Catching up with King Cayman – Listen to new Nosebleeder EP
Raucous punk-pop and blues artist King Cayman’s newest release, Nosebleeder, is here and ready to stream.
Nosebleeder acts as a preview to spring’s full length Death EP, set for release on US/Spanish label Tuzz Records in March or April this year to coincide with his appearance at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
King Cayman unmasked
Back in September, we introduced self-confessed ‘death-popper’ and one-man-band King Cayman, the furiously fast, mask-wearing, pysch-punk and new wave musician exploding out of Madrid.
As SXSW 2017 creeps ever closer, we caught up with the man himself to get the low-down on his new release, and inspirations behind his latest tracks.
Once a student of Architecture, Daniel Treviño developed an interest in mask cultures and tribal traditions at a young age, and collected props which are regularly used in King Cayman promo material and music videos.
The mask stuff makes me laugh. I can’t explain exactly why, but I like the idea of not knowing exactly whose face is behind one. I love the way Slipknot, Gorillaz or Argentinian-Spanish artist, Felipe Pantone use masks. But I’m not really into masked live performances, when I’m playing live I just wanna be myself.
Lo-fi Garage Rock meets Experimental trash punk
Inspired by his own life experiences, Treviño’s masked alter ego continues to explore themes surrounding death and the mystery of the unknown with a chunk of dark humour.
Similar to his earlier releases, Nosebleeder is loud and chaotic. It blends fast, progressive rhythms, heavily distorted vocals and some vague comic elements, which make the tunes rather unique.
In addition, the release boasts his first love song, and his first use of bass to inspire a real coming-of-age tale.
I record at home (with my own equipment), so that’s why the final result has to be Lo-fi. Normally my brother helps me to record some stuff and I have some special memories recording guitars [for this EP] at 3am with a big blanket over me (no heating on during that time). That was kinda surreal.
Behind the tracks
The album’s title track serves as a good introduction if you’re new to the King Cayman sound. Telling the story of a perceived ‘weird kid’ at school, who becomes cool as an adult, it opens with a little beat boxing – reminiscent of the Babybel theme, only a bit edgier – before the punk-esque power chords kick in.
You know that classic story about a school freak that finally ends up being someone cool? Well, I don’t know if I’m cool or not, but for sure, I was a freak at school, and this song talks about that.
Like most of his earlier music, the singles are rife with disjointed layers of intense sound, and maximum fuzz factor. There’s a touch of early Iggy Pop, and the addition of hectic, waspy vocals bears similarities to the likes of T-Rex’s Marc Bolan or DFA 1979.
Rocket to your heart
A rare lo-fi love song, which combines an experimental vibe of high-pitched vocals and a repetitive hook which gets better the more you listen. Delving into the inspiration behind it, Daniel states;
I’ve never been fan of love songs, just freaky stuff like ABBA or “I believe in a thing called love” by The Darkness (and just because of the melody, I was too young to understand lyrics in English). So this is supposed to be like a love song, because it talks about emotions, but it’s made by somebody who doesn’t like love songs.
Golden Gloves / Black Lemonade
Marking the first time King Cayman uses a bass when recording, Golden Gloves / Black Lemonade is perhaps the most minimalist track. Comprised solely of a heavy bass line – the star of the show – and some erratic vocals, the song is ironic and darkly comic in its exploration of death.
Noisy and somewhat cluttered, Oh, Ofelia details the sadness that comes with the end of a budding relationship. Spawned straight from reality, the song focuses on a communication breakdown, intertwining real life heartache with the story of Ophelia from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
I met a girl at the Primavera Sound festival one year. She lived outside of Spain, so I visited her, but in the end everything got kind of messy. Let’s say we got lost in translation and it turned into a sad story. She had a beautiful replica of an Ofelia’s painting in her bathroom though, so that’s the reason for the song’s title.
We first heard King Cayman while compiling Headliner’s series of special SXSW Introducing articles, which also included S U R V I V E and LazyEyes as some of the first 50 Showcasing Artists at SXSW 2017.
If you liked what you have heard so far, you can check out the video below, or follow the links at the bottom of the page for more information.
Watch King Cayman perform on the Jägermusic stage at Festival de les Arts & Low Festival 2016 below.