Metalcore Through a Pop Lens: Interview with GUTTER KING

Music Scene Media
Mar 24, 2023
7 min read
Melanie Mae Williamson

by Melanie Bryan

Gutter King is a metalcore band out of Calgary that fuses pop elements with metalcore. This dynamic sound they’ve created has led to a following worldwide, and they’re only just getting started. With their latest single that was released today, “Bloodrush”, they are further staking their claim in the metalcore scene. Check out “Bloodrush” below our exclusive interview below:

MSM: Hi, I’m Melanie, and I’m here with Gutter King! Would you both like to introduce yourselves and tell us your role in the band?

SETH: Yeah, I’ll go first. Hey, my name is Seth. I play guitar, sing, write, and produce.

BERT: I’m Bert, I scream, and I help with writing.

MSM: All right, great. And how would you describe your sound for anyone that might be watching that’s never heard of you?

BERT: So, I feel like we are generally metalcore with a lot of electronic influences and pop sensibilities.

SETH: I think we try and combine like pop songwriting and melody with some more aggressive like metalcore, guitars, and stuff like that.

MSM: Pretty successfully, too. I was just checking out a couple of your songs on my way home from work today.

SETH: Oh, cool.

MSM: So, bridging together the two sounds of metalcore and pop does create a pretty unique sound. Are there any bands or artists along the way that have influenced you to come up with your sound?

SETH: Yeah, for me personally, I listen to a lot of pop music, and I get my inspiration from the producers behind the sounds. Artists like John Bellion and there’s producers out there, like Ian Kirkpatrick and Jason Egan, that really inspire me to go crazy on the production side and see how far we can push the sound.

MSM: Yeah. Okay. Bert, what about your influences?

BERT: So, generally, I listen to heavier bands, but I really appreciate bands like Sleep Token, Bad Omens, Bring Me The Horizon, and Dayseeker because I feel like they really take risks with their music. They obviously often have a diverse sounding discography, and I really appreciate that they don’t necessarily fit in one box or another.

MSM: Yeah. Kind of have each of your feet in one box, like Twister.

BERT: Yeah, exactly. <Laugh>. Yeah. Contorting.

MSM: So, “Feather”’s not your most recent single, right?

SETH: Not the most recent, no.

MSM: But it does have the most plays. Why do you think that is?

SETH: Yeah, I think that with that release, everything just clicked. I think the song happened, like we wrote the song really fast and everything felt right. And with the promotion, we ended up going on DreamBound (the YouTube channel), which I feel like that song fits really well on that channel, and connected with their fanbase really well, too. So I think that was part of the reason why that one had such a moment.

MSM: And it just kind of felt like it wrote itself.

SETH: Yeah, exactly. I remember we made this song in like couple days, it was great.

MSM: Yeah. and then Make Believe came out a week after Lockdown. What was it like to have a release around that time? Was it inspired by any of that?

BERT: No, I, we actually wrote it for quite a while before lockdown, so I think it was just coincidental. Yeah, but I’m sure you could make some connections between the lyrics and what was going on.

SETH: We had it scheduled for release a couple months in advance, and then obviously not knowing that Covid was gonna happen and then it was purely coincidental that like, I think it was right after the lockdown started, but that sound came out.

MSM: Did you guys do anything there during that time to kind of keep active with your fan base?

SETH: Yeah, I think after that song we had another single, “Sleeping Trees,” that ended up coming out. Gosh, that was like three years ago now. I think it was, When was it, September? September maybe?

BERT: I think so. Yeah. I think it was Fall, but I could be wrong.

SETH: Yeah. So I think Covid was really hard, though. I mean, obviously we did release that single, but aside from that, we just tried our best to stay active on social media best we could and try and connect with people cuz everyone was online at the time, so yeah. No shows or anything, so yeah.

MSM: Were you planning to release any additional new music in that time and maybe delayed it? Or did you just stick with the same schedule that you would have done?

SETH: We definitely did delay it. I think we had the EP that we have now that’s not out yet, we had like a couple of the songs already done for that during Covid, and then just kind of were unable to really do anything until after, which is unfortunate. But also, we are where we are now.

MSM: Yeah. No regrets.

BERT: Yeah.

MSM: Yeah. So, March 24th, your new single’s coming out, “Bloodrush”. How will that compare to your previous releases or would this be more of a new direction for you?

BERT: So this one is definitely a new direction. We kind of just let fly with the writing process and just had fun with it. Yeah. It felt very organic and intuitive. So yeah, I’m very excited to see how people react to it. This is, I would say, way different from what we’ve mostly done in the past, but it’s also a very authentic sound and I think pretty unique. So I’m really looking forward to see what people think.

MSM: Yeah.

SETH: Yeah. Totally agree.

MSM: Maybe you’ll get some reaction videos!

BERT: Yeah. Hopefully.

SETH: That’d be amazing. Yeah.

MSM: Is there anything that you can share about the upcoming EP?

SETH: I can share that there will be another single after “Bloodrush” at some point. Things are still up in the air a little bit. But there’ll be a couple more singles throughout 2023 and then we can’t really commit to anything, but yeah.

MSM: So, maybe next year?

SETH: Yeah, I think 2023. 2024, for sure.

MSM: Okay. Great. So, personally, what bands are each of you listening to these days?

SETH: Hmm. Bert, you wanna go?

BERT: Yeah, I mean, I’ll just pull up my Most Recent cause I always blank with these questions. <Laugh> Sleep Token has been crushing it with their new singles. The Plot In You, the new Greyhaven came out, I actually think a while ago, but I just got onto it and that’s really sick. Make Them Suffer. Yeah, I think off the top of my head, that’s just what I’m thinking of, a fairly diverse range of sound.

MSM: The second one, was that The Plot In You, you said?

BERT: Yeah.

MSM: Yeah. I’m seeing them on the 15th. I’m try to photograph him again. Landon’s my favorite vocalist. He’s amazing.

BERT: He’s insane. He did not hold back on this last single. Blew my mind.

MSM: Yeah. What about you, Seth? What are you listening to?

SETH: I’ve been on Five Seconds of Summer’s newest album. I know. It’s like totally not metalcore, but I love it. As far as like metalcore bands, I like Dayseeker’s new album. Actually, Invent Animate just released an album a few days ago and there’s a couple songs on there that I think are really cool.

SETH: Yeah.

MSM: Okay, are there any new songs in particular have been exciting you recently? Maybe from those bands, or just a song that stuck out from someone else?

SETH: I don’t know if you’ve heard of Lizzie McAlpine, but she has this song called Ceilings that sort of like, had a big TikTok moment a while ago. I’ve just been obsessing over her and that album and that song.

MSM: Okay, so who would you most like to collaborate on a song with? Just for fun, we’ll say alive or dead. Anyone.

SETH: I don’t know. Burt, you have an idea?

BERT: I mean, I feel like any of the bands that I mentioned so far, like Bad Omens, Bring Me The Horizon, Sleep Token, any of them would be amazing. Yeah. just cause I feel like they’re such creative individuals. I think any of those would just be such an incredible experience.

SETH: Yeah. I like that.

MSM: Okay. Do you have a favorite song to perform live?

BERT: Probably “Bloodrush”, to be honest. I think it’s, it’s such a dynamic song that it’s, it’s just really fun. Very quiet moments and very loud moments and yeah, it’s just a good time.

MSM: Okay.

SETH: Yeah. Mine’s “Bloodrush” as well. I think it’s it’s really fun bringing it all down to like low energy and then having it all explode out like multiple times was a lot of fun.

MSM: Okay. fun question. What was the first concert that you ever attended?

SETH: I remember mine was Billy Talent Anti-Flag and Rise Against Ooh. At this, the n Max Leader in Last Bridge. Yeah. Yeah. I was like nine or 10 I think.

MSM: Wow.

BERT: But my first one was I wanna say As I Lay Dying with All That Remains and I wanna say Carnifex.

SETH: Yeah, it was Carnifex.

BERT: Long time ago. Nice. I think. Yeah, I think we went to it together actually. We did. We were like kids back then.

MSM: <Laugh>. Yeah. Do either of you do karaoke and, if so, do you have a go-to karaoke song?

SETH: I have never done karaoke in my life, honestly. I want to do it, but never had the opportunity.

BERT: We actually went to a karaoke bar sometime last year and like right before Seth was gonna go on, we had to leave.

MSM: Oh no.

BERT: I can’t remember what he was gonna do, but it, it’s very close.

SETH: <Laugh>. It was gonna be it was gonna be Lips of an Angel by Hinder <laugh> <laugh>.

MSM: The first time I did it, I sang Sum 41.

SETH: Nice.

MSM: And then my last question for you guys is what closing messages would you have for your fans?

BERT: You wanna take this one?

SETH: Me? <laugh> Yeah. I mean, I would just say thank you so much for your support and for sticking with us over Covid. We’ve been silent for a while, but we’re really excited to show you guys what we’ve been working on.

MSM: All right. And I will release this interview with “Bloodrush”.

SETH: Awesome. On Friday. Thank you.

MSM: All right. Thanks for chatting guys.

BERT: Yeah, thanks for having us.


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