“Our idea of America is being violated,” says Zack Jones, vocalist/guitarist of Fort Pierce, FL-based Americana band GRAVEL KINGS to PASTE MAGAZINE who premieres their new video “American Skies”, which is taken from the ACLU benefit compilation MUSIC FOR EVERYONE. “While we’ve always been hesitant to share our political opinions out of fear of losing fans, this time we couldn’t stay silent. Everyone should be speaking up right now. It’s time to be honest, we can’t be complacent.”
Collecting musical voices from different shades of the spectrum, the compilation MUSIC FOR EVERYONE was compiled by Taking Back Sunday‘s John Nolan with help from Collective Confusion Records, Hopeless Records and the non-profit Sub City,Music For Everyone unites artists who have provided rare, unreleased and/or brand new music to voice their concern about the current fiery political environment. Contributing artists include Taking Back Sunday, Anti-Flag, Kevin Devine, Modern Chemistry, The Republic of Wolves, Gravel Kings, Blackalicious’ Gift of Gab (in a special collaboration with Taking Back Sunday), Answering Machine, Baggage, Chris Farren, Potty Mouth, Brett Newski, Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds, Anthony Green, Frank Iero, Dave Hause, Sleep On It, Jared Hart, Cassino, Dead Heavens featuring Walter Schreifels, and Allison Weiss (full track listing below). The cover art was designed and donated by artist David Foarde (Instagram: @DavidFoarde).
Gravel Kings return to the studio this summer to record their first full-length album with James Paul Wisner, notable gold-record producer who has worked with artists such as Amy Winehouse, Dashboard Confessional, Paramore, Underoath, and New Found Glory. “There’s a lot of planning and new writing techniques going into this project,” says Jones. “We learned so much from working with Wisner on our past EP, Lure. We consider him a fifth member in the studio. He’s really helped us discover our sound.”
Although the band will keep their signature banjo in the mix, fans can expect a shift towards heavier electric guitar, happier lyrics, and more upbeat melodies. “We’ve been stuck on this country boat for too long,” says Jones. “Country has been a major influence, but the genre doesn’t really define us. We’re switching things up and bringing more of an indie rock influence to the new tracks.”
Gravel Kings was formed in 2013, built on the foundations of colorful harmonies, meticulous storytelling, and fundamental Americana. Stuck between the metal communities of Tampa and the dance scenes in Miami, the band has unapologetically carved their own path in the Southern Florida scene. Not really country, nor fully folk – Gravel Kings are a unique subgenre of their own.