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O'Kingdom for a drummer

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Metalcore band finds audience but needs a member

By Robert Villanueva

rvillanueva@thenewsenterprise.com

In a relatively short time, local metalcore band O’Kingdom has found an audience, reaching more than 1,000 plays of its video, “The Appointed Boundaries,” on YouTube within five days of its release.

The video, which was posted Sept. 4, now claims more than 15,000 plays.

What the band really needs now is a drummer.

“Drummers are hard to find around here,” Elizabethtown guitarist Brian Judd said.

The band’s previous drummer, Ryan Lowe, was deployed to Afghanistan.

Currently putting an EP together, O’Kingdom formed under that name July 4, 2010. The band consists of Judd; vocalist Patrick Best, of Hodgenville; bassist Lucas Willet, of Jeffersonville, Ind.; and guitarist Miguel Rivera, of Charlestown, Ind..

“We had a vocalist before that,” Judd said.

The band underwent a sound change and began recording songs for the forthcoming EP “AdaMaH,” he said.

“That was pretty much when we decided to change the band name and take the band seriously,” Judd said.

The name of the band resulted when Best opened a Bible and began throwing out references mentioned in the passages. He found O’Kingdom, and O’Kingdom was founded.

Band members knew each other or met through each other prior to forming. When the band was first forming, Best was brought onboard as a vocalist, though his musical background was as a guitarist.

“I didn’t know I could do vocals,” Best said.

The new vocalist said the switch took some getting used to. Best feels like the audience tends to look at him more closely as lead singer.

“Now I’m in the front, instead of chilling on the side,” he said.

In addition to “The Appointed Boundaries,” O’Kingdom has recorded “Division of Plunder” and “AdaMaH.”

Willett feels O’Kingdom has an edge over other local bands when it comes to the quality of its recordings.

“We spent some money on ours,” Willett said.

Like the other band members, Willett credited producer Micah Powers from Columbus with the quality of the final product.

Judd also acknowledged Powers as a source of good advice for the band. The producer told them “If you can’t be big in your own town, you can’t be big anywhere else,” Judd said.

He said others in the music business have been helpful.

“It’s really great to have people like that around,” Judd said.

The beginning of Judd’s musical career went back to before he was a teen.

“I started playing guitar when I was about 11,” he said.

Judd recalled flipping through a J.C. Penney catalog while listening to “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne. That’s when he saw a guitar in the catalog and knew he wanted to play.

Best recalled seeing an old jazz acoustic guitar his dad had. After hearing Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird,” he began wanting to play.

“It’s just in me,” Best said. “It’s just natural.”

Willett said Judd had been playing “a couple of years” when he first met him. Willett was 12 or 13 when he first started taking bass guitar lessons.

“Whenever you first start learning you just want to be in a band,” Willett said.

Because there are so many bands in the genre, Judd said, he wants O’Kingdom to have its own sound and be a “good metal core band.”

“Just listen to our music,” Best said. “Give us a chance.”

While Judd prefers to keep goals for the band attainable — such as hoping for incremental increases in numbers of views for its videos — he would also ultimately like for O’Kingdom to be “touring and doing good shows.”

For band members, the fans take top billing, though, and even a show with fewer audience members can make the effort worth it.

Band members recalled one gig where a single particularly animated audience member made the show memorable.

“This guy made the show,” Best said. “I’ll remember that guy for the rest of my life.”

Robert Villanueva can be reached at (270) 505-1743.

 

FOR MORE: To learn more about O’Kingdom visit www.myspace.com/thetroodon, find it on www.facebook.com or check out videos on www.youtube.com