Contributor’s Note: It was a cold blustery night in Des Moines and I was not feeling good while battling the flu. Ryan was absolutely a kind, gracious person in this interview, and I really appreciate him taking the time with me to discuss God, Fit for a King, that fateful night in Paris, and “Deathgrip”, along with other fun topics. Check out Fit for a King on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fitforakingband and www.twitter.com/fitforaking and follow them on Instagram at www.instagram.com/fitforakingtx. Go to their official website at www.fitforaking.com to pick up a copy of “Deathgrip” via Solid State Records. Without further delay, here’s my conversation with Ryan Kirby, vocalist for Fit for a King!
Madness To Creation: Tell me who you are and what you do in the band.
Ryan: I am Ryan Kirby and I am the vocalist.
Madness To Creation: I know you haven’t been in Fit for a King since the inception of the band, tell us how you got into the band.
Ryan: The band started in 2007 and I joined in 2010, still a local band through all this, it was just kind of the right place at the right time. I played some local shows with them, they lost their vocalist, they were a bigger local band than our local band, we were breaking up, and I was like, “hey, can I try out”
Madness To Creation: How’s the Carry The Flame tour going?
Ryan: It’s good, we’re a few shows in, but it’s just getting better and better, we’re hoping that trend continues.
Madness To Creation: Why should people come out early to check out your band?
Ryan: Because we’re heavy and we have some breakdowns for them, and we offer a different message than the other bands being that we’re a Christian band, and everything.
Madness To Creation: What does it mean for you to be in a Christian band, other bands in that genre define it so many ways, what does it mean in your view?
Ryan: I write about my life, I’m a Christian, it’s through the lyrics in my personal belief in God, and how I combat certain things as a Christian. Not every song is a Christian song, I mean I write about my life and not everything is “praise God”, we’re not a worship band or anything. We talk about a lot of the dark aspects of the world and struggles, and stuff like that. Not a lot of happy stuff.
Madness To Creation: What are some of the struggles, is it inner struggle or?
Ryan: I mean worldly. One song is about the Rwandan genocide, the Paris attacks, one song is about a fan who told me about a struggle when she had an abortion and her struggling to live with that. Some Christians don’t like how dark it is, and I’m like, “that’s the world, you can’t just hide”.
Madness To Creation: Exactly man, as a Christian I feel the same way. I feel that we need to be the light in the dark places. As a Christian, do you get tired of those questions about Christianity?
Ryan: No man, if I did, we would say, “we’re Christians in a band, but we’re not a Christian band”. We know that it’s going to come when we call ourselves a Christian band.
Madness To Creation: Take us inside the video to “Dead Memory”, I kind of want to get back to that collaboration you and the band had with Jake from August Burns Red.
Ryan: The song was written about my wife suffering because of her dad leaving her, the song goes, “its been 15 years since you walked away” No contact for 15 years, when she was 9 years old. It’s about her dad trying to pop back in, and that was the whole struggle of the song, should I let him back into my life, and her finding that its just best for her to move on, that she made it through her whole life without you, and he was just causing her more pain, pop back in and leave, pop back in and leave. She was just like, “I just need to break it off”.
Madness To Creation: It’s a very weighty song and a very weighty topic, thank you for sharing. I really think that is the strength of your band is that you’re willing to talk about the tough issues. I know that you have been asked this question before, but I know that you played a show in Paris a few days after the Paris attacks, was there any hesitation to not playing that show or anything like that?
Ryan: About every band on the package had a lot of concerns. There were times when we were like, we shouldn’t go, but we eventually decided to play because we figured we all decided that this was what we needed to do because you let terrorists win whenever you change your life and live in fear over things, so tickets stopped selling after the attacks, they were still for sale, but nobody was buying the tickets anymore, and a lot of people didn’t show up that did buy their tickets, but there was like 100 people that did show up, and they just kind of had that attitude, “screw the guys that did this, we’re going to have fun no matter what”. I would be lying if I said that we didn’t keep an eye on where the emergency exits at the venue were, it was a very nerve-racking night, but once it was done, we were so glad that we did it.
Madness To Creation: I better let you go so you can get ready for the show! Good luck tonight!
Ryan: Thanks man! This was a lot of fun!
Saturday, March 18th- The Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts
Sunday, March 19th- Webster Hall in New York, New York
Monday, March 20th- Baltimore Soundstage in Baltimore, Maryland
Tuesday, March 21st- Arizona Pete’s in Greensboro, North Carolina
Wednesday, March 22nd- The Masquerade in Atlanta, Georgia
Thursday, March 23rd- The Orpheum in Tampa, Florida
Saturday, March 25th- So What?! Music Festival in Grand Prairie, Texas
Go to www.carrytheflametour.com for tickets, VIP packages, and further information in regards to any of the aforementioned shows listed!