Don’t know Aaron King? He’s a legend in the Buffalo hardcore scene at this point. Having played with bands like The Line Dance Massacre, Rhinoceros, Thorax Collapse, We the Broken, KDC, and more, Aaron was both a staple drummer AND vocalist in our music community throughout the 2000s and 2010s.

One of my earliest memories of Aaron is him shoving me into the infamous pole at Broadway Joe’s and screaming in my face during a Line Dance Massacre set. I took to him right away after that night and became a huge fan of all his projects. Aaron brings a certain creativity, energy, talent, and versatility to every project he gets involved with, and I’m so glad he agreed to this interview. It’s taken us a long while to have this conversation, and it’s long overdue. Enjoy.

1. After getting signed to Melee Records in 2006, what was the recording process for The Line Dance Massacre album like? Did you already have all the songs written or did you do any writing in the studio? The album still gets regular plays from me on a weekly basis.

Aaron King: Ah, to be young and full of energy. The recording process was a lot of fun man. The Obscure Addiction full length was a combination of songs from our original demo/e.p. mixed with some new songs we had been writing as well. Musically, everything was written before we hit the studio. I wrote a couple of songs lyrically while we were in the studio that I hadn’t finished yet. We tracked everything in four days at More Sound Studio in Syracuse, NY with Jocko Randall. We stayed there while we recorded and it was a blast. Being able to live in the music element like that was amazing to me. It just felt more official. It was a special time to be able to focus purely on music like that.

2. Talk about your musical journey since The Line Dance Massacre. I know you did a few other bands of a more hardcore style performing both vocals and drums. Basically, give us a rundown of your “scene history”, discussing any projects you feel are worth mentioning.

AK: So, I really performed vocals and drums in every band I’ve played in. Starting in Thorax Collapse, I did some of the vocals while playing drums. When I started The Line Dance Massacre, I really wanted to just be the vocalist. That was short lived and I wound up pulling double duty on drums and vocals. It’s something that came natural to me and I just went with the flow. After a while, my guitarist Dan and I felt we outgrew the name The Line Dance Massacre and we changed the band name to We The Broken. That became more of a spastic straight forward hardcore punk band which had us both doing vocals while playing our respective instruments. After that I joined the band Rhinoceros, which was a more straightforward, straight edge hardcore band. That is where I really got the full scope of being in a fully functional touring band. At first, I just played drums but after some time, I added vocal parts to the mix in the band as well. After about 5 years, I left Rhinoceros and joined the band KDC. I also played drums and did some vocals in that band as well. KDC was my last full time touring band. It was a good mix of melodic and metallic hardcore influences. Also spent around 5 years in that band.

3. Which is more enjoyable for you on stage: performing vocals and drums simultaneously OR just being a standalone vocalist, pushing people around to get the pit going?

AK: I loved the short time I had in The Line Dance Massacre where I just got to be the vocalist. It was fun interacting with the crowd. I feel that I never got a chance to fully find myself as a front man because I wound up back behind the drum kit. I love playing drums but I’ve been playing since I was five years old and wanted to try something different.

4. What are you up to these days? We haven’t touched base in a while and I’m curious about your recent hip-hop/e-kit videos. Do you have any future music plans you’re at liberty to divulge?

AK: For a while, I really wanted to be in another touring band after KDC broke up. It just never panned out for me. Out of frustration with people flaking on me one way or another, I started writing music on my own. I started playing guitar when I was fifteen but never really focused on it too much until more recent years. I have recorded under a few different monikers but most recently have been writing and recording music under the name xI Am Kingx. That has been my main focus and most consistent source of creating new music recently. I also have worked on a couple of recording projects with my friend Christian over the past few years (Caldonia and Send The Flood). I also got to work on writing a little bit and helping produce the most recent album by my bros in the band La Armada. Check out the album Anti-Colonial, Vol. 2. It’s a banger!

5. Talk about the music you listened to growing up that first inspired you to pursue music yourself. List any relevant albums and/or bands.

AK: From an early age, I grew up listening to mainly Gospel music, growing up in a Christian household. I was 13 when I found out about heavier music and got into hardcore and metal. For early influences, Fred Hammond was most essential. Getting into heavier music, P.O.D., Zao, Extol, 7 Angels, 7 Plagues, Shai Hulud, and Strongarm had some of the most lasting impressions in my life.

6. What made you gravitate toward drums and vocals? Who are your favorite drummers and vocalists of all-time, just going off the top of your head?

AK: Honestly, it just happened naturally. It’s not something I really planned to do. It just worked out that way. Favorite drummers: Jared Logan (7 Angels, 7 Plagues), Steve Kleisath (Strongarm, Shai Hulud, Further Seems Forever), David Husvik (Extol), Matt Halpern (Periphery), Wuv Bernardo (P.O.D.). Favorite vocalists: Daniel Weyandt (Zao), Josh Scogin (Norma Jean, The Chariot, ’68), Chris Carbonell (Strongarm), Keith Buckley (Every Time I Die), Schuylar Croom (He Is Legend), Jeffrey Moreira (Poison The Well), H.R. (Bad Brains), Aaron Weiss (mewithoutYou)

7. Do you play any other instruments?

AK: I play guitar, bass and keyboard/piano as well. Not as good as drums but creating music on my own has gotten my skill levels to at least getting by.

8. Talk about some songs or albums you’re most proud of having composed? Even if you only contributed to the composition process, when you think back on everything you’ve done musically, what were some of your personal top contributions to the ears of the world?

AK: Honestly, I’m proud of any music I’ve been a part of in my life. Music has been my life since age five. It’s all been part of who I am growing up. It all has represented me in processing through life. For that, I am forever grateful and it is all important to me. I stand by it all.

9. Talk about the most memorable shows you’ve played. These could be local shows or road shows. What made these shows so special?

AK: My favorite shows were playing in Europe, Puerto Rico, England and Mexico. Really experiencing different cultures is something so refreshing. The Rhinoceros European tour was so cool. We played some shows where the crowd really weren’t “hardcore kids” but they just loved live music and appreciated more than a bunch of jaded scene kids that are just going through the motions. Playing in Estonia and Romania, the scene there does this rowboat move where a bunch of people sit on the floor and literally create a 6-10 person rowboat and just act like they are paddling down some rapids. It was wild. My band KDC originally started in Puerto Rico and any time we played there, it hit different than any other shows. The sense of community and intimacy at those shows left a lifelong impression on me. It was pure love and will always be my other home. PRHC for life!

10. When you think back on the scene in the mid-2000s and then fast forward to today, who are your favorite Buffalo bands of all-time, just going off the cuff? These can either be disbanded or current bands.

AK: Dead Hearts will always be my favorite Buffalo band. There was something so pure about those shows. So much wall to wall energy throughout their sets that was unmatched. It was always a blast at Sons of Azrael shows as well. I don’t get out to shows much anymore but do try to pay attention to how the scene is doing. Bands like Pure Heel, Exhibition, Spaced, Final Declaration and Violent Way are really holding it down for the Buffalo scene. Much love to those keeping the scene alive.

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