The Red King, released on April 29 is my first ever EP, and after many long months of hard work I’m super excited to have it finally released! The standout songs to be found on The Red King are track 2-Angels Mark, and track 4-Lucifers Ward. Angels Mark is the real heavy hitter of the EP, truly captivating the energy of The Red King, whilst track 4, Lucifers Ward, brings some needed relief in the form of a primarily vocal and acoustic driven song.
Lucifer Gunne is me, Rory McDonald, a singer/guitarist/songwriter from Wellington NZ. Originally from the UK, I have been playing guitar since 2008, and started writing songs in 2014. Written in an alternative style with metal influences, The Red King is my first EP and is a collection of songs which swing between Angels and Devils/ Good and Bad, with a pendulum between the two. My style has been shaped by listening to artists such as Marilyn Manson, Stone Sour and Gorillaz. Though The Red King did start out as a solo project and until very recently was one, I have finally met some fellow musicians I’m happy to work with, and play gigs with in the future. We haven’t been a full band project for long, but myself and Don Mackenzie, lead guitarist for the band, are already writing new material, and some of this will be played at our upcoming gig at the Thistle Hall, June 10th. This gig will also double as our EP release party, so anyone wanting to get their hands on The Red King will be able to come down, listen to the show, and buy the EP. Our current plans aren’t set in stone for now, but what we do know is that we will keep writing and performing for as long as we can, and keep writing the music we love.
Q: How did you become involved in music?
A: Both my parents are musicians, my dad a drummer and my mum plays clarinet and saxophone. Music was something that always appealed to me even from a young age. I have a vivid memory of watching the American Idiot music video on TV and everything just kind of clicked from that point. It’s always just been a great outlet for me to do whatever I want without any creative limitations.
Q: If you could perform with anyone in the world who, would it be and why?
A: Marilyn Manson is definitely a name that comes to mind. Whether you’re a fan or not there’s no denying that he’s a smart man if you choose to listen to what he has to say, rather than judging a book by its cover, plus I just love his music full stop.
Q: Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?
A: I would have to say on this release it would definitely have to be Lucifers Ward. Without trying to sound cocky, I feel like I brought something original to an acoustic piece, which is something I haven’t heard from any artist in a while.
Q: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?
A: My short answer here is probably gonna be Alternative, but I wouldn’t stick it to just that. I listen to a lot of different music, I’m really into rap type music, and Kendrick Lamar being a huge influence on me (To Pimp a Butterfly is one of my favourite albums released in recent times). Nu and Industrial Metal also play a big part, such as System of a Down, Slipknot, and previously mentioned Marilyn Manson. I’m not sure how these influences come into play, speaking in terms of my music, but there are definitely a variety of sounds I hear in my music, not usually from the same person or genre.
Q: What can we expect to see from you in the next year?
A: Nothing is set in stone at this point, but I’d really love to try and get some material out with my current band, even some touring outside of Wellington would be awesome to do. I’m just going to be trying to get this project up and running and see where I can take it for the most part.
Q: What local albums have you been enjoying recently?
A: Mishaps killed their last EP. I’ve been listening to it a lot recently and really love it. I can’t wait to hear more from those guys. Nothing else local has been appealing to me recently to be fair.
Q: Have you got any tips for dealing with nerves before a gig?
A: I haven’t got anything really substantial here, just get up there and if you’ve put the effort in beforehand it’s really gonna show when you’re up on the stage. It’s always good to have nerves to make sure you’re not going overboard, just don’t let it get to you and you should be sweet.
Q: How do you balance your music with other obligations; family, job etc?
A: I feel extremely lucky with my current position musically. Both my parents are helping out where they can, my dad especially, who helped with the majority of the recording at our home studio as well as trying to get my music out there. Without his help there’s no way this EP would’ve been released. My Job doesn’t get too much in the way either, as everything the band does is usually in the afternoon anyway. All of us band members just talk on social media about ideas for songs and gigs as it is, so I’m not really juggling my Job and music career at the moment. It mainly just comes down to practice and writing, and nothing else gets in the way.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration to create music from?
A: Anything, really. Anything that bugs me or makes me feel a certain way will usually be written down to be used as lyrics. I also love concept albums as well, such as American Idiot or Antichrist Superstar. It’s just like fitting a movie into 8 or so songs, and each track is a scene from the film. That is something I really want to try and go for on whatever we release next.
Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?
A: I don’t have much, but I think the best thing to do is just go for it, y’know? I didn’t even have a band during the whole process of writing and recording The Red King, but I still took the opportunity up because I knew I had to go for it. I have to at least try and see where I can take this. Whether I have a band or not, I’m still going to keep writing and releasing music because it’s just something I love. If you love music then there shouldn’t be any limitations, and it took me a while to realise that, but it’s true.