King 810

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King 810
King 810 - Live at Prepare For Hell (Nottingham).jpg
King 810 performing at Capital FM Arena Nottingham during the Prepare for Hell Tour supporting Slipknot
Background information
Also known as King
Origin Flint, Michigan, U.S.
Genres
Years active 2007–present
Labels
Website king810.com
Members
  • David Gunn
  • Eugene Gill
Past members
  • Jason Hale
  • Andrew Workman
  • Andrew Beal

King 810 (formerly known as, and often shortened to, simply King) is an American nu metal band from Flint, Michigan formed in 2007. It currently consists of David Gunn and Eugene Gill. The band's first release was their independent EP titled Midwest Monsters in 2012, which earned them a signing with Roadrunner Records; they released their second EP titled Proem in 2014, and their debut studio album Memoirs of a Murderer that same year.

History[edit]

Formation (2007–2012)[edit]

The band officially formed in December 2007 in their hometown of Flint, Michigan; however, the four members of the group had been performing together before then and had already gained a following.[2] The lineup consists of frontman and vocalist David Gunn, guitarist Andrew Beal, bass player Eugene Gill, and drummer Andrew Workman.[3][4] David Gunn revealed in a Metal Hammer documentary that he started writing lyrics for the band when he was arrested and eventually applied those lyrics to the band, which had already developed a sound he recognized, so he adapted said lyrics to that style.[5]

In 2008, it was reported that the band had signed with Equal Vision Records, that Chiodos guitarist Jason Hale was a member of the band, making the band his side project, and that they intended to release a full-length studio album in 2009. They toured together across America in December 2008. The band released demos on their Myspace, and it was reported that they had recorded an album with Mark Michalik at Detroit's 37 Studios.[4][6] However, in August 2009, the band abruptly left the label without a stated reason, and with no album released. It is presumed that Jason Hale left the band around that time, since he is not mentioned in any of their later activities.[7] The number '810', which is the area code for Flint, was used in the band name after they left Equal Vision.[8]

In June 2012, Gunn was assaulted when he refused to hand over a bag during a robbery. He was shot and stabbed, but survived the attack and went on to write for the band's debut and independent EP, Midwest Monsters, which was heavily inspired by that particular event and previous experiences.[9] The album was composed by Gunn and produced by Josh Wickman, and was only officially released physically.[10]

Memoirs of a Murderer (2013–2015)[edit]

King 810 performing on the Coldcock American Herbal Whiskey Stage at Mayhem Festival 2014

They released the music video for their first single, "Killem All", on March 31, 2014.[11] The song was later used to promote their first debut release via Roadrunner Records, Proem.[12] In May, the band performed at Rock on the Range 2014 at Columbus Crew Stadium.[13] The band released their second EP titled Proem on June 9 after streaming it online.[12] They also joined the Mayhem Festival tour of 2014 from June to August with headliners Avenged Sevenfold and Korn.[14]

The band initially intended to perform at Download Festival in June 2014, making this their debut UK performance, but had to cancel when members David Gunn and Eugene Gill were arrested in Detroit Metro Airport in June for assault with intent to do great bodily harm, in a case that dates back to October 2013.[15] The charge against Gunn was later dropped, but Gill had to appear in court for assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder.[16] In July, along with the release of their second single "Fat Around the Heart", which was promoted with a music video, they announced their first debut studio album, which would be titled Memoirs of a Murderer and would be released on August 18 digitally and a day later physically.[17] The album was their first to enter the charts; number 18 on Billboard's Top Hard Rock Albums and number eight on the Top Heatseekers.[18][19]

The band finally made their debut UK performance in September to be a part of the 'Download Freezes Over' tour with support from 'Astroid Boys' and 'Hang the Bastard'.[20][21] In late 2014, they toured in support of Slipknot along with Korn, playing U.S. shows including Knotfest.[22] They continued this tour in early 2015 in the United Kingdom.[23] In February, they released a spoken word track that comes as an ongoing series titled "Anatomy 1:5" that is not featured on any album but as a stand-alone promotional single.[24] The band made their debut performance in Australia as a part of 2015's Soundwave in late February and early March.[25] From April 8 to June 3, they will be supporting rapper Tech N9ne in promotion of his new album in Australia and New Zealand.[26]

After touring, the band had plans to do a European festival tour in June, taking part in events such as Download Festival and Rock am Ring, however, had to cancel their participation due to unforeseen issues at their home town, but intend to create more music videos and other pieces of content during their break.[27] The band took part in Dirt Fest in August in Michigan.[28][29] On May 21, the band streamed a new song titled "Revenge", featuring hip hop artist Trick-Trick, along with the release was the announcement of their mixtape titled Midwest Monsters 2. He released a statement regarding the next release that "Our next work features people we respect and are fans of. We're as proud of it as anything else we've done."[30] They later released the mixtape on September 17 and features guest appearances from Freddie Gibbs, Zuse and Game Spittaz.[31] A month later, in late October, they also released a limited 10" vinyl titled That Place Where Pain Lives... which features two previously unreleased songs from their debut album, a song named "Bad Man" and a string quartet version of "Devil Don't Cry", both feature U.K. singer RosieMay.[32]

La Petite Mort or a Conversation with God and other releases (2016–present)[edit]

In January 2016, the band released a song titled "We Gotta Help Ourselves" in aid to raise money and awareness of the toxic water crisis in their city of Flint, Michigan.[33] Along with the release of the song, they teamed up with a local clothing outlet in Flint to create a unique T-shirt, of which all the proceeds go towards the Community Foundation of Greater Flint's Flint Child & Health and Development fund, Gunn himself commented that he believed "..children are the most important people in the equation."[33]

In late July, the band released a music video for their single "I Ain't Goin Back Again", and revealed that their sophomore album will be titled La Petite Mort or a Conversation With God and will be released the same year, September 16. Other details regarding the album include its album artwork and its track list consisting of 13 songs.

Another track from the album, titled "Alpha & Omega", was released via the band's YouTube on August 24, 2016.

In 2017, Gunn had started a light heavyweight MMA career.[34] He has won two matches, and last fought in January 2017.[35]

Musical characteristics and lyrics[edit]

The band's lyrics are based on their lives growing up in the violent town of Flint. David Gunn himself was first arrested when he was nine years old, and states that in his area it was typical for kids at that age to commit crimes and use firearms.[36] Kerrang! described Gunn's lyrical style as "heavy metal poetry" that, when performed live, has a theatrical vibe that would "leave venues full of grown men quivering in their boots." For this, they ranked the band number four of their 'Top 20 Hottest Bands in the World Right Now'.[37]

Robb Flynn of heavy metal band Machine Head says King 810 has always fascinated him as they have more of a punk-rock side – they were often banned from clubs due to the chaos and violence they caused. Flynn says that they remind him of his early years in Machine Head, going on to say that lyrics are "killer" and that Gunn has a really intense vocal delivery.[38] Artistdirect writer Rick Florino wrote that their distinct poly-rhythmic grooves and intricate riffs border on industrial sound, and that Gunn's lyrics channels the likes of Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway and 2Pac, yet maintain a vulgar attitude; he concludes that their sound truly represents heavy metal music.[39] They have been variously assigned to the heavy metal, nu metal, and in some cases hard rock genres.[40] Gunn himself says that he enjoys creating a diverse amount of musical content. In addition to the heavy and aggressive music the band is known for, he is also fond of calmer tracks such as "Take It", "State of Nature", and several other acoustic interludes that punctuate Memoirs of a Murderer.[41] The band also perform poem-like spoken word tracks called "Anatomy" tracks.[24][42]

One of the band's major influences is Korn, which is said to have had a particular impact on the musical style of their debut album, especially the darker sounds, lyrical style and guitar riffs.[43][21] Their sound has also been compared to that of Slipknot and Bury Tomorrow.[44]

After the release of their latest song "Revenge", Gunn released a statement suggesting that they will "...never make the same move twice and we're always creating."[30]

Live performances[edit]

The band is known for its gritty stage presence and elaborate stage productions, with signature elements including Gunn performing covered in mud, hired men in masks wielding axes and baseball bats, and police security tape surrounding the stage to enhance the elements of crime and danger in their music. At times, they have been known to wield fake guns on stage.[21][42][45] Some media outlets have criticized them as gimmicky and believe they are putting on an act, but Gunn rejects the idea that they are faking their stories.[42][41] A December 2016 show in Chicago was cancelled due to "excessive use of guns and violent imagery".[46]

Fan base[edit]

The band's fan base pre-dates its official formation and current name.[2] In their hometown of Flint, Michigan, their fans are known to be violent at their concerts, with one notable case occurring at a local music expo called 'Dirtfest' in 2009. Fans moshed violently, broke down fences, and fought back against police forces attempting to pacify them; some lit fireworks and aimed them into the crowd, and when the sound was ultimately cut off, fans continued singing their songs.[8] Even before the band was signed, fans were observed with tattoos on their shins of the Flint area code (810) similar to those displayed by the band; some have gone as far as carving the band's logo into their skin.[8]

Members[edit]