La petite mort (or, “the little death”) is an expression that means “the brief loss or weakening of consciousness”. To us in 2016, it refers to “the sensation of orgasm as likened to death”. It’s also the name of the new King 810 record – ‘Le petite Mort or a Conversation With God’ – and it lands on September 16th through Roadrunner Records. I spoke briefly with King 810’s singer David Gunn, while he was in Flint, Michigan recently, who had…a lot to say on the topics of religion and Theism, and the metal community as a whole. This is a…interesting chat to say the least.
With the name, ‘La Petite Mort or a Conversation with God’, the imagery for the ‘Alpha & Omega’ music video, and song titles like ‘Heavy Lies The Crown’, the album focuses in on religion or at least the idea of faith & spirituality. So, were you ever a religious person in the sense of worshipping Christ, David? Or is that idea merely a vehicle for you to propel the lyrics and narrative of this album?
…That’s a complex question. It is always a vehicle to help convey the message on a record, whether it is religious or not. It does touch upon religion but I’m not textbook religious. I think that before you can have a religious conversation, you need to establish what the other person, in this case, you – not because you don’t understand – mean, religious, or theism and spirituality. So if we talk about spirituality, it has nothing to do with God or a religion that has a set of beliefs written out and lived by. Religion has nothing to do with theism. You can be theistic and not belong to a religion. Those three things are what the album talks about in different ways. Sometimes I do talk to the listeners as a whole or a specific person and sometimes I talk to someone like God. Summing it all up as religious is tough and a vague way to put it. I don’t try to get into that with people, as when they ask me whether or not I’m religious, I need to understand what they mean by that because there’s such a confusion about what the fucking thing is. I can’t answer that question until it’s defined.
Understandable. I know many people who feel the same way, and I have had friends who don’t at all follow the institution of religion, but who say they have a relationship with Christ and/or God. It’s not so black and white as you hinted at, and maybe that sums up King 810 in a good way; kinda in this grey area. I’m not sure if that makes me sound really pretentious, though.
No, as I think it’s important to understand things like that. Often, it isn’t so grey or so polarizing. When you say you know people who aren’t religious but follow Christ, that’s just so paradoxical to me. That’s essentially wrong. When you say Christ, that’s Christianity. So if you believe in Christ you believe in Christianity, you so believe in the Bible – the Old Testament, The New Testament, or The King James Testament – and if you believe in those and are inconsistent with any of those ideas in your life, then you’re blasphemous or just inconsistent. To say that you can personally believe in Christ but not belonging to a religion is a lie. If you aren’t consistent, then you aren’t a believer and so on. Christ is not a solitary, independent deity. With Islam for example, if people follow it to a T, they’re called radicals or literalists, but what else is there? Interpretationalists? It doesn’t make any sense and it’s stupid. I think if anyone has that view is a very ignorant person and should re-think his or her beliefs.
I mean, sure, it can get enter that realm of maybe cherry picking certain ideas. But with that idea, and stepping away to the music, King 810 cherry pick various metal influences and sounds. A lot of people label you as Korn or Slipknot worship or as nu-metal, and I’m not sure if that was ever intentional or was that just how the band’s sound naturally developed. What’s your take on it?
See, that’s complete ignorance. That has nothing to do with what actually exists, and only ignorant people that make those claims believe it because they’re so stupid they cannot fathom the full body of work or the sonics and our sound. They’re so ignorant to the world that the closest pillar is a Slipknot or a Korn, and that’s obvious, as we happen to be on the same fucking tour with them. It’s stupid, as us touring with them is just as simple as Chris & Clown hearing our record and asking us to go on tour; it has nothing to do with how we sound. We have nothing in common with Slipknot.
As far as heavy music is concerned, “heavy” is a minority material on our record. You could go say that we are a spoken word poetry band because we have spoken word pieces, but no one ever says that. I know why they do it; Killem All was their first taste of the band. But it’s really ignorant. As far as Korn goes, that’s not as ignorant because we are four regular guys playing slow music like Korn does. Realistically, we’re four dudes who play whatever we want – heavy or light. We’re not nine guys in masks playing fast and heavy. It comes from people not knowing the genre, the terrain or understanding the climate. It’s a shallow comparison I think.
I get the idea of people wanting to attach comparisons to bands, and as you said, King 810 does indeed employ more spoken word parts. I think metal is such a great example of categories and labels being so heavily debated on. As cliché as it is, would you prefer to King 810 to be referred to as just “music”, as just a “band”, opposed to a sub-genre of metal, like nu-metal?
I am confused as to how nu-metal is new or how it refers to time. I’m confused as to how Slipknot is considered nu-metal when they’ve outlived the genre. I’m confused by a lot of it and I don’t have any preference for participating in this and perpetuating it. The metal community is full of fucking morons that cannibalise their own shit by compartmentalizing it. Whenever a new band comes out they assign it a new genre, and it’s just them eating their own world. This scene used to be a place for people to come to be sanctioned from against the grain, but now it’s a joke where they talk about who is the coolest or who has a new genre. Not even pop music does that! There’s actually no community in the metal industry now, there are no torchbearers, there’s no intelligence; none of these exist in the metal world now. Only in an elitist cannibalization of the genre by a bunch of fat slobs that don’t even participate in the music. It’s like sports, where you get a bunch of fat white guys talking about something that a lot of skinny black guys play. It makes no sense. They say that King 810 is the next Slipknot, and it gets their gay-ass blog a bunch of clicks and so they regurgitate stupid news and call it journalism from your mum’s basement when they should be out trying to fuck girls. That’s how I feel about anyone that opens up his or her mouths about it, basically.
[Laughs] shit, that’s one way of putting it! That’s a good place to wrap this up as we’re out of time. I know you guys get a lot of shit, but I dig the new album, dude. I think it’s pretty cool so far, so congrats on it. Enjoy your night!
Thank you, man, you too. I’ll hopefully be seeing you soon.
‘Le petite Mort or a Conversation With God’ is out September 16th via Roadrunner Records.