King Vulture is an eletro-pop group formed by wife and husband, Kate and Jared Pyritz. Their live band includes Evan Simmons (bass), Patrick Funk (guitar), Steve Sancho (drums), and Thomas Hammond (saxophone), giving them a fuller sound, ranging from ethereal pop to a more energetic rock. The project started after Jared encouraged Kate to record some songs that she had written over several years. She wrote them without the intention of starting a band, but they eventually started recording her songs at home, which led them to make King Vulture an official band.
I asked Kate and Jared about their music and their future plans (which right now include awaiting their soon-to-be-born baby) and how they write and record their music, which they answered in the following interview. You can find some of their earlier recordings on their Bandcamp page (https://kingvulturesc.bandcamp.com/), and watch their more evolved performance at the Jasper fall 2016 release party TONIGHT at Art Bar, with other performances by Autocorrect, The Moon Moths, and Tyler Digital performing a DJ set.
Can you describe what your music is like? Jared: It's kind of all over the board. Sometimes sultry and slinky and at other times it's an energetic, fun poppy mess of sound. We try to make each song achieve something different.
Do you have any other shows or releases coming up? Kate: Jared and I are about to have a baby, so we’re actually going to take an extended hiatus following the Jasper Show at Art Bar this Thursday. As far as releases, we have been in the studio recording our first official album this year. We’ve completed tracking and are in the middle of mixing and mastering. We’re shooting for a spring release so we can have time to promote it and play some shows to support it.
What is your philosophy as a band, if you have one? Jared: I think if there is any philosophy we have, it has something to do with approaching collaborative artistic ventures in a rather egoless and democratic way. All ideas (amongst members) are considered valid which allows us to experiment a lot.
Kate: It’s been a communal process. This is my first experience playing in a band--I’ve really lucked out being friends with some incredible musicians. I’ve learned a lot watching them and listening to how they talk about music. I know we definitely don’t try to take ourselves too seriously. That said, we’re really proud of the music we’ve been able to create and play and record.
What is your songwriting process like? Kate: I usually have a small kernel of a song--some lyrics, general chords. Sometimes it’s a fully realized structure, sometimes it’s just a beginning. I usually bring it to Jared to get his input to flesh it out a little more before we bring it to the whole band. Then, when the whole band starts to attack the song we get into orchestration and arrangement. It’s been a nice formula so far. These guys have played together in other bands before King Vulture so they have a short hand and a music theory background I just don’t have. The orchestration and arrangement sessions are a lot of fun for me because I get to see this small idea or chord or lyric I wrote down get turned into something much more realized.
Who/what are some of your musical influences? Kate & Jared: We definitely all have musical likes that inform the spirit of the band: Gillian Welch, Bowie, David Byrne, St. Vincent, T-Rex, steely Dan.
What are your goals for the band/its future? Kate: Our immediate goals will be to put finishing touches on our record and release it by Spring. I know it’s important to Jared and I to find time to make music and play shows after our little boy is born. We’re lucky to have supportive friends and family that will hopefully make that possible. We’d like to come back with new song ideas--so when we release the album we can show people something different than our typical set list.