Today on the podcast I am chatting with the Calgary Alberta metalcore group Gutter King. This Canadian quartet has an awesome ever-evolving sound. Tune in to hear us talk about the magnitude of metalcore, their new track, the impact of metal live, the best time to visit Canada, and more.
Show Notes and Full Transcript
JK: Welcome to the Eat Sleep Breathe Music podcast. I’m your host Jeanette Kimszal. And I’m here with Gutter King. So if you guys want to introduce yourself, go right ahead.
Bert: I’m Bert. I do vocals.
Seth: I’m Seth, I play guitar and do vocals as well
Alan: I’m Alan, I play guitar.
Grant: I’m Grant and I play drums.
JK: Oh, so good to meet you guys and see your faces. Thank you so much for coming on. I’m really excited to chat with you. And I feel like I don’t know where to look (laughing)
JK: Let me just look everywhere. So yeah, we’ll just get like right into it. So you want to just tell us a little bit about yourself for people who may not know who you are and how you guys all came together.
Bert: You take this one. You got it. You got it.
Seth: Take it. Okay. Yeah, I mean, we are a metalcore band from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We all kind of met, like when we were pretty young, like Bertie and I, for example, met when we were very like grade seven or something like that.
And sort of met Alan in high school. And then like we all got together and sort of doing the band. And then we found grant sort of off playing gigs with some other band.
Seth: We were kind of like a is dead a pretty good drummer, man. We kind of want to steal him. So kind of made that happen. And yeah, the little origin story there.
JK: Awesome. So I know you guys are kind of more of like a metal metal core band. I’m, I’m not so familiar with metal. I guess my a lot of my music tastes I mean, I like everything but a lot of things go towards more like the pop punk and then…But then I was actually reading so I’ve been doing some like research before I got on the call with you guys.
JK: And there was a study I found that was it’s a little old. It’s from like 2015 but it was saying that like metal fans are like the most loyal listeners, I guess.
JK: It was like a Spotify I guess study and then it was saying and 2018 there were stats saying like it was like the biggest growing bigger than pop music. And I was just curious what you guys thought about that? And if if what you would like what you think draws people into metal and you know, kind of all that.
Alan: if that makes sense to me because I feel like if you find yourself liking this weird, wacky crazy music with people screaming like, and you find other people that like it to you kind of feel like you want to stick with those people.
Alan: Because if it’s any you know, if anyone else has had like, an experience like me growing up in a small town, so many people that you know, like this kind of stuff. But I liked it. So I stayed loyal to it.
Alan: And then once I found people that also liked it feel like there’s like a, like a weird connection that we all share. We all like this kind of weird thing. Yeah, that makes sense to me. Yeah. No, that’s awesome.
JK: My husband’s really into metal. And I’ll go to shows with him that I’m not like, like, I’m always like, oh, okay, and then he’ll go to my shows. And like, we actually went to a metal show, like a week ago.
And I was like, you know, I think I can really get into this because like, like you were saying, like, there’s just something about like, the crowd was so just cool
JK: And like, like happy and like, you know, they even though they were like getting all their aggression out, it was just, it was just very like, like, like meditative or something like, you know, like, Yeah, sort of thing.
Bert: You have to see it live. Like I have a lot of friends who they don’t listen to metal wall, but then they come to our shows. And as soon as they see it live, they have a better understanding of what’s going on.
Bert: And they see the energy and why people are into it. Yeah, so I think for a lot of people sonically it doesn’t make sense, but then when they see the performance, it kind of comes together for them
JK: Yeah, I totally agree with that. I feel like that’s even I was saying that’s my husband. And he was saying also like, you need good speakers, I guess you know, yeah, because if you don’t have good speakers, it doesn’t sound as good.
Grant: Yeah, a lot of noise.
JK: Yeah, I know. I think I need better speaker so yeah, so you guys I know have like a very DIY ethic. So what’s your favorite part of like the music-making process?
Seth: My favorite part is just getting in that zone where it’s like, you don’t know what’s gonna happen like a you’re like we’re in the room together and we don’t know we have no like, plan for like what we’re going to make.
Seth: And then like, one idea happens another Do you happen and they sort of come together everything sort of starts like snowballing and then you end up with like a song at the end of the day, which I think is really cool.
Bert: Yeah, it feels like we’re sorry for you go for it.
I was gonna say it feels kind of like unintentional when the song comes together. are like, we often like Seth said, we go in very unprepared.
Bert: And sometimes that makes me nervous because I’m like, we have like this one window to put the song together and have it done. And often times, it’s just, yeah, it just comes together in the spur of the moment. It’s totally spontaneous.
Alan: I like for these for us, like when we are together in a room writing, there’s, like, no wrong answers. You know, we’ve kind of just ego aside, we’re just like, everyone, if you’ve got an idea, let’s put it out there. And if it’s good, it’s good. If it’s not good, and it doesn’t make it I really enjoy that part of like, the process. It’s like, there’s no judgment. There are no yeah, no wrong answers.
Seth: I don’t know. Okay, go grant. Go. Because, like,
Grant: You know, even with music and like music videos, like, I think just like sitting back and after everything is like, we put so much time, effort, and money into making all this stuff and like sitting back to just look at it and listen to it and be like, wow, like we did this. This is cool.
Bert: So yeah. 100%
JK: Yeah, there’s something really awesome about being like, you know, a content creator or a music creator. Like it’s, it’s amazing to go from like having nothing to having this like, finished product at the end.
JK: It’s just…
Grant: It’s satisfying.
JK: Yeah, definitely. So, so I grew up in the 90s. And the music genres seemed to be very distinct, very separate, like rap rock, electronica, you know, there was like some new metal which kind of combined some things but it seems like these days, a lot of artists are kind of like splicing together all these different types of genres from like rock, electronica, screamo.
JK: And, like, has this always kind of been the case with metal core. And again, I don’t really know a lot about metal.
So I was curious if like, this is something that’s kind of typical in the metal genre, or like, is it something that you guys are doing? Or just it seems like in general, musics very merging these days? Which is pretty cool.
Seth: Yeah. I mean, I can’t speak for for all metal, but I would say, for metal core, I totally do. I do feel like for metal core in general, I think it’s always been a bit of a mash up. It’s gone through phases for sure.
Seth: But like, you can look back to like 2008 or 2009. When like bands like Attack Attack. We’re doing weird things with synths and electronics, and like mixing guitars and things of that. And then like, to now with like, Bring Me the Horizon and bad omen, but I feel like, yeah, there’s metal cores always sort of been mixing, like, pop and rock and rap and hip hop and everything sort of together. Which I think is really cool.
Grant: Yeah, it’s weird. Like the 90s, early 2000s. Sounds like almost back to because a lot of bands bring back like the new metal S sound these days, which is, which is kind of cool. It’s kind of full cycle. So yeah, it’s
Bert: It’s very cyclical.
JK: It’s interesting how music kind of does that sometimes. I’ve been listening to a lot of stuff and like, everything just kind of seems like it’s merged. And I think it’s cool.
JK: Because in a way, it also kind of opens up an audience for someone who may not necessarily like think about like listening to metal, but then they’re like, oh, especially with like, the song you guys just put out last in March.
You know, I feel like that had a lot of elements that would definitely kind of invite different listeners into like, the mix.
Seth: Yeah, absolutely. And that was that was definitely our intention to is just like, how can we like, yeah, like, take these pop elements that like you don’t normally hear and like a metal song. And like, just put that in there and see what happens.
Alan: I think it’s kind of gotten to a point where like, you know, if your genre is metal core, it’s almost like, not descriptive enough. Like, it’s such a broad umbrella term for so many bands technically fitted.
It’s like, you almost need, like, metal core, comma, and then something else to like, specify what kind of band you are. Because there’s so many elements, like so many genres that are like, brought in together, which I
Alan: it’s, it’s sick. I’m all for it
JK: Yeah, I feel like such an idiot because like, I don’t really know much about I probably should have looked more about, like, what metal core was, but I’m just like, you know, it’s interesting to me, because, like, I remember at one point I had, I did a review of another band, they were like a metal band. But like, again, they had another subset of metal and it’s like, it’s just interesting how many subsets of like metal music there are like, it’s just like, Wow, there’s so much different stuff going on.
Grant: So it was awkward when people ask us like, what type of what type of music we play? It’s like heavy like I don’t know it’s such a umbrella term that really if you’re an army you don’t really know
Alan: Yeah, like oh metal like iron maiden right
Bert: Kinda (laughing)
JK: yeah, that’s the thing. It’s funny because you think about metal you think about like, like, I don’t know if kiss would be considered metal but like, you know, like those types of bands like Iron Maiden and all these things, and I was actually looking up some stuff about that.
JK: And I was curious too about like, just for you guys. Being from Canada. It seems like there’s a lot of a lot more metal. I mean, there’s a lot of metal coming out of the US but also like, it seems It’s like, like just lately. I, I think it’s also on my mind because we went to see spirit box like last weekend and like they’re from Canada, you guys are from Canada.
JK: So I’m always like, is there more metal coming out of Canada? Or is it just just coincidental that like, every all these bands are coming up at the same time?
Grant: I think like, there’s always been a lot coming up from here. It’s just Canada’s kind of disconnected from the states in a way like, we’re so spread out and like, like our population is not nearly as much as you.
Grant: But I think just like our, our stuff to get down to the states like it takes a lot. So there’s actually a lot of great bands from here, just certain threshold before before they get past the border. It’s weird. Yeah, absolutely.
JK: Yeah, I think you also have to kind of seek it out. Because like, if you I mean, now with the internet, it’s a lot better. Like with streaming and everything, I think you can find a lot more bands that are like, maybe you wouldn’t necessarily hear on the radio or something.
JK: But it’s still I feel like there is I keep talking about my husband because he’s really into metal, but like, you know, he always complains about how like, you know, like this, especially here like we’re so into pop music and nothing, you know, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s just like, he always looks at like European countries and seeing like, you know, it would be so much cooler if like, we could just embrace metal like the way they do in Europe and stuff.
Bert: Mmhm. Those huge festivals.
Grant: I think also just like, like pouring for us to go to the states, like plus a lot of money plus a lot of time. But like in Europe, like you go across borders, like it’s nothing and like there’s a lot of bands touring constantly there. So like, it spreads a lot quicker that way too.
JK: Yeah. Yeah. So speaking of tour, are you guys doing any tours? I was looking at your website, and I didn’t see anything that was like specific to this year. So are you guys have like any tours coming up? Since you are doing music? Do you want to go out and promote it and stuff?
Alan: We’re currently.
Grant: Go ahead. Go ahead.
Alan: I was gonna say we’re currently like in the process of booking a couple, kind of like what grants you with the last answer, like we’re really spread out.
Alan: So like, tour for us kind of looking like a couple of dates in Alberta, and a couple of dates in the province over and BC. And to achieve all that is like 10s and 10s of hours of driving.
Alan: So you got a small western Canada thing that’s going to be coming. We’re going to be announcing sometime soon. That’ll be taking place over the summer.
JK: Do you guys ever would you ever want to tour in the States if you could?
Alan: Absolutely absolutely. If there are any bands listening that wants to take us out? We’re here. Let us know.
JK: Any bucket list places you’d want to play in the States?
Grant: New York for sure. New York and LA I feel like those are the things which is weird because they’re on the opposite sides of the country. But I think those are big entertainment hubs.
JK: So I live…have you guys ever heard of Asbury Park? It’s kind of where like Bruce Springsteen’s from so…
Alan: Yeah, is that jersey?
Jk: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Alan: So love to play there. I mean, honestly, for us, it would be like a huge shipment just to like make itself the border. So we’ll play we’ll play Billings, Montana. Give me an opportunity. You know, let’s go.
JK: Yeah, that’d be awesome. I’d definitely love to come see you guys play. I also love you know, I I’ve never been to Canada, but it seems like a cool place and like a lot a lot of stuff to see out there.
Grant: Yeah, just don’t come from like October to April, because you will, you’ll freeze. You’ll turn the ice to avoid.
JK: Yeah I have a problem with the cold weather (laughing). I always get like made fun of because I’m always cold all the
Grant: It’s great summer, but the winter is brutal. Yeah.
JK: So yeah, I guess just going back to I think it was like 2020 your release of “Feather” that kind of brought in like these pop elements. So what actually inspired you guys to like shifted into kind of doing more like poppin pop music stuff in your music?
Seth: Um, I think it was just like we did. We did our first EP, which was to be on grief up which was very like, like down the line metal core.
Seth: Like, not that that’s a bad thing at all. But that’s like what it was. And like, from that point, I was sort of like, Yeah, we did that. Like we did that thing.
Seth: Like let’s do something else. So for me, it’s always just trying to do something that we haven’t done yet. And I think that’s sort of where that came from. With feather and now we’re just sort of doing that again, with blood rush and, and what’s to come.
JK: So yeah, and then just going into…Oh, did anybody else have anything to add to that? Sorry, I didn’t want to jump.
Bert: No, he nailed it
JK: Okay. I just I know. I have a problem where I’m like, oh, you know, but um, so just going back to like talking about your new music. I saw that you guys have a teaser out. And so is there anything you guys can say about that coming out like next week, right? May 17. The uhm…
JK: The teaser for, I think I have it here in my notes…
GK: “It’s all in your head.”
JK: Sorry. Um, but yeah, so I saw the teaser and it like looks really intense. So it seems like it’s kind of a departure from blood rush would you say so? How did like…can you talk about that a little bit?
Seth: Yeah, um, I’ll say one more thing that I let someone else talk about, do you have one thing to say? I do want to say like, it does live in like the same world as blood rush sort of like sonically, like they are connected in a way and somatically all.
Seth: But this one takes like a much like darker, like more intense, like, rally the whole song is basically sort of about fear. And like, What scares you? So? Yeah, that was scary. But
Alan: I think even going with stuff with your last answer, like trying new things, like we did the metal core thing, like the straight up regular metal core, “Bloodrush” is obviously, like, super weird and of itself, it’s all in your head. You know, it’s our first time we’re messing with drop path. We’re getting real low using those the artificial down tuners on our amp. This is like another angle like that.
They know, you like had that idea. And like put in the Dropbox. And the first time I heard it was like, man, like, you go by an eight string guitar, like what is going on here.
Alan: So it’s definitely inherently heavier due to that, but like, this is definitely a happy song that we are going to put out to.
Bert: Yeah, absolutely
Seth: Yeah. Oh, sorry.
Bert: Sorry, I was just agreeing with him.
JK: No, I was just gonna say just going back to that song. You know, I think it’s because it is such a small clip, because I was like, I kept playing it over because I’m like, wait, I’m like, I’m trying to get something from it. But then I’m like, I gotta keep playing it because it is such a short little blip. And I was like, I can see how you’re saying like, you know, it still has the “Bloodrush” elements. Because, you know, this is just one part of the song. So,
Bert: yeah, it definitely gels. It’s different, but it’ll fit in the broader picture.
Alan: We hope anyway. That’s all we think.
JK: You know it’s good because like, honestly, you don’t, I mean, like you were saying, like, seeing what you can do and how what else you can bring to the table, it makes the music kind of more interesting, you know, like, like, sometimes people complain about bands, just putting out the same album after time, after time after time.
JK: So I mean, it’s nice to like, hear bands, experiment with different sounds, and seeing things. You know, I didn’t really have. I mean, there are so many bands, I feel like I can’t keep up with them. But I mean, I hadn’t really heard of you guys until I had gotten, you know, found out about you.
JK: And so I went back and I was kind of trying to listen to different things. And I was like, you know, it is kind of cool how they do have, like, an ever evolving sound.
JK: And they’re just kind of like experimenting with different things. And so I I think you know, you guys are on, like I agree with it’s a great idea (laughing).
Bert: Thank you.
Seth: Thank you. Yeah, that’s very kind. Yeah.
JK: Anyway going….sorry, go.
Seth: Oh, zoom. Sorry. I was gonna say no, that’s totally what, like, my philosophy, and our philosophy really is is like, I just don’t ever want to do the same thing twice.
Seth: I don’t want to put on the phone. It’s like, oh, that’s like, just like that other song they did. And then it’s just gets sort of boring. So, you know? Yeah.
JK: Yeah. They say variety is the spice of life, right?
Bert: Yeah, absolutely.
JK: I really love how social you guys are online. Like I’m, I always say, I’m really bad at social media. But I always appreciate like other people who are doing a lot of like stuff on social so and it just seems like it’s integral to like promotion these days.
JK: So do you feel like you know, like, there’s a platform that you like, the best? Do you like doing it? Like, how do you feel like, like, I think you guys like it looks like you’re having a lot of fun when you do the social stuff (laughing)
Alan: (Laughing) You have fun, guys. We’re doing it. It looks fun. I think we probably I mean, Instagram just seems like the center of the content universe for us. Anyway, tick tock, we’re trying to get better at we’re trying to, like, you know, get used to like trends and getting our faces and our voices like in front of the camera. Where it’s not just music video, we actually have to like speak.
Alan: Everything that ends up getting posted is like one clip out of like, an hour and a half of us just taking turns like looking at like Hey, what are we supposed to say? And then trying it and someone will say something stupid and have to restart the whole thing. We’re trying to get better at that
Alan: But I think yeah, Instagram is definitely the funnest place because we don’t have to only do that. We could put some photos in there which I like to do as a photographer and being kind of the visual uhmm, director that sounds insane to call myself, but everything that’s posted is something that I’ve edited.
JK: No, I think it’s definitely social media can be like there’s a little bit of a learning curve to it sometimes I think and I liked what you guys are doing.
JK: I thought you were fun. Like I like the tick-tock. I like the stuff that you guys and I saw that fans were like tagging you. So that’s awesome. So you’re getting you know, other people are sharing your music and stuff. So that’s…
Alan: That’s the hope.Seth: Yeah,
Alan: We just need a nice viral moment. We need some people to make some cool transitions for us. So we’re watching this edit tick tock, open up the app look up blood rush. Make some cool and do our jobs for us.
All members of Gutter King: Everyone laughing
JK: Oh another thing…I don’t know if you guys ever thought of this, but something a lot of people have been saying like using AI is helpful to like, come up with like, tags and stuff for like social media.
JK: I don’t know if that’s anything to think of it. I use it a lot for like posting things I found it’s pretty helpful to just when I’m like not really sure what to write or say like, just ask AI.
Alan: I have yet to dive into that. I tried using ChatGPT. But you have to like make an account, you have to put your phone number in and it didn’t like my phone number.
JK: It’s too much barrier for entry. Right? It’s like yeah, I know you guys have a lot of like videos and you know, it’s a really great way to tell your story. So I was just curious like how you guys come up with like the ideas for the different videos and I also thought that like the “Feather” video had a really cool juxtaposition where like, there’s like this calming waterfall and then there’s like the screaming lyrics and I was wondering like you know if it’s intentional where you put the certain like scenes to go with like the certain lyrics and like what the whole process of that was.
Alan: the video for “Feather” I don’t know if I remember exactly like how we landed on that I’m sure part of the equation to like us getting to
Alan: That idea was like what can we do that’s cool and free? And I suddenly must have inspired us to like go down that route but we just like planned a day went out to bath went on like this little hike I brought my camera and a gimbal we just like got as much as we could.
Alan: So really like the choices of like what words were coming up but during what shot was kind of just my random decision when I was editing it so there’s I wish we had like a deeper answer for that but it’s just kind of like what we thought looked cool.
JK: That’s okay, I don’t know maybe I’m thinking maybe I’m thinking too much into it maybe I’m digging deep I don’t know (laughing).
That’s good. No, I like that if it looks like maybe there’s something deeper let’s just say definitely something deeper is going on.
JK: And then just going into like the like when you guys write songs do you pick like what part is going to be like the guttural screaming part? Or is it just like how do you know like, is that like a process?
Bert: I guess it just depends on the song. Sometimes we have a better understanding of what the structure is gonna look like a lot of the songs I mean well general idea of the structure but also do it kind of part by part.
Bert: There have been some songs where we decided to do singing over it instead of screaming and it was kind of spur of the moment decision. It really just goes by whatever the song calls for at the moment. Yeah,
Seth: totally. I thought I had some bad but I really don’t (laughing)
Alan: It just comes. It comes as we write I don’t think we have to consider that a game plan like okay, like this next song we’re going to do should start with singing and then come with screaming. I think it’s just like, yeah, like Burt said, whatever the part needs was what we’ll put down
JK: Cool. I saw you did like an acoustic track, an acoustic version of a “Feather.” Where did that idea come from? And do you guys think you’re gonna do more acoustic stuff in the future?
Seth: Yes, I think we definitely will do more. I think we’re probably going to do like an acoustic song for like, every new song I hope at least. But like the “Feather” acoustic idea. It’s kind of funny that one started out as like, I was going to do like a feather reimagined.
Seth: Which was like, this, like the very first draft of it was like this weird like electronic drum beat with like these like pop synths. And like, it was like, there was something there and it was kind of cool, but it was also like, what the hell’s going on here?
Seth: So eventually, it was like, you know, let this like fill up for a minute here like just putting the acoustic guitar down and see what happens there and it ended up being like, way better. So yeah, it’s kind of funny version.
Alan: We should leak the old version.
Seth: Yeah, we should. It totally didn’t start out as like an intention to do an acoustic song, but then it sort of became that and then we were like, damn, this is cool.
JK: Nice. Well, I’m looking forward to hearing more acoustic music, but I like the screaming too, but I’m like, you know?
Alan: Maybe we combine the two. Yeah,
JK: but that would be cool. That would be definitely interesting. Okay, so we’re almost =at like 30 minutes. So I’ll just wrap things up. I don’t want to take up too much of your time.
JK: So Eat sleep breathe music is all about finding like new music. So what kind of stuff are you guys listening to any any cool bands on your playlists that we should check out?
Bert: The mind always goes blank when people.
Seth: Come on. I already got some
Alan: Yeah, Seth, let’s hear it.
Seth: All right. Okay, I got my music open. I don’t know the band Camino, is the band I really like and they’re releasing a few new songs. Which are very cool.
Seth: Beartooth “Sunshine” is a cool song. Lewis Capaldi are with amazing. I get one more. Okay, it’s kind of random. But this band called Three Days Grace from like, way back in Canada. Yeah, I went I downloaded their album. One X from 2006 like this is so sick. Like I’ve alluded to that like nonstop.
Grant: I was a lot of like, I guess Canadian bands kind of like there’s a band from Kelowna good friends of ours called Stasis. They’re releasing some music soon. So they got two singles out right now that are really good. So I’m stoked to see what their new record sounds like.
JK: Nice. So you guys have anything else? Any other last words you want to say? Or anything? Where can people find you find more? Find more about I’m like, I can’t speak sorry. Like, where can people find out more about you.
Alan: You can find us on all platforms at Gutter King Band and we are on whatever streaming platform you want. A new song fell on your head coming out May 17.
Alan: I don’t know when this one’s going to come out. But whenever you’re listening to this, our last song “Bloodrush” that we talked about is out everywhere. Search it up on YouTube.
We got a music video for that too. So whoever’s listening to this, you’ve got like, two or three hours of research to do on us. And I expect everyone to be doing that. Yeah, follow us. I think like every one of our photos, you got lots to do got lots to dive into.
JK: And they have a lot of music to listen to, to I was like you guys have a lot of nice catalog of music.
Bert: Yeah. A lot of catching up to do.
Alan: Yeah. It will be growing soon.
JK: Well, thank you so much! This was so much fun. I really appreciate you guys coming on and chatting.
All Members of GK: Thank you for having us. Yeah.
JK: Thank you. And I look forward to hearing the new song. Just a couple of days, right? I’m like, one week. Yes, May 17. But this was really nice. And I’ll definitely keep an eye out for you guys. And it would be awesome. Like maybe hopefully want you to know, one day you guys can come to the States and see you play.
Alan: Yeah, absolutely.
Bert: That’s on the to-do list.
JK: Yeah. Well, thank you again.
All Members of GK: Thank you so much.
For more information on Gutter King, you can check out their official website www.GutterKingBand.com
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