Rock music is deeply rooted with the Los Angeles music scene and has produced a number of acts who have helped shape a section of music history. One of the city’s rising stars is East LA natives Kyng, who have made a name for themselves over the past few years with their back to the roots heavy rock sounds with heavy grooves and melodic overtones.
Veterans of the LA music scene, the three members of the band (vocalist/guitarist Eddie Veliz, bassist Tony Castaneda and drummer Pepe Clarke Magana) created a powerful yet hard-hitting sound that fans discovered on their latest album Burn The Serum (out now via Razor and Tie), and their recent journey found themselves on Knotfest 2015, becoming extra special for them being this was in their backyard in Southern California.
Castaneda shared his thoughts about the show and playing at San Manuel Amphitheatre, the Devore, CA based venue which held events such as Ozzfest and Rockstar Mayhem Fest in the past. “The main difference is this is in our backyard. We’re from Los Angeles and this is a hometown show for us, and it’s always nice to go home after the night and sleep in your own bed. That’s not to say the other festivals aren’t awesome.”
“This is definitely a venue that individually we’ve played here in the past. To be here with Kyng is definitely awesome. We love this place. There’s definitely a lot of history here, as you know Ozzfest and I’ve seen Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath. I’ve played Ozzfest back in 2007 with Pepe in another band we were in.”
He shared his thoughts about playingKnotfest and taking part on a much talked about event. Being asked to participate on a festival run by one of the biggest acts in heavy music is an honor for most bands, but Castaneda chose to take in as much of the event as he could, aside from himself playing on it.
“Not falling on my ass from all of the dust on stage and wearing my Vans, and having more canvas underneath them!,” he said, with a laugh. “The highlights for me are yet to come. There’s a lot of friends here. Devour The Day’s here, Suicidal Tendencies…which I’ll be catching. After I’m done [here], I’ll be catching Cannibal Corpse. Clutch…so many bands. I missed yesterday’s set [but] I’m excited for what’s to come.”
Their journey has taken them on tour with a variety of audiences, from Corrosion of Conformity and Clutch, to Seether and then even Megadeth. They discovered along the way how they have managed to work their sound towards that respective audience and winning them over along the way.
“We discovered that we can be as heavy as we want to be and still be melodic. That’s what separates us from all of the other bands. We have a drummer like Pepe that’s a beast and can basically play in a heavy, heavy metal band and plays in a rock band like us. We do both and I feel we do it well as it works for us and we’re going to continue to do.”
Coming out of an area such as East Los Angeles and often overshadowed by the bands coming out of West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip area makes their story even sweeter. Having flown under the radar and slowly building an audience at every
“It means a lot because not too many bands come from East LA. A lot of band would be Hollywood bands, but you do have your bands from Los Angeles like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. There’s a lot of bands. I guess for a band of this genre, there’s not too many of them from LA. It means a lot especially being from East LA and myself, growing up in a predominant Latin community, I’m proud of that all of us are Latinos and that’s something that’s cool to us. We’re very thankful that we can be in this genre and making our stamp and let it be known.“
One of their biggest supporters from the early days was Jose Mangin of Sirius XM’s Liquid Metal, who befriended the band and helped spread their name around the scene. Castaneda acknowledged how his influence greatly helped them towards bigger things such as Metallica’s Orion Festival.
“He’s the biggest supporter since day one. He is the reason why we have gotten a lot of attention. He’s the type of guy everybody knows. Everybody in the industry knows that guy knows his shit and he vouched for us since day one and everybody jumped on board that was a friend of his and believes in it as much as he does. For that we’re grateful and will be forever grateful,” he said.
On the subject of a new Kyng record, the band teased the Knotfest crowd with a brand new, yet untitled tune. “We played a new song today. I’m not sure if it’s a working title at the moment. We only played one new one but the rest were some from the first album and some from the second.”
While specifics on when a new record is coming are yet to be determined, Castaneda gave an update on the status on their third album, which they are currently working on.
“It’s a little bit of the first album and a little bit of the second album intertwined. There’s gonna be a few new things we may or may not try. Generally it’s definitely a Kyng album. It’s heavy music, melodic with harmonized vocals here and there, [with] singing. So that’s pretty much it in a nutshell.”
Lastly, he shared his goals for the next record. While the members of Kyng have accomplished many personal goals within their first two albums, he admits he is working on a new bucket list as they are entering a new album cycle real soon.
“I think every year there’s a new bucket list, as you mark things off of your list, you want to stay hungry and find new stuff. We got to play with Metallica so it would be nice to tour with them. We’d like to tour with Megadeth again – that’s definitely on the top of the list. It would be cool to play with bands that are not just heavy metal. We’ve done tours with bands like Seether. We would like to do something Foo Fighters or Queens of the Stone Age. I think we can adapt to the different types of fans within the genre. That’s definitely something on my list.”
“We actually went from Seether, which we finished that tour and then went straight into Megadeth. It’s two different worlds. So it worked. It’s weird because we get concerned sometimes when we do tours like that. With Seether, a lot of the times with fans like theirs, we’re a little too heavy for them. Then when we jump onto a tour like Megadeth, we’re like ‘well I wonder if we’re heavy enough…’ Like I said, we pride ourselves on being able to do stuff like that. That’s something unique that we have.”
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