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With 80,000 spins across Spotify and Soundcloud, and 30,000 YouTube views for their last single, Melbourne-based electro-pop newcomers, KINGS. have recently released an infectious new single (u) West Coast, a gem of a song that is soaked in seasonal nostalgia. Tour plans are afoot too. KINGS. vocalist Hayden Jeffrey took some time to Q&A with us.

What was your first gig?
The first show we played as KINGS. was actually at a secret little warehouse party in Docklands, about a year ago. A mate I knew was throwing a mini festival in this art space and we saw it as a brilliant way to show up and test out the songs we were writing without having to promote a public debut appearance. The room was packed out and people were vibing it, we had a mad time!

What microphone do you use on stage generally?
It’s generally always a Shure 58. I run it through a Voicelive Touch 2 by TC Helicon, which is quite vital to the tuning and delay effects we use in our set. I can really trust the 58 to cut through the mix and be reliable with the machine, and I’m bashing the mic around quite a bit so it has to be robust.

Is it the same for recording?
Definitely not, a 58 is a great dynamic mic for live purposes, recording we’ll choose a condenser. On the previous two tracks we’ve been able to nab some Neumann microphones off our mates. The U89i works a treat for that silky top end that we need to weave over our melodies.

What’s your latest recording and when will you be back in the studio?
We actually just released a new single, it’s called “(u) West Coast.” The brilliant thing about our work flow is that we record DIY from my little studio at home. So I was sitting in the studio just a few minutes ago writing. It means we have complete freedom to work any hours we like, with no financial pressures, and we have complete control over the production until I sign it off to go and have it mixed.

What gigs have you been playing lately?
We opened for JAKUBI at Max Watt’s (the Hi-Fi Bar), which was ripper, and St Kilda festival we had a slot on the Live ‘n’ Local stage. Most recently we played Melbourne and Monash uni, which is a great platform for us to be presenting our music to.

Most memorable gig?
Definitely St Kilda Festival, the weather was beautiful, it was an outdoor stage, and the area was jam packed with apparently a line down the road to get in. We couldn’t believe how well that went, we were buzzing.

Worst stage nightmare?
Just things breaking in general, it’s awkward. No one wants to hear bands banter while things are broken. When I was about 16 I was playing in a band with mates in front of my school, and first song my guitar dropped on the concrete floor. We had to stop the song and start again, oh the shame.

Album that changed your life?
The album I would say that really laid a down a turning point for me was Powderfinger’s greatest hits. When I was 10 my parents were pretty conservative over what we listened to, but my babysitter slipped that to me, from that point I knew I’d put the rest of my life into creating music. Spin on this story is it actually turned my Dad into more of a Powderfinger fan than I ever was.

What gigs are coming up in the next few months?
We have tour plans in the works, till then we’re keeping focused in the studio to bring more tunes out for you all.

A vocal tip for the kids?
Listening is so important; your style can only reflect what you are feeding your ears, so put some good melodies on the menu.

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