Before they release their new album, let's look back at how FFAK got here.
Fit For A King will be releasing their brilliant new album 'The Path' this Friday (September 18) via Solid State Records.
Ten years on from their debut full-length, the record serves as a bludgeoning measuring stick for just how far the band have travelled throughout their career. So we asked vocalist to Ryan Kirby to recall each of the band's records and explain what it represents within their journey up until this point.
Here we go...
“‘Descendants’ was all about big life decisions, but at the time they didn’t seem big. At the time it felt like nothing I was doing would define where I am ten years later. At the time Fit For A King was pretty much just an unsigned local band that did some tours every now and then.
“I joined the band in 2010 and this album was the first album I was involved in. There are three songs on it that were written with the previous vocalist but the rest I had written. It was around this time that I decided to drop out of college to just see what would happe with the band as well.
“Then you have the video for ‘Ancient Waters’, which we managed to get done for free after a guy convinced us to let him do it. That ended up getting 2 million views and was the song that made a label want to contact us for the first time. We also got our manager around this time, who is still our manager today. He was like, ‘I will work for free, just give me a chance’ and now he is crushing it working for a huge management company doing amazing things.
“This album represents all of those little things that didn’t seem like anything at the time. We just thought, ‘Let’s go all in and see what we can do’. It ended up being career changing.”
‘CREATION/ DESTRUCTION’ (2013)
“This album represented excitement mainly. This is when we signed to Solid State Records. It was between ‘Descendants’ and this record that we wore the windbreakers on for the first time as well.
“But more than anything, we were overflowing with positivity. Everybody in the band was stoked to be signed and to go into a studio for the first time. We weren’t really prepared but the excitement of what kept us going and we were just ready to write the heaviest stuff ever.
“We were still writing religious songs at this time as well. It’s funny though because the more that I was writing about Christianity, the less I was actually practicing it.”
‘SLAVE TO NOTHING' (2014)
“This was actually one of the most confusing periods for the band. We lost our bass player after releasing ‘Creation/Destruction’. He was also our singer and at the time I couldn’t sing at all. So this is when we got Tuck [Current bassist Ryan O’Leary] in. He joined the band a week before we went into the studio. There were a lot of different sorts of chemistry going on.
“Slave To Nothing’ was also when I started making changes in my life. It’s when I realised that whether I liked it or not, people were looking up to me. As our band continued to grow I needed to start taking that seriously. I wanted to be someone who was worth looking up to.
“Overall the album is about breaking away from bad decisions and bad addictions. We all felt like we didn’t need to be a slave to anything. Whether that was social media or poor habits, we all felt like we needed to grow.
“On ‘Creation/Destruction’ we let people get into our heads when they would say how simple our music was and ‘Slave To Nothing’ was us trying to prove that we could be so much more than that.”
“Going into ‘Deathgrip’ there were a couple of things that were motivating us to be angrier. The first was that ‘Slave To Nothing’ didn’t do as well as we wanted it to. Our band didn’t shrink but we also didn’t grow very much, so there was a lot of frustration there. Then 2016 was also the election year. There was lots of stuff that we were seeing on the news that mixed in with us not being happy about where the band was and it all fed into a really angry record.
"‘Pissed Off’ is about the attack on the Bataclan in Paris. ‘Stacking Bodies’ is about the Rwandan genocide. ‘Cold Room’ is about a woman’s anonymous story about how she had an abortion and was struggling to forgive herself because she actually has a child now but feels unworthy of being a mother because of her past decisions. The record turned into a weird blend of all of these things all at once.”
‘DARK SKIES’ (2018)
"'Dark Skies’ was always going to be dark.
“The darkness of this album stemmed a lot from ‘Deathgrip’, which showed that I had a really negative and angry view on a lot of things. But on ‘Deathgrip’ I would say that I wasn’t depressed or anxious. I was just mad.
“‘Dark Skies’ just represents two years of that hatred and anger and indifference building up. Things built up so much in terms of what we were seeing on the news and social media and then me thinking, ‘Is this band ever going to take off?’ Everything just felt so negative. I felt absolutely no positive emotions towards anything when it came to us looking into the future. That’s both within the band but also in our country. My marriage and friendship with my band mates were the only things that were keeping me going, but everything else was all so grim.
So I thought I would just be honest about how sad I was with ‘Dark Skies’. When you’re upset it brings up all these unrelated things as well and when you’re in a bad mood it’s like it doesn’t just rain. It pours."
'THE PATH' (2020)
“Things may be a lot worse in the world in 2020 than they were in 2016 and 2018, but I did my best to disconnect from politics and stopped viewing people in a certain way based on their political beliefs. That has freed me in a way. It’s allowed me to be able to let in happy thoughts again.
“So with ‘The Path’ I wanted to write an album that was encouraging people to find their own path. A lot of people face that exact same dilemma as me where they’re at their jobs and will say, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’. A lot of people don’t look for their path away from that because it takes a lot to find it. With that in mind, I want this to be a motivational record. I want to motivate people to find their own path out of hell. A lot of people are in an emotional rut right now. This album is about actively seeking out your route to feeling better and finding those things that will make you happier. It’s a call to action.
“You need to know your identity and know yourself before anything else. That’s why I want the title track to be people’s pump up soundtrack. I want people to hear that song and be inspired to find themselves and find their own path out of whatever hell they are in, be that depression or anxiety or that job you hate or a toxic relationship. I want it to be the song that motives you to do exactly what you want to do.
"I honestly think that I’m a better people because of this band. In the past I wasn't reflecting the life I was writing about in my lyrics within my actual life. I’ve made myself a better person by aknowleding the parts of my life now where I’m not living up to where I should be. If you persevere and you’re honest with yourself and write honest music, things can happen. So our message right now is basically to keep going.”
You can order 'The Path' from our mates over at Impericon from right HERE