Pop-rock sensations WE THE KINGS will return to New Zealand and Australia to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their breakthrough self-titled debut album. Forming in high school, WE THE KINGS have been bandmates and best mates ever since and now they’re revisiting these beginnings as they play in its entirety the self-titled debut album that thrust these Florida natives to worldwide notoriety.
Lead Singer, Travis Clark took the time to chat with Brianna Denmeade from AMNplify about their recently released 10th Anniversary album, and their upcoming Australia-wide tour in FEBRUARY!
Hey Travis, thanks for taking our call today all the way from the U.S.
Of course! I love that you guys are in the future right now, it’s so funny to me. You guys are experiencing Tuesday, and I’ve just woken up to my Monday. It’s so cool.
Well, you’ll be over here soon with band We The Kings, so you can experience the future for yourself, haha! How are you going today though, what are you up to?
I am actually in Annie-Maria Island, Florida. I’m at my beach house, and we decided to come down here for a couple of days because my daughter is turning two tomorrow so we’re having a little birthday party for her here tomorrow.
Awwww, that’s another super exciting moment for you.
Yeah, and she’s amazing. It’s so awesome because she’s just started to be more vocal about things, and forming opinions and ideas. It’s really, really, wild but that’s what’s happening in my life right now. So… super rock star stuff over here! Haha!
I can imagine it’s nice to get some family time in before you will be heading down under to tour the country.
Yeah. You know, we’re writing new music right now. We’ve released a couple of new songs over the past couple of months. Touring starts up at the end of January and continues all through summer and fall. So this is really all of our opportunities to spend time with family before the craziness sets in.
Everyone needs time with family and to themselves. And you deserve it, what with new music released, touring Canada and the States. It was a massive year for We The Kings.
Yeah, we even did the UK, Mexico, and Canada. And we’ve made this rule for the band that we are never going to play the same tour twice. So our tour in Australia is going to be different from the shows we did over here, or in the UK or South America. We never want our fans to be able to expect exactly what we will play, I love going to a show and trying to guess from when the guitar, piano, bass, or vocals start. That is one of my favourite things about a live music show. So we never do the same tour twice, but this Australian tour is going to be different because we will be playing every song of our 10-year anniversary album but not in the right order.
So every stop will have its own set?
Yeah, actually we have three different sets for our Australia and New Zealand stretch. So if people who see us in Sydney, want to go see us in Melbourne they won’t be seeing the same thing from show-to-show.
You’ll be playing The Triffid in Brisbane, I’m looking forward to it.
We really do have a special place in our hearts for Brisbane, Australia. Ever since we were kids starting out we would dream of going to Australia, because you know? It was so far away and we had always heard such amazing things about it. And then when we booked our first tour there for SoundWave Festival and the first show was actually in Brisbane. So we showed up early to beat the jet-lag, so we got three-days before the festival kicked-off and I just fell in love with the whole area, the Gold Coast is so close. And it’s such a nice City, it felt kind of like home. Australia is my favourite place to tour, it’s so far away, but I always feel at home.
So for anyone who doesn’t know your journey, how did We The Kings start, and how have you made it more than a decade as a successful band in the music industry? It’s almost unheard of…
It really is. I always think about that, essentially, the ground-breaking part of the band was in middle school. We all went to middle school at a small school called KING middle school, we all wanted to get girlfriends, so we decided to start a band and we named it after our middle school.
I’m sure there are plenty of bands that have started off of trying to impress girls, haha!!
Yeah, and we are dorky enough to admit it. We just wanted to get girlfriends, we were the dorky little music kids. But from there we started playing, and then we got signed and flew up to New York where we recorded this album that we are about to do the ten-year tour for. And I always have people ask me,
“Did you ever imagine We The Kings would be around after ten-years?”,
But, it is not really until I have someone ask me that I realise how rare it is when there are artists who release one or two albums and then you may never hear from them again. I am very grateful to be able to say that we have had this lifestyle, and job for more than ten years. It feels really like its just part of my life, like, when people ask,
“Who are you?”,
I always say,
“I’m Travis, from We The Kings.”,
It’s kind of like a last name now like it will never change, it is engrained in my life.
It is pretty crazy you guys are still together considering I was listening to your music as a teenager on bus rides to school!
Yeah, that trip to play SoundWave back ten years ago. And I actually remember Jared Leto actually came and watched us in Melbourne, and afterward he came into our green room and brought us a bottle of tequila, and said that he loved our show, and he’d loved to do more with us. I remember sitting there thinking this is Jared Leto of Thirty Seconds To Mars who we all loved, and it was such a cool moment. Playing festivals you get to play with all of these incredible artists who you can meet and learn from. Another amazing memory from Australia.
I’m glad you love Australia so much, and we are looking forward to having you tour the country. But what is on the agenda for We The Kings post tour?
Well, I have built a recording studio in my house so it has made it really easy for me to be at home and spend time with my wife and daughters, and then just got to the studio and work when I feel like it too. So before we started all the touring this year I got to write some music, that was released recently called Festival Music, and we did it really, really cool where we didn’t tell people before we released it. We just dropped it and let sit for a little bit, let people find it organically, so only the hardcore fans or people accidentally stumbling upon it have heard it. And earlier this year we released The Story of Tonight. So for this tour for Australia, we will be playing the entire 10-year anniversary album, but then also playing tracks from our five other albums and for 2018 we may even have a sixth record. We are so unbelievably grateful for this thing we get to call our jobs. We make money, but we don’t do it for money. We fucking love music. We are so honoured and blessed. It’s really awesome!
It is humbling to hear from an artist. And it does seem like you all really love what you do!
Yeah, and like I said it’s special. We hold Australia very close to our hearts.
In your decade-long career do you have a performance that stands out as being really special, and why?
My first show after becoming a father was December 27th of 2015. My daughter was just born two-weeks before and it was a hometown show. Every year at Christmas we play a show in the town we grew up in, the town where KING middle school is, where the band started. So this was the tenth year we performed, and it is a completely free show, and heaps of kids come out and watch the show. It this performance in 2015 was the first time ever I had played on stage as a father and I remember I said it on stage that the show was really important to me. My wife and daughter were side-stage, and then I got really choked up and almost started crying, but it was so special for me. It really was.
That is a surreal moment. So many things you love brought together.
It’s one I will never forget.
Lastly, a question just for fun, if you had to eat one food for the rest of your life what would you choose?
Oh, man. I have just dramatically changed my diet to be mainly plant-based. Like Vegan. It’s going to sound crazy but I am currently obsessed with Pizza without cheese, with a bunch of vegetables and balsamic glaze on top. It’s my favourite thing in the world right now. But ask me two years ago I would have said a bunch of cheese. But my answer has to be pizza but with no cheese.
Nice choice! It’s been awesome chatting, and I will see you at the end of Jan.
Yeah, I’ll see you in Brisbane. Bye-bye.
WE THE KINGS
10TH ANNIVERSARY ALBUM
02 Feb Metro Theatre – Sydney, Australia
03 Feb Arrow on Swanston – Melbourne, Australia
04 Feb 170 Russell – Melbourne, Australia
07 Feb The Gov – Hindmarsh, Australia
08 Feb The Rosemount – Perth, Australia
(BUY TICKETS HERE!)
AMNplify – BD
Connect with WE THE KINGS