Exclusive Interview: Hey, King!
Natalie London & Taylor Plecity are Hey, King! The indie band are releasing their debut EP on April 2, which was produced by four-time Grammy winner Ben Harper. The album is filled with songs depicting resilience as both bandmates had tumultuous pasts, female empowerment anthems, and LOVE as Natalie London & Taylor Plecity have been a couple for six years! We had to talk to them on it all.
SRS: First off, what’s the story behind your name?
London: The origins of the band came about as I was recovering from a near-death illness that left me bedridden for years. I’d watch the Spike Jonze film “Where the Wild Things Are” and long for an outlet for adventure, rage, and wanderlust, so I created a new band along with my new life, I kept hearing the wild things yell for Max “Hey, King!” and it clicked!
SRS: What was it like working with 4x Grammy winner Ben Harper on your LP?
Plecity: It was really something working with Ben. Whenever Natalie would think of an arrangement, Ben did everything to make it come to fruition for the song. That was truly a gift.
London: The most amazing part about working with Ben in the studio was the fact that it became this crazy musical wonderland. When I would throw out wanting to use vibraphone, for instance, we wouldn’t just grab a keyboard and a midi sample…Ben would hit up someone to go to his storage unit and next thing we knew, we’d be jamming out on a 4-foot vibraphone. He gave us the space to see our ideas fully through.
Plecity: But I think we’d both say the highlight was when he took us on the road! We did three North American tours with him and it was amazing. His audiences were incredible and so supportive – we can’t wait to meet them again!
SRS: Do you each have a favorite song off the record?
London: Oh man that’s so hard! Right now I’d say “Lucky” simply because of the layers and layers of arrangements and just the sound we got out of that one. That song, musically I feel like really matches what I was hoping to express emotionally, so that always makes me happy!
Plecity: I would say my favorite song off this record is “Sorry”. I never get bored listening to it, and I had to listen to it many times between the studio and mixing. “Sorry” is a very raw song because at the root it’s a love song, but love isn’t all raindrops and lollipops, it can be miscommunicating. And I love how this song shows a side of that as well as the love.
SRS: You both have interesting backgrounds growing up. How did that shape you into artists?
London: I think it had a MAJOR impact in the role that art played in both are lives. I desperately needed art not only to escape but to give me validation to feel the way I was feeling, I think that’s one of the greatest gifts art can give you and my hope is that we can give that to someone else as well out there who needs it.
Plecity: I think my background shaped me as an artist because I know the work I want to create much clearer now. If not for anime, books, and film, I don’t even know the kind of person I would be. So, I try to make art that I know my younger self would’ve benefited from seeing or hearing, like the shows and content that pulled me out.
SRS: How do you balance your relationship and music?
London: Nametags. 100% best idea ever.
Plecity: Ha! Yes! Nametags are a lifesaver. We started creating physical name tags to compartmentalize different aspects of our relationship: bandmate, co-director, girlfriend, etc. It helps bring some humor to the stress and remind each other to not take everything personally.
London: Overall though, it’s incredible doing this together. The lows can be hard because we are both experiencing them and can’t necessarily be an objective source during those times but damn, there is nothing like experiencing the greatest highs with the love of your life. To be on stage together in front of 5000 people in the middle of Anchorage Alaska, or the high of hanging out with new fans in the middle of the night in Missoula Montana, to have the chance to do all these adventures together is nothing less than a miracle.
Plecity: Seriously, I still have no idea how in the world I was lucky enough to find her, let alone be able to share this crazy artistic journey of music, film, and sharing my life with the greatest human I’ve ever met!
London: I’m putting on my girlfriend name tag and buying you dinner for that answer!
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SRS: What’s the best advice on love you have ever received?
London: My grandparents were the most IN LOVE two people I’ve ever met, I know their advice was to “never go to sleep angry” but I feel like their advice came mostly in watching how they interacted – they always had each other’s back, always found a way to laugh, and were just so easy around each other. It was seeing them do all the little things, that’s subconsciously I think the best advice I got, I try to never miss the little things.
Plecity: Anime played a huge role in how I approach love. I think this is from Code Geass and playing a theme in the series for one of the characters: You’ll never be able to love someone until you love yourself.
SRS: What’s your five-year plan looking like? Marriage? An EP? World Domination? All of the above?
London: Oh, definitely all of the above. Can’t wait to marry this one and can’t wait to keep creating. In the near future, hoping to get back on the road, seeing new places, and connecting with new people through music!
Plecity: I don’t want to rule the world, but I would love to sit on top of it! YES on marriage, this girl is too brilliant and perfect for me to not have that in my near future! As for the five-year plan, I think touring and film festivals for the content I’ve been working on would be a solid sight. I also plan on finishing film school soon! So, I’m really excited about that!
SRS: What have you been watching during quarantine?
London: Omg, I’m pretty sure I’ve watched everything there is to be watched, like, Netflix told me to go home. My guilty favorites though have been the really terrible reality shows: Married at First Sight, screaming at Kody through my TV watching SisterWives, all that terrible nonsense. My favorite were the docu-series though – McMillions was one of the best I’ve ever seen.
Plecity: Um.. this is pretty embarrassing because even before quarantine I’ve been a huge weeb, but I have watched more anime in the last year than I have in my entire life. AOT has been a year favorite of mine, re-watching the previous seasons and keeping up the part 1 of the final season! I also fell into a rabbit hole of sports anime -not my proudest moments, but sports anime can be pretty mwha chef’s kiss! I’m always down to binge anime, so if you have any recs hit me up!