Renowned artist Marcus King talks about his latest album, Carolina Confessions.
On the heels of their recent rocked-out performance on TBS’ Conan, the Marcus King Band is releasing their third album, Carolina Confessions, on October 5.
A follow-up to their highly acclaimed self-titled sophomore album, Carolina Confessions is a light in the dark. With soul-moving, earth-shaking lyrics, the record shines a light on King’s endearing, sometimes sorrowful, upbringing in Greenville, South Carolina.
As evocative as the words and his singing of them are, it’s perhaps King’s skill on the guitar that fuels the album’s addictive essence. The son of legendary blues singer-guitarist Marvin King and the grandson of country guitarist Bill King (he played with Johnny Cash and many other stars), Marcus, just barely into his 20s, proves himself worthy of his impressive musical lineage.
Carolina Confessions is a great listen from start to finish.
We recently talked with King about the new record and his evolution as an artist.
Cowboys & Indians: You’re about to release your new album, Carolina Confessions. What do you hope your fans will take away from it?
Marcus King What I hope fans take away from this record would be a sense of absolution and the notion that they’re not alone in whatever they’re going through.
C&I: What inspired the album?
King: Carolina Confessions is a concept record where I’m using music as a veil of anonymity to express myself.
C&I: Any fun stories from during the overall process?
King: The band and I had quite a time “decorating with” a bobblehead toy in various places to disrupt Dave Cobb’s studio flow. When we left the studio, the last place we hid this toy went unnoticed for at least two months. The memory of the Marcus King Band lingers on at RCA Studio A.
C&I: This album seems really personal. Was it hard for you to open up to your audience in that way?
King: It’s easier for me to open up through music than any other way.
C&I: You come from a line of fiddle players and guitarists. …
King: My great-grandfather played fiddle, my grandfather played guitar and fiddle, my dad is a guitar player, my uncles play music. I’m really blessed to have grown up in that environment and to have found an outlet to express myself so early in life thanks to my family.
C&I: Are there any specific songs that really resonated with you?
King: Every song on this record came from a very personal place. That being said, “Goodbye Carolina,” I wrote from the perspective of a dear friend of mine who’s no longer with us. That song in particular resonates the deepest.
C&I: What do you think makes a song or a story resonate?
King: I think just speaking truthfully and from the heart and soul with no layers of bullshit, just telling the truth, helps people relate.
C&I: Are there any songs that didn’t make the album that we can expect sometime down the road?
King: Yes. There were a handful of songs that we recorded at Royal Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, that we do plan on putting out at some point.
C&I: What’s your writing style? Do you start with the lyrics or the music first?
King: It’s a little of both. Sometimes I’ll get an idea for a lyric in my head. Sometimes I’ll get a guitar riff stuck in my head. It’s not an exact science, for sure. It’s very stream of consciousness in most situations.
C&I: How do you think you’ve evolved as an artist since the release of your debut album, Soul Insight, in 2015?
King: Every day I try to grow as an artist and mostly as a writer. I think the more I grow as a writer, the better I’m able to say exactly what’s on my heart and in my soul and the better I am at putting it into words. It’s an ongoing journey.
C&I: You recently performed on Conan. What was that experience like?
King: We were all nervous as hell.
C&I: What can we expect in terms of touring?
King: In terms of touring, we love traveling and meeting new people, seeing new places, and we love going back to places we love. You’ll definitely have ample opportunities to see us on the road in the foreseeable future.
C&I: What’s something that fans might not know about you?
King: I’m a vegetarian.
For more information on the Marcus King Band, upcoming tour dates, and to order their new album, visit their website.