KING 810

King 810 could ver y eas­ily have been any num­ber of generic metal bands that fly un­der the radar – then they started turn­ing up to shows with guns. spoke to front­man David Gunn.

Blunt - - A Day To Remember - By Dave Dray­ton.

David’s got a Gunn. King 810 have one hell of a rep, and it’s got noth­ing to do with their mu­sic.

King 810 are from Flint, a for­lorn and for­got­ten city in Michi­gan, USA, with rather bleak sta­tis­tics when it comes to crime, un­em­ploy­ment, drug ad­dic­tion, and the like.

In May this year they brought a crew of ban­dana- clad, ( faux) as­sault ri­fle- tot­ing dudes on stage when per­form­ing at Rock On The Range to give a sense of the Flint they in­habit. In June this year front­man David Gunn ( for­merly David Swan) and bassist Eu­gene Gill were ar­rested while at­tempt­ing to board a flight to the UK to per­form at Down­load Fes­ti­val and taken into cus­tody on charges of “as­sault with in­tent to do great bod­ily harm”. Gunn’s charge was then up­graded to “as­sault with in­tent to mur­der”.

The case was dis­missed by the judge – but that didn’t stop Gunn from ti­tling King 810’ s first ful­l­length, Mem­oirs Of A Murderer. Like Cur­tis James ‘ Fifty Cent’ Jackson III, David Gunn has been shot. Con­trary to what Gunn, 28, be­lieves, Michael Moore was in fact born in Flint, and even founded The Flint Voice at age 22. His first suc­cess­ful doc­u­men­tary, Emmy Award- win­ning Rodger & Me, ex­am­ined the ef­fects on Flint af­ter the col­lapse of Gen­eral Mo­tors.

Can you tell me a lit­tle about the al­bum: why you struc­tured it with these three move­ments, and the con­cept of it be­ing a mem­oir?

David Gunn: Yeah, it’s a sonic mem­oir. There’s two move­ments, but three parts. It loosely par­al­lels Freud’s id, ego and su­per- ego the­ory. The first part is the id, or what would trans­late as the more vi­o­lent or eas­ily di­gestible co­he­sive ma­te­rial that is very up front – you get it the first time you lis­ten to it, it’s ag­gres­sive and it’s ba­si­cally what peo­ple think King is at first glance. A spo­ken word track moves it from there into the sec­ond move­ment which turns into a male/ fe­male ex­pla­na­tion of tra­di­tional love. In the first sec­tion love is pre­sented more as a broth­er­hood or a ca­ma­raderie or some­thing in the wake of the vi­o­lent, gritty ur­ban ma­te­rial, when it moves spo­ken word it moves to the ego of tra­di­tional male/ fe­male love. From the next spo­ken word it changes the third part, which is su­perego, and kind of an ab­stract artis­tic love.

Stress­ing the idea of it as a mem­oir, though – it’s an im­me­di­ately ar­rest­ing ti­tle – but how does the ti­tle re­flect on things like you miss­ing out on Down­load Fes­ti­val this year, the ar­rest, for ex­am­ple? Where does the line be­tween mem­oir and f ic­tion blur?

Gunn: There’s lines for a lot of artists and for a lot of other peo­ple, but with this group, when I say mem­oir, that’s ex­actly what it is: it’s to the point, it’s a fact, there’s no sen­sa­tion­al­is­ing, no glam­or­i­sa­tion, no ex­ag­ger­a­tion, there’s no line to be blurred at all. What’s on the disc is ex­actly how it hap­pened with­out any bluff or any­thing fic­tional, it’s all true, it’s 100 per­cent true, and that’s how

it hap­pened. There’s no line, and that’s why we missed Down­load and things like that, we had crim­i­nal records and those types of things, not that we go around brag­ging or we’re not proud about it, it’s not like… It is what­ever it is.

I’m in­ter­ested in the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Flint and King 810, how you see each feed­ing the other – what were you do­ing there be­fore the band?

Gunn: Be­fore the band I didn’t have a job or any­thing, I was never do­ing – uh – le­git­i­mate work. I wasn’t ever go­ing to be any­thing else. I didn’t have a plan B, col­lege or a job, I wasn’t go­ing to do all these things be­cause this was what we were go­ing to do from the start, since we were kids this is what we were go­ing to do. A back- up plan is just a divi­sion in en­ergy or fo­cus. This is al­ways what we were go­ing to do, we were never go­ing to do any­thing else, and we kind of crossed the bridge and burned it be­hind us.

As some­one in Aus­tralia, to out­siders, the dom­i­nant view of Flint is still the one pre­sented in Bowl­ing

For Columbine, and there hasn’t been an up­date on that, though you seem to pick up that thread…

Gunn: Michael Moore isn’t from Flint [ Moore was born in Flint - Ed], and doesn’t live in Flint so, I mean, he did do a lit­tle bit of work in Flint and that’s like his meal ticket but in re­al­ity he’s not from here. He’s a mid­dle- aged white guy so what does he know about what we’re do­ing? This is like you’re get­ting the real re­port from the front lines from some­one who is ac­tu­ally in­volved. This is what it is, it’s com­ing from an or­ganic place, it’s not an act of fic­tion.

What about with the live show? The guns have be­come quite no­to­ri­ous, is that tak­ing a piece of Flint around and show­ing peo­ple what it’s like?

Gunn: Yeah, that’s what we’re try­ing to do. Son­i­cally we’re try­ing to make you un­der­stand it, but you can only get so far son­i­cally, but when we play live we’re try­ing to bring that vis­ual which makes you un­der­stand what Flint looks like too. Of course they are go­ing to rag on us about bring­ing guys with guns or what­ever, like it’s some kind of gim­mick, but at the end of the day we’re just show­ing you what home looks like.

And your sur­name change?

Gunn: The name change is my Scot­tish fam­ily name, from the North High­lands. I had my dad’s last name, and I don’t even know my dad, so I changed it to my grand­par­ents’ who ac­tu­ally had a hand in rais­ing me. A lot of peo­ple think it’s gun like ‘ hand­gun’, but it’s my fam­ily’s name.

MeM­oirs of A MurDerer is out now on roAD­run­ner/ wArner.

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