King Canyon Bio February 2023
Blues, Funk, Rock, Soul. It is all there in King Canyon.
James Ryan and Jimmy Cupples formed King Canyon in Melbourne in 2020 when no-one could do anything. They turned the negative of lockdown into the positive of creativity. James recalls, “I had original stuff I wanted to do and there was never enough time. Myself, like a lot of people had never done streaming. Everybody was in the same boat sitting at home. We had something that we were thrilled about and wanted to share it.”
The webcasts soon went from covers to original songs and from there the band was gathered. “It became less covers and more of our own songs,” adds Jimmy Cupples. “We had the opportunity to rehearse our own songs in front of people,” says James. “It became so good we thought we needed to put a band together. We reached out to Haydn Meggitt on drums and Kit Riley on bass and the band was born”.
While King Canyon is three years in both Jimmy and James have decades of experience and over 50 years of influences. When the new music started to flow with ‘Woman’ and ‘Smoke Stack City’ King Canyon had an English, blues 60s pub rock feel. Jimmy says, “We started off with that bluesy thing. When we first got together we were going to go down that track. Then we started to write these songs that started to go off in a different direction. That’s when I thought we found our real originalness. There is a little bit of soulfulness in there but not as bluesy and funky as the first music”.
King Canyon have certainly been inspired by the US and UK blues-tinged rock of the 60s and 70s. “Whatever happened to us musically that is where the greatest influence went in and stuck,” says James.
As the lead singer of King Canyon, Jimmy is quite a fan of the 70s scream. “Led Zeppelin, Ian Gillan, Ronnie James Dio, Whitesnake, influences from the 70s,” he says moulded him. James says, “I grew up mostly the early heavy rock and blues, the same kind of influences”.
Since forming in 2020 King Canyon has had an impressive output. Eight songs were released up to the end of 2022 which can now form the nucleus of a debut album. “Maybe four of those will make the album. The rest will be new,” says James. We will have a full album definitely by mid-year and a vinyl later in the year. The album, that’s what everything is about at the moment”.
While King Canyon is a new band, both James and Jimmy have impressive resumes. James once performed on massive shows in South America with Men At Work on their final tour. He was in Vanessa Amorosi’s band when she opened for Kiss at the Grand Prix in Melbourne in 2008 and did some shows with Robbie Williams in Australia in 2022. (See if you can spot him when the Robbie biopic comes out).
Jimmy past took him to California where he made his way to the stage of the iconic Whisky A Go-Go and spotted Toto legend Steve Lukather in the audience. “I went from being reasonably confident to ‘oh my God, Steve Lukather is here’” Jimmy recalls.
Jimmy took part in the first season of The Voice in Australia. Because of that he was invited to go to China to sing in front of 29,000 people. “It was a great experience for me. I had always stayed in the safety net of the comfort zone. It was a good feeling,” he says.
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