An Interview with King Social

Ellie D Chats with King Social

Ellie D Chats with King Social

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Meet King Social (L-R): Costa Hagiaglous, Stevie Mitchell, Angus Milne, Waqa Vananalagi, Jason Baillie.

Meet King Social (L-R): Costa Hagiaglous, Stevie Mitchell, Angus Milne, Waqa Vananalagi, Jason Baillie.


Where did your musical journey begin?

Angus: Really it started when I was a kid. I always wanted to be a rock start and that’s all! Writing and singing my own songs is the only way I can honestly express who I am. I guess we are all faking a little bit and sometimes we don’t even know it. Trying to impress a girl, trying to fit in with the cool group- in the end it’s hard to tell who you are yourself. Everything else can be faked but when I sing, I’m real again. 

Costa: In high school I stumbled across a band rehearsing in one of the rooms, we'd never had instruments at the school before so this was odd to hear a live band playing. I managed to get into the room and watch them play. I couldn't stop watching the drummer, the energy and power coming from the kit was intense! I became obsessed with drums from that day on, it was life changing. I had a go at playing a Nirvana song and was hooked! I knew wanted to be a drummer from that day on.
Stevie: When I joined this band...
Jason: For me my journey began on a 4WD camping trip in the Mary River up in the Northern Territory. Every year our families would go there for the Easter holidays. It was the Easter before my 14th birthday in July when my friend Paul Stewart quietly pulled out his new guitar so I wouldn't see him and started playing. I turned around and instantly wanted to play it. So for the whole week I kept learning Smoke on the water and Peter Gun bass-lines on the guitar. I just kept learning from that day on.
Waqa: My brother used to play in a band back in Fiji when we were kids and it was my job to mix the kava for the audience during the breaks. One night their bass player did show up, so my brother said I could stand in.  I’ve played in quite a few bands over the years, but nothing like King Social. The lads are pretty good to be with.

Who is the inspiration behind your music?

Angus: There is loads of people who inspire me but my Dad had a band when he was in high school and that has definitely played a huge part in why I wanted to play in a rocknroll band. Also, another big inspiration to start perfuming in front of people was reading Billy Thorpe’s autobiography called “Sex, thugs & rock n roll”. I was always way too shy. I’d usually get someone to turn the lights off and I was drunk every time, without fail, before I could play my songs. That book inspired me to get amongst it and taught me that dreams don’t come true if you’ve got your eyes closed in the dark.

Jason: It’s pretty much Stevie Mitchell. I've grown to like Australian hip-hop and really like this idea of having a band of musicians being led by a hop-hop vocalist infusing different genres and loop based guitar tracks that are funky and you can dance to them.
Stevie: Most of the lyrics I write are self-reflective... So I guess my life inspires me to write... Probably why I always write about alcohol... Haha
Costa: As a band we all have our own influences, mine have changed over the years, early on it was Metallica, Pantera and Rage Against the Machine who would get me going. These days I take a little inspiration from anyone and everyone in life.

What do you hope to achieve through your music?

Jason: I hope to achieve a few things in my career. I hope to collaborate with a number of lyricists and songwriters to seek help with my own music writing while I'm also kicking off in the band with the team of great individual songwriters we have in King Social. I’d also hope to collaborate with a number of known guitar players from around the globe in turning all my old metal riffs into songs. I've also got my sights on composing music using audio production tools and writing music for film and TV in my local area.

Stevie: Just to create music I'm proud of and that I can look back at when I'm old and feel the same.


How do you define success in the music industry?
Angus: It would be great to get a song on rotation on a major radio station but to be honest, I want to play the biggest crowd in the world. 
Jason: I would define success in the music industry as have a large discography of songs written by myself and the band that at some stage have influenced a generation for at least 5 years... and were making more money than what we’re investing back into it.
Stevie: When you can create and perform music for a living I guess...

What’s your proudest career moment to date?

Angus: I’m not sure I have one yet. Everything has been pretty awesome. Being on stage is the best!

Jason: My proudest career moment would be playing at Groovin The Moo Festival. We had such an awesome time dressed up as pilots and got confused with Flight Facilities. I really want to get onto the lineup of some festival tours around Australia.
Stevie: Our first Sydney show was the Oxford Arts Centre... I just remember loading gear in for sound check thinking‘shit this is cool’.

Which music artists have influenced your musical style?
Stevie: Mantra, Horrorshow, Dialetrix, Funkoars, Drapht, Spit Syndicate, Trem and the list could go on...

Angus: I’m a bit slack and I never remember names of bands or famous people. I have definitely been inspired by a heap of different legends over the years. I love listening to music but I’m just a bit crap at remembering names.

 

Jason: Back in my early high school days it was Guns'n'Roses, ACDC and of course Metallica. Then I branched out a changed completely by listening to as many different styles of music as possible in my late high school years. I appreciate all styles of music from 90s Techno to Classical and most recently Australian Hip-Hop.

What’s coming up for you over the next 12 months?

Angus: Hopefully we will get to release our debut album and tour the crap out of it! I just want to do it perfectly. We have released two 5-track EPs and two singles so far. It has all been off our own back and 100% independent. I would like to try to get some help to release this album but either way I know the lads and myself will do a great job.

Stevie: I plan to really focus on my yoyo skills.

Jason: Lots of show are booked in over the next 6 months. Probably the best opportunity we have is showcasing at BIGSOUND 2016. Winning a couple of songwriter award through QMusic has really helped back us into getting into BIGSOUND where we can showcase our best songs to a wider range of music industry professionals.


Where was your music first played, and how did your career evolve from there?
Angus: Triple J and Triple J Unearthed were awesome and played a few of our songs on their stations. Their support and the huge support of our home town, Townsville, has given us loads courage to keep going. We have just been pushing up and up since then and it’s starting to pay off now (3 years later though!!).
Jason: Our music was first played on Triple J back when we released our first EP It Goes Around. That was a really cool feeling to hear our music on the radio and have the support of a national radio station like Triple J.
Stevie: I think it was 4K1G radio. We are no longer amphibious... we are now land dwelling mammals.

Which music artists would you consider collaborating with?

Angus: Halsey, because she is fucking amazing and so hot! I’d love to hear her music one day. No I’m joking, she is pretty good at music too.

Stevie: Horrorshow, hands down!  It wouldn't be a consideration it would be a privilege.
Jason: As a songwriter I'd really like to collaborate with Darren Middleton from Powderfinger as they were one of my favourite bands back in the 90s. Darren has now moved into his own recording studio and is helping artists release their own music. I’d also like to collaborate with John Butler as he also runs a studio in Pinjara and his music was also a big influence to me.

As an artist, what’s on your musical bucket list?

Jason: Record my second EP with another lead guitarist like Darren Middleton from Powderfinger, The Edge from U2 or even Angus Young from AC/DC. I've had the fortune to collaborate a metal EP with Ex-Megadeth Brothers Glen and Shaun Drover. On my wish list I'd really like to collaborate with Tom Morello, Kirk Hammett and Kerry King. I like metal.

Costa: I'd love to play in front of a crowd of 10,000 or more. The energy exchange would be fucking intense and I want to feel that someday. Would love to write a song that hit number 1 on the charts and had a huge impact on people’s lives musically.

Angus: You don’t want to know what’s on my bucket list. My girlfriend would murder me if I told you anyway.


What words of wisdom do you have for upcoming music artists?

Angus: Nothing (and I mean NOTHING!!!) is impossible. You just have to try. And, no one will help you until you help yourself. Magicians make magic, magic doesn’t make magicians.

Jason: Work out a way to record all of your ideas easily. Be it on your phone, on a computer etc. and then make sure you work on them and finish them.
 
Stevie: Just have fun... Try to document things... videos and photos. When you look back you realise how amazing the journey is.
Costa: Trust yourself and back yourself 100%!!!! Not everyone is going to like your music, and that’s OK, as long as you love the music you're making.