This week guitarleaves caught up with Hull-based trio King Orange – otherwise known as Oli Witty, Leo Joslin and Tom Green-Morgan – after the premiere of their single “Fifteen” on BBC Radio 1 to discuss all things cats, Marmite and meal-deals. The full interview can be found below:
For our readers who may not know, who are you?
OW: We are King Orange, an alternative rock band from Hull. Currently we attend various universities within the Yorkshire region.
Are there any hidden talents or secret facts we might not know about you?
LJ: “Fifteen” is actually about my cat.
OW: I’ve been told I do a good impression of Mickey Mouse, Ronald McDonald and Towelie from South Park. I’m not sure if that’s a talent though.
Congratulations on having “Fifteen” played on Radio 1! What was it like hearing your own song being played for the first time?
OW: Thanks! When I was told that we would be on national radio, I couldn’t believe it! I was revising for my accounting exam when Leo called me to say that our track would be aired on the Huw Stephens show. At first, I thought he was messing with me, but he said that a producer from the BBC Introducing programme from BBC Radio Humberside had contacted him to tell us the surprising news. Many thanks to Alan Raw and the team from BBC Radio Humberside for all their hard work! Unfortunately, I did not have the chance to hear the track when it was live, but I listened to it the morning after on BBC iPlayer in the university library. When Huw said that “Fifteen” was ‘a banger’, I was so hyped. Other students could see me jumping around in my seat, which looked a bit awkward, but I was so excited I didn’t really care. The fact that we were representing all the news bands in Hull was a huge achievement too; it left me speechless.
TGM: I was up late, too, just to listen to it. I think the coolest thing was just seeing our name on the Radio 1 Player because I never expected it to happen. Especially seen as we’ve not had a huge amount of promotion for it, it was really cool to see it get this far.
LJ: I’d already stayed up until 1am the night before listening to Huw Stephens because I wasn’t sure what night it was being played, and kept having to set alarms every 10 minutes so I stayed awake. I’ve still got the window open on my browser, it’s sort of weird to open it and see ‘Huw Stephens with The Amazons‘ – a massive indie band – and know that you got played on the same show as them.
Obviously the single has had an incredible amount of success – what can we expect from you in the near future?
OW: We were surprised by the reactions of “Fifteen” when it was first released. Not only do people love it during our live shows but the radio shows absolutely love it, too. It was nice to hear the positive feedback from listeners; after all, it took roughly under a year’s worth of rewriting, demos and rehearsals to produce the final version of the song. Currently, we are all writing our own ideas down recording rough copies of some chords and riffs so that the next time we meet, we can collaborate on those ideas. We are also deciding whether to record another song in the near future. I think we are in mutual agreement with which song to record.
LJ: Rumour has it we might actually play a gig as well…
What are your three-must haves when you do a gig?
TGM: Earplugs, Allen keys and spare strings – I usually forget all three.
OW: Spare pair of drumsticks, headphones and a Tesco £3 meal deal.
LJ: I’ve got a lucky pick that I keep in my back pocket, think that’s it to be honest. Oh and big Malcolm Joslin [Leo’s father] there snapping away on the camera – think he’s only missed 2 or 3 gigs ever.
Where does the name King Orange come from?
LJ: I was in the toilet at the Polar Bear [a venue in Hull] when I came up with the name, can’t remember how or why, just added it to a list of potentials I was making and it was the one we all agreed on. I kinda like it because it’s so connected with Hull as a city.
OW: I remember most of the names we suggested were recycled ideas from previous school bands Tom and I had been in. We would usually disagree with each other, but whenever we came to an agreement, Leo would disagree. I think the others would agree that the majority names that were thrown around were pretty dumb. King Orange was never an idea until Leo suggested the name a couple of weeks before our first gig at Jaz Bar in Hull. At first, I didn’t like the name; I thought we were re-hashing the ‘King’ bit from other big bands like The King Blues. But now, it’s grown on me a little bit. The name I think is extremely relevant to us in the sense that we all met each other in Hull and we are proud to be part of the city which has a passion for music. Many venues in Hull are based around the King Billy Statue [a famous gilded monument in Hull], such as Früit and recently Zebedee’s Yard.
And finally: Marmite – love or hate?
OW: Tastes disgusting. Sounds horrible. I don’t like it.
LJ: Does marmite have a sound?
TGM: Squelchy – I love it.
King Orange, thank you very much!
Information about upcoming gigs can be found on Facebook (@thekingoforange).