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Thursday 6 June 2019

The Spotlight: Bloodstock M2TM Final Interview With King Kraken By Paul H

Interview With M2TM 2019 Final Competitors King Kraken

Few bands have made such an impact on the scene in recent years as the heft wielding beasts King Kraken. Coming through the heat of death on a wildcard slot, the band upped their delivery for the semi-final to earn a final slot. Word on the street is that they will once again bring the Kraken army to rage the war machine at the final. I was able to catch up with the voice of these filthy animals, Mark Donoghue not long after their massive headline show at the Liquid Lounge in Maesteg.

Paul: Let’s start with the journey since you progressed from the Heat. How has it been?

KK: We entered the heat not expecting anything by way of qualifying. We just wanted to get our music out there being as King Kraken is still in its infancy with our first gig being September 2018. Since being called as wildcards it has been a bit crazy in a ‘did that really just happen’ kinda way.

Paul: Getting through the heat was challenging enough. What were the emotions like after the band’s name was called out on stage?

KK: I like to say an intense explosion of orgasmic elation… But over the moon would probably suffice lol. Hearing our name being called as a wild card made us all feel fantastic, our first reward for all the hard work we’ve put into getting our set together. There was and still is the feeling of ‘ok now we need to up or game’.

Paul: Every band upped their game for the Semi-Final. How did you prepare for the show and what did you feel that you needed to do to get through?

KK: Practice! Practice! Practice! We changed the set a little too, to include a brand-new tune as the judges and audience would get something a little different. We have been gigging regularly to test out the reactions to the songs to choose the set we wanted for the semi.

Paul: You had a bit of time between the heat and the semi-final. What’s been happening to the band in between the two shows at Fuel?

KK: We have been writing new tunes and recording our latest tune Kidnap as well as feverishly rehearsing our set. On top of this we have been getting in as many gigs as possible.

Paul: There have been hugely positive vibes about the South Wales scene at these shows. Did you feel that it’s a true reflection of how metal in South Wales is at present? Is the community there?

KK: I think that it actually opened our eyes to the South Wales scene even more. We have made some amazing friends who we have gigged with (Sepulchre, Raptures End, Eulogy) and yet to gig with (Grym, Fallen Temples amongst others). It definitely brings bands together which can expand and create a healthier live music scene.

Paul: One of the aims of the M2TM competition is to gain exposure and new fans for the competing bands. How has progressing benefited the band?

KK: We have gained a lot of new support purely from this competition. A lot of people who didn't know about us now do. It had put our name out there.

Paul: So, 8th June sees a six-band final on what promises to be an astonishingly good evening. What’s the strategy to impress the Bloodstock judge who makes the decision on the night?

KK: We may be pulling something a little extra out the bag for the final. Something that to date King Kraken has not yet done… But that would be telling lol. More importantly as band we need to deliver the best show we possibly can and improve on what we have already done. I think that's how it is with every gig though. Always strive to be better than before.

Paul: Rob Bannister or Simon Hall will be judging on the night [probably Rob] They can be notoriously hard to impress and guard that coveted spot zealously. With a full house guaranteed, how will you deal with the pressure?

KK: We are all onstage together to give the judges and crowd a memorable performance. Heat one and the semis were good in already giving us the pressure that we need to deal with. We have to focus on the show and performance itself. Connecting with the audience is extremely important to us. When this happens then the crowd deals with the pressure for us.

Paul: We’ve noted the immediate benefits, what about the post final plans? Where does the band go after the final?

KK: After the final it's business as usual. Continue to write, record and play as many gigs possible.

Paul: And finally, you are now older and wiser about this competition. What advice would you give to the new intake of bands who will be thinking about taking a run at it in 2020?

KK: Enter with the view that its more about having a blast and getting your music out there. Joining other like-minded bands to showcase your band and build a following. The effort that is put in to prepare for the chance that you actually may play at bloodstock should be the same effort you put into every gig regardless. Do that and people will notice.

Thanks to Mark and Kraken for taking time out. Be sure to catch one of the bands of the year at Fuel on 8th June. The Kraken has awoken and it’s a right feisty bastard.

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