Followers of the blog will already know that the London’s King Krule is an artist we have a huge amount of time for. So much so in fact, that we’ve featured just about everything he has released since the beginning of the year. Spanning back to the days of Zoo Kid and Edgar The Beatmaker, the now 18 year old Archy Marshall has captured our admiration and in the lead up to the release of his debut LP on August 24, we were lucky enough to pencil some time in for a chat. We had 20 minutes on the phone this morning with Archy direct from London to discuss his evolution as a musician, his forthcoming debut album ‘6 Feet Beneath The Moon’ and just about everything in between. We’ve been excited about this one for a little while, enjoy.
I OH YOU: Archy! Thanks for chatting to us! Where are you at the moment?
KING KRULE: Anytime, it’s 2AM in London and I’m in bed at the moment.
I OH YOU: Can you give us an idea on how the way you write music has changed from the early Zoo Kid days in 2010 to now, the King Krule days in 2013?
KK: They’ve changed a lot. Mainly because people have invested money into me, so I’ve got a reasonably good level of equipment to record with, and so a lot of the time now I’m recording before I even write a song. That’s different to the old ways, because I used to just write a song on guitar, whereas now I’m kind of recording more ideas and sketching out more stuff, and essentially just making a whole lot more music. It’s changed quite a lot, yeah, I’ve been lucky with the equipment and been lucky enough to get studio time.
I OH YOU: Do you see much of a progression in terms of vocal techniques that you’ve used in both projects, or do you see King Krule as a continuation of the Zoo Kid days?
KK: I think it’s a continuation that’s constantly developing, from where I stand. It’s the same thing. The content is the same and it’s still just an extension of myself.
I OH YOU: What made you choose to bring tracks from the Zoo Kid “U.F.O.W.A.V.E” project to the debut King Krule album?
KK: I want to do them justice and get them out there, for them to really stand the test of time and to be put into a physical format. It’s symbolic of that, and for me it’s as simple as that.
I OH YOU: I read that you wrote one of these tracks when you were 12 years old, is it important for this debut to encompass your life as a musician?
KK: You’ve got it bang on, yeah. It’s 19 years of creation, and I want that sense of history and that sense of my life to be there on the album and that’s an exciting aspect of it all for me.
I OH YOU: Did you set out to view the album as a holistic body of work from the beginning or was each track quite an organic creation over time?
KK: Each track is very separate. Each track is quite bold, I feel, by comparison to the others. That’s the way I chose to approach it and maybe in future that will change but it felt right on this one.
I OH YOU: Have you felt any pressure throughout the recording process?
KK: Pressure from myself, mainly. To just be better and to get it out this year, and there’s a lot of pressure on timing, for sure.
I OH YOU: How important has it been for you to trust yourself against any doubts and insecurities through this period?
KK: Very important, very important. I really just sort of kept at it really. I’ve tried to do what I like and to be true to the music that I like. You’re always going to second guess yourself sometimes but I’ve tried to deviate from doing that too much throughout this process.
I OH YOU: Something that really grabbed me back in 2010 when listening to the “U.F.O.W.A.V.E” tracks on Bandcamp was your descriptions of each. To be honest, it probably made me listen closer to the music…and even more so made me interested in what it made you tick. On “6 Feet Beneath The Moon” – where are you taking influences from for your lyrics?
KK: You know, really, my lyrics are in the more “physical” form. They really just weren’t influenced by anything; they were mainly just my style. I found a style following U.F.O.W.A.V.E.S and continued it and carried on writing. My style has developed, but there was quite a lot of stuff going on in my head.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRzlbh4or3c[/youtube]
I OH YOU: Is it important for you to leave some room for interpretation in your lyrics?
KK: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I don’t talk about events in a literal sense, I talk about the emotions behind them, so it’s very easy to interpret.
I OH YOU: Does that varying and widespread interpretation excite you as an artist?
KK: It’s insane. It’s insane to think how that happens and it’s insane to hear people’s interpretations. For me, it’s the best thing about my circumstances.
I OH YOU: How do you view your two separate roles as a songwriter and a producer?
KK: They’re both things I love. As a songwriter, it’s a way more personal thing. As a producer, I think it’s really more of a craft, and I guess if anything the songwriting is the art and the producing is the craft, for myself.
I OH YOU: Did you see this album as a chance to start incorporating some different production techniques and sounds and to really delve further into that side of things?
KK: I think this album is really built around that weird experimentation with analogue equipment. I recorded this LP in a studio with a guy called Andy Ramsay and he was engineering there. He was the drummer of a band called Stereolab, and he had so much crazy equipment. I really got my teeth into it, and I spent hours creating pointless sort of delay channels and other shit like that (laughs).
I OH YOU: Fantastic! We love hearing stuff like that. How was it working with Rodaidh McDonnell on this LP and how did that relationship come about?
KK: We wrote together on the EP as well. I think he just really understands the sound and he understands the idea of conforming to my concepts and visions, and he’s got that mind and he applies liquid paint to it and makes it tidy and nice. He’s a really good asset, and it came about just through my friend Dave introducing me to him. He was my engineer for a long time and it works really well for me.
I OH YOU: Obviously you’ve had a long relationship with True Panther, having released the first EP through them and now the debut LP. How did you first meet Dean? And now XL Records?
KK: Dean is a very special character, man. He really was somebody I wanted to form a business relationship with out of everyone else; do you know what I mean? He’s a nice character. I think XL do things really well, too. I wanted XL for sure. I feel good about the dynamic.
I OH YOU: The ‘Rock Bottom/Octopus’ release was one that we really dug for a long time around the office! How did your relationship with RINSE first develop?
KK: I think it was that we did a show and it was just really out of the blue. They said that they wanted to a release with me and I obliged. It was just a perfect kind of situation at the time.
I OH YOU: Do you plan on continuing to drop material or perhaps even an LP via Edgar The Beatmaker, or are you focused purely on King Krule for the next little while?
KK: I want get stuff out there as Edgar, but I have another project coming out as well. It’s going to be a mixtape coming out quite soon after the album that is a new project.
I OH YOU: Nice one! Do you know just yet what you’ll be releasing this under?
KK: It’s not decided yet, it’s not decided. Still something I need to think about.
I OH YOU: From an outsider’s point of view, the artists you’ve chosen to work with have always been carefully chosen – whether it’s Mount Kimbie or Ratking. Is there anything specific you look for when choosing to tee something up with another artist and are there plans for more collaborations in the future? Anyone you would like to collaborate with?
KK: I like (Mount Kimbie and Ratking’s) music quite a lot. I’d been a fan for quite a while, before I met them. What I look for mainly is to form a relationship. A sort of real relationship, and then are able to become friends before we go into the studio. It can feel forced otherwise. There are a lot of other people I would like to work with. There’s so many, even a lot here in London that I’d like to collaborate with. The list is endless.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVBH1qIqe7Y[/youtube]
I OH YOU: I read an article recently which contended that the producers and songwriters of today have an advantage because the internet allows them to experience any decade or music time period at the click of a button. Would you say that you fit into this ideology?
KK: Yeah, totally man. I used to listen to a lot of crazy stuff. A bit of jazz for example; African and Latin jazz was at the forefront, but not so much in the traditional sense. A lot of funk, ska, reggae and dub, and it was a mix of punk. Just a lot of music. So much music. My parents really started me on that side of things early.
Thanks again for taking the time to chat to us, Archy! It’s been a pleasure. Best of luck with the album release!
‘6 Feet Beneath The Moon’ is out August 23rd via Remote Control.