What better way to welcome in the weekend than upbeat, feel-good, happy-go-lucky pop-punk? And that’s exactly what we get from Baltimore-based quartet Kings of the Wild Things.
Inspired by all the pop-punk greats, the band specialises in simple yet catchy lyrics that contain sentiments about being who you are no matter what others think, young romances, and what they would do if aliens took over the world. Classic pop-punk, really.
The band played their first show back in January, and the sound of their punky self-titled debut album gives us plenty of reason to think they’re well-worth getting excited about.
A great example of this is Sharkbite, which the band sent us to have a listen to. It opens up with a low repeating riff, which is soon joined by lively, cymbal-heavy drums. That gives way to an opening verse led by punky vocals, which feed into a fun singalong chorus. Give it a listen below:
A personal favourite from the album is Stockholm, which opens up with a big cry of “Woo!” then some punky chords drop into an engaging opening verse. A catchy, lively chorus, then punky chords and a meandering bassline epitomise the enticing sound of Kings of the Wild Things. Give it a listen below:
We had a chat with frontman, songwriter and lead guitarist Oscar Sobkowicz to find out more. Read on below…
GR: Who are Kings of the Wild Things?
OS: “Kings of the Wild Things was formed originally by me and bassist Adrian Ordaz in Fredericksburg, VA. Now we are based out of Baltimore, Maryland and the lineup includes myself, new bassist Alek Kowalckyz, rhythm guitarist and singer Micheal (Murph) Murphy, and the drummer King Tom. Alek and Oscar were childhood friends and were neighbors in Yorktown, Virginia, and Oscar and Murphy go to college together and met as college soccer recruits. King Tom is the glue that truly bonds the band together.”
GR: You just released Sharkbite. What should people be expecting from the song?
OS: “Sharkbite is a song that makes people think about their families and friends who have struggled with depression. The song is about a loved one of the band’s who was suffering with severe depression and how everyone came to terms with it and helped rally behind them. We really truly try to write positive music that reflects what has occurred in our lives and/or we believe in.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
OS: “We are a grungy pop-punk band, kind of like Fallout Boy meets Blink-182. Our first album is definitely more PUNK but the new upcoming record is more pop-punk.”
GR: Sounds cool! What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
OS: “I draw ideas from all the aspects of my life. Being trained as a classical pianist and stand-up bassist, growing up listening to bands like Rage Against the Machine, My Chemical Romance and Green Day, and knowing how to play many different instruments and styles really helps mold my songwriting to another level.
“I love to write about the normal love, depression, and teen anxt stuff, but the way I turn it into something totally different is what we think makes us unique. Sharkbite takes the idea of drowning and well… shark bites and relates it to depression. On our new upcoming record, the song Over It is about growing up and hating getting older but at the same time being about the bestseller series Harry Potter.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
OS: A band we are very close with that influences us is As We Are. We have played many shows with them and love them. As far as songwriting and musically, we are very influenced by Green Day, Fallout Boy, Blink 182, Dollyrots and ESPECIALLY All Time Low and Bowling for Soup.”
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019?
OS: “We play all the time around the Virginia, Washington DC and Maryland area. In early 2020 we plan on releasing a new record, and in the summer of 2020, we are doing a large east coast tour!”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
OS: Honestly, we love what we do. This is a DREAM come true for ALL of us, those still in the band and those not. It has given us a chance to be something bigger than just us. All of the band members past and present grew up doing musicals, acting on stage, orchestra and band. We were ALL drama kids, band kids, and/or orchestra kids, and to do this is absolutely wild.
“In our first six months of being a band we have played with Titus Andronicus, Heavensake and As We Are, all of which are national touring acts. We have played on stage in front of 15 people and in front of 200. We try to create memories for these people, every time and to do this is just so awesome. We wanna have fun and party, while spreading a message that you don’t need toxic people or things in your life.”