Heard of Fit For a King before? Of course you have, If you’re a regular visitor to Wall of Sound, we’re going to assume you have impeccable taste. The Texan band have taken the world by storm with their quintessentially contemporary metalcore recipe.
Fit For a King, like so many other musicians in the heavy music scene, are facing the unavoidable turmoil of releasing a record in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and like the rest of them, vocalist Ryan Kirby has no choice but to embrace it. Fans alike are impatiently waiting for the band’s upcoming release of The Path on Friday (our review here), a follow-up to the band’s monster record Dark Skies a couple of years old now.
“It’s definitely going to be a super unique release, because I think it could either go one or two ways,” the front-man tells us nonchalantly. “I think it could be an incredible release, like an all-time high for us, with streams and fan interaction,” he explains – “because there’s not much happening, putting out something new could help spread the word.”
However, Kirby also weighs in the potential for the release to “go poorly, because who knows when we’ll be able to tour and play these songs, and share it with more people.” We have a feeling it’ll be the former though.
He’s feeling optimistic and leaning towards the better outcome too – “at the end of the day, people won’t forget about music and won’t stop loving music, and especially in a lockdown, we all need it.
“We really needed to put ‘The Path’ out, instead of folding it, because this is a very positive record, and I think the world needs some more positivity, so if we can give a little bit of that then we’re able to just do our part.”
The breakdown bandits have revealed a couple of tracks from the upcoming release, namely ‘Breaking the Mirror’ and ‘God of Fire’, both huge, yet rather different sounding to one another.
“‘God Of Fire’ has a lot of heavy production. The story behind that song (when we wrote it) was that it was never going to be a single, but simply the most fun live song possible.” Yet, the fans had a different view.
“When we played it live on our Dark Skies US tour, the fan response was incredible, and on top of that, people started sharing live videos of [the song] so people were just begging for it.” The band had no choice but to succumb to their beloved fans’ requests. “So we said, ‘alright we’ll put out ‘God of Fire’ as our second single’, even though that was never a part of the plan.”
In terms of ‘Breaking the Mirror’ “I’d say that it’s more representative of pieces of the record. We have another single coming out in August called ‘Locked (in my Head)’ and it’s a little more of like a radio-ish song.”
Fans can expect to hear a rather eclectic album. “There’s the heavy songs that don’t have any singing, there’s the more ‘super-big-venue’ sounding songs, and then there’s a couple of ‘radio’ type songs.”
Fit For a King have been around for a long while, in fact, the band was incepted in 2007, yet their preceding album Dark Skies seemed to really kick off their global stardom.
“When Deathgrip (2016) came out, we headlined shows, where I’d say there would be 200-300 people there, but in comparison to the last show we just played on the Dark Skies tour, it was sold out, with 1000 people. We sold the most tickets we’ve ever sold in our career.”
Diehard fans will argue they’ve stuck around since the band’s early days, and as they should. Conversely, newcomers are recommended to dig back into the back catalogue of these heavy hitters and become acquainted with some of the best metalcore in the game.
Those diehards in Australia have been waiting a long time to see Fit For a King play some shows for us, six years in fact. Turns out, there was a tour in the works, but this damn pandemic ruined that prospect for everyone.
“So I guess I can be honest about it because it’s not happening now, We were working on coming over to play with Alpha Wolf. It was originally [scheduled] for May (I think), and then it got pushed back to October. Eventually, as things got worse with Coronavirus, the agents were like ‘we just gotta pull it’.”
So that’s the bad news, but there is kind of some good news. “We were talking with our agent and we talked with some industry people in Australia, and because we haven’t been down there since 2014, they were like, ‘whenever touring opens back up, just come here and headline if you can’t find a tour to support.’ So that’s my view now – we’ve just gotta make it back over there already, it’s been too long.”
Agree, fans? We thought so.
So despite the inability to tour the new album and spread the word about The Path, the band still has a lot in store for the rest of 2020. “We’ve been working on a lot of content, including filming. We want to premiere a pre-recorded live concert on streaming services. It’ll be a free event and we’ll just be accepting donations and have exclusive merch.” Kirby explains that this will be their way of having an album release show.
In addition to that, the band has a lot more to reveal to fans. “We’ve got three music videos that we just shot and they are insane. They’re like beyond anything we’ve ever done. Our label gave us an amazing budget. They said ‘we need to make this the most premium content possible because there’s no touring’. After that, we’re being optimistic that we can start to do really small club shows at the end of the year in the US and in the Middle America space, where [COVID-19’s] not been as big of an issue.”
Although the band can get creative, they’re extremely conscious of the lack of work happening for their tour crew, and they want to do everything they can to help them make a living.
“We want to employ our crew, they’ve been hurting as bad as us, so we don’t want to cut all shows and keep them out of work, so we’ll certainly try.”
The outlook is grim for shows unfortunately. The singer reaffirms the rumours we’ve already heard – “there’s an agent that said he doesn’t expect full touring to be back until possibly 2022, but hopefully it’s sooner.”
Kirby once again alludes to his enthusiasm to eventually continue touring, and especially visit Australia. “I’ve heard from so many people that metal gets a lot of love out there, and after playing Hot Damn in Sydney back in 2014, I definitely believe it.
“That’s why I’m so bummed, it’s been six years, so the second the doors are back open to us touring Australia, we’re just gonna make it happen.”
Interview by Ricky Aarons @rickysaul90
Pre-order a copy of The Path here
Fit For A King – The Path tracklisting:
1. The Face of Hate
2. Breaking the Mirror
4. The Path
6. Locked (In My Head)
7. God of Fire
9. Louder Voice