Fit For a King released Slave to Nothing last fall, their second release on Solid State Records. The band is currently touring around the USA as a part of the Van’s Warped Tour. I recently spoke with Fit For a King vocalist Ryan Kirby about the band’s influences, expectations, and touring experience
Gabe: Tell me a little bit about yourself. What did you grow up listening to? What are some things that influenced how you are musically now?
Ryan: Growing up, when I first got into metal, it was mainly Avenged Sevenfold. Then I started branching out and listened to Underoath and A Day to Remember. Those were like the big 3 that I was really into growing up.
Gabe: I can definitely hear some Underoath in your music. That’s cool. When did you meet the guys that you’re in the band with?
Ryan: I met all of them after I graduated high school. Our guitarist, Bob, I’ve known a little longer…since I was 19. All the others I met when I was 20. A lot of it was just playing shows where I met them. I didn’t go to school with any of them or anything.
Gabe: How surreal was it when you first got signed to Solid State records with some of the bands that you grew up listening to?
Ryan: It was a great feeling! It was great to get the kind of label that has so many great bands that I grew up listening to. It was very awesome! It’s still crazy to be a part of the label and I’m glad that we can carry on the legacy!
Gabe: Your debut Creation/Destruction was the most successful Solid State debut ever at the time. How was it like to experience that and did you have to guard against pride at that point in time?
Ryan: Luckily, everyone in the band is pretty good about keeping a level head. It far surpassed what our expectations were. We’re just grateful to have awesome fans that support us.
Gabe: Did you feel any pressure to release another successful record after that?
Ryan: I think our primary job is with touring and having a family. There’s a lot of pressure in the music industry to top your last record. Or at least not to get smaller. One bad album can completely ruin your music career. And then you have to go back to working another job. So that’s motivation to keep on the road and to keep doing what we’re doing.
Gabe: You talked about touring a little bit…You guys have been on Warped Tour. You’ve toured with For Today and Attila. What are some things you’ve learned on the road that has helped you guys as a band?
Ryan: We just dissect every band we tour with regardless of what their band is about. We learned equally as much from Attila as we did with For Today or August Burns Red. There’s always something you can learn whether it’s stage presence or how they interact with the crowd. And we’ve also learned it really doesn’t matter what your band is about…Most people are really good people and are easy to hang out with.
Gabe: You guys are on Warped Tour again this summer. What is that experience like being on Warped Tour as a band? I’m sure there are some really long, hot days in there.
Ryan: Yeah, it’s a really unique experience. It’s about a 12 hour day. You’re outside everyday for 9 straight weeks. It can be very exhausting. It’s definitely more like a marathon than anything else. You have to find ways to stay rested and put on a good show every day. And you have to find ways to stay healthy and not get sick as well.
Gabe: On your last album Slave to Nothing, it touched on the issue of addiction. There’s all kinds of things that you can be addicted to, not limited to drugs and alcohol. Do you have your own experiences that influenced why you chose to sing about that?
Ryan: My experiences, personally, I don’t have a lot of addiction. I’ve had some issues with devoting my time to the wrong thing whether it’s video games or girls or anything. And I think a lot of it came from just watching friends and family members suffer through addiction. I even hear stories from fans on the road. I think it’s important to write about that.
Gabe: Are you guys planning on working on new music after Warped Tour is over?
Ryan: We’re always writing. We’ve already worked on some new music a little bit. We will keep on working on it after Warped Tour. Hopefully, we’ll have another album release sometime in 2016!
Follow the band on Twitter: @FitForaKing