Are King 810 doomed, or can they rise again?
He’s led King 810 from the tough streets of Flint to stages across the world, but not everyone’s a fan of frontman David Gunn. Are they doomed, or will they rise again?
“I’ve always been a storyteller. In my group, if someone tells a story, I can tell the same story but better, because I’ve observed so much.”
Like an unexpected bomb blast, King 810 erupted in 2013, with debut album Memoirs Of A Murderer polarising opinion like nothing else released that year. The quartet’s tales of gang violence, criminal endeavours and social disintegration on the streets of Flint, Michigan, were either welcomed as the most viscerally thrilling thing to happen to modern metal in years, or dismissed by cynics as flagrantly over-the-top and manufactured. When the band finally crossed the Atlantic to play some headline shows in the UK in 2014, plenty of fans turned up, but some people poured scorn on the band’s setup, with its police tape, bandana-masked bodyguards and replica guns.
“The guns were a physical or visual representation of the audio of the record,” frontman David Gunn explains today. “They were also necessary, because in reality we don’t belong on a stage with some rigging, amplifiers and lights. This is something like a fish on dry land, so we brought along some water with us.”
Three years on, King 810 have just released their second album, La Petite Mort Or A Conversation With God. A brave, ingenious record that takes the best of everything the band have done so far and moulds it into something far more cohesive, it reveals more about the circumstances that David has to tolerate in Flint, dubbed ‘America’s most dangerous city’, and centre of a recent scandal involving the poisoning of municipal water supplies. But away from his music, David has yet to speak openly about his upbringing and the events that led him to where he is today, so we start our conversation by going back to the beginning.