Caroline Shumate and Greg Graves, better known as The Queen and King, are taking the electronic pop scene by storm. PopWrapped got a chance to talk to one half of The Queen and King, Greg Graves, about the band, their music, and more.
PopWrapped: How did you two meet?
Greg Graves: Caroline and I went to a pretty big high school, so we only knew of each other. Never hung out or anything. We became friends the summer after graduating high school. And we never started actually writing songs together for a year or so after that.
PW: How did you get the name The Queen and King?
GG: I don’t remember most of the details, but I remember being in the car with Caroline and saying that we should switch “king and queen” around because she’s the lead singer, and, since she fronts the band, our title should reflect that.
PW: What made you guys go into the music business?
GG: We both love music, and we want to make it our career.
PW: How old were you guys when you started performing?
GG: I started playing music when I was 11 or 12, but I didn’t start performing until high school when I was in jazz bands and helping kids at school when they needed a back-up band.
PW: Who are your music inspirations?
GG: My favorite writers have always been bands and artists like Death Cab [For Cutie], James Blake, Noah Gundersen, The Neighbourhood, Olivver The Kid, Blink-182, Versa, The 1975. I’ve always listened to the instrumentation and production before I listened to the lyrics of a song. Turns out I like what these bands wrote lyrically, as well.
As far as visual, I just try and take bits and pieces of everything I see from live performances and artwork and emulate it.
PW: Did you guys always know you wanted to be in the music business?
GG: For me, no. I knew I always wanted to play music and make it a huge part of my life, but I didn’t truly understand what that meant. I figured I’d just always play gigs around my hometown and that would be enough. It wasn’t until I move out of my hometown that I knew I wanted to write, record, perform my own songs. I didn’t actually know I wanted to be apart of the music business until I wanted to make music my career.
PW: Describe your style of music in one word or one sentence.
GG: Happy sounding songs that are actually really sad.
PW: Describe [Caroline] in one word.
PW: When writing your own music, what is the writing and recording process like?
GG: For both EPs, I programmed in the synths and clicked in the beats to make the shells of the songs. Caroline would, then, either put lyrics to the songs or she would bring me lyrics she had already written, and I would make a shell around it. When we did Pep Talk, we were in the studio versus our living room and were able to write out actual drum/guitar/bass/synth parts.
PW: What is the best and worst thing about performing live?
GG: For me, the worst are the moments leading up to the show. Its very nerve-wracking, and I get extremely anxious. When actually performing is the best part.
PW: Any pre-show rituals?
GG: I’d normally warm up hands and stretch my fingers, pray, take a shot or two, maybe give Caroline an extremely strong, firm high five, and then run out on stage hoping I won’t trip going up the stairs.
PW: If you could perform anywhere in the world where would it be, and why?
GG: I would love to play anywhere in the UK. London, Manchester, and Portsmouth are my favorite cities in England. I love Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dublin, Belfast. All of that. The landscape and even the ferry rides between the countries were amazing.
PW: Any tour plans?
GG: Hopefully we have something coming in the summer, after we release the EP.
PW: Can you give us any hints about what is up next for you guys?
GG: We have the EP coming out and booking future shows. We’re always writing. Thats about as much as I know [laughs].
PW: What do you guys have to say to those who want to get into the music business?
GG: Be persistent. Don’t be discouraged to start, either. Everyone sucked when they started out. Some still suck, and they’re doing okay. Be determined and never accept failure as an option.
PW: Where can people find you on social media?
Check out the video below of the duo covering "Roses".