INTERVIEW: Jordan Coyne (BETWEEN KINGS)
Cut from a similar cloth to AFI, Imagine Dragons and the more emotive Blink 182 vibes, Brissie post alt-rockers Between Kings have consistently delivered with their tenderly anthemic tunes, heartfelt lyrics, and sincere dedication to their fanbase. And while their soaring melodics and catchy riffs paint a pretty sonic picture, there's a whole lot more to this quartet than just crafting tunes to sell tickets and break young hearts; in fact, this is a group who aren't afraid to add a little ear-candy to themes like domestic violence and self-esteem, all the while actually coming through with the goods in a live setting.
Currently wrapping up a tour with rock icons Escape The Fate for their 'This War Is Ours' 10 year anniversary, as well as their own extremely well received LP 'The Escape' earlier this year, the Between Kings boys show absolutely no sign of slowing down. But just before the current tour draws to a close, guitarist Jordan Coyne took a few moments to chat to The Soundcheck about songwriting, influences and fake LARP-ing stories. Interview below.
TIANA SPETER: Thank you so much for chatting! I’m a proud Queenslander living temporarily in Sydney so it’s always nice to chat with a Brissie band absolutely killing it. And on that note, Between Kings have had a momentous 2018 so far, unleashing your full-length ‘The Escape’ and you’re also traipsing around currently alongside Escape The Fate – have you all managed to catch your breath yet this year?
JORDAN COYNE: Thank you for the support! It’s been crazy, we’ve been flat out almost everyday with practice for the tour, connecting with fans, talking with our team and releasing the album and even recording new songs to follow up. So I wouldn’t say we’ve had time to catch our breath but we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon!
TIANA: And ‘The Escape’ is a massive listen, not just musically but also touching on some pretty heavy issues like self-esteem and domestic violence. What was it like crafting such a personal and, at times, thematically confronting album?
JORDAN: Honestly it was very therapeutic, Nic and myself write the lyrics and have no problem sharing the darkest and most vulnerable time in our lives and minds. There is a lot of meaning in the songs for us but have found people take away their own meanings to the message or content so that’s incredible and glad it connects with so many people.
TIANA: It’s not just the underlying concepts that really jump out of this album, but it’s also such a big listen sound-wise. There’s a hell of a lot of anthemic and huge ballad moments kicking around here...when it comes to Between Kings songwriting, is this a conscious effort to write these huge stadium-ready tunes, or is it just something that comes naturally?
JORDAN: It’s something that comes naturally now. The more you work on producing the songs from just a riff to full blow song you learn what makes something pop out or sound big. So it becomes more second nature to think of say for an example a vocal or guitar line that’s backed up by a couple of lead synths in the mix to give it more texture and sound bigger.
TIANA: And do you have any personal favourites on the album? Either from a pure listening perspective, or as ones you love to play live?
JORDAN: It changes everyday, we vibe off the crowd so some nights it’s our big anthem sounding songs and other times the crowd reacts to the slow heartfelt songs. It’s about creating memories and the fans are always making them for us.
TIANA: Who would you say are some of the influences behind Between Kings? Do you all have similar musical tastes?
JORDAN: We do share a lot of musical tastes but do have a diverse taste so we’re always jamming something new or sharing something we like. As far as similar bands we like we love; Bring Me the Horizon, Imagine Dragons, Twenty One Pilots, Panic! At the Disco just to name a few.
'THE ESCAPE' (BETWEEN KINGS)
TIANA: Going back a ways, I've read that Between Kings came to life thanks to LARPing….can you expand on that experience slightly for us? Is this something you all still do?
JORDAN: Ahaha we’ve actually never LARPed. We said that once in an interview about the band getting together and we just like making something up. We find it more fun to throw out the real story and some fake ones so that people can try and guess and it keeps interviews fun and fresh for us and the listeners/ readers.
TIANA: From fake LARPing to recording and blasting your tunes onstage…do you guys tend to prefer the recording process over the live performances, or vice versa? Or is it a healthy mix of everything?
JORDAN: It’s a mix. Making music with your friends, sharing experiences and the excitement of coming up with something we love we feel all translates over to the live show. We get excited to play and meet fans and also like making and recording music we know we’re going to go out and share to them.
TIANA: Between Kings are currently on tour with Escape The Fate as mentioned earlier, but do you guys have any other bucket list bands you’d love to play with in future?
JORDAN: The list is too long. We love so many bands but to rattle some off that come to mind would be; Bring me the Horizon, Imagine Dragons, Twenty One Pilots, Panic! At the Disco, Blink 182 and many more.
TIANA: And being Brissie boys, who are some of your favourite local bands kicking around up there at the moment?
JORDAN: We have to give some love to the boys Awaken I Am who we’re doing the Escape the Fate tour with. Along with a our boys from Homefront who are new but work hard and kill it.
TIANA: Is there a standout gig you’ve played so far, whether it was exceptionally good or just had a significant memorable moment, good or bad?
JORDAN: There have been plenty of funny moments through all the growing pains but I wouldn’t say there has been any stand out bad experiences. As for stand out good experiences things like the first time we heard the crowd singing our songs over us was an amazing moment. Along with things we didn’t expect like some fans being so talented and dedicated to make fan art of us.
TIANA: When you guys aren’t playing music, what would we find the Between Kings boys doing in their rare downtime?
JORDAN: We do a lot of fan interaction on socials in our down time and taking out band life completely we just like spending time with each other play games, watching movies, makings food, skating, riding, camping and going to the beach.
TIANA: And while you guys sit somewhere safely in the broader alternative rock world, are there any bands or artists that you listen to, or grew up listening to, that might surprise your fans? Any skeletons in your Spotify playlists?
JORDAN: Ahah I love this question! I wouldn’t say skeletons in anyway because we proudly love what we listen but we love pop artists like Maroon 5, Taylor Swift to more older bands like System of a Down, Radiohead to even rap and RnB like Kanye West, Post Malone and Kendrick Lamar.
TIANA: To wrap things up, while we all know Between Kings have had a huge year so far, is there anything you can reveal about what’s next for you lot?
JORDAN: There’s always plan on the table and ideas buzzing around like rocking over to the US to do radio and show tours, working on the second album, another Australian tour and even working with some exciting artists. So there is a lot in the pipe line and with the support from our team at Faction/ Regime we feel with them we can become a house hold name and live the dreams we’ve had since kids.
BETWEEN THE KINGS ARE WRAPPING UP THEIR TOUR ALONGSIDE ESCAPE THE FATE TONIGHT IN BRISBANE AND TOMORROW IN WELLINGTON.
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BY TIANA SPETER