Influences: To Kill A King

Indie titans return with 'The Good Old Days'...

There's an old saying that contends you don't know a good thing until it's gone.

In the case of To Kill A King that's undoubtedly true – the band released two albums at breakneck pace, touring incessantly in the process.

So when they took last year off, fans knew that not much was going to take their place.

Erupting back into contention with a new track, To Kill A King aim to surpass 'The Good Old Days' with their mature yet biting musicality.

Ahead of their return the band's Grant McNeil picks out a few key Influences…

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Queens of the Stone Age – 'A Song For The Dead'

Discovering this song as a teenager of about 14, when up until this point I'd been into pop-punk like Blink-182 or Green Day was a revelation, it still gives me chills to this day with it's absolute raw power.

Guitar sounds like Queens Of The Stone Age seem to come up with apparent ease are something most of us end up chasing our whole lives.

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Arcade Fire – 'Intervention'

I bought this album ('Neon Bible') on a whim as part of a 2 for 1 deal at HMV when I was working at my Saturday job at Waterstones at around 16. In retrospect it was probably one of the most defining moments for me in my musical life.

It was hard to chose one song but this one always comes through as the defining moment of this record for me, from the heartfelt lyrics to the sneaky key change that I only discovered when trying to transcribe it for a music class, it’s just unreal. Hopefully one day we’ll get an organ to sound this huge.

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The National – 'Hard To Find'

If Arcade Fire was the band I obsessed over in secondary school, The National were my uni band. I think I first heard about them at the start of 2nd year and after that I don’t think there was a day that I didn’t put on at least one of their songs. ‘Mr November’, ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’ and in particular ‘Slow Show’ all made frequent appearances walking between lectures. So safe to say, I was already a massive fanboy. But when I first heard this track from ‘Trouble Will Find Me’ it felt like they’d upped a game I didn’t even realise they could ‘up’.

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LCD Soundsystem – 'Home'

Nobody does an evolving song like LCD and I think this is the pinnacle of that for me. Every single part in this song is so fluid but without ever being loose, and it's those small changes that get you to a point where you can't help but start moving.

The fact that this song also shares those backing vocal themes with the album’s opener ‘Dance Yrself Clean’ is another masterstroke, really making the album feel like a whole piece as opposed to a collection of songs.

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Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – 'Suite Judy Blue Eyes'

I spent a while thinking about all the modern folk music that has influenced in particular my acoustic playing and vocals over the years (looking at you, Fleet Foxes/The Tallest Man On Earth), but really for me it all comes back to this.

The craftsmanship that went into the harmonies and instrumental arrangement, and the overall feel of it has just meant that I've come back to it over and over for the past however long. I think popular music owes so much to these guys.

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