decision on your Facebook page. What’s next for Adam personally and will we get to see King Leviathan together again in the future?
Adam: “For myself personally, I’ve started some new projects already! Firstly, I am the vocalist and guitarist for a Death ’N’ Roll act called Eye Master (with our first demo EP out now) and secondly, I have started a post-metal band named Tribe Of Ghosts with our first EP to be released in the coming months! Both have their first shows this year (Eye Master at Mammothfest, and Tribe Of Ghosts at Riffmass)! Rob and Sam are beginning some new bands as well, and Danny is performing in Magna Carta and Enslavement!” As for King Leviathan, “For now, I don’t want to promise anything, so I won’t say yes or no – But we’ll see!”
Adam closed the interview “thank you kindly for interviewing me, and I’ll see everyone at Bloodstock!
The thanks are all mine. If you haven’t checked the band out yet, I suggest you do as soon as possible. The tent will be rammed for their show on Sunday 12th August. I will be there. You’d be a fool to miss out.