Following King Nun’s impressive show in Kentish Town our writer April Curtin had a quick chat with lead singer, Theo Polyzoides to pick his brains on their ferocious debut, Mass, as well as discussing their wild year and the band’s future plans.
April: Hi Theo, King Nun originated in Richmond and we witnessed your incredible performance in Kentish Town. Is London the place you’ll always enjoy playing most?
Theo: Especially now that I’ve toured all over Europe and America, for the most part a London crowd feels like family. Though I will say that Europe takes very good care of its artists, so touring there is a great love of ours.
You have supported both Black Flag and Foo Fighters this year, how was that?
It was such an amazing honour to play beside those great inspirations of ours. They were good shows, and I’m very grateful.
You have said the track ‘Cowboy’ is about the demands which toxic masculinity places on young men and you have been vocal about addressing these pressures. Has the album relieved you of these feelings, or is it never possible to be rid of them?
To me, the song is about the pressure on men to suppress their emotions. It’s told through the perspective of a man ruining his relationship because of his dulled sense of being. I’ve seen this pressure through my life and acknowledging that pressure was an important point in the coming of age story of the album. Nowadays it mostly affects me indirectly, I feel very free of any pressure to act any specific way. However, its effect on the women and men around me is profoundly upsetting. Witnessing ‘toxic masculinity’ has played an important part in my view of the world and so, has a place in the album.
“I relish in surrealism, singing about invented people and places to mirror my own experience.”
Mass fluctuates from high, sad aggression in ‘Mascara Runs’, to more gentle moments in ‘I Saw Blue’, to hilarious commentary in ‘Sharing a Head with Seth’; it’s a brilliant roller coaster of emotions. Is there anything specific you want listeners to take away from the album?
Thank you. I’ve always said that whenever I might explain the ‘meaning’ of something it’s just my interpretation. Music is made half by the listener’s personal experience, and it’s not for me to take that away. Sometimes I might want to deliver an unmistakable message, in which case I would avoid being cryptic. Most of the time though, I relish in surrealism, singing about invented people and places to mirror my own experience. It’s not for me to ultimately decide what there is to learn. For me, this album is about our coming of age and things that have had an impact on us in some way or another.
“For me, this album is about our coming of age.“
You’ve previously said: “Rock music’s just gonna become pop music if people keep insisting on those clichés. And I like playing with those genre boundaries.” Are those boundaries going to be broken further as King Nun gain popularity?
I don’t remember saying exactly that, but I do think that current pop music has a lot of elements attributed to the golden age of rock and punk. It’s explicit and outlandish, sometimes with the same sonic approach. It would be a great achievement of ours if one day we could write with such conviction, we could create genre without the need of any specific production. That’s just where I’d like to be at skills-wise, putting that into practice will no doubt be years down the line.
Finally, what does the end of 2019, and the near future hold for you?
We’re recording demos for a new project, I have a title, and a concept and I’m speaking to an artist about our visual approach of which we have big ideas for. We will be going on a headline tour in February, then undoubtedly stay touring nearly nonstop into my late 80’s.
Thanks for chatting with us!
The headline tour dates for King Nun can be seen below and tickets can be found here.