An interview with KYNG bassist Tony Castaneda
KYNG is a rock band from California comprised of 3 members. Singer/guitarist - Eddie Veliz, Bass/vocals - Tony Castaneda & Drums - Pepe Clarke.
The music KYNG creates as a unit is an interesting mix of riff rock & stoner rock which is psychedelic at times with varied themes and various emotions that style the music KYNG create so perfectly.
I had the chance to chat face to face with bassist Tony C. prior to the bands performance opening for Danzig on June 4, 2012 at the Fillmore in Maryland and the interview went like this:
Rock N Roll Experience: How’s the Danzig tour been so far?
Tony: Awesome man, it’s been a great turn out, we’re happy to be on here. We are big fans of Danzig & Monstro as well, I think Monstro is one of the best bands out there right now so this couldn’t be a better tour for us.
Rock N Roll Experience: Have you hung out with Glenn Danzig yet?
Tony: I personally haven't met him, I know most of the guys have but I’m still waiting to meet him. I met Doyle and he’s really awesome and I’ve heard Danzig is cool as well so I’m looking forward to it & I’m sure it will happen before the end of the tour.
Rock N Roll Experience: Why does Kyng have such a low profile. The band has no wikipedia page, there’s no band pics in the cd artwork.
Tony: I think alot of the wikipedia stuff is done by the bands themselves & so I don’t know, I guess we are just a little more old school, we kinda just want to let people find out about us by word of mouth. I think that’s alot more powerful than the internet. I mean the internet is the most powerful thing out there but I mean as far as word of mouth goes, people take other people’s word for things more so than just finding reviews online so...
Rock N Roll Experience: I don’t know though, it’s a different era and you have to embrace the internet at this point too.
Tony: So are you the guy who wrote the article that said we were kinda mysterious & nobody really knew much about us?
Rock N Roll Experience: yes, that was me.
Tony: I read the review and it was a really cool review.
Rock N Roll Experience: I dug the fact that you had the heart pulse on the song “Shoreline”.
Tony: I’m glad you did man, that was my whole point of putting that in there, I talked to the guys and said I wanted to get that in there because as you know the song is a 3 parter, “Beauty of the End” / Shoreline Pt 1 & Pt 2. and it’s based on my father...the instrumental kinda talks about...actually it doesn’t talk about anything, it’s an instrumental, but my purpose behind it is kinda like the “Beauty of the End” because my father died of cancer and I got this time to spend with him and it was beautiful man, we talked about a lot of awesome things that you don’t normally get to talk to someone about before they pass away so what I got from that, all the heartache and everything was that beautiful part of it & that’s why I talk about the beauty of the end which is why towards the end you hear the heart monitor fading away kind of a symbolism of him passing and then it kicks into “Shoreline” and that song is actually about Eddie’s close friend who was actually in a motorcycle accident and he was pronounced dead and they brought him back to life. He is now paralyzed from the waste down and he built a motorcycle with an actual compartment to put his wheelchair on...he got back on and started riding so that says alot and that song has alot of meaning to us as well. The end finishes with a heart beat with a monitor again and it was kinda like a “to be continued” type of thing.
Rock N Roll Experience: So will there be a 4th part to that song or is that the end?
Tony: You never know, the next album might start off the same way...it might be something that we kinda link up together.
Rock N Roll Experience: How come every song has lyrics printed in the cd except “Trampled Sun”?
Tony: (laughs) You’ve got to leave some things to people own assumptions, that’s the beauty of music, people interpret things the way they want to. I found out stories about songs & bands and I was actually disappointed when I found out what the actual meaning was because I liked my meaning more so it’s more important to leave that to the listener...that’s one of the reasons we left that that way.
Rock N Roll Experience: Are you a bigger fan of Black Sabbath or Soundgarden?
Tony: I’m a HUGE Black Sabbath fan.
Rock N Roll Experience: Dio or Ozzy era Sabbath?
Tony: Ohhhh man, God Bless his soul man, but Ozzy is how I found Black Sabbath & musically it’s just alot more powerful to me. I’m Black Sabbath all the way but not to take away anything from Soundgarden, I think we get compared to Soundgarden mainly because of Eddie’s vocals but our live performance is alot different than the album, I mean I think we capture what we do on the album and then some. We do alot of the harmonies live, I do alot of the back up vocals & that kinda just gives it a different feel live I think.
Rock N Roll Experience: When you write music do you write primarily on acoustic or electric?
Tony: We’ve written alot of material acoustic but we wrote it so it was easily made electric, we like to heavy things up. We like to have an arsenal so on any given day if want to do an acoustic performance we can so I think it’s important to be able to do that & I think it shows what you’re capable of and that you’re not just a one trick pony. Alot of it was written acoustically but alot of it was written electric.
Rock N Roll Experience: What bands do you listen to that no one would suspect you like?
Tony: That’s always a tough question because sometimes I’ll say a band or artist & they’ll say that’s not very out there so I don’t know, I mean I listen to hip hop and like the older school hip hop like the Beastie Boys and Michael Jackson but that’s not too “off the wall” (laughs) no pun intended so I don’t know, I like everything man, I like classic rock the best.
Rock N Roll Experience: Is Kyng doing any covers in their set?
Tony: We might be doing one here or there in the future, we have a few up our sleeves that we might pull out but we don’t really wanna say who just yet but I think we will be doing some pretty soon.
Rock N Roll Experience: Have you started working on the next Kyng record yet?
Tony: Yes we have, we have about 6-8 songs ready to go, we are just waiting to get in the studio. Hopefully we will get into the studio around Winter time and kinda just space the time out and hit it hard.
Rock N Roll Experience: Is the new stuff be heavy or psychedelic?
Tony: It’s probably going to be both, it’s probably a bit of everything like this one (“Trampled Sun”) is. I mean we have “Shoreline” which is super fast or “The Roses” which is way opposite, we have “Takes It’s Toll” and “Trampled Sun” is more on the Black Sabbath side so I guess we are just going to do what we feel...feel the vibe out and go with whatever feels right.
Rock N Roll Experience: Is any of your music drug influenced?
Tony: “Trails In Veins” is actually about heroin & “Bleed Easy” is also an alcoholic song.
Rock N Roll Experience: There’s a reference to “The Threes” in one song, what does that mean?
Tony: Well, here’s the thing....as far as that goes, there was alot of typos on that thing so you’re probably reading something that’s non existent but if it gives the mysterious value then hey, whatever works for the band, (laughs) whatever works for the band, but in that case I don’t recall ever using that but then again you’d have to talk to Eddie because he’s the lyricist of the band