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INTERVIEW: Cold Kingdom

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

We’ve been super busy! We just spent the last year writing, recording and releasing our brand new full length album, and we couldn’t be more excited or proud!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “A New Disaster”?

We released a video for ‘A New Disaster’ in April, as the lead single off ‘Into the Black Sky’, as an introduction to the new line-up and first look at what to expect from the album. It really marked the beginning of a new era for Cold Kingdom. So, this was the very first song I recorded scratch vocals on. It was before I was officially a member, and they had sent me over a few songs to take a look at and record on, so they could hear the songs with a voice, and continue to develop them. This was instantly the first song I was drawn to. It struck me as powerful, bold and had a very “come what may” attitude behind it.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

A New Disaster was written at a point when we had no idea if we were going to be able to continue on as a band. So it was really us digging into what we needed to do to just survive, and a lot of that involved setting aside anything we did in the past and throwing ourselves into making something brand new despite having no idea how we were going to do it. Having it as the first song we wrote for the album helped set the tone going forward and gave us a lot of confidence in experimenting with whatever came to the table.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

It was an absolute blast! This is actually the first time we all hopped in the van together and hit the road! We filmed at the Mankato Brewery, and right from the start, it was a hoot. They opened up their doors and literally let us drive right in— we parked the van and trailer right inside the brewery! The idea behind the video was really to showcase the band, without a lot of distraction, and everything fell greatly into place. We had a great team— Trevor Sweeney as the videographer and Sam Goldberger was the master of the lights! They were great to work with and really brought the vision to life. We had to wait until they were closed for business, and had some setup to do, so we didn’t start filming until 1am. We were there rocking it out until 4am! I even found a beer I liked, and I am not usually a beer drinker! Evan’s parents live in that area, so we were lucky enough to have a place to get a good night’s sleep. And then we awoke to a smorgasbord for breakfast!!  It was overall a great experience.

The single comes off your new album Into The Black Sky – what’s the story behind the title?

Into the Black Sky is a line in the song Volatile. More than that, it is a representation of the situation the band was in at the time. I mean, they didn’t have a singer, but they knew they didn’t want to quit. So in Collin and I come, uprooting ourselves from a different band we had been with for 5 years, and throwing ourselves into this with them. None of us knew how exactly things would go or what the response would be, but we knew we had to do it and give it our all. There needed to be a willingness to go forward into the unknown, the “black sky”, where you have no idea what’s in front of you but you know you will come out better on the other side.

How was the recording and writing process?

It was intense, but so worth it and so rewarding. The band, with the lineup as we are now, assembled about a year ago, and we’ve been non-stop busting our butts since then. The writing process is a little different from what I am used to, but it works. Evan is the main writer, and would send over demos— some with vocal maps and lyrics, and some without. I would lay down vocals on the ones he had maps for, and get to write vocals on the one without. It was a great experience. We were constantly together, constantly working and making those songs what they are.

With little time to waste – how much would you say this affect the creativity input on this record?

The situation that we found ourselves in pushed us and fueled us to be creative and collaborative, and I think the end product is something super special. It is still Cold Kingdom, but we definitely explored some different sides and pushed the limits.

What role does Minneapolis play in your music?

It’s our home, and it’s an amazing support system. It is one big family, and everyone is super supportive of one another.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Elissa: The lyrics are not solely me, and the song ideas for this album all stem from Evan’s brain!! So I’ll ask for Evan to give his input as well. For me, lyrically, I draw from the things I know– it is important to me for lyrics to be emotionally charged. Alot of what was focused on in this album was empowerment in one way or another– removing toxicity from our lives, and focusing on our hopes, our dreams, and not letting anything or anyone hold you back. Letting go of what held you down in the past, and moving forward. Another thing I tend to focus on is loss– and the pain and regret that comes along with it.

Evan: Like Elissa said, you need to draw from things you know and things that affect you in real ways. A listener will immediately sniff out lyrics that aren’t genuine, so that’s a big deal with me. It’s incredibly hard to go into writing a song saying “I’m going to make it about this”, I usually let the music itself dictate the direction my thought process goes when writing lyrics. This album had a lot of unknowns surrounding it when we were going through the writing process, and I think that is reflected in the finished product. Each band member also has personal losses and mourning that we wanted to address in multiple ways throughout this record.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes, yes and yes!! You can see us all around the midwest this summer, and we plan on continuing to further our reach as the year progresses.

What else is happening next in Cold Kingdom’s world?

We are working on expanding into other markets, and furthering our reach. We’ve got lots of shows this summer, and can’t wait!

Watch here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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