Mark: Ok, tonight, we’re chatting with Alan Nimmo from King King about the new album Maverick, which was originally due to be released on 16th of October this year, but is now going to be released on the 9th of November. It’s an absolute pleasure to have the opportunity to chat with you. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us here on the show.
Alan: My pleasure. My pleasure. And can I just kind of just jump in and tell you that it’s the 6th of November, not the night. I don’t want people being a bit late for that. I mean, it might worry me if people don’t buy the album for three years (laughs)
Mark: No problem.Can you give us a little background on yourself and how you started out in the music industry?
Alan: Oh, goodness. If I can remember that far back. Oh, goodness. Well, my mother is a huge fan of music, huge, huge particular blues and kind of classic rock funk. She was always a fan of in particular of Peter Green. And Steve Marrott, Humble Pie. And things like that, you know, BeBop Delux,and that kind of stuff. And she was always playing records in the house. And then there was an old acoustic guitar laying in the corner of the living room. That was beat up and held together with gaffer tape and
it was a coat hanger for a long time, you know, it was. And eventually, you know, my brother and I, my brother, being six years older than me, started playing guitar, started getting interested in bands and stuff, and of course, were perfectly honest. I actually just copied oh look Steven’s playing guitar, I’ll do that as well and that kind of thing. But I really am so glad because I discovered my own passion for actually playing music and playing an instrument. And then I got a school band together and stuff as you do when you’re that age. And I started playing a bunch of old covers and rock and roll songs and you name it, all the cliches.We’ve done them all.
And then I’ve got a real interest in blues after that really. And I sort of ventured out and started meeting up with probably a bunch of guys that were a lot older than me. And I’d start to get into blues music and bands and started touring around Glasgow and sort of the areas of Scotland. And then, you know, we had the Blackwater Blues Band for a long time with actually the current bass player in the band now Andy Greenshields him and and I started that back along with my brother, who’s now in King King, and it’s sort of a reunion twenty five odd years later on. But I started King King with the ex bass player Lindsay Culson in 2008. And, you know, Lindsay had previously played bass with the Nimmo brothers. And we stayed friends, stayed in touch and we were always chatting about putting a band together and doing something. And so we did. And we were an out and out blues band when we started and we wanted to do something that was kind of like the fabulous Thunderbirds or the Red Devil, that kind of thing. Because at that time, everyone had moved from playing blues to trying to do this. Everyone was doing this crossover thing.
They were trying to make it blues, rock, blues, funk, blues, soul. And all of a sudden there was no actual blues band left. So we thought, we’ll do a bit of that. Yeah. And then and then, you know, when it came to songwriting, all of the stuff that was kind of deep seated and embedded in me as an influence from when I was young, when I was a kid, just seemed to start, you know, coming bubbling up to the surface and it turns out that in terms of songwriting, it wasn’t actually blues. So it was writing that I was interested in writing more songs. And I discovered so many things about myself as well, you know, realising what kind of things went in there and stayed in. And I realised that not only was I a massive fan of people like T Bone Walker and B.B. King, I also loved the kind of 80s pop and AOR bands and all that kind of nice melody, catchy choruses. It just went in and then at some stage and stayed because that’s what seems to be influencing my writing at the moment for the last few years anyway. So. And there you are up to speed. now, probably will be five or six albums.
Mark: You briefly touched on the new line up there with Andrew Scott on drums, Johnny Dyken and obviously your brother as well. How did you arrive at that line up then?
Alan: You know, I was feeling like, changes needed to be made and so on, so to coincide with Lindsay, the bass player, who our partners in the whole business of King
King. He came to me with his own decision that he wanted to basically stop, not necessarily move on. He just needed to for his own personal private family reasons, he needed to be able to step down from the band. And that was one of those things where I had other ideas in mind as well as that. So I thought, well, you know what I need a new bass player, a new drummer at this point. So the bass playing choice which I thought was going to be extremely difficult, with not having had my partner and my Best Pal, they’re not there anymore. But it was an easy choice for me to go there because I met Zanda when I was 14. And we’ve been the closest friends like family really ever since. And I knew what he was capable of. I knew how much enthusiasm he had for the band as well, just from being a friend, just watching from the side and looking at how things have gone over the years. And I knew that he was a talented player and he was a good backing and vocals as well.
So we know that all the boxes were ticked. So that was a plus, and more importantly, I had an old buddy there, an old friend and ally in a band who would stand by my side. And we and we stumbled across Andrew the drummer and we kind of I mean, it’s like it’s been a standing joke among us for years that, you know, you’re trying to find a really hot drummer in Scotland. And although there are a good few, they’re very hard to come by. And we basically discovered this, the absolute diamond, out of nowhere. And I watched a few videos of Andrew playing some demo stuff. And I just knew that he was a great player. And then we got in touch and it turned out it was also a great guy who’s extremely enthusiastic about being in the band as well. So he’s brought another level of musicality to the band and musicianship, to the band, because he’s a real top end drummer. And I’m so glad that we managed to snap them up before somebody else does. And then, of course, what with how things were progressing and have been progressing musically for quite a while now. I’ve been secretly, quietly planning on another guitar player coming in for quite a while, for a few years.
So but to be honest, you know, there was only one guitar player that I was ever prepared to work with and that was going to be my brother. So as long as I could get him onside, that eventually when the time was right, I was going to ask him because, you know, most importantly for me and King King knows, I really like to engage with the audience. I really want to have a real good relationship with them on and off the stage as well, of course. But that engagement with the audience, I think really and if you managed to take them on that journey with you and that was becoming more difficult than I wanted it to be because I felt like I was spinning a few plates around and patting my head and Rubbing my stomach. But it’s getting a bit complicated, you know, to try and concentrate because I had to compromise on guitar playing areas to be able to sing properly and prioritize that. And then when you’re doing that and not trying to do too many things, you kind of, you can glaze over at times. I mean, and then you realize you’re not engaged with your audience anymore. So for that reason, it was important that we had someone to help. And of course, we’ve got like, I’ve got the cream of the crop when it comes to backing vocals, because I’ve got absolutely an amazing singer that can not only not only provide a great voice and a great guitar talent and Stevie Nimmo coming into any band going to improve it.
So that was great. But Stevie and I obviously being brothers and worked together for so many years as well. He was automatically, he was telepathic almost. He can slot into what I’m doing easily and without thinking about it, and it fits the phrasing of his vocal, so harmonizing is great because it just works because we can sing the same way. He’s got an amazing talent for getting into my head and knowing exactly what I’m going to do and then following in with it. I mean, it’s just this that’s just natural. There’s nothing more natural than that for us. And that’s something that’s actually very, very apparent to see, as well as hear from an audience point of view. So it was only a good decision to have him come in the band. And when I went out and when I proposed it to him, he was, of course, more than happy. So that made me very happy.anaaaa And, you know, just the way we’ve been things have been sounding lately in rehearsals and stuff was just a great chemistry between everyone. So it’s working well.
Mark: Excellent. The new album is called Maverick, which is an unorthodox or independent minded person. Why Maverick then?
Alan: Well, I think you’ve just answered your question for who you’re talking to. Yes, I mean, absolutely. It was a well, sort of I was a tip of the cap to two little things. One was the fact that, yes, I you know, I was I had to make very bold decisions last year. Obviously, with you know I was King King, looking at it from the outside, thinking I was doing very well, very successful and working really well. But, you know,I wanted changes for the better. I wanted to up the level of what we were doing in every aspect. And I made a few bold changes in terms of changing the line up and everything else and moving from the record label and management and all that stuff. So, you know, there were a few,you know, risky decisions that were made and also when I was when I was a bit of a child I was always known as A bit of a dare Devil and that kind of thing as well. So there was nothing I wouldn’t try without being asked as my mother used to say, if someone told you to jump over a bridge you’d do it. I used to say yes, I can. It’s like, oh, my goodness. I kinda like that from both those angles.
Mark: And also some of the tracks “Never give in” “Whatever it takes to survive” “Fire in my soul”“I will not fail”.” Everything will be alright”. Kinda of like reemphasizes. I almost like it was a challenge for you shall we say. And you kind of picked up that baton.
Alan: Yeah. I mean, you know, ever since ever since day one. There’s always been. There always was. And there always will be. Probably there’s always hurdles in your way. There’s always something that comes up to challenge and to challenge. How are we going to carry on and how we move forward. And there’s always something getting in the way. And I think the difference is how you deal with it and how you pick yourself up. And what I wanted from this album rather than a rather sort of doom and gloom, defeatist sort of lyrical content. I wanted it to be hopeful. I wanted to be uplifting and hopeful while still addressing the same issues and the same kind of problems that we have along the way all the time and life or in work or whatever. You want people to relate to it. But it’s about basically saying, you know, keep on going, keep on trying, no matter what. We will prevail, you know.
Mark: And I guess that’s the whole theme of the album then, really is that you’re kind of like a personal struggle is probably not the right word, but your desire or your drive to get to where you are now, I guess.
Alan: Well, yeah. I mean, of course. And not only that, but there’s much more to achieve for this band and myself. You know, there’s much more to achieve. As you know, I know the bands, the band’s been going for over 10 years, but I still consider that to be right at the beginning. You know, we’re only just scratching the surface here. You know, we’ve got a lot more to achieve and lots more to do. And there’s lots more to come from this band. And that’s what really excites me. The fact that, you know, it’s so fresh to me,so am I am still so enthusiastic about it that it feels like we haven’t even begun. So yeah, I definitely wanted that to be the theme. I mean, it was definitely I mean, there’s personal issues in there as well, of course,I sing from my life experiences. But I just try to make it lyrically universal for people to relate to and whatever’s going on in their lives that triggers something for them as well. So I don’t want to just I just don’t want to talk about me, me, me, me, me. I just I just try and make it something that people can understand and get themselves.
Mark: So and then the first single “Never give in”. What made you choose that as the sort of like lead single, shall we say?
Alan: Well, actually never given the second single from from the album. The first single was “I Will Not Fail”. And I mean, in terms of lyrical content and seeming meaningful they’re very similar songs. And I think that was that’s why they were chosen as a single one and single two, because it’s probably the most direct that we could be in the album, of sending that kind of message of saying, well, you know, no matter what comes our way, we will keep on going and endeavouring to try harder and keep going. And we will bounce back and we will we’ll get through this. And that’s why. But I mean, also at the same time,I think those two songs are a magnificent, a link between previous music that we’ve done and the new music, I think it’s a nice sort of cross section saying this is definitely new music from King King, but it’s King king nonetheless. And, you know, that’s easy to identify.
Mark: Yeah. And the writing process, because obviously Stevie’s on board now and you wrote some of the stuff with him and Xander and Jonny. Did that change the dynamics of how you wrote it? Was it pretty much business as usual, shall we say?
Alan: Well, you know what, myself and Johnny sort of just spent a lot of time together, just piecing the songs together and basically doing the bulk of the ideas. And obviously I write all of the lyrics. And I get some help with lyrics from my brother as well at times, but Johnny and Is on sit and did the bulk of it then. Then we take it to the guys and we get input from them as well. Which can always come at a great time because you know, the expertise that they have in their own musical field can bring something that I may have messed up or just, not thought about. So all that comes as a you know, it’s a great comfort and it’s great to have that. So as long you’re not the type of person who is not, you know, ridiculously precious over these things and you want to welcome input and which ultimately is the goal is to make the song the best it can be. So that’s that’s the process.
Mark: And obviously, you were planning to tour the album. That’s not going to happen, I assume, now, given everything that’s going on in the real world.
Alan: Yeah, well, yeah. And it’s unfortunate that there’s nothing going to happen in 2020, basically. So that’s a real shame. But, you know, we have rescheduled in February for the UK through. And at the end of the day, you know, let’s face it, we’re all we’re all still in the dark here. But what’s going to happen or where to go? All we can do is we’ve rescheduled the dates and we’ll just do our best to prepare for that. We’ll get ready for that. we’ll treat that as if. Yes, absolutely. Right now it’s going ahead. So that’s the way we’re going. That’s the way we’re going to look at it. And we’re just going to get ourselves prepared and ready for anything else that’s completely out of our hands. There’s absolutely nothing we can do to change the government’s mind about what they want to do. Absolutely. What we can do is say, well, you know, we’ve been told that we can do this. Then we as a band will just prepare for that and just have to hope and pray that. That all goes ahead and things are back to normal by that’s. But who knows,
Mark: There’s a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel at the moment, isn’t it? Some venues are beginning to open up a little bit more now. So maybe maybe next year, as you say, who have you?
Alan: Well, hopefully, you know, as long as, you know, if we if we can all just sort of, you know, regardless of anyone’s opinion on anything about what’s going on, you know, if they say, like, you know, do this, do that, you know, stay at home or, you know, we’ll just have to just try our best and just do what was asked. Then we get through it quicker. Yeah. You know, that’s the trouble. We just need we just need the human race to pull together for once, instead of being divided as normal, just pull together as a whole planet and and repair this and and fix the damage. And then we can all go on and resume normal service.
Mark: OK, so the album is out in November. It’s on your own label, Channel nine music. Where can our listeners get a copy of the album?
Alan: Well, if you head to KingKing.co.uk , which is our website, you will be guided there to the online store where you can preorder for the moment. There are various bundles to order. We’ve got some colored vinyl. There’s a bonus CD as well with some live acoustic stuff on there. You can choose which bundles you want to get. So I would urge people to get the preorders in now. And then obviously November six will be the release date where you’ll find that via the website again. And it will be at the usual outlet stores as well as online as well.
Mark: That’s perfect. Well, thanks for taking your time out, your busy schedule to chat with us here. Much appreciated. And good luck with the new album.
Alan: Thanks. Mark Cheers