King Shelter is comprised of vocalist/guitarist Taylor Hecocks, bassist John Hazran, drummer Adam Nienow and guitarist Dave Noble. These four accomplished musicians are unafraid to tackle some of the dark places in our society and throw their light in the hope that others will take notice. Their music is catchy even as it calls our attention to things we’d rather ignore. It takes courage to point out the flaws in others, and King Shelter is determined to do just that.
Taylor Hecocks took some time out this week to talk to us about their latest song/video release and in the example set by the band, holds nothing back.
From where did you draw inspiration for “Preoccupy”?
There’s clearly a problem right now. RAPE CULTURE IS REAL. And it happens every day, every hour. This song is simply painting the picture of a better case scenario from multiple perspectives. But it doesn’t always end so sweetly. The best I can hope for is that the output of my frustrations leads at least someone to realize how ridiculous this shit is. I hope people realize we need change.
You’re right; we have definitely fostered a rape culture across all age and socioeconomic groups in the US. It is admirable that you and King Shelter are determined to bring attention to something so endemic. To that end, what do you hope that viewers will take away with them after watching the video?
The song has a much greater purpose than the video. But the video is simply a visual depiction of the scum of LA. We exist, and we are next for this city. We should preoccupy our minds with conversation and contemplation. With compassion and understanding. When we realize that we are all on the same team, then we can move forward.
The song is pretty upbeat, but the video can almost be considered a negative visual of the club scene – is this accurate? If so, why the juxtaposition of the two extremes?
The song is a pretty satirical piece. It’s a pop song, upbeat and just on the line of basic and weird. The song is meant to mock and spit in the face of the oppressors that crawl through the bars and clubs.
I watched the video more than once, and it definitely made me feel ‘creeped out’ by the images presented. That said, I really like the song. So “Salad Rock”… How do you define that genre?
(laughs) You don’t. Genre and classification are dividing more than just musical styles. I don’t want anything to do with it. But, I’ve learned along the way that sometimes you have to play along for a little bit before you can change anything. So, for now, we are salad rock. A healthy mixture of many a type of rock, consisting of alternative, grunge, surf, salad and maybe some satirical pop? Oh, my.
We are a culture that likes to label… What was the genesis of the name King Shelter? How did you guys come together as a band?
It was an old, stoned mishap that lead me to the combination of the two words. As I continued writing my first lil EP, I realized it would probably be a good fit for what the goal of the music is. After I released some tunes, I rallied the troops (David/Adam/John), and we started playing some pre-sale shows. Then sparks flew, emotions ran high….and the rest….is….his….story.
Who is responsible for the majority of the writing for the band?
I, Saint Sleezy, do most of the writing. But it varies a lot of times. Typically, I write a song and make a demo. After that, I send it to the salad noobs, and they review it. After that, we adjust parts and arrangements. It’s ultimately a group effort. That’s why we all wanna get married to each other.
How much does (or does not) a song change after the band gets together to play it?
Honestly, not too much. The parts will slightly change and develop, but our arrangements stay pretty similar. But when these bois (sic) throw their salad and feel on their instrument, it turns into one of our songs. It wouldn’t be the same without even one of us.
I’d have to say that the same thing can be said of most bands who have found the right like minds to work with. What/where is your dream venue?
I want to play at the hotel they are building on the moon. That would be tite (sic). Also, Chain Reaction has been a long-term dream of ours.
We call ourselves Talk Nerdy With Us, and we are all quite proud of our Nerdy backgrounds. Is there anything that y’all do that you consider Nerdy? Please share!
(laughs) Everyone is a nerd, man. Isn’t nerdy just being really into something? But by social standards that have been pre-set for us, I have a few nerdy pastimes. I reeeeeaaaallllyyyy enjoy a nice Dungeons and Dragons session. Storytelling at its pure bliss. I know Adam enjoys things fitting together perfectly. Dave enjoys Pokemon a lot. John loves froyo and Pixar.
We here at TNWU agree that EVERYONE has a nerd side (or two) to their personalities. I see it as the thing that sets us apart from each other while drawing us together at the same time (deep thoughts – right?). Anyway, thanks again, I really enjoyed getting to know you and King Shelter better, and I will be watching for future releases. Please stay Nerdy…
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