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King Nun: Away From The Farm…


King Nun’s front man Theo Polyzoides talks to writer Lynsey Wright about the band’s latest album “Lamb” and their current 18-date UK tour, in a career-reflecting chat…



Richmond is a leafier suburb of London, home to the deer-rich Richmond Park, and lying underneath a major Heathrow flight path. It’s also steeped in old rock n’ roll history, thanks to the now-defunct Crawdaddy Club. King Nun hails from this sleepy part of London.

“I was aware that the Rolling Stones came from Richmond, and the Yardbirds became Led Zeppelin in Richmond, so there was talk of that kind of thing. But it was American music that I fell in love with, and I don’t know why that happened…Blondie broke my heart for about 10 years,” Theo Polyzoides explains.

Of the other CBGB aficionados from that era, Theo cites The Velvet Underground, The Dead Boys and his “actual hero”, Richard Hell of The Voidoids fame among the acts that helped shape King Nun in the formative years. But the mussed, raw-edged, spirited heaviness heard in the band’s earlier tracks such as “Hung Around” and “Tulip” stems from another rather unlikely source…

“I think what first got me into music was an Australian band actually. I heard AC/DC from my dad and I just remember thinking I just hadn’t heard anything like it; it was them playing live—it was a live album. And it really struck me how it sounded totally deranged compared to everything else I’ve heard.

“I was pretty used to the indie of the early 2000s that was fairly produced and cool, and there’s a synth’ and there’s a double vocal. But this was just a screaming vocal, like; what is going on with him? The amp is feeding back; the audience is screaming over everything. And something about that appealed to me greatly, which was just so chaotic, and then it was the chaos and the misalignment that kind of interested me so much.”


The aforementioned well-ordered Richmond seems an unlikely birthplace of a band of King Nun’s ilk. “I think the only way that Southwest London inspired us is that it’s so safe; it kind of inspired troublemaking. I think it was easier to get into trouble and sort of piss about and act like a nutter, and that maybe put us on a road that sort of equalled rock band, but I think that’s kind of it. Maybe the Yardbirds thing’s a bit subconscious, but the troublemaking came with the territory. Is that the expression?

There’s a certain camaraderie amongst newly formed bands, everything feels fresh, and deep-seated rivalries and petty annoyances haven’t had the time or opportunity to settle in and create those irreparable tears in the fabric of a band’s proverbial cloth. King Nun, however, have already been a band for more than 13 years and yet somehow have retained that close-knit bond.

“We get on like a house on fire, which is fantastic because it means there will be an extreme longevity to this band, I would imagine. We’ve only gotten (sic) closer. We’ve known each other so long that I think we’ve definitely changed as people. Because when we met, we were just becoming teenagers, basically. There’s a lot of difference between 16 and 26. But I think, luckily, our relationships with each other have kind of remained the same this whole time, which is very nice.”

The band formed in 2013 and consisted of Theo Polyzoides (vocalist/guitarist), James Upton (guitarist), Nathan Gane (bassist), and Caius Stockley-Young (drummer) who were all at school together.

They released debut single “Tulip” in 2016 and debut EP “I Have Love” came out in November 2018. There is a bunch of singles and two albums: “Mass” in 2019  via Dirty Hit Records and “Lamb” which dropped in September 2023 via Marshall Records.

Newest member Ethan Stockley-Young on guitar – the drummer’s cousin – joined as they began work on their sophomore album “Lamb”, released last year (2023),and the album finds the band relaxing into their sound a little more, hitting lengthier strides along the way when compared with the almost fragile raucousness of their debut, 2019’s “Mass.”

“[Lamb] was produced by our drummer, Caius. It was made in a big, lovely studio, don’t get me wrong—the Marshall Records studio—but it was made in-house in the sense that it was just us, getting on, cracking on, which was really nice, and with the help of Adam and Ollie who work at the Marshall Studio. The first one [debut album] was just really, really, really, really chaotic.”

Some of that chaos is still captured in King Nun’s live shows, with almost bottled-lightning precision it is unleashed on audiences big or small. Their support slot to arguably one of the biggest bands in the world back in 2019 in Belfast cemented their ‘going-somewhere’ status.

“Once we got out [on stage], it was 80,000 people. The noise is just like a kind of miasma. It’s just indistinguishable which is actually really weird. It’s like performing on Skype, that’s kind of what it felt like. In the run-up to it, I was definitely like, ‘Oh my god, what’s gonna happen? What’s gonna happen? What is gonna happen?” But we played it, and it was like a Skype performance. The audience were very far away. And when it ends, you just hear “rahhh!. What is that? Was that 80,000 people booing?” It wasn’t!

The energy and excitement that comes from performing live has long been lauded by bands from all walks of life, where moments are captured and shared with fans, and bands get to showcase some of their boundless energy that can sometimes become stifled in a recording studio environment. No matter the size of the venue, getting lost in the music is something that both band and audience can share.

“We have a song called ‘I Must Be Struck By Lightning to Fly’, off of ‘Lamb’ and I always kind of dread it, because the vocal is so high. When we’re performing it’s great, and it’s like an automatic function, but before we do it, I think like; how do we do that? The jumping around and the rolling about… do we always survive that?

“But it happens, and I just do it without even thinking.  It really happens with that song where it just requires so much energy that I forget stuff and I’m just enjoying it. And that’s really fun.

“We’re going to be playing a song called ‘In Vains’ on this headline tour and we’ve never had time to do that one before, and we’ll be doing it this time. I really like it because it’s emotional and whiny, and that’s my favourite thing.”




Intentionality in music is not a given, with some bands preferring to throw a bunch at the wall and see what inevitably sticks during the writing and recording process. Theo explains his approach to lyric writing, where honesty rings true and the captured magic of a band can be distilled.

“I think [the intention] with the lyrics, it’s just honesty. To just not be affected by any outside source. Because I didn’t start like that, and I don’t intend to be like that anytime soon. I think writing lyrics is kind of an automatic function for me. I just really enjoy it. It’s just a natural mode of being.

“And my intent is to do it the way that I do it and the way that it’s satisfying to me, which is to just be honest. But that doesn’t mean that our songs are really specific, and really like, “and this happened, and this happened”, because they’re not.”

Theo adds: “The lyrics are just a hodgepodge of visuals and weird and random bits of expressions. But that’s my version of honesty though, because I listen to it and I go like, “Oh, yeah. I remember that thing, that’s cool. That’s great.” And it feels good when I sing it.

“And as a group, the intention behind the music is, I don’t know what it is, but it’s just an invisible driver. We all met because we were trying to do this thing at the same time, in the same place. And we’re just permanently driven by it….

“This really weird internal force. I suppose that is something that unites all those things, which is that it is an internal thing. The intention isn’t dependent on many other people.”



Words: By Lynsey Wright

Live photos [@ Bodega Nottingham 8th Feb 2024] : By Andrea Bottino

Posed shots: PR-supplied




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