Static Kings: Montreal’s up and coming indie-rock royalty

Photo by Amanda Gallo

Over the past decade, indie music has moved into mainstream popularity. Acts such as Arcade Fire, Radiohead and the Arctic Monkeys have inspired a new generation of musicians to push the boundaries and expectations of the rock ensemble. Montreal band, Static Kings, is one such group.

Since 2011, the quintet has been blending a multitude of rhythms and riffs that can best be described as dance-inducing yet thought-provoking. James Parm, the group’s frontman, and Michael Abraham, the band’s guitarist, recently spoke with The Concordian about the Static Kings’ origins as well as their more recent projects.

The Static Kings, in their current state, formed in late 2011 after an earlier version of the group went through a major lineup change.

“James Parm, James Frank (keyboard/synth) and I were all in the same grade in high school, so we knew each other from there,” Abraham said.

Photo by Amanda Gallo

“Charles we didn’t know very well, but we knew he played drums, and that kind of just fit. Richard (bass) came later, he started to work at the Tim Hortons where me and Abe worked,” Parm added.

The band took their name from musician Mark Linkous’ personal studio, Static King Studios, as a tribute to the late musician.

“I had a huge admiration for this guy going through high school. Shortly after forming our band, he killed himself and that was pretty upsetting,” recalled Parm.

In early 2013, the young musicians released their first studio album Beautiful Artificial. The album was a definitive nod to the band’s indie roots and, while barely a year since its release, the singer already feels that the album is a relic of the past.

“The whole album was a bit overdramatic but we were young and we weren’t over our adolescence yet, at least I wasn’t,” said Parm. “The album lacks a lot of perspective, but that’s kind of why I can still enjoy aspects of it.”

During a show earlier this month at Le Petit Campus, the band debuted their newest material. The new songs stray further from their previous path and offer the listeners a fresh experimental rock sound.

“James had an idea for making a continuous piece of music similar to classical music with different movements all part of the same piece, except in our style,” Abraham said.

“It has more truth in it, with a greater perspective on music in general. Personally, I feel it’s a more confident approach to songwriting,” Parm admitted.

While the band is attempting to determine whether or not to record their newest tracks live or in studio, those wishing to hear James Parm and Michael Abraham sooner can catch their acoustic performance at Crobar on Jan. 31. The Static Kings will be performing as part of On Rock’s Coldest Day of the Year benefit concert on Feb. 8.


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