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Orange County, California has definitely presented the world with a certain impression of themselves, due to an influx of reality TV shows. You know, Real Housewives and that sort of thing. Thankfully, the region has much more to it than that, including a little band called Speaking The King’s. STK released their debut full-length album, Carousel, on October 16, 2015 via Nuclear Blast. Screamer recently had the chance to speak with guitarist Mike Entin and get the low-down on Speaking the King’s.

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Now, with a little research one might discover that the band has actually been together since 2011, although this year marked the release of their first full-length album. Entin shared a little about how the band came to be.  “All of the instruments that are currently in the band (Entin, Justin Bock, Will Peacock) were in another band prior to the formation of what we now know today as Speaking the King’s. The earlier band was a more heavy and metal influenced band. We had been playing for five years or so and decided that we wanted a change of pace. We all agreed to do something familiar but also something new for us, which had been introducing the element of singing. We unfortunately parted ways with our old screamer because we were looking for someone who could sing AND scream without having two separate people for their respective roles. Finding a new singer was more difficult task than we thought.”

Speaking The Kings - Here To Stay 2013The band of course searched around their local music scene and then went the Craigslist route but were still not successful in their singer search. They continued to work on the music for their EP Here to Stay and even flew to Florida to work on the the EP with Tom Denney. “We were still on the hunt when our friends mentioned this Bobby [Burap] person that had recently left his band and was pretty close. We reached out and sent him a couple tracks and set up an audition. Bobby walked in with confidence, had the look, and most importantly had the voice we were looking for to complete Speaking The King’s. We offered him the spot and set up a week more of recording time in Florida with Tom, and the rest was history, as they say.”

And where did that band name come from? As Entin said, “We get this question all the time and people always ask, ‘Why is there an apostrophe?!?!’ One night, our old bass player Brad and I were sitting in our apartment watching movies. The band was still unnamed at the moment. We were watching Inglorious Basterds by Quentin Tarentino and there was the underground scene with the British soldiers undercover, impersonating German soldiers. The whole scene’s dialogue is in German and there is a point where the British soldier gives away his cover. The scene escalates and then when he realizes that it’s all over but is going to do everything he possibly can before greeting death. The line from the movie is, ‘You don’t mind if I go out speaking the king’s, ol ’boy?’ The soldier was referring to the King’s English but at that moment, he had made that decision to not give up and do everything he possibly could, which sums up our drive and motivation for this band.”

Speaking The Kings - CarouselFor the recording of Carousel, STK had the opportunity to work with producer Steve Evetts (Architects, The Wonder Years, Every Time I Die, Suicide Silence). According to Entin, the band had hoped to work with Evetts but didn’t believe that it would happen. “When choosing who was the right producer for the job, we made a list and threw Steve on there in more of a joking manner, not expecting to land him for many reasons,” he said. “After pitching the idea to Nuclear Blast, we got a call a few days later confirming our studio time with him and that moment, reality hit us in a way that can’t be explained.” Entin also added, “The one album that really sealed the deal for us that Steve produced was The Here and Now by Architects. Still to this day, each member holds that album as one of their favorite records. Knowing the versatility and creativity that Steve brings to the table, we knew that he could take us to the next level with Carousel.”

As Entin says, “The songs off Carousel definitely represent us as individuals, depicting the struggles and challenges we have gone through to get us this far in our career, and this is just the beginning.” He also took the time to discuss a few of the songs on the album. He says that Choke is “one of the biggest sounding songs we have written. I constantly find myself humming the song throughout the day and then realize I have to stop.” With Caught in the Middle, “I can only think of nonstop excitement and fun that doesn’t let up, even during the breakdowns. Seems to be a very popular song amongst the reviews we have gotten as well, which is pretty cool.” And Close to Impossible was “a perfect way to end Carousel in our eyes…The song ends on a massive crowd chant saying ‘Your future is your creation, not an expectation’, and that’s the main influence of the CD. A dream of ours would be to play that song live and have everyone in the crowd singing along with us.” And finally, Entin says that the first song on the album, Breathe is “full of energy and a chorus that will tend to get stuck in your head but is also balanced out with one of the heaviest breakdowns on the CD. Breathe is a perfect way to introduce us as a band to someone who has never heard us. It covers all our strengths while delivering a memorable cadence.”

Speaking The Kings 2015 EEntin is also a huge sports enthusiast, movie buff and a graphic artist, who actually did the work on the Carousel album himself. As far as his musical history and influence he shared, “Personally, my roots go deep in the metal world. I used to go over to my friends house when I was in middle school and we would listen to a lot of black and death metal with his older brother…I taught myself how to play guitar by learning Slayer and Metallica songs as any metal kid would but then started getting into metal-core and the more thrashy riffs.”

The band will be hitting the road in 2016, while they focus on promoting the album right now. According to Entin, once they are in tour, there is a lot to look forward to. “We pride ourselves on our live shows and make sure that we provide the most energetic and fun show possible,” he said. “We love engaging the crowd and getting them involved in every possibly way imaginable. It’s very possible that you will see us on stage one minute and the next minute we are in the middle of the pit riffing out and singing together with the crowd…Our main goal is to match the same feeling you get when listening to Carousel with what you see on stage. If seeing us live comes first, our goal is that you want to go check out the album to reinforce what you have just witnessed.”

Entin also shared a couple of moments that have been the most amazing in his musical journey up to this point. First, “Recording with Steve Evetts was a dream come true, if you want me to be completely honest. We all grew as musicians because he pushed us to make the best possible product without any shortcuts. It didn’t matter if a take sounded perfect, he knew there was more inside us to get an even better take, one that truly sounded like our hearts were playing it. The fact that Steve cared so much and really took us to the next level as musicians can really show on Carousel.” The second moment that Entin shared was when they had the chance to be a local band opening at the Self Help Fest, with bands such as A Day to Remember, Bring Me the Horizon, and Of Mice and Men. He shared, “There were only two stages for the whole event and we were lucky enough to open the main outside stage, which was able to hold about 15,0000 people…We made a slew of new fans and talked to some awesome people that still continue to support STK ever since. Biggest trip of the day was sound checking on the stage prior to doors opening and just hearing my notes played on a stage larger than life.”

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In closing, Entin shared the following: “There is a lot in the works behind the curtains but nothing confirmed, so keep an eye out for touring in 2016. Our next objective is to get a music video out for Choke. We just want to thank everyone who has supported us from day one until now. We have the best fans and they have been so patient waiting for this album, so thank you from the bottom of all our hearts. We have put our hearts and souls into this and just ask of people to give it a chance.”



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