If the word nexus conveys a connected group, then a king nexus is a group that is preeminent in its connected form, and that’s exactly what I observed on my recent visit to the DNA Lounge in San Francisco to watch King Nexus command the stage with their progressive, instrumental rock set.
My visit for Spotlight Chronicles came at the invitation of Matt Bordelon, the driving force behind King Nexus. The DNA Lounge was perfect for their big, but melodic sound. The main performance area is large enough to not feel cramped but small enough to create an intimate experience. The elevated stage gave the band an even larger than life feel to accompany their unique sound of instrumental avant-garde soundscapes.
Here is my interview with Matt about King Nexus. He is excited for their future opportunities amongst bands in their genre. King Nexus has their eye on film production soundtracks as a next step in their musical evolution.
I’m looking forward to watching a movie one day featuring their soundtrack.
To listen to King Nexus’ music, check them out on Bandcamp. For their next live show, visit them at Quarter Note Bar & Grill in Sunnyvale, CA on February 21, 2020.
SC: What’s your role in the band?
MB: I play bass and keyboards. I formed the band in 2014 with a different lineup of people but that fell apart, and I reinvented it with a new drummer in 2015. Together in 2020, we are Eric Olson, Trevor Cook, and Geoff Svendsgaard and myself. I am mostly the driving force behind the band, but we all the have the freedom to contribute in our own creative way. Being in a band is difficult, more difficult than many people think because there are strong emotions involved. It’s like babysitting, managing the musical tensions amongst the band members.
SC: What genre of music do you most identify with?
MB: Progressive rock, instrumental avant-garde soundscapes. Our goal is to start doing film production soundtracks.
SC: Where are you based out of, where do you play, and in what type of venues?
MB: Oakland, CA, we record at Soundwave Studios. We play all over the SF bay area, in drinking bars, rock bars, pubs, theatre halls, community theatre, bay area stage productions. My a-ha moment was seeing a Yes cover band play in a theater hall. We have not done that yet. I could see at that moment that soundtracks are the direction we want to go with our music.
SC: If you had to compare your band to a famous band, as a point of reference, who would it be?
MB: King Crimson has been my main influence. There are other bands that have influenced me, but that is the main one for the incarnation we are today.
SC: Do you write your own music and lyrics? How many recordings have you put out?
MB: We are instrumental only and we compose our own music, but we don’t write lyrics for it. We have recorded six songs for our current album, all of which can be found on Bandcamp under King Nexus.
SC: What inspires you as a band?
MB: The mixture of music, the group collaboration. Each band member can write their own songs and we develop them together. The last two songs were constructed from improvisations off the top of our heads.
The driving force is the challenge, the musical challenge, we want more out of our music, so we keep working on it. Our music provides a landscape out of story and breaks away from the norms of rock music. When you make your own music, self-expression is important.
SC: Is the SF bay area a good place for you to promote your unique sound?
MB: SF bay area is good because Netflix is based here and Netflix does their own production and needs soundtracks, and we would like to produce soundtracks for them. But in general the SF bay area is saturated with musicians.
SC: When people leave your show, what is it that you hope they will say about you?
MB: It depends on the audience. A woman came up to me after a show, and said she didn’t like our music at first, but then she came around and enjoyed it. Another woman came to one of our shows, and came up to me afterwards with tears in her eyes. Our music moved her to her tears. That was a transcendental moment in a theatre hall.
Our mission statement is to create new music for the world. We ask the world to give it a chance.
Thank you, Matt for the interview and for inviting me to your show, I enjoyed it!