Face to face with KingBathmat

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KingBathmat have had a productive year so far: after releasing their record ‘Truth Button’  at the beginning of the year, they present yet another release ‘Overcoming The Monster’ released on 22nd July. John Bassett talks about everything ‘Overcoming The Monster’.

– How would you introduce ‘Overcoming The Monster’ to your listeners?

– I would introduce it with a trumpet fanfare to acquire their attention and then I would ask them, “do you like rock music?” “do you find most new releases within the genre of rock, mundane and derivative?”, “are you tired of the predictable music that is spoonfed into your everyday life by a formulaic music business”, if so, then go to youtube, type in “kingbathmat sentinel”, watch the video, see what you think? You may be surprised.

– It’s your second release over the course of 2013 How does it differ from your previous 2013 release ‘Truth Button’?

– It’s more optimistic. It’s got a better album cover. I was really pleased with “Truth Button” and always felt it would be difficult to follow-up that album. “Overcoming The Monster” does have some similarities with “Truth Button”, they both contain long, complex rock songs, they both deal with similar subject matters, yet “Overcoming The Monster” I feel, is musically more melodic, and I think it is more cohesive as an album, the tracks just seem to flow more together in the order they are presented.

– How was the album born from the very beginning to the end?

– It was a difficult birth, the gestation period was long like that of an elephant and cumbersome to get started like that of a Panda. When it did eventually break out of the mothers waters it was a relief. There were numerous technological problems throughout, one song and its backup was entirely lost due to hard drive failure and had to be entirely re-recorded. But eventually we were rewarded with a beautiful bouncing baby of an album.

– Does the final result which one can hear on the album differ much from what you initially planned to record?

– I’d like to say that originally there was a blueprint plan of action but there wasn’t really, I think that the plan is only to let change and improvisation lead the creative process, so there is a plan in place that exists to only have a basic song structure from which you build a foundation from which one can then experiment with.

– What were the major sources of inspiration for ‘Overcoming The Monster’?

– I don’t know exactly what my inspirations are, honestly. I’m afraid to say that I don’t listen to that much new music, I’m not up with in-crowd and I’m not down with the out-crowd. Perhaps this is a good thing, in that I’m not influenced to follow a particular musical fashion. And yet I don’t want to be closed off to new ideas also. So I don’t know. The jury is still out on that particular position. I looked and listened to “Truth Button”, the previous album, and thought to myself, in what way can I improve upon the style, sound and substance of that album and progress it further. I personally enjoy heavy guitar riffs which I suppose originate from the sabbath era and I like to blend that heaviness and aggressiveness with a sound or vibe that is diametrical in contrast to that such as a spaced out, ethereal and melodic piece of music, I suppose the combination of these two styles is a pattern that appears on many of the songs.

– What is the story behind the title of the record? What kind of connection is there between the album title and lyrical topics on the album?

– Every song on the album represents a monster of the mind. The 6 tracks on “Overcoming The Monster” deal with the themes of psychological obstacles (monsters of the mind) that are manufactured in our thoughts, both internally through our insecurities, externally by the outside influence of others and collectively through the mass media which uses fear as a tool to manipulate our perceptions.

Track 1 “Sentinel” has the theme of a spiritual monster (religion, guilt, the lack of spirituality creating fear)
Track 2 “Parasomnia” deals with paranormal monsters, (the fear of the unknown and unseen)
Track 3 “Overcoming The Monster” deals with historical monster (the rewriting of history)
Track 4 “Superfluous” is about political/military monsters (the state using propoganda to entice the young and gullible to fight unnecessary wars)
Track 5 “Reality Mining” is about technological monsters (the state using technology to snoop into our private affairs etc)
Track 6 “Kubrick Moon” is about conspiratorial monsters (Information overload in a digital age seeding mass confusion)

– How have KingBathmat evolved as a band since the release of your debut record?

– KingBathmat originally started as a solo project, I started to get offered gigs and so it made sense to put a band together, recently our original bass player left and he has now been replaced with new member Rob Watts. So there has been a slight change of personnel of late.

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