Alt-Rock Newcomers King Shelter Discuss New Single, “Preoccupy”

Jessica Ourisman

King Shelter just released their new single, “Preoccupy,” on August 2nd, and sat down with Impose Magazine before performing it live on the home-leg of their multi-state tour.

“Preoccupy” has all the makings of a hit: it’s equal parts catchy-and-smart, serving up lead-singer Taylor’s clear and distinctive vocals, combined with the raw musical talent of the band. It’s a reflection of their experiences on the music-scene, revealing the insightful and in-depth backstory to the band’s members. They might appear like your typical, twenty-something skaters from Southern California, but they possess the type of musical affinity that can come to represent an entire generation.

In fact, we’re convinced that these self-proclaimed ‘Salad Rockers’ are one of the most important new bands in the alt-rock genre. ‘Salad Rock’ is derived from their varied and diverse sources of musical style. They’re inspiration ranges from Radiohead and Nirvana, to bands like Weezer and Green Day; at times, with distinct classic rock undertones. Overall, creating music that is both unique and appealing to a wide variety of musical tastes. And seeing them perform live before an audience will take your appreciation of King Shelter it to the next level.

Lead-singer Taylor Hecocks possesses the type of extraverted charisma and charm that invigorates audiences, but this role belies his his depth of character and his philosophical nature, both of which lend him an air of palpable authenticity. His voice, lyrics, insights and quirky charm give him an unmistakable magnetism and star-quality that suits the band perfectly. But while fame would suit him, it’s not his objective. Yes, music is his passion, but he ultimately wants to develop a platform in order to share his wisdom and insights in the name of social justice.

His band-mates are equally fascinating. David Noble is endearingly aloof — although, that could have also been due to the unbearably hot weather. Whatever he didn’t express verbally, he certainly did so musically. His performance showcased his incredible talent as a lead guitarist, setting the tone and intensity of each song for the band, exactly as a lead guitarist should. And the kid can play guitar. His solos and rifts had the classic rock-sounding electric quality of Led Zeppelin or Van Halen, a throwback-feel reminiscent of the greats.

Bassist John Harzan’s holds his amid his bandmates and his performance was anything but ordinary. He possesses warmth and down-to-earth kindness, which adds to another facet of his charm — the fact that he’s adorable. While enjoying the show, old friends of his attested to his being a sweetheart, too, which is perhaps indicative of his future heartthrob status. Try not to let this detract from his considerable contribution to the band’s overall talent.

Most shocking of all was the soft-spoken drummer, Adam Nienow, whose distinctive style is paramount to the band’s sound. Off-stage, he gives off the quiet intensity of an artist, leaving you guessing as to what complicated, tortured soul might lurk beneath his reserved exterior (which is always adorned in stripes, by the way). But onstage, his drumming presence is about as far from reserved as you can get. To drive the point home, his 1+ minute solo that segued into their next song gave us an actual indication of what a prominent driving force he is within the band.

It must have been a twist of fate that prevented their first EP, “Failure”, from already blowing-up the music scene. Or, realistically, a simple lack of publicity. The entire album consists of would-be fan-favorites, with songs like “Holy Ghost,” “Failure,” and “People Change” — demonstrating their ability to not only write hits, but to deliver consistently high-quality music.

After sitting down with King Shelter, one thing became abundantly clear: these guys must have no idea how exceptionally talented they are. After all, they’re young and just beginning to live out their dream. They’re hilarious, social, and downright fun. But they’re also humble and genuinely good people. After all, they’re dog people. And they’re single-handedly bringing back the game Trivia Crack in their free time.

They’re the perfect blend of eclectic-novelty and local-charm; the proverbial ‘Salad-Rockers Next Door’ of the music industry. Now, it’s only a matter of time now before word gets out.

Be sure to check out King Shelter’s new single, “Preoccupy,” and their entire first album, Failure.

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