Kings Kaleidoscope presses even deeper into their signature mix of hymnody fused with hip hop, soul, and different rock on their newest file Zeal. A sonic explosion of chaotically ordered soundscapes, Zeal comes alive with splashes of coloration and joyous, childlike surprise. Throughout a brief break of their 25-city, nationwide tour throughout the US, I caught up with lead singer Chad Gardner to speak concerning the band’s latest launch.
The next interview has been edited for readability and brevity.
Initially, congrats on the brand new file. I’d love to listen to the story of how Zeal got here collectively. Are you able to speak to me concerning the writing and recording course of?
We began compiling musical concepts rather less than a yr in the past. The theme began to solidify for me final summer season. The surroundings I used to be in felt very disenchanted with religion and perception. But additionally disenchanted with being disenchanted. [Laughs]
I used to be bored with deconstructing the whole lot and making an attempt to overcome religion in God. And likewise actually eager for only a easy, childlike religion once more. And in order these concepts began forming, I began writing. I wrote many of the album all through the winter and starting of this yr. I completed it in all probability every week earlier than it got here out.
Oh wow. Is that standard for you?
I’ve loads of pals that I’m actually shut with who really feel caught with loads of bitterness and jadedness. After which for myself, I simply felt a bit of bit spiritually apathetic. So we wrote Zeal to maneuver ourselves again to a spot of childlike religion once more.
Identical factor with the tour we’ve been on. It’s been the identical thrust and theme that we’re making an attempt to sing the songs each evening to get ourselves reoriented round one thing that we actually want deeply.
Is it working?
[Laughs] Yeah, it’s. Our tour bus is only a hodgepodge from no sort of religion, to “used to have faith,” to loads of religion, and all over the place in between. I feel it’s a very cool and exquisite mannequin of a church proper now. We’re all so respectful and loving to at least one one other. It’s one of the numerous environments I’ve ever been in, not solely culturally, however on the map of discipleship. We’re actually, actually dedicated to caring for one more. It’s cool to only see how God’s transferring in everyone individually alongside the tour.
How’s it been getting these songs out in entrance of your followers?
Actually unimaginable. Kings Kaleidoscope is such an eclectic band. And that’s given us a very eclectic fan base. And I actually recognize that about them. One factor I feel our followers do rather well is that they’re—I don’t know what the phrase is—I’d virtually say they’re extraordinarily loyal in a manner. And really dedicated.
It’s like how hip hop and rap albums come out and the followers know all of the phrases lower than a month later. On this tour we’re taking part in almost your entire new album. And it doesn’t really feel like we’re taking part in new songs. It really feel like everyone’s prepared and ready to sing them. It’s actually unimaginable.
What was the simplest tune to jot down?
“A Little Bit of Faith” by far. That was written the final week of engaged on the album, and it got here collectively so quick. That tune was a spin-off of “Hero Over My Head.”
Yeah, I observed that.
Yeah. I used to be engaged on an alternate bridge thought for “Hero Over My Head” and fired off “A Little Bit of Faith” in a day. Within the canon of Kings Kaleidoscope, that tune and “A Prayer” are the quickest I’ve ever written.
So did you file it shortly, too? Didn’t you launch that tune earlier than the album?
Yeah, precisely. Final tune to be written, and it was launched earlier than the album got here out. [Laughs]
How concerning the hardest tune to jot down?
Truly, I must say its brother tune, “Hero Over My Head.” I began that instrumental a pair years in the past whereas writing The Magnificence Between. It was inconceivable to crack. Actually advanced musically. I used to be having a tough time understanding the place it wanted to go. However it got here collectively as soon as I understood the entire arc of the entire album.
We began pondering of Zeal as a personality who was on this journey to rediscover his identification and his title and who he was. As soon as that got here collectively then I knew in the direction of the start of the album is the place “Hero Over My Head” wanted to be. Or at the least the place the instrumental wanted to be. A canvas to color this character desperately in search of a manner out.
On Zeal I’ve picked up on a couple of spots the place you wove hymns into the association. The obvious being “Jesus Loves Me” within the tune “Oxygen.” After which the video for “The Rush” seems prefer it’s straight out of a Sunday faculty flannel board. In order I hearken to the file, I can’t assist however flashback to my childhood within the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. To me it feels such as you’re pulling a thread there.
I’m in all probability primarily pushed creatively by aesthetic. Visible issues. I feel in imagery quite a bit. I feel in coloration and pallet. I begin fascinated with paintings as quickly as I begin writing songs, truthfully. There may be this entire world that I wished to create with Zeal.
Look, there’s lots of people who’ve had some expertise with church, even when it was so removed from any sort of religion. Loads of our prolonged fan base has had a real expertise with religion, not simply the one which they’d rising up that didn’t imply something. However then they don’t actually know if the “faith” they’d once they have been youthful was legit or not.
And so what I’m making an attempt to do aesthetically with all of the Sunday faculty stuff is making an attempt to take issues visually that you’d write off as simply nostalgia or tacky and truly level again to them and go, there’s truly a bit of little bit of reality in that. Your center faculty, awkward youth group Bible research—the place you had that funky Journey Bible that your church gave your affirmation class—you bear in mind it solely with nostalgia? I truly imagine that you simply had a real expertise with the Holy Spirit in that.
You utilize the picture of a “fortunate fall” in your tune “The Coma” on this album. I do not forget that similar lyric from the tune “Felix Culpa” that you simply launched a handful of years in the past. Because you revisit it, I’m questioning what “fortunate fall” means to you and the way that’s morphed over these years?
That’s fascinating. Truly, it was unintentional. I didn’t suppose by way of that scope in any respect, truthfully. Which is type of wild.
As soon as once more, it goes to the visible. On that tune and loads of others on this album, the visible is leaping off a cliff. Not understanding. Blind religion. It’s this imagery of, alright, I assume I’m stepping out on the water. I’ve been caught. My again’s on the wall. However right here I’m going. I gotta put a few of my pleasure to dying right here. And it’s in all probability going to essentially harm. However that is going to be the lucky fall that’s gonna do me in for the higher.
What’s subsequent for you and the band developing?
Simply tour, man. The Zeal tour is our first full manufacturing scale, massive bus nationwide tour. Turning into Who We Are, our first album, got here out 4 and a half years in the past. It feels prefer it was quite a bit longer than that. However it hasn’t truly been that lengthy.
We have now by no means had any conventional key holders or something open massive doorways for us. Our entire development has simply been phrase of mouth with grassroots individuals which were deeply impacted by our music, getting us the place we’re. And so this does, in essence, really feel like a celebration for us to have the ability to play the entire nation
Kings Kaleidoscope is at present touring the US with Wordsplayed, Residents, and OLY. Their album Zeal is out now.