Honolulu natives, Kings of Spade deliver a unique mix of rock, soul and blues at Tropicalia Lounge on Oct. 20. This high energy band – lead vocalist KC, guitarist Jesse Savio, drummer Matt Kato, and bassist Tim Corker – hope DC fans are “ready to dance, cut loose and fill the room with love.” In anticipation, The Hill Rag spoke with Savio.
Savio: “We’re super appreciative that people are connecting with what we’re doing but I wouldn’t say much has changed. We approach every new song we write with a clean slate. We call them our ugly little mutant babies. Each time it’s like wonder what this one will look like? Haha. And every show, since we very first started, has felt like let’s go out there and put it all on the line and try to get people to feel it and move. I don’t think that could ever change for us. It’s in our DNA.”
Savio: “Our personal relationships with each other have always been evolving and growing. You work with someone for a long time and you see each other go through all different kinds of stuff in life. But you keep coming back to this thing that binds you together.”
Hill Rag: “I am pretty much in love with KC’s voice! Her appreciation of blues music really fuels her sound and stage presence. I can actually feel her pain in a song like Mess of Me. What is your writing process like, and which band members write the most? Which song, if any, is an agreed upon favorite?”
Savio: “Yeah she’s got wicked set of pipes. There’s something that comes out of her when she sings that just hits you right in the gut. She puts so much emotion into it. More than hear it, you ‘feel’ it.”
Savio: “We hilariously disagree so much, that everyone has their own favorite song. That relates exactly to how we write though. We all have vastly different tastes in music. The one thing we all agree on is our love of the blues. So, when we’re writing, someone might pull song in a little more of a rock direction or a soul direction, but it’s always in some way tethered to the blues.”
Savio: “We usually start with a handful of guitar riffs that I’ve previously written, and I’ll play them for the guys and we’ll see what sticks to the wall. If the other guys like it they’ll start jamming along, and then if KC is feeling it, she’ll start bobbing her head and getting some kind of melody or cadence going. Once we have something solid that night, we do a quick rough recording and KC takes it home to finish the lyrics. Then together, we all make the arrangement and decide the dynamics and the fun little nuances. It’s fully a group effort.
Hill Rag: “I have seen Kings of Spade’s music described in so many ways. How would you describe your genre? Who are your biggest music influences?
Savio: “Yeah, people come up with pretty creative ways to describe our sound. I never hear it the same way twice. We like to think of it as high energy, rock, blues, soul. There’s definitely a lot of Janis, but also Aretha. We’re also huge fans of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Black Keys, and Rival Sons.”
So, come “cut loose” with Kings of Spade Oct. 20 at 8 at The Tropicalia Lounge. Lose yourself in their unique, highly danceable vibe!
Author’s Bio: A concert junky, music aficionado, and live music reviewer for Hill Rag and DC Music Review, Leanne Tankel studied writing at both UC Berkeley (BA) and Boston University (MA). In addition to music reviews, she writes prose and her manuscript, Broken Hallelujah: notes from a marriage, was a 2011 short-list finalist for the Santa Fe Literary Awards program. Leanne lives with her three sons and two pugs.