King Super and two of the Excellents talk about what it takes to be… well… Excellent
With a name like King Super and the Excellents, it may be difficult to discern what these guys think of themselves, but seeing as they just won Sound Off, it seems a majority agree with them—they are pretty awesome. They dress up in crazy outfits, sing about turds, and after you can get them off discussing fainting goats or tripping cats, they seem like they really want to accomplish their goal. Blank is proud to show one of the first interviews, of many, that will pave the way to King Super and the Excellents goal of world domination (as according to David Bowers, Sam Quinn, and Steve Corrigan).
B: How did you all come up with the idea of starting the band?
SQ: Steve and Dave had the idea for this band.
SC: Yeah, it kind of started as an offhand remark at Curtis’s engagement party.
SQ: (Curtis Geren from Same As It Ever Was)
SC: I just asked [Dave] if he wanted to lead a band, and he said, “Sure.” So, I put a band together.
DB: Well, there were a couple of stipulations. We had to have an over the top name, play over the top music, and dress in costume.
SQ: Some of the original source material was just stuff that people were embarrassed to actually admit that they know, like that Meatloaf song, or the Karate Kid song.
SC: Or the first couple of shows, we played New Kids on the Block songs. Pretty much stuff you don’t want to admit you like outside of the shower.
DB: Yeah, things you turn down when you’re stopped at a red light with your windows down. People look over and see you singing along, and you think, “Oh, better turn that down a little bit.” You know, protect your reputation a little.
SQ: I think one of the main things that changed us, as a group, was Sound Off.
DB: Oh, yeah.
SQ: That was when we started writing our own excellent material.
SC: Yeah, we had to write original material to be in the competition. So, we did that. Then we won the first round. We had to write more songs for the second round, so we did that.
DB: It got to the day before the Sound Off when we came back from Lexington, and we got an e-mail asking if we were still doing it. So, we were like, “Yeah!” Then it sunk it, like oh, shit. We have to pick a song and learn it tonight, and then play it tomorrow.
SC: For our entrance CD we had to give them, we did really weird versions of pop songs. I was singing on our German techno song.
SQ: Just some crude demos.
SC: Yeah, some crude demos got us in there and then pretty much, I guess people enjoyed it.
SQ: It was light hearted.
DB: Yeah, very tongue in cheek. The German techno tune is about killing the last unicorn.
B: Whoa! That is so sad!
SC: No, I mean, he’s in no more pain or suffering.
DB: Yeah! And he helped us! We absorbed his powers.
SQ: Yeah, that’s how it works with unicorns.
SC: I don’t know if you’ve ever killed one, but it’s kind of like eating the heart of a buffalo. You get all their powers.
DB: It’s not all crap and rainbows.
SQ: There’s some serious business in here. We then expanded to writing a song about turds.
SC: Yeah, we wrote a nonfictional song about a turd.
SQ: The Market Square Turd Monster.
SC: It made the news.
DB: The facebook monster that swelled into a giant…
SC: One of our buddies has a shop and someone defecated on his back porch during Sun Down. He was on the news, and it caused a pretty big stink. Pun intended.
DB: It just got all blown out of proportion. It was the type of thing that if it had happened before facebook, you’d go yell about it, but in a fit of rage you say things you would not say.
SQ: And then all of a sudden you’re typing in caps.
SC: So the song is all about that turd.
DB: The one little turd causing such a big stink.
So, is the original material still coming? Will there be an album soon?
SC: Yeah, we just wrote another song last night, or wrapped it up. I’m not sure how many songs we have, but it’s somewhere around 5 or 7 or 10. And we kind of have to do some recording with our Sound Off riches. We’ll see how that goes.
SQ: Well the album is going to be recorded on flip phones. It’s low tech.
SC: No, no. Way lower tech. It’s going to be on one of those Fisher Price things with the microphone, yeah. That.
SQ: But it’s gonna be interesting when we hear the roughs of this album of our original material, all on one CD. It covers a lot of sacred ground.
SC: Yeah, there’s songs that sound like Marvin Gaye. We’ve got the German techno tune. Last night was a country song.
SQ: Stoner rock.
SC: Yeah, we’ve got stoner rock on there. I guess there’s a few Motown sounding ones. It’s all disguised very cleverly in crappy songs.
DB: It’s very innovative.
B: What about names for the album?
SC: We’re kicking around a couple. One is Popsicle Technology.
SQ: One is Hammer Time County.
SC: I think either of those would be great.
SQ: I think a lot of bands start out just because they have a few tunes and then fill it in with covers, but it’s interesting to see this thing get less and less cover-y and more and more actual song-y. Because our songs are really fun to play and they’re super funny. Making that switch where you’re just playing “Gimme Some Love” and then you’re playing “Art Rock Masterpiece.” And on a certain level this totally sucks, but then it’s actually kind of jammin’.
SC: Yeah, once you listen to it, it’s like, yeah that was kind of easy, and I guess I kind of like it.
B: How did King Super and the Excellents come to be the name?
SC: Well, we needed a name.
DB: The first gig right after Steve had brought the idea up to me came about at the Pub. I was sitting at the bar one Sunday at the Preservation Pub having a bloody mary, and Bernadette was sitting down the bar from me talking to the bartender about needing a band for November, and this was two days after Steve had asked me. So I said, “Yeah! We’ll play. I’m in a band.”
SC: Yeah, we hadn’t rehearsed yet or anything.
DB: Well, yeah it was just Steve and me in the band.
SC: Pretty much we got that gig and I went and picked out songs that were semi-terrible and semi-good at the same time. And then we had to fill out the rest of the players, which was pretty easy. Everything kind of worked itself out.
DB: “Honky-Tonk Badonk-a-donk,” we played that.
SC: Yeah, I almost didn’t get married because we learned that.
SQ: Out of two times we played that song, the first time was a joke, but the second time, we didn’t even want to finish the song. It was like, “Why?”
B: What are the long term goals for King Super? Any so far? Just playing it by ear?
SC: I think we could go to New York or L.A. with this gig.
DB: Well our name is King Super, I think world domination is definitely in our future.
SC: I heard they have a really good venue on the moon.
DB: Parking is going to be an issue though.
SQ: It’s a great environment; it just doesn’t have an atmosphere (pause).
SC: Ah, yeah, I guess Earth will do for now. But I think we’re going to try to get on the road with this band. We’d prefer a jet.
DB: But we’d take a van!
(Here we will skip over a few minutes of the interview, because there was a lot of discussion on whether fake names would be used for the interview or not. I am not sure if we ever reached a conclusion, but seeing as the names are still up on their facebook page, I decided to use their real names. We also discussed what Stevie Wonder and John Wayne’s real names were. Go look it up.)
B: Do you all have any influences other than being tongue in cheek and awesome?
DB: I came from a classical background to Meatloaf and Britney Spears.
SQ: I came from a sad rock background. But this is a chance for us to do stupid things, like wear stupid things that we couldn’t get away with.
DB: The whole thing is just fun. We have fun first, and then if we’re having fun, then we figure everyone else is having fun.
B: What was your favorite show you’ve played so far?
SC: Waynestock was pretty fun.
DB: Yeah, Waynestock was really fun, and our last Pub gig was a lot of fun.
SQ: That Lexington Wall show was epic.
SC: Yeah, we were able to tour around a bit to Lexington and Johnson City around Halloween, and the Lexington show was pretty good because we pretty much fogged this club out. There was no way of seeing your hand in front of your face. It got so bad the management and bouncer asked us to turn off. So, we turned it up. I mean, you could see the band, but not who was standing next to you. Which I guess is a problem in a club with stairs…
SQ: They couldn’t see to pour beer in the glasses.
DB: It was so thick it was getting hard to breathe. The air was thick.
SQ: Steve figured out how to work the machine.
SC: And I asked if we could use it, and they said, “I don’t care.” So I figured out the dials, and figured out how to maximize our fog. Which totally happened.
SQ: So, Steve tells me that I just need to bring it out onto the stage and turn it on. And the thing is going crazy. Dave turns around at some point and tells me to turn it down. So I turn around and wave at the dials with no intention of turning it down, because it is killing out there.
SC: You could see the exit sign and people. Apparently from the audience perspective, they could see nothing but us. So, I mean, what better way to listen to some Pink Floyd.
B: How about upcoming shows?
SC: Yeah, we’ve got a 4-20 show. It’s going to have a certain theme to it.
SQ: We’re thinking about maybe more fog, or maybe a smoke machine.
SC: It’s across the Square from the Pub. Should have a good contingency of people there that are sick and tired of all the awesome music that they get to hear at Rhythm and Blooms Festival and want to hear some crap. And the Best of Knoxville party at the Square Room on the fourth of May will be a free show. Then on Cinco de Mayo we’ll have another free show at Market Square stage. All these shows will be pretty on point. We’re throwing around new ideas. As you play different places, you have to change the sound to accommodate. The Pub versus Market Square stage is different.
SQ: Pure volume. Like, the other day, Steve just goes, “Who cares how loud we are? We’re outside.”
SC: Some people like control; I say go to Burger King if you want control. Control your own hamburger.
SQ: Yeah, but we’ve got a website, kingsuperband.com .
SC: Yeah, it’s in the works, but it’s up. There’s going to be a lot more stuff added to it.
DB: There’s going to be a lot more lies.
SC: And anyone in the free world who wants us to play can contact us through that.
DB: My birthday!
SC: Oh, yeah we have July 7th on the books at the Pub.
The rest of the interview mainly concentrated on starting inter-Knoxville-band wars, and let me just tell you—Vinyl iPod and White Cosbys, they are after you first. They wanted to include a date and time to fight, but were not sure that they had the blessing of the rest of the band, Kenton Martin and Rusty Davidson. They did agree that their assault would probably end up being King Super and the Excellents versus the world, but that just comes with the challenge of world domination. (Campaign buttons will be available soon.)