Join KING LLAMA and The Vinyleros Nick “The Mad Platter” Katona, Mike “The Waxman” Maffei & Ken “The Traveler” Roberts via Vinyl Confessions on the House of Prog
Who is KING LLAMA?
“This Los Angeles instrumental trio showcases precision and power with extraordinary musicianship. Blending dynamic sounds of Progressive Rock-Jazz-Fusion manifested in various time changes and mood swings. That is, King Llama.”
– Hector Chiwa
Grab a comfy seat, your favorite beverage and bring your friends along for the ride, because we want to make you an offer you can’t refuse.
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KING LLAMA BIO
King Llama plays progressive music for progressive minds. The group’s debut full-length album, RETURN TO OX is a journey of instrumental compositions with elements of rock, jazz, funk, fusion, and a touch of hip-hop. With imaginative song titles including “Call Me Elmo,” “Stogies ‘n Juice,” and “Cap’n Mustard Hair,” one can expect a sense of creativity and adventure, which is exactly what the listener gets!
Though the band members — guitarist Ryan Tanner Bailey, drummer Luis Briones, and bass/baritone guitarist Nico Staub — are all fairly young, one can hear a range of prog/fusion/eclectic stylings from the history of adventurous music. King Llama’s vibe, being quite original itself, seems to bring out moments reminiscent of King Crimson, Phish, Yes, and Rush.
This trio can create a surprisingly fat sound that defies expectations. There are gritty distorted bass tones mixed with classic wah wah guitar leads. There are complicated drum fills, odd meter and poly-rhythmic beats, coupled with dynamic changes of differ-ing moods and styles. The overall sound is highly stimulating to the progressive and open-minded listener.
There is a strong foundation of music knowledge and appreciation within each of King Llama’s members. Ryan, Luis, and Nico are all originally self taught, but subsequently all had extensive training (both privately, and at professional institutions), most recently at Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles, and in Nico’s case, CAEMSA in Buenos Aires. The band’s training in composition and arrangement, as well as their instrumental virtuosity shines through on everything they play.
RETURN TO OX has a very live feel to it, as the band prides itself on its stage performance, and likes capturing that in the studio. Their live show both delivers the quality that fans expect, and also has an element of spontaneity with surprise guest appearances, and left-leaning repertoire. A strong bond between the band members, both musical and personal, animates their ability to communicate through such elongated and complex compositions.
King Llama is progressive in the natural meaning of the word, “progressive” – favoring change, improvement, and reform. The sound is a true fusion of genres and an obligation toward challenge.
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