Hello Ryan! Great to have some time with you today! We heard that you have new music dropping early this year. Is that true?
Thank you…it’s my pleasure to be with you. Flattered that, after all these years, people still CARE!
Yes! The new album is called Occam’s Foil, and it was just released everywhere. We are so very proud of it, and I think people are going to want to listen a few times to soak it all in.
I have released 6 albums under the name “Little King” since 1997, so we have been at this for awhile. In listening back to the first couple records and comparing them to the new one, I am proud of the progression. Having said that, it’s still cool to dive back into the 23 year old Me and remember the spark that inspired those early creations. I may not have been any GOOD, but at least I had heart.
What can you share with us about it? Do you have a title for the album yet?
Our new record is called Occam’s Foil, and it is a 5-song compendium of tunes that were written and recorded in late 2019. We are so excited for people to dive into it. True to Little King’s history, the songs all reflect a common theme, which in this case relates to the well-known philosophy that is called “Occam’s Razor.” Basically, that theorem dictates that the most simple answer is usually the correct one, absent extenuating circumstances. It is used often in medical diagnoses (if you go to the doctor with the sniffles and a cough, it’s probably a cold virus and not Ebola…unless you’ve been to deepest darkest Africa and have been exposed to it!) To this, I say “BOLLOCKS!”
I write to inspire, and the new album, both musically and lyrically, implores our audience to think and listen a little more critically. Father William of Occam used his philosophy, I think in part, to influence people to not think so much…just do as you’re told and God will work it out. In our modern society, ANY and EVERY problem should be solvable, if we would just work together and find common ground. We can do it on our own, but to examine things on a more granular level, to share those thoughts in a respectful and thoughtful way, that is the path to enlightenment!
The new songs on Occam’s Foil reflect that desire. They are somewhat simple musically, at least on the surface. I used to take after some of my prog heroes and try and throw a ton of odd time signatures and jolting stops and starts into the music. I’m over it! Instead, I like the changes and the odd times to be subtle and to flow within the context of a good composition. One new song, “The Foil,” is rather tongue-in-cheek as I sing “Keep it simple, stupid stupid, you can dance to this…” Indeed, you can dance to it, but it ain’t THAT simple. The “foil” to anything is basically the counter-argument. And I counter that simplicity does NOT always lead you to the right answer, both in life and in music.
Did you write the new material as a band or are you more of a solo writer? If so, can you give us some insight on what that is like for you? Anything you do that will really spark creativity to get a song written?
My process for the last 23 years has basically been the same. I write all of the music first, on my old Washburn acoustic guitar that my dad gave me in 1988 for Christmas. That thing is quite literally my oldest surviving possession. So I put the songs together, or at least the ideas and the flow, and then I present them to the band at large.
For Occam’s Foil, I played with my friend Manny Tejeda for the first time. He’s an excellent all-around musician, and his bass parts fit so well with the vibe of the new record. He is also an accomplished singer and guitar player, and we are such good friends that the writing process has never been more fun and satisfying. Manny has excellent ears, so he picks things up quickly and makes all of my songs better.
We then traveled back to El Paso, where I always record. My brother for life and drummer/engineer Eddy Garcia, aka “Grandpa Eddy Razor,” owns a studio called Krank, and I have recorded the last 4 LK albums there (he also played drums on the last 3.) Eddy has a background in metal, as his band Pissing Razors is famous in that world, and he has also played with Overkill and Ministry. Serious bona fides! So Eddy adds his parts, we track them, and then it’s off to write the lyrics.
Inspiration is not hard to come by, but the motivation to start and finish a product can be. Life intrudes, you know? I am a single dad of a teenage son (I also have a wonderful 23 year old daughter who lives in Texas), and that is a job unto itself. I also own a corporate Team Building company called TeamBuilding ROI, and that puts a roof over my head. So yeah…I’m a busy guy. But always inspired by my life, the past, and current events.
Tell us, do you have a dream collaboration? Who would you want to work with dead or alive?
So that dream is partially dead, unfortunately. It expired on January 7, 2020, when my hero Neil Peart passed away from a battle with brain cancer. As the drummer and lyricist for Rush, he was a primary influence on my writing, my work ethic, and my philosophy on how to live a full life. Devastating loss, and the only thing that has numbed it has been the outpouring of affection and reverence the music world has shown following his death.
I worked with Rush’s producer in 2003 on the Virus Divine album, and that was fantastic. Made me a pro, for sure…such a decent, humble, and insanely talented man. So at this point, I’d love to collaborate with a few different producers who maybe have a little different perspective. We are in talks RIGHT NOW with a couple of them (who shall, for the time being, remain nameless).
Perhaps more than anything, though, I’d like to work with Dr. Dre. In my life, I listen to as much hip-hop as I do anything else. I worshiped the West Coast rappers from NWA to Snoop to Pac to Cube and on and on and on when I was in my 20’s. As totally different as my songs are from that genre, it would be incredible to share my vision with Dre and see what we could come up with. It would SMASH, I am positive!
What is something that you do to unwind when life gets heavy and you feel like you have too many plates spinning?
So I am sober. Alcohol and Sticky Icky are not a part of my life anymore, and I am pleased with how I have conquered my self-destructive tendencies. I don’t hate on those things – Lord knows I’ve had my share – but it’s just not for me anymore. I am not a model of moderation, if you get my drift. I need to be at zero, so I am.
I can unwind with a good book, a great movie, or at the gym. I love to lift weights and exercise, and it has become something that I do often with my son. It’s fabulous father-son bonding time. We live near the beach on the east coast, so a solo walk with headphones on is always a fantastic remedy.
Oh…I own a hot tub, too. Single best purchase I’ve ever made! It sits on a deck in my backyard, which is surrounded by trees. Quite private, lovely, and I partake in that loveliness almost every night. Solo. My relationship arrow is BROKEN, so I spend a lot of time there on my own. No worries, though. I have too many voices in my head to every be lonely!
Okay, now something fun – what is your favorite piece of clothing in your closet right now?
Such an awesome question. So I am a clothing- and shoe-whore, at least as men go. I have about 40 pairs of kicks in my closet, and I recently got a pair of white Bolano pleather boots. DOPE.
Also recently signed on to an ambassadorship with a company called Leather Up. They are sending me a pair of Joe Rocket motorcycle boots (I ride a Ninja 650 when the weather is above 55 degrees) and I literally have a space cleared and waiting on Shoe Rack #2. I also have special affinity for some new distressed jeans with roses on them. Lots of Crowns (Little King) and Roses (Rosoff…get it?) seem to have made my way into the closet recently.
Where can fans connect with you on social media and listen to your music?
For sure the best place to start is at www.littlekingtunes.com, as our web site has everything! You can stream the last 5 albums there from YouTube, and there is a ton of press, a lengthy bio, links to Stream, our CD Baby page, and more.
YOU TUBE CHANNEL: www.youtube.com/channel/UC1W4gBPNUBFwJ30WjKB16lQ
End of Interview