King King singer and lead guitarist Alan Nimmo chats about their career and touring ahead of headline Norwich show
PUBLISHED: 15:46 24 January 2019
Rob Blackham www.blackhamimages.com
We caught up with Alan Nimmo, singer and lead guitarist of British rock band King King, to talk about touring and their latest album Exile & Grace.
Having recently toured with rock band Europe, King King speak about their favourite memory from the road.
“What an honour to be asked to go on the road with such an amazing band. Every day was a joy and brought something new, but the stand out memory was when Joey Tempest joined us on stage as a surprise and was singing one of our songs!”
On that tour. King King had the chance to play at the iconic Royal Albert Hall in London.
“Playing at the Royal Albert Hall was for me, and the rest of the band, a major honour and another box ticked for us in our career.”
“I can honestly say that I was not nervous at all. Situations like that are ones that I thrive on! So when we hit the stage I was just happy to be there.”
2019 will see King King touring, playing festivals and releasing a brand new album - something that they are currently working on.
Having played in many venues across the UK, Nimmo talks about some of his favourite shows so far.
“One of my favourites, and boyhood dream, is Glasgow Barrowlands. I watched bands like Gun, The Cult, Big Country and other great Scottish bands there.”
Not only have the band performed around the UK, they have had the pleasure of visiting many countries around the world.
“In the early days travelling an hour outside of Glasgow was a big trip. Nowadays we’re travelling to the top end of Scandinavia, far side of Germany, Croatia, and Canada - there’s no better experience in life really, and we’re very privileged to have this life.”
“One great experience was getting to Canada and visiting so many different places.”
“With the way things have gone for the band over the last couple of years, some of the best experiences have been right here at home.”
“In particular, we did a fantastic show in Glasgow when we recorded the live album - it was one of the best nights of my entire life which I will never ever forget, everything just seemed to come together.”
“It’s not often you can tell your friends that you were in Budapest last night and back in Scotland today. People who are not in this life find it hard to comprehend, you’re often driving the van.”
Touring often requires a lot of long journeys and others that take hours to travel very few miles.
“That can be really tiring, especially when you’re also the one setting up the gear and doing the show for people too.”
“If you’re sitting on the Antwerp Ring and it’s a Friday, bring a sandwich – you’re going nowhere! At times we’ve sat there for 5 or 6 hours at a time.”
“Driving through the night can be tough too. You keep going until it’s daylight again, arrive at a festival and then get your head down whilst you can.”
With such a busy schedule, it can sometimes be hard to get have any time off.
“I love to get out on the motorbike as often as I can, because when you get the weather in Scotland the roads and places you can get to are so beautiful.
“I also love walking the hills, it’s really peaceful to get away and get some exercise too.”
“It’s great to be alone with your thoughts and this is a great time to write lyrics – especially with smart phones, I often sing and record onto it, then go back and find a bunch of stuff later in the year and wonder what I was doing.”
Speaking about what inspires Nimmo when writing songs, he said: “Inspiration comes from anywhere.”
“I can come up with a few chords and build around that or I can have one or two lines of lyrics to build on.”
“Inspiration can often come from other songs, not in a plagiaristic way but listening to other lyrics and how they’re worded for everyone to understand and to appeal personally to people.”
“There’s no formula or set way to do it and it can come from anywhere whether that be sitting looking at the sky or in a cafe overlooking a river, anywhere.”
“Most of the songs I’ve written have been about times in my life and things that have happened and have affected me personally and emotionally.”
When asked about their track Broken, one of the singles taken from their latest album Exile & Grace, Nimmo explained that he’s “not a political person.”
“If you listen to the lyrics I am expressing an opinion and a fear for the state of the world, from a humanitarian point of view, the devastation of war and what we’re doing to each other as a human race.”
“That this is a beautiful world we live in but we’re ruining the planet and each other, and this is how I feel from a spiritual and human and artistic perspective. Leave the politics to the politicians and I’ll just make the music.”
• Tickets to King King’s show at The Waterfront on February 10 are available from the Norwich Box Office for £20 advance