Last year no one could escape Drake’s “Hotline Bling.” It wasn’t that it was the greatest song ever created or that it was even one of the former kid’s from Degrassi (am I the only one who will never be over Jimmy Brooks’ dream coming true…and walking again?). It was the insane dancing that was parodied by everyone from that Elf on the Shelf to this pug. Not everyone was into recreating the moves though, there were many who did decide to take cover and do their own rendition of the the hit. That’s the whole reason Kingdoms got on our radar late last year. We kind of got some feels for them with their “Hotline Bling” cover, but now we’re absolutely in love thanks to their latest single “Battery.” It just dropped last week and they’re still celebrating today because it’s their very own Brayden Pierce’s birthday this week! So give him a special shout out and share what he had to say about evolution of sound, breakfast of champions and what’s to come from them!
Kendra: You’re not the first act to head from one end of music to the other. Sonny Moore AKA Skrillex was screamo and now is a leading DJ. With that though, what made you switch it up from singer-songwriter project to an electropop band?
Brayden: In short, natural evolution through inspiration. I’ve been writing songs since I was 13, inspired heavily from classic rock and 90’s R&B, but part of the kernel of friendship we have as best buds has been Matt sharing new music with me, offering new sounds to chew on. We’ve known each other for years and have always come together to talk about music and see cool shows. So, it’s really been about the process of inspiration that comes from hearing new and exciting music that gets us totally jazzed, and evolving us into the kind of project where we want to perform the kind of material that feels like “music from the future is here now”. We focus on doing something that sounds fresh and evolved, but still somehow feels like home. But really, when it comes to creating, we throw all objectives away and really listen into ourselves in order to bring something true out of us in the spontaneous moment. Creating is like a lust-filled orgasm, you can’t think about it too much, you’ve got to just let it happen. Then afterwards, you try and figure out what happened and make sense of it. You’d be surprised though, we are constantly digging back through old songwriting “crates,” and finding gems that become kernels of new songs. Good songwriting is good songwriting regardless of the exterior casing.
Kendra: You’ve been taking advantage of playing all the venues LA has to offer. What venue has felt the most like home so far?
Brayden: As a matter of fact, it’s a venue we played recently January 25th! We love the Satellite in Silver Lake and have been seeing great bands there since the days when it was still called Spaceland and Zooey Deschanel was taking Jim Carrey there in the forgotten movie, Yes Man. From its retro astral vibe (a main theme in our lyrics and artwork), to its pool table and arcade room, to the fun stage atmosphere and dance floor, we just jump at any opportunity to play there. We’re also major fans of Bootleg HiFi and their stage and love it when we play there.
Kendra: I got to know you thanks your cover of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” you dropped last year. It’s great and does the original justice, but when it comes to booty calls, or rather Tinder swipes nowadays, what advice do you have for people whose booty call may not get the message that it was just a one time thing?
Brayden: Wait, do you have any advice for us? We are the ones who are slightly on the sensitive side here! Why won’t she text me back!!!!? Haha the modern day dating world can be a real struggle, and if there’s anything we’ve learned – somebody’s stage five clinger is another man’s sun, moon, and stars…so if it ain’t workin out, then let it go and move on, you can’t control other people’s feelings (Why would you want to? Where is the authenticity in romance there?). There’s going to be a more deserving option for you out there. And you never know who you’re gonna meet on any given day if you put yourself out there and stay open!
Kendra: Back to the music. You’re going to be dropping a lot of new music in the next couple of months. It’s two EPs, right? Why not just one LP?
Brayden: We actually would like the EPs to culminate to a full length vinyl release in the Fall. It’s definitely a dream to have a collection of songs we’re proud of on vinyl. But we went on a creative rampage in 2015 coming up with a ton of new songs, and we’d simply just like to share new material with everyone as quickly as we can get them recorded and into a finished state that we’re happy with. But to be totally honest with you, we actually have like 5 EPs worth of songs we are psyched on eventually sharing.
Kendra: Your first single is going to be for “Battery.” You’ve said people say your music reminds them of their favorite cereal. So what breakfast favorite would you say “Battery” is like, and why?
Brayden: We’d say “Battery” is like the ultimate classic Aunt Jemima Syrup…you just wanna put it on, let the goodness soak in and eat it right up!
Kendra: All this new music, will you be playing a ton of shows with them?
Brayden: Absolutely, that’s the plan! We just upgraded our studio and live rig tremendously in the past few months and with all the new music, the idea is to enhance the set even more to make it as dynamic as possible. That means Cali is going to be our playground and you’ll be seeing a lot of us this year.
Kendra: You’re playing all the time in LA. What new bands or artists have you played with recently that have blown you away? Let our readers know!
Brayden: Oh wow, now this is a question that really gets us going because we’ve made a lot of friends along the way and we play with so many great bands and love to pay it forward, as well. Our favorite Aussies, Intergalactix, really blow us away with their level of musicianship, I mean talk about explosive. Magic Bronson, our talented bros that we just played with at The Satellite and The Sayers Club. Our good friend, Dru Decaro, (who plays guitar for Miguel) and his new band, Falconry – we did a cover of MJ’s “Remember the Time” live a few times last year at our live shows, and he’d just jump up there with us and really slay it. DJ/producer James Kennedy (from Vanderpump Rules) is a good friend (and was my roommate all last year) who might have a trap remix of “Battery” up his sleeve that may just drop any day now. Laura Peters of the band, Psychic Love, is a friend and we love what she’s doing with her musical vibe and her live show. And Strangers You Know, who we’re super thrilled to congratulate on booking Coachella this year, we can’t wait to support you in the desert, guys! Also, Ryan Walker (from Imagine Dragons) is a close friend who I am laying some vocals down for in the studio on some of his fun electro solo project stuff. We’re vibin so well with each other, you just may start to see Ryan perform with us, as we love to continue innovating and experimenting with our live show to make it as explosive of an event as possible.