Agony Kings are a killer old school crossover act in the vein of old DRI, Suicidal Tendencies, etc and here is an interview with band member Bobby Grandner
My first question is, why has this been 10 years in the making? What has been through some of the bullshit you have been through to have this release see the light of day?
The band started in 2005 under the name What Doesn't Kill Me. We broke up in 2008 due to life and what not, and got back together in 20014 and it was like we picked up right where we left off and worked on this full length.
As far as "bullshit", I would say all of the proverbial hurdles you have to jump and dough you gotta pay to put an album out yourselves; meaning, aside from recording and getting it mixed and mastered, there's getting covers painted, (which I gotta say Mike Schramm did a phenomenal job), graphic design, and finding vinyl pressing companies etc. it just takes time.
Now Mike Stack of the band False Gods sings on your debut release. Is he a full time member of the band or does he just sing on this release?
Mike is full time and original member of the band
Now where is the band based out of and how did you guys all come together and have any of you besides Mike, been in any other bands?
We're based out of Long Island, NY. We've all been very close friends since we were teenagers. We've all played in bands with each other and other projects throughout the years including Aids vs Cancer, State of Disgrace, All As One, Man is the Monster, Weird and Pissed Off, Lights Out and Question Everything.
I love your debut and was glad you kept an old school 80's like crossover sound on your debut. Was that the plan going in when you went to record your debut?
Thank you. There was no plan; we just write what we like.
Where was it recorded it and how long were you in the studio for?
We were recorded by our friend Keith Moore. It was done in two weekends.
How did the music and the lyrics come together for this release?
I think Mike writes some of the best miserable lyrics Ha ha so our miserable music goes well with it.
Now I notice it is a self-release, which really surprised me considering most of the crap I get to review is garbage. Did you record a demo prior to this release and maybe shop it around or was that the plan all along to release it by yourselves?
We recorded a 3 demos on the first go in 05-08. Then we did a 2 song demo in 2015 with Drowning in the Blood of my Enemies and Savage Land on it. When we got back together one of the goals was to put out a full length record on vinyl and putting it out ourselves was definitely the plan.
Do you hope to get picked up by a label with maybe your next release or is there not going to possibly be a next release?
We'll release them as we make them, if a label wants to pick it up then by all means give us a call.
I hear on the release both a mix of hardcore (Sick of it All, The Cromags, etc) and some bits and pieces of thrash metal. Are you a fan of both genres?
We're all fans of hardcore, punk, thrash, grind, power violence, and metal.
For someone who has never heard the band what would you say you sound like?
My favorite compliment and description I think we got came from Keith when he recorded us; he said we sound like a speeding out of control train that's about to derail but never does. We're fast angry hardcore.
Has the band had a chance to play live much and if so what is a live show like?
I play angry and sazooki is like a ball of xmas lights with his energy. I think all of us alone are one thing but together on stage we come together like Voltron; I can only speak for how I feel when we're playing though. Like Mike says, we're the weirdos people pretend to be.
Now with so many bands and labels do you feel it is tough for a great band like yourselves to get noticed and not get lumped in with all the generic nu-metal bands around?
The scene and area is pretty over saturated with bands and similar genres. I also think a lot of it is a popularity contest where it's more who you know than whether your music is good with getting signed.
How did you come up with the band's name and were any other band names thrown around?
We were What Doesn't Kill Me from 05-08 and from 2014-2016. Anyone who's ever had to come up with a band name knows it can be torture. We settled on WDKM. Mike called one of the songs we wrote Agony Kings. I approached the guys one day and asked (more like demanded) we change the name it was a way better name and needed. Plus putting the album out ourselves meant we could do whatever we wanted.
Do you hate all the illegal downloading that goes on as this generation of fans/kids rarely want to pay for music? It seems unless your a band like Metallica or Iron Maiden your record sales or nothing.
We always been a fan of giving our music away for free, so we don’t care. If anything it's evened the playing field for unknown bands and big bands a little.
So what are your plans for the rest of 2017 and going forward into 2018?
We just want to release the record and play. We're pretty simple minded blokes.
Please plug any websites or pages you have.
We're technological cavemen so aside from Facebook we're in the process of getting our IT department to put together our websites
Any last words thanks for the interview?
Agony Kings play angry.
Interview by Chris Forbes