Metal Madness: An Interview with Kingsmen

Tanner Guimond

Tanner Guimond

Welcome to Metal Madness my fellow metalheads, covering all things metal, metalcore, deathcore and hardcore in the Providence area. I recently had the privilege of talking to Kingsmen, one of Providence’s premier melodic deathcore acts. This five-piece is made up of former members of Fortune Favors the Brave and Scriptures. The band has been around since 2016, and since its inception, Kingsmen have garnered a large fanbase and signed with Extreme Management Group, known for managing such acts as Suffocation and Rings of Saturn. If you’re into crushing breakdowns, searing melodic vocals and overall death-core madness, this is the band for you.

What you notice at a Kingsmen show, apart from the raw talent and stage presence, is that for a band that hasn’t been around for a long time, they play like a seasoned band that’s been on the road for years. That comes from the dedication that the band has to their art. I caught up with lead singer Tanner Guimond Sunday night at Fete Musical hall where the band was headlining a show.

kingsmencolorwashErik Nivison (Motif): How did you get together?

Tanner Guimond: It all kinda happened four or five years ago. So Dylan Robertson and I were in Fortune Favors the Brave, and Frank, Adam and Tim were in a band called Scriptures. We did a couple of shows together during a weekender run, it was kinda like after going out we realized we had some chemistry. After those bands fell apart Tim (lucier guitar) reached out to me and we brought Dylan in and wrote a few songs. One day I was driving and one of our demos popped up. I texted Tim and said we should go and record one of those songs for the hell of it and he messaged me back saying he had already booked studio time with Adam (Bakelman bass) to record the songs that we were working on, plus a few more. At that point me and Dylan got back involved, Frank came into the picture and we went into the studio in July of 2016.

Tanner Guimond

Tanner Guimond

EN: What are some of your influences?

TG: As far my influences for singing, I definitely think that James Labrie from Dream Theater is a huge one for sure. I also like for screaming definitely Randy Blythe (Lamb of God); he is a big influence of mine, also Dez from Devildriver is a big one too. One of the biggest things for me personally when it comes to being a singer, a frontman and a screamer it’s like … I love pronunciation … especially when I’m screaming. If I can’t understand them (screamers) chances are I’m not the biggest fan of them. The rest of the guys, like Tim is a big Killswitch Engage fan — Unearth, I think, is his hands-down favorite band — Frank likes Issues and The Devil Wears Prada, Adam is the complete opposite of us he’s like a Steel Panther, Iron Maiden kinda guy, and Dylan is a big death metal guy. You can definitely hear it in his playing. That’s where all of our influences derive from for sure.

EN: What role do you think you have within the scene with your fans and other bands?

kingsmen adam and timTG: If Kingsmen is going to be anything for the Providence scene, I will help people to understand how we did it, and hopefully that can help them do what they want to do the right way. We’re here to help, because at the end of the day being in a band isn’t competition. Every musician wants to go on stage and straight slay it! You know they wanna be the better band on stage. When you get off that stage and you are talking to fans, and you’re networking — if you don’t network among each other as band members from different bands with your fans the scene won’t grow.

EN: In light of recent events in Las Vegas, what are your thoughts on security as a band? You play live in a genre that arguably had the first concert shooting, when Dimebag Darrell (Superjoint Ritual, Pantera) was killed. Would you arm yourself?

kingsmen frankTG: It’s tough ya know security. What is too much security and what is too little? Something in this is just my personal opinion on it. Something I would do? Let’s say, hypothetically speaking, if I was a venue owner or if I was putting on festivals like the Las Vegas festival, I would make sure that my security is briefed on the type of show it is and understand the crowd, ya know? Like a metal show, you have to understand that people are going to push each other. Personally, and every one knows this that follows me, I’m not a fan of the hardcore dancing swing and hit someone on the side of the face and be okay with it type thing. Hardcore dancing, I mean sure, if you and your friends want to do that and you’re not hurting anyone else, go ahead. When it comes to the hateful moshing in general, I’m just not a fan of it. Now I do  think security should be armed.

EN: What about you yourself? As an artist, as a band?

TG: Personally I will, I would be armed. Oh yeah, for sure. You never know where you’re going. Bands get stuff stolen from them all the time. I am definitely an advocate for guns; I think it’s everyone’s right to own a firearm as long as the screening process is legitimate. One of the things I can’t stress enough because I’ve had a lot of debates on this is the gun control policy on how private selling has a kind of loose regulation to it, and also the screening process. There are some things that need to be addressed when it comes to someone owning a firearm. Now that’s not to say that some shootings involve someone who is using an illegal firearm. Still there are shootings that happen where people who have been screened were able to buy these firearms, and they probably should not have had them.

Kingsmen play The Rise of Metal!, which is a two-stage all-day event at the Fete Music Hall on Nov 19.

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