Tim King of Soil Interview

Ahead of their show, supporting Coal Chamber at the Lemon Grove, Exeter, we were able to catch up with Soil’s very own Tim King. Here’s what he had to say…

First of all, how you doing, man?

“Everything’s going really good. This tour’s been a lot of fun so far.”

Back in the UK, and on tour with Coal Chamber. How’s that for you guys?

“It’s great. I mean, we remember Coal Chamber from back in the day, and me and Nadja have become friends over the years and we’ve known Dez from the Devildriver stuff, and its kinda cool that were all finally on tour together, and it’s a great package. I mean, you couldn’t ask for four better bands.”

Going back to when you guys started up. How would you say you have seen the industry change?

“I mean, things, in Europe and in the UK, I mean god bless your hearts you have always stuck by and cut true to your roots and stuff. I mean, I think the most change kinda goes on in the US. You know new bands just crop up and people gravitate so much towards them. But, kinda like over here, once a band gets accepted, people still come and see it and support them, which is something that I wish the United States would do a bit more like that in the European and the UK market. But I mean, everything changes, your not gonna live in the early 2000’s like your gonna live in the 70’s. It’s cool to see like, a crop of bands popping up and people getting popular and stuff. I like it. You always have to have new music so.”

How difficult was it, in the early stages, to get out and play shows in the UK compared to the difficulty UK bands seem to face when trying to tour across in the US today?

“We were really lucky early on to just blow up in the UK. We kinda came over just like, what are people gonna think? And all of a sudden, people were there and they never left. [Haha]. So I mean, we always had, knock on wood, the pleasure and the honour of keeping that up but, I mean, in Germany and countries like that, we did have to put in our time, and when we first came over there were like, 50 people. Then 75, then a couple hundred, and now we can go back to like Germany and Austria and there’s 5 or 600 people every time we play there so. We didn’t back off, and we kept pushing it and finally got our due share over there.”

You release your 6th full-length album, ‘Whole’, in 2013. What have you been up to since that release?

“We’ve just been touring our asses off. This is the third leg of the tour right now and after we finish, we’re going through the states with Powerman 5000. When we started off, as far as UK and Europe goes, we did a full tour with Skindred over here in Europe, then we did the headline one 6 or 7 months ago, and now were here, supporting Coal Chamber. We’ve subsequently done that in the States, so I mean, we never really stopped touring. I mean, we kinda believe in the old school way of when you put out a record, tour, dig real deep into it and into the cuts and things like that.”

Originating in Chicago, arguably the birthplace of rock and roll, was music something you grew up with, or was it something that you developed as you got older?

“Well, me ‘n’ Adam had a death metal band called Oppressor, back in the day. And we were doing that for a long time. We kinda formed Soil… well we did form Soil… as a side project to stretch the rock and rollage. We were playing shows and stuff for fun, and it just kinda caught on, and it just kept getting bigger and bigger, and kind of surpassed the death metal band that we were doing. So we went with it and at the time, when we were coming out, bands like Disturbed and Chevelle, and stuff like that were all starting to pop. So we grabbed on to that wave with them and kinda rode it up as well.”

When you started Soil, did you know the other band members or did you associate through the band?

“Me and Adam, this year in September, will have been playing for 25 years together. We’ve been playing since we were little kids. Our previous drummer, I went to high school with him and all that. You know Ryan, I actually wrote him a letter [haha], because I heard him on an unsigned band compilation so we kind of all knew each other, but as things would have it, people fell off over the years and we got new ones and stuff.”

Last year you toured the UK twice. How would you say the crowds varied between those tours and the current one with Coal Chamber?

“I mean its been great. Like I said, its always a great time over here. What is really neat, is to see is that now we have kinda let the new record all sink into peoples heads, and seeing them sing those back to us the same way that they would sing some of the songs off ‘Scars’ and ‘Redefined’ and stuff like that, so…”

On a bill, do you prefer being in a supporting role or as a headliner?

“I love the support slots. I mean, there’s a certain degree of enjoyability when you are headlining cause you get the sound check, the bigger dressing room. But I do love that direct support slot. You still have time during the night and it’s like the prime slot where if people do have to leave early, they’re not going to miss you.”

In 2004 you lost Ryan as your vocalist. With AJ on vocals for both ‘True Self’ and ‘Picture Perfect’, did you find the band took a different direction?

“It’s always hard losing the main ingredient, and we really sat down and had to think if we really wanted to keep Soil going or not, and back in 2004, we still had a lot to prove, and a lot of fire left in us, so we decided to keep on going. You know, we’d found the best vocalist we could to fit the band, and I think AJ was good for what we did with it, was it the perfect choice to make? I don’t know if ever switching a vocalist is the right choice to make, but at least were back in action now, and we’ve mended everything into the place where it should be.”

Did it take a while for Ryan to sink back into the swing of things or did it continue where the band left off?

“The first show we played was in London, believe it or not, and I literally got goosebumps. I was like, ‘Wow!’, this is how I felt when we were actually firing on all cylinders with Soil before. I was literally like ‘WOW!’. This is Soil. And seeing Ryan by my side I was like, ‘Wow!’, this is fucking awesome!”

From Ryan’s time in Drowning Pool, is there anything that he took from that experience that he brought to Soil?

“Yeah, it was great. Because he had 7 years with Drowning Pool, he had more experience, he had developed his voice, and he had definitely honed in on his skills a lot and more so, when he did come back to us, you know, it was like his voice was so spot on and he had this different level of confidence that he didn’t have before, and so did we. In all fairness, me and Adam, we honed in on our writing skills, and we just had more shows under our belts, and I think we all came in a more experienced fashion, and it really did make getting this thing back rolling very easy and comfortable.”

On this tour you also have The Defiled and Dope. How is it touring with those guys?

“I mean, they’re great. Me and the Dope guys have known each other forever. I mean, I’ve even filled in and played bass for them before. So, I mean, it’s really comfortable. The Defiled guys, we actually played shows with way back when we were on the Shinedown tour. We did off-dates, and they supported. I’ve been a fan of that band for a long time, and its cool to actually hang out with them, and become good friends with those guys. I’d love to do a States run with The Defiled. I think that would be fun to do together.”

Before shows, do you have any pre show warm ups/rituals that you do before hitting the stage?

“Usually we do a couple of shots. Take a nap. Stretch out. Nothing too crazy.”

Drink of choice?

“Jägermeister. We like that. In fact I have a massive hangover right now. [haha].”

Who has the worst habits on tour and what are they?

“I mean, everyone’s got their own little quirks, but I don’t really know if anyone has bad habits, it’s just everyone has their things that they do. I mean, Adam has to wait about 5 minutes before we go on stage to take a piss and wash his hands. I mean, I have to completely stretch out otherwise I don’t feel right about it. We all do our own little goofy things that are just kind of part of who we are. I mean, none of us do anything weird like that.”

You said you had been touring non-stop. Are there any plans for another release on the horizon?

“We have some material in the works, but we haven’t quite decided what we’re going to do with it yet, or how we are going to present it, but, I mean, there’s always something going on.”

What can we expect to see from Soil for the rest of 2015 and into the future?

“We’re going to do a US run, and then if any other opportunities come up, we’re kind of looking now to do some obscure stuff, like there’s some talks about South Africa and little nooks and crannies and places that we have never been to before, so I think that’ll be really interesting to kind of go to… like, either those places we haven’t been to in a long while, or those that we have never been to, and kind of just round out the record with that, and then decide on what to do in regards to new material.”

Thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us.

Soil have just finished their European run of dates and now head back to the US to prepare for their US run with Powerman 5000 later this month. Be sure to head out to a show. They are a live band not to be missed.

Interview By Siôn Roe.

Photography by Jamie Sweetlove

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