Between Kings describe themselves as a band that is “at once a throwback to those times when rock ‘n’ roll music could save your life and a glimpse into its possible future” — and a few listens will have you agreeing to their own assessment.
The band was formed while the members in music college in Brisbane, Australia and the debut album from Between Kings, The Escape, came in 2018 and accompanied the members move from Australia to Los Angeles. Short and sweet, the first EP found Between Kings taking influence from groups like blink-182, Linkin Park, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and more.
“The first album was inspired by those bands we listened to growing up,” explains Jordan (guitarist), who co-writes the band’s songs with Nic (vocalist) as chief lyricist. “But these new songs come from within. We’ve reached the point where we inspire ourselves. We’ve managed to incorporate those reference points into what we do without having an agenda.”
“We’ve all matured to the point where those influences are now our own lives and the world surrounding us,” says Nic, who was born in Zimbabwe and grew up in a racially torn South Africa before emigrating to Australia to continue his music education at 19. “We don’t worry about what it’s going to sound like, we just let it flow.”
Between Kings is gearing up to release a five-song EP this year, which was produced by Jimmy Messer (AWOLNATION, Kygo, Selena Gomez, Kelly Clarkson), and demonstrates their progression as a band to this point. They’ve come a long way, now demonstrating their influences such as U2 and The Beatles, incorporating tenements like scratching, synths, and hip-hop.
Today, Substream is thrilled to be teaming up with Between Kings to premiere their latest single, EP opener “Antidote.” The track is a perfect example of how the band have grown over their short, but fruitful career — and is a non-judgmental observation on how society copes with the pressures of modern society.
Listen to the song below, and continue reading to find a brief Q&A between Substream and Between Kings.
SUBSTREAM: What do you hope fans/listeners will take away from hearing “Antidote”?
“Antidote” is a song we feel many people are going to be able to relate to. Everyone has something they use to get through the hard times. “Antidote” is about coming to terms with the fact that it’s okay to need help. Understanding that you can’t do everything on your own is the first step towards accepting your flaws and learning to live with them.
What was the writing process like? And why was it important to write a song about mental health?
“Antidote” came together quite quickly. Most of our writing sessions begin with music, followed by melody and lyrics, as was the case with “Antidote.” We feel like mental health is something that so many people are effected by but there is still a stigma that goes with having mental health problems. We wanted to highlight the fact that having a mental health problem or needing medication to help with problems is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s something that many of us deal with every day and it’s okay to need an Antidote to get you through the day.
What was it like working with Jimmy Messer on your new music and how did the experience impact the band’s sound?
Working with Jimmy Messer was an amazing experience for us. Having someone who really cares about the outcome of each song is always great. We had a clear vision of what we wanted these songs to sound like and Jimmy helped us realize that vision, while allowing us to experiment in order to make each song something we are proud of.
Do you think living in the States, specifically Los Angeles, has effected the sound/style of Between Kings at all?
Living in America has been a blessing for our band. As much as we love Australia, living in Los Angeles has allowed us to get closer to our fans and the people who listen to our music. Also, being able to surround yourself with so many other great artists and legends in the industry has been great!