Sometimes you listen to an album and you just want to be able to have a conversation with an artist like King Dude. Born Thomas Jefferson Cowgill, King Dude is an American singer/songwriter who walks his own path, nods to bands like Death in June, The Birthday Party and singers like Tom Waites and Leonard Cohen. Performing as King Dude since 2010, he is now touring his seventh album ‘Music To Make War To‘. It’s an album about how we are at war everyday – it’s all around us. It’s constant.
This interview is probably the most unstructured conversation that didn’t really need me to ask too many questions, rather let Thomas speak for himself – at least when we weren’t trying to finish each other’s sentences (sorry about that)! He believes in a higher power. He also believes there is good in everything – even the bad – even in people like Jeffrey Dahmer who just didn’t understand how the pain he inflicted onto others – could be turned into something good. In life, everything is known, even though at the time we have to endure war, pain, idiocy, suffering and loss. For someone who has dedicated their life to their art, Thomas has created a body of work that is compelling, enchanting and just great fucking music.
An unlikely departure from Death Metal to Neo-Folk, Americana and at times, Country, Thomas considers his music Luciferian. Many have likened his singing to Nick Cave and some have even said he basks in the sound of his own voice. If you could sing and project sincerity in the way that King Dude does, wouldn’t you? It was a very frank and funny hour. I want to thank him for being so honest, sharing his truth and at times his past, both good and bad – all that makes us whole.
Touring for the first time ever in Australia, then onto America, Sweden, Denmark and finally Germany at WGT this year in June, make sure you check out his shows and add these tunes to your collection. I am really looking forward to seeing this gig live here in Melbourne at The Evelyn, with supporting local sweethearts Dandelion Wine.
Reverent as it is prophetic and stark, King Dude has previously shared his spiritual visions with releases on Dais, Avant!, Bathetic, Clan Destine, and Ván records. Pulling together the biblical sound and isolation of the bygone days of revelation with an atmosphere filled with hope and salvation, King Dude has woven his own brand of American music.
He brandishes many varied influences in his songwriting. Everything from British Folk, Americana, Country and Blues can be heard in his songs. Even the heavier sounds of Heavy Metal tend to sneak and slither it’s way into the King Dude canon. The resulting songs are much more of a modern day hymn then your average pop song.
King Dude’s music beg’s the soul to lift itself up from the darkness of ignorance, towards the ever shining glorious “Light” that exists outside of all of us yet that which we are eternally connected to and at once connects everyone on Earth.