Speaking with King 810 frontman David Gunn is a lesson in intensity.
The man has a passion so deep and an anger so unrefined that it is almost intimidating to spend 15 minutes alone with him.
Intimidating, but ultimately rewarding.
The man doesn’t just spit venomous words of intent in random fashion to make music he hopes will connect with the general public.
He writes words of honour, trust and betrayal forged on the streets of his hometown in Flint, Michigan, and if one person listens and takes something from his musings then all is good and well but you get the sense that Gunn isn’t doing this for anyone else.
Nor is he doing it for himself.
He is just doing it because he is, and that’s all that matters. Music is an expression of his past, present and future and is, for all intents and purposes, the one thing that keeps Gunn grounded and away from his innermost thoughts which, if fully entertained, would result in a bleak day indeed for all involved.
He is a deeply passionate and self-fulfilling gentleman who would rather no one had to live like this, but music is art and art is expression and unless you are writing about something real and tangible, then what is the point at all?
Gunn joined HEAVY for a rare chat during the week, giving some insight into what it is that motivates him and his music.
It is an at times harrowing ordeal but one which should be listened to and read by people everywhere. It is one man’s tale of the struggles of oppression and violence and how he deals with it on a daily basis.
Ladies and metalheads, welcome to the world of King810.
Towards the end of last year King810 released their fourth album AK Concerto No. 47, 11th Movement in G Major. It was a brutal beast of an album – some would argue the bands best yet – but many bemoaned the fact that it was wasted on a world embroiled in the pandemic, arguing it should have been put off until times were better.
These thoughts did nothing but further ignite Gunn’s flame, with the argument that music is supposed to be there to comfort in times of need more prominent than the tendency to play it safe and wait for people to rediscover their happy place.
“I didn’t really understand why you have musicians – career musicians – who make and record music, and those are the basic two parts of their career,” Gunn began. “Fifty percent is probably touring or playing and the other fifty percent is creating, so one of them gets taken away -and bands are always talking about how it’s so hard to write on tour, that’s why everyone’s second album sucks because they are on tour and don’t get a chance to sit at home – and then they get two years to stay at home and no-one does shit. So it seems like common sense that when fifty percent of your career is disabled or crippled, whatever, you would probably do the part that you could do, but as we’ve learned no one’s doing that. What they are basically saying is we can’t go on tour to make any money so we’re not doing music. Their excuse is a cold and I’ve had plenty of colds and I made plenty of songs and did plenty of shows while I had it. So it’s funny that there’s that old tired saying that people keep passing around about bands being on the road and touring and not being able to make a record and then they get a fucken paid vacation by the government and don’t make a single fucken record! On one hand, I think the music industry is a bunch of circus clowns and the other answer would be I constantly use a stock market strategy called reverse verification which means you look to whoever you don’t like or whoever is doing something that you don’t wish to be like, and if they’re doing this, then you do that, or if they’re doing that then you do this. So when I show music to someone who I don’t think has the taste or some 50-year-old square and he says this is gonna cause some problems then I know that is the song we should do or that is the good song. Just like they say don’t make a record because of COVID and no-one’s doing that now and you should do live streams and you should do this, that or the other I’m going to make a record, release it, not do any live streams and not sell COVID-19 masks to try and make $300 like everyone else seems to be doing. So whatever anyone’s popular opinion is that’s what we won’t be doing. A bunch of people said, for sure, this records really good you should save it and I was like save it for what? The world sucks right now, it sucked last year and it’s gonna suck next years so do I save it for what, this shitty world without the cold? It doesn’t matter to me. People still like to listen to music. I don’t care about the temperature or the climate or whatever…”
In the full interview, David talks about King 810’s latest song “I Am The Enemy” and the meaning behind it, the title of the album and where it comes from, what difference he feels he has made with his music, writing for others or yourself, reflecting honesty in your music, playing live and why he dislikes it and more.
Watch “I Am The Enemy” below: