After the 2012 that the band We The Kings endured thus far, one would probably wonder what it would take for the pop-rock quartet to cancel a show. The answer is not “a drummer’s broken arm,” or “a bassist’s bout with a benign tumor.” “An attempted kidnapping of the group” would also be an incorrect answer.
“We will never be the band to cancel a show, unless we’re literally on our death beds,” lead singer Travis Clark told me at this year’s Vans Warped Tour. “Danny [Duncan] broke his arm snowboarding, and we’re just like, if he broke his arm playing drums or something like that, that’s more of a reason maybe to cancel a show. But snowboarding and doing something that’s not your job, and breaking your arm, you kind of have to pull through and do something.”
But the worst was yet to come for the band from Bradenton, Florida. Just five days later, bassist Charles Trippy was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
“Thankfully, he’s perfectly okay,” Clark said. “He got everything checked out, and it was benign. They had it extracted; he had a bald head and everything.”
It went further downhill from there. Clark could not speak about the incident on the record, but in a recent interview with idobi Radio’s “The Gunz Show,” the lead singer recalled an attempted kidnapping of We The Kings after a show in Malaysia. A man who posed as the guys’ bus driver took the band on a wild ride that ended only after a car chase and an alleged payoff of authorities in the country by the said driver. Footage of the confrontation was on YouTube but has since been removed.
Despite all of this, We The Kings have not only played every date as scheduled, but the band has also released a new EP and spent the summer on the main stage of Warped Tour. Clark and company still end each set with the band’s first breakout single, “Check Yes Juliet.”
“We’ll never be able to beat that song,” Clark admitted. “I don’t mean that in the sense of, ‘We’ll never be able to write a better song.’ We’ll never be able to write a song that is more emotional than that song because it’s where the majority of our fan base found us from.”
Clark went on to candidly address another issue regarding the way fans compare a band’s new material to tracks previously released.
“When a band releases a CD, and [fans] are just like, ‘Oh, this is not as good as the first one.’ Like, it’s never going to be as good as the first one,” he said. “No matter what, it will never be as good as the first one, unless a specific song relates to you in a very personal way.”