IT'S been a long time since King No One swapped busking outside Bettys for the stage but York will always be the place where the up and coming indie band was born.

From across three different cardinal directions of the county, Zach Lount, Joe Martin and James Basile make up the cult underground band, which started out on the city's cobbled streets around eight years ago.

"York is just the birth of it all really," singer and lyrics writer Zach told The Press.

“We started out really busking for money. None of us had particularly much money growing up so we needed to make money whilst we had this band.

“Every different spot had its own character traits. The Church spot in High Petergate we found the best way to do it was five back to back songs really hard and people would come up after and come and chat to us and maybe buy a CD.

“We found at Bettys, if you want more of a relaxed day, you could play for 45 minutes and people just sat there listening. It felt like that spot you just play all day.

“At the end of the day the only thing we cared about was doing music but the problem is it costs so much in this industry.

“I think there’s a lot more people out there who maybe get inspired to do music. For a small minority of people you don’t really pick it. We didn’t choose this industry – we happened upon this path and it feels like it’s always what was going to happen anyway.

“I remember being at primary school, I remember this moment of being in the hall and seeing lots of people looking forward and a lot of schools in this country sing religious songs and, I’ve got some ADHD going on so I can’t focus, I was looking around at people singing the same words and thinking ‘This is awesome’.

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“Back then I didn’t know how to sing, I didn’t know how play guitar. It’s the same for the other two. It’s always been there for the three of us, that it was always the plan.”

The band sold out its first ever show at Fibbers on the very first night – a venue, now based at Toft Green, the trio love to revisit.

“We never thought that anything like that would happen,” Zach said.

“Ever since, York was just like this home for us – it was right in the middle for us all and once we started selling Fibbers out every time we thought, maybe we should try other cities.”

From Headrow House in Leeds to Manchester’s O2 Ritz, the band is – as Zach calls it – “building bricks” as it enters a new King No One era with its first ever European tour.

The band sell out venues, feature on BBC Radio 1 play-listed album artists and, in normal times, sell in excess of 8,000 tickets over two tours each year.

With almost 16,000 followers on Instagram and a dedicated fan base, the band is one step closer to the dream of taking over the European and UK music scene.

All that awaits is the end of Covid-19 with Zach ready to experience “the feeling of stepping out on the stage and it feels like the room and the people in there are one”. It’s something reminiscent of the band’s name which suggests no one is king, we are all born equal.

“We try and set the room on fire,” Zach says.

“We have such a tentative fan base. You come to the shows it’s all or nothing which is so lucky to have as an underground artist. They know all the words.

“It’s such an incredible feeling. It’s just constantly trying to make it better and better.

“It’s got a bit warped because of Covid as we haven’t been in front of an audience in so long. I miss the confidence it gives us to then write new music. The whole Covid thing’s been difficult for everybody.

“It’s just building bricks for us. Big, big plans but for now it’s a European conquest.”

Zach says the fan base are more like a “cult”. He explained: “It’s this massive overwhelming sense of everybody so unbelievably involved and invested in what’s going on [on stage].

“It really is the best feeling and we absolutely love our cult.”

The band is currently celebrating the release of its latest single ‘Obsolete’ – a ‘R&B meets 90’s Grunge’ style song about “the pursuit of hedonism to mask the shame that depression can leave you with. And the first acknowledgment that you kinda suck and don’t want to suck anymore.”

Reflecting on the band’s journey so far, Zach said: “It’s gone through all the different stages. At one point it was just a case of putting a few songs together and playing in the streets so it feels like forever and really we started when we were 17 and now we’re in our mid 20s.

“We’ve changed our minds, changed our outlook about everything so many times. It’s been a good one.

“I feel like the next big journey is about to start.”

Obsolete is available on all streaming platforms. 

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