INTERVIEW: King of the Sea | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

King of the Sea is about to release his gorgeous debut album AYA this month, but wait, doesn’t that voice sound familiar? King of the Sea is in fact the new project of rich-voiced North East music stalwart Trev Gibb.

I wanted to make a break from recording under my own name because it’s been that way since 2003, with the odd period in a band, like Deerhart, and it just felt tired,” explains Gibb. “I’ve been around the block you know! Having a different name can sometimes be freeing, you can do more things and not necessarily get stuck with the personal, confessional, typical singer-songwriter tag.”

There’s certainly something to the idea that a name change can be freeing; with King of the Sea, Gibb sounds more at ease, more quietly confident than ever before. It’s the sound of an artist truly coming into his own, but the journey to get to this point was a turbulent one.

I pretty much gave up music in 2015, I got really depressed, disillusioned and tired, I didn’t know what I was doing, couldn’t cope and I sort of walked off the deep end. I had a bit of a breakdown, was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism and decided to head to Italy to teach TEFL and leave everything behind. So, I just disappeared for a little while. Not that I want to romanticise it as an Odysseus-like quest but it kind of was. Italy made a big impact and taught me a lot; I reassessed a lot of things.”

I know my music is good, and that more people need to hear it, but it’s also not my responsibility to make others like what I do

It was Italy where the beginnings of AYA began to form with glittering album opener Rush, where the limitations of not having a guitar actually became a positive when approaching songwriting. “I relied heavily on Logic Pro X, MIDI and using my laptop keyboard as a piano, and I basically wrote to fixed beats, where previously it might have been me and a guitar or a piano first.”

The record truly came into existence in January 2018, when Gibb began to work with prolific local producer Harbourmaster, aka Martin Trollope. “I’ve never felt as free and relaxed in the studio and open to try all ideas. I’d have these manic moments where I’d throw every musical idea at the wall, and he’d have to keep up with me, chasing me round the room with microphones. Martin has the patience of a saint.”

Over almost two decades of being a much-loved local artist, there have been ups and downs and lessons have been learned, but one thing that consistently stands out is Gibb’s astonishing musical talent. “Of course, I’ve felt jaded at times, but that was a problem of mine that I had to overcome and to learn from that feeling. I realised that there’s a huge self-indulgence in being about nothing but your music, and thankfully I met a wonderful woman, and we have a little boy so that sort of shucked me out of that mindset. Those are the things that matter. I know my music is good, and that more people need to hear it, but it’s also not my responsibility to make others like what I do, they have to come to it in their own way at their own pace, one song at a time. Meanwhile, I keep writing and getting better, doing things differently. You have to write for yourself. That’s what I do.”

King of the Sea releases AYA on 1st July

Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout