Kings on the Rise

meets King No-One frontman Zach Lount to discuss the band’s bright future

Photo: Artist PR

King No-One are known to most York locals as the band regularly seen busking on street corners, and their local dedication has paid off. Four years since the band formed the Yorkshire-born foursome have already built a strong fanbase, completed a sell-out tour and secured main stage slots at several UK festivals. A stone’s throw away from their usual busking spots in York, lead singer Zach Lount sat down over coffee – almond latte, one-shot – to share the secrets of this young band’s success.

The band was built on old friendships, Zach explains. “[Joe Martin] and I, the guitarist, have been friends for too long really, an alarming amount of time, it must be 11 or 12 years now, I can’t keep count. It’s always been a musical friendship. As musicians you just try bands out and that’s how I met James. Then we started King No-One. I pulled in my best friends that I’d been in bands with before. And it worked.”

A huge part of their image is their political activism, an attribute which sets them apart from the crowd. Even their name has political undertones. “Our name is King No-One. No-one is king, we’re all one equal. We were always going to be politically active”. A keen feminist, Zach appreciates the importance of male voices talking about women’s rights, and isn’t afraid a potential backlash. “As far as I’m concerned if somebody doesn’t agree that we’re all one equal and thinks a man is far more important than a woman then I don’t want them at my shows anyway.”Dedicated from day one, the band started out setting up on the streets of York, performing and selling CDs, until they became a regular feature of the local music scene. “I over-busked in York,” Zach jokes, “it was pretty horrific how many times we used to busk here.” The unconventional move allowed the band to go full-time straight

I’m not a massive fan of the kind of music people often categorise us with

Dedicated from day one, the band started out setting up on the streets of York, performing and selling CDs, until they became a regular feature of the local music scene. “I over-busked in York,” Zach jokes, “it was pretty horrific how many times we used to busk here.” The unconventional move allowed the band to go full-time straight away, and helped them develop a strong and loyal fanbase. Once York had been exhausted they began playing on street corners across the country, connecting with the cities they visited and building a buzz around their new sound.Those hours busking clearly paid off, with the band fresh off an almost sell-out 14-day tour. Just three dates failed to shift all their tickets, while Manchester sold out a month in advance. “We didn’t expect them to be as busy as they were. And what was most interesting was that it was all the ones towards the end, the buzz from the first couple of nights and the videos we put up made people excited and want to go.”

Those hours busking clearly paid off, with the band fresh off an almost sell-out 14-day tour. Just three dates failed to shift all their tickets, while Manchester sold out a month in advance. “We didn’t expect them to be as busy as they were. And what was most interesting was that it was all the ones towards the end, the buzz from the first couple of nights and the videos we put up made people excited and want to go.”It isn’t hard to see why King No-One have built such hype. Their creative aesthetic and off-beat sound

It isn’t hard to see why King No-One have built such hype. Their creative aesthetic and off-beat sound stands out in the over-saturated alternative rock scene. Determined to break the mould, Zach is clear that they are more than just another indie band. “I’m not a massive fan of the kind of music people categorise us with. I don’t listen to these ‘hot indie bands’, it’s just not my taste at all. We get compared to them, but I think that’s just because it’s four white guys in a band. But that’s not the music I’m writing when I pick up a guitar.”A cursory listen of their most recent singles reveals a band quickly developing a strong sound. Their latest release ‘Antichrist’ is perhaps their best yet. As Zach reveals, the single marks a new stage of experimentation in the band’s discography. “It’s alternative rock, but at the moment we are experimenting with mixing classic hip-hop with our kind of indie rock. Our last single ‘Antichrist’ is kind-of inspired by that early-2000s dark hip-hop. It was quite subconscious really. We just didn’t like what other bands of our genre were doing. It’s got that feel of Dr Dre or even 50 Cent in some of the verses.”

I over-busked in York, it was pretty horrific how many times we busked there

A cursory listen of their most recent singles reveals a band quickly developing a strong sound. Their latest release ‘Antichrist’ is perhaps their best yet. As Zach reveals, the single marks a new stage of experimentation in the band’s discography. “It’s alternative rock, but at the moment we are experimenting with mixing classic hip-hop with our kind of indie rock. Our last single ‘Antichrist’ is kind-of inspired by that early-2000s dark hip-hop. It was quite subconscious really. We just didn’t like what other bands of our genre were doing. It’s got that feel of Dr Dre or even 50 Cent in some of the verses.”It can’t be understated how quickly this foursome is on the rise. An unsigned band with no debut album, the band already has a slot on the NME Stage at Reading Festival – the first unsigned band ever to do so – and a main stage spot at Y Not Festival. Unsurprisingly, Zach has big ambitions for the band’s first album. “It’s something we intend to do eventually but at the minute there’s kind of no rush. We’ll keep going until that album’s so anticipated. And we’re waiting for that number one spot.”

It can’t be understated how quickly this foursome is on the rise. An unsigned band with no debut album, the band already has a slot on the NME Stage at Reading Festival – the first unsigned band ever to do so – and a main stage spot at Y Not Festival. Unsurprisingly, Zach has big ambitions for the band’s first album. “It’s something we intend to do eventually but at the minute there’s kind of no rush. We’ll keep going until that album’s so anticipated. And we’re waiting for that number one spot.”

Chatting to Zach, it’s clear King No-One are at the start of an exciting trajectory. You can’t help but get the feeling that we have barely scratched the surface of what they have to offer. In an increasingly corporate and repetitive scene, a band like this is just what music needs. Their fresh approach and sheer enthusiasm is a breath of fresh air, and their limited discography teases at even better sounds to come. King No-One are a band determined to do good things and leave their mark wherever they go. They are the very definition of ‘ones to watch’.

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