Bluesdoodles had an informative and relaxed chat with Alan Nimmo from King King as their third album is to be released and a UK tour being undertaken. CLICK HERE for information
What were your first musical influences growing up in Glasgow?
My first major influences that are still relevant today are Free & Peter Green along with other early memories including Rod Stewart and The Faces. My mother is the greatest music fan I know she would put the record player on and tap on my shoulder and told me to listen to this. I remember Fire and Water and Fleetwood Mac and even now when I hear the music it makes me stop in my tracks that is what music does to you.
Where did the name King King come from?
Firstly, the name doesn’t pen you into to any musical corner. It comes from Red Devils, who recorded their only album live at the LA club King King. The album has a cult following as the lead singer died. It is also tipping a cap at the King’s of blues – BB’ Albert & Freddie. We are now though simply King King and have our own identity.
There has been lots of debates on Social Media about who delivers authentic blues in Britain?
Firstly, I do not get involved in these pointless debates and if tagged in quickly leave! Foremost for me music is what it is to each listener and means something different to everyone who hears it. These arguments have been going on for years and for me Blues is a feeling from within and nothing to do with blindly arguing if in one musical format or another or if you are black. For me music is music, blues is up to each artist and if the listener enjoys it. A blues song does not have to be a 12 bars; can’t get more blues than Free’s Be My Friend. Really it is a ridiculous argument.
King King are back in Cardiff at The Globe, what is it that draws you to playing once again in Wales and Cardiff?
Like Pericles, I feel it is my and the band’s role to reach as many people as we can and Wales is a country I have always had a good reception from. In the mid 1990’s I toured the area extensively with my brother and now back visiting Wales with King King. I know from experience we will get an amazing reaction from the audience whether playing to a few or a packed house; everyone is always appreciative of the music we play.
What advice have you had that you have listened to?
musically, never been sat down, let’s have a chat before starting your career. Big George, who was a tortured soul and a bit of a genius was often let down by musicians and as a teenager he would ‘phone up and say big man playing tonight bring your guitar, it was a baptism of fire an apprenticeship in live music. He would have drunk the wages before anyone else had arrived he said to me as a teenager “ Don’t wait until you are 40 don’t wait or you will regret it.” This is true for anything the other bit of advice about music was “Don’t do it like a F***ing pub band”.
The other experience that gave me lots of advice for living was when I left school and was an apprentice mechanic I hated the job, but I learnt more about life there. The older gentleman teaching me my trade was ex-navy and he taught me morality, humanity treat others as you want to be treated yourself. At the end of the day we all do a job, do it right and good things will come.
Your third studio album is out soon Reaching For The Light – what were the inspiration for the songs, and in choosing covers to give them the King King musical kiss?
Well, there is only one cover which I chose with care and it is Just a Little Lie a Paul Carrack number; I am a big fan yes he has had lots of success but he is still a bit underground and has never had the recognition he deserves. He is an amazing singer, so I have given myself a challenge and more importantly it fits in with the shape of the album.
Inspiration for the other tracks, and the rest of the songs I have written are my own experiences what have, has and are going to happen all the things that makes up human emotion; Love/Hate; Excitement, Depression, people being ill the full mixture of experiences that life throws at you.
How was the recording process for your new album – Reaching For The Light?
The process for a King King album starts with me writing the songs, well the core of them and a bit of arranging. We then go into the studio where we do lots of pre-production the band plays live arranging each track as a band and continue to fine tune them; every beat of the drum, and all the other components are looked at so that there is the right note on the right place. The band then demo’s the songs and final arrangement is agreed; I then go off and live with it for a couple of days and then tweak the arrangements and have the final say.
The recording process is we lay down each instrument’s part with Wayne, Lyndsay and Bob playing along to the demo in their ears; once all the parts are down; I add my vocals and the backing vocals. The album is produced by myself and Wayne I am involved in every stage in my albums! We now have the album recorded.
What do you see as the future (plans, projects, etc.) for Alan Nimmo and/or King King?
King King seem to have been going for forever but for me it is the early stages for the band, King King is not where I want it to be still lots of rungs to climb. I am driven to do what I do with a passion and am at peace with myself. I still have lots to learn continuing to move forward if I get bored, will just stop but still excited with King King.
Tell us a bit about touring with John Mayall last year?
What a tremendous honour, I grew up listening to John Mayall and blues, so this was a huge tick in a huge box for me personally. The overriding memory though is what a nice, humble guy John is and at 81 is still so full of enthusiasm and drive and getting to play with him on stage was a dream come true.
Finally as Pericles, the promoter of the arts what advice would you give to someone wanting to play the blues in a band?
Don’t start playing blues thinking it is easy work; play because you feel the music inside, and play with all your heart and not for money or being a star or any of that nonsense. If you want to make money go off work in the city be a banker. Music is no place for fakers above all believe in what you play and do it with meaning.
To see videos subscribe to our You Tube Channel and be the first to hear snippets from the new album ‘Reaching For The Light’ ……Coming soon!!
2. You Stopped The Rain
3. I’m Waking Up
4. Rush Hour
6. Lay With Me
7. Just A Little Lie
8. Take A Look
9. Stranger To Love