Aussie band King Cannons are happy to sit back and let modern music die. Lead singer, Luke Yeoward, tells us about the inspiration behind your new favourite band.
Inked: Do you have a first magical musical memory?
Luke Yeoward: Yeah I do. I remember really, really loving Icehouse and that song ‘Electric Blue’. I used to have to listen to that song, when I was three or four, every night before I went to sleep. I had a little tape player and my mum used to put it on repeat and it used to keep playing, flip the tape and rewind, and keep going ’til I fell asleep. And then of course a couple of years later I went through the Michael Jackson phase and used to bounce around on the kitchen floor in my socks just being an idiot really. So I feel like I’ve always been doing it.
Love it! Icehouse! Yeah, still to this day! What a fucking great pop song.
Where did your passion for music come from? I think my first breath of oxygen is where it started, but it’s something that has always been instilled in me – fortunately and unfortunately – I’ve never been able to escape from it. It’s something I have always done and will most likely always do. [Sings] I was born this way.
What was it like making the King Cannons debut album? Was it a hard process? Yes and no. It’s not hard in comparison to what some people do. It’s not like laying bricks, it wasn’t that hard, but we had our trials and tribulations. I think it was mentally demanding. Especially when you’re steering the ship creatively, but it was fun. I started writing at the beginning of 2011 and it took me a couple of months and then we started laying down demos and figured out which songs we wanted to have produced on the record. It was pretty hard; we had a producer that was fantastic at capturing our song live, but it meant that our rhythm section had to be really tight and, of course, our drummer Josh was struggling a little through that process so I had to let him go and we got a new drummer at the start of the year, then laid down a few more tracks, one of which being the title track for the new album ‘The Brightest Light’. Dan McKay, who plays in The Nation Blue, has joined the band, that’s where we are at now, but ups and downs and little chips off the boulder falling off eventually formed a nice sculpture, I think.
You’ve always been a consumer of music. What influenced this album the most? It’s really hard to pinpoint one specific thing because I remember sitting in my room and every day I’d be reading a different book, or listening to a different record, or watching something. Being a sponge for all this different music and things other artists have done it. I really try to educate myself when it comes to song writing. If I was to say a couple of things I’d say soul music, especially Strum ’60s and modern day stuff as well. I’d say obviously rhythm and blues and rock ‘n’ roll and such, but that’s a given. Folk and country, and lastly, Jamaican music. It’s just trying to be influenced by all those things and still produce something that sounds like King Cannons, you know? I think I put my personal story on all of those genres and see them in my own way. That’s king of the result.
So what was your first? My first tattoo was a skull and crossbones with a banner on my back that stood for ‘Hamilton Pirate Movement’, which was my punk rock gang of friends that I was in when I was 16.
The reason why I have so many tattoos is because I have been lucky enough to have friends who are tattoo artists and if I like a person, then I’ll get tattooed by them. It’s usually because they make it affordable for me and it’s usually ‘I’ll advertise your work and you tattoo me for free’ [laughs]. And that’s it. I can’t really afford to get tattoos and I’ve had good friends who have hooked me up. Like when Rose Hardy would tattoo me I would go in and clean and sterilise all her equipment for her and it would take me an hour so she’d pay me by doing an hour’s work on me. We’ve known each for ages. Or when I was working at Green Lotus for a while Dan Power, who is now in Perth, he tattooed my whole back for me because I booked in all his jobs and cleaned all his stuff for him. We just got on really we and so he was like “Hey lets put a huge fucking tiger on your back. What do you think about that?” and I was like “Sure that sounds fantastic, lets spend the next year doing that.” That being said, as much as I love tattoos, tattoos don’t mean much to me and if I had the choice now I would quite happily have none.
Would you get any tattoos removed?If I had less I would get some removed, but when you are completely covered then where do you start? It’s like you have a really dirty floor and you get the bleach out and you start with this one little patch and all of a sudden it is like I’ve got this white spot on my floor and you have to make the whole floor white or it will look pretty fucking stupid, you know?
Is there one that’s the most significant on a body covered with tattoos? Well, there is a bunch, but I have a key on my thumb that is kind of important as my wife has the locket on her arm. So that’s kind of nice and significant.
words by Vanessa Morgan