Four musicians cram together on a picnic bench singing in four-part harmony to a bus-load of tourists and staggering drunk hobos outside a San Francisco rest stop.’ ‘We were on our way back from playing at the Red Devil Lounge, and we stopped off the road only to find a bus-load of tourist and hitch-hikers.’ The four of us looked at each other and figured why not,’ said Tyson Kelly, guitarist and vocalist of King Washington. They’ve existed for only several months, but have been keeping busy putting together tours, new music and looking for other excuses to bust out with another set list of acoustic songs. The experience from San Francisco created a random happy memory that pompous rock stars might refuse to appreciate.’ Although King Washington performs live and plugged-in, their unplugged performances have been both memorable and inspiring to them.’ Other experiences include an invite-only show they did at Skyline Studios off of Topanga Canyon.’ The show had a noise ordinance that cut off at 11 p.m. and by that time fans were demanding more. ‘Our audience refused to leave and we felt responsible for making sure they weren’t let down.’ So we unplugged and sat on the ground like a bunch of Indians in a pow-wow,’ said drummer Jake Shearer. It has led the band back to their studio in Camarillo where I met them working on a batch of acoustic songs.’ The studio is located at the home of George Krikes, who plays guitar and sings.’ ‘Our music is saturated with vocal arrangements that weave in and out of our songs.’ We love The Beatles as well as other iconic bands from the 60s.’ Since we all sing in the band, our vocal arrangements cut through better in an acoustic setting,’ said Krikes.’ King Washington operates as a unit when producing new material, but when it comes to developing the beginning stages of an idea, most of them are sparked by Kelly and Dylan Cronin. Before Cronin joined King Washington on bass and vocals, he served in the military as part of the Third Ranger Battalion. A king of Washington sent him over to Afghanistan and Iraq where he caught Malaria, which remained dormant in his system until he got back to the states only to catch Pneumonia.’ Once the Pneumonia entered his system, the Malaria became active and put him in a coma for two weeks. Cronin was clinically dead twice and remains on earth to recount the experience.’ ‘When I came out of the coma, I couldn’t remember who I was or who these strangers were around me.’ It’s like someone treated my memories as a deck of cards and threw them on the floor.’ I’ve been picking them up one by one ever since,’ said Cronin. Music and Harry Potter books became an outlet for many of these lost memories to resurface through the different associations he had with both mediums.’ When he’s not playing for King Washington, he assumes the role of an angry pirate in his band Pirates Charles with songs such as ‘Rise of the Buccaneers.” Most of King Washington was assembled through other projects that broke the ice for creative differences, such as the 90s cover band that Kelly and Krikes put together to play at college frat parties.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ Kelly’s brother, Spencer, is the band’s manager. Both brothers expressed their problem of never being satisfied with their own work.’ This can be blamed on their father, Tom Kelly, who wrote five no. 1 Billboard pop hits before they could even grasp the concept of music.’ Among them are ‘True Colors,’ which was a major hit for both Cyndi Lauper and Phil Collins Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin.” He is now retired from the music business and supports the band’s process of learning songwriting. ‘We’re not like the Osbournes or anything like that.’ In our situation, there is no silver spoon attached to having a hit songwriter for a dad.’ We still do everything ourselves, but I guess it doesn’t hurt to have his opinion on tunes we feel should be better,’ said Spencer. Besides working on a self-released music production, King Washington is currently putting together a mini-tour to San Diego and waiting for their new band t-shirts to be printed.’ Getting their music on online engines such as iTunes, Rhapsody, and CD Baby are other goals, but their main focus is getting a solid batch of new material recorded and ready for the road.’ ‘
Their next show is Feb. 6 at Ground Zero in Los Angeles. Other dates can be found on myspace.com/kingwashington.