The last few years have seen an epic boom for Texan metalcore band Kublai Khan. The band has delivered three feature-length albums on three albums with a new album, Nomad is about to hit stores. The hardworking nature of the band means that when Heavy Mag catches up with Matt Honeycutt, the lead singer (a late replacement for Isaac Lamb, the drummer) is standing outside on the pavement outside of the venue where the band performed that night.
“This whole band basically started as an improv band,” says Matt as we begin to discuss Kublai Khan‘s unique sound. “There were some guys and me, and we were actually coming from another band, we put this band together and we looked at each other and said, ‘Who do we want to sound like?’ And we thought, ‘We don’t really want to sound like anyone else. ”We wanted to get things out of bands that we liked, but we wanted to have our own sound. So I feel like making that decision, helped us create a unique sound that over the years has become really refined. ”
As we share a laugh about the band pulling their name out of history, Matt admits that he hasn’t always been a fan of the name. “Actually, it was me and the original bass player who discovered the name while flipping through a book of poetry,” he explains. “There was a poem called Kublai Khan, and the whole story behind the poem and all that shit is basically that the poem was never finished; only a certain percentage was made, and it has always been debated what the poem was really about and what were the secret meanings behind it. So we chose the name because we are making this band, and maybe not everyone understands what it is about and our story is not finished, so we are going to adopt that name and move on. We really use it as the symbolic meaning behind the poem instead of just thinking, “Wow, this is a cool name.” However, if it were up to me, I don’t know because everyone says it wrong; they misspell it. So it was probably a bad thing in the long run, but I love it too. ”
Matt laughs when I mention the hardworking nature of the band. “It has been a journey,” he says. “I remember our first program, and I was still in high school, it was the first day of the second semester in my senior year in high school, so I have been doing this for ten years and the hardest part has been finding the urge to want to keep doing it. Because when you think about it, for doing it so long, you are presented with so many life opportunities and options that you really have to make a decision on the fly about what will change or alter the rest of your life. I let this band take over the reins of my life and move on, but of course with that comes doubt and uncertainty, which is the hardest part of the whole process, even when it comes to lighting and lighting. Training. Changes and all that. Because all that can come and be fixed over time, but dedicating your life to that is the most difficult part of my book. ”
When it came to putting together his new album Nomad, Matt says the hardest thing to deal with was the distance between the members. “Our guitarist lives about two or two and a half hours from where we practice,” he explains. “So once or twice a week, he had to drive up, pick me up, and then cross the state line into Oklahoma, and drive there, and that’s where we would practice. The guitarist has a child and stuff, so of course, the child comes first. There were few days when he couldn’t because his daughter was sick, and that also brought a lot of stress. Because we were like we only had a certain amount of time, so we wrote the album with just the three of us. Then when we get to the studio, we take the whole week off and just jam and jam and then hammer all the songs, and even write some new songs in the studio. So it was a bit stressful, but I feel like the way we write music is very organic because we just grab our instruments, and then we just improvise and then we say, ‘This sounds great and this doesn’t,’ so I feel like it enhances our sound. So yeah, it was a challenge, but it was really worth it. ”
Matt also says that the band also inspired a lot when they were working on the lyrics for the album. “We were inspired by everything,” he explains. “Usually I write most of the lyrics about things that are personal to me, whether it’s things that have happened or things that I’ve been through or that one of the other guys has been through. But it’s one of those things that there are things like living in America or living in Australia, where there are a lot of injustices and social problems that happen, and I think you never lack inspiration if you look at the world around you. There are so much chaos and things going on that it’s so easy to get frustrated and upset with everything that happens to the point where you say, ‘Man, I have to say something about it.’ So you feel really driven to write about it. . I think it’s one of those situations where if you see something bad happening and you don’t say anything, then you’re just as bad as the perpetrators. Many people are afraid to say things and express their words, but at the end of the day, that is what change will bring. The actions and words of the people. As for change, people shouldn’t be afraid to post those things; It is a fact of the world we live in today that there are many people who are happy to put their heads in the sand and just not care. ”
Nomad’s new songs have also adapted well to Kublai Khan‘s live set, and Matt says the band is enjoying playing them. “We’re playing about three or five new tracks right now,” he says. “They have gone very, very well. It’s always scary when you start playing new music because you never know what the reaction might be, especially on our third album, but this has really been the best reaction we’ve had to new music in my opinion. Things are going great. “
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