Pete Mitchell – No More Kings
No More Kings are a Los Angeles-based rock band fronted by lead singer Pete Mitchell (born September 7th, 1973 in Providence, Rhode Island). No More Kings’ music is known for its frequent references to figures in pop culture, most notably Johnny Lawrence from The Karate Kid, Michael and K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider, Johnny 5 from Short Circuit, and Dungeons and Dragons. The band’s songs are written by Pete along with his longtime friend Neil Robins of the Louisville-based band Dirt Poor Robins.
No More Kings have played shows all across the U.S. since 2006, playing most frequently in Los Angeles.
The name “No More Kings” comes from an episode of Schoolhouse Rock!, one of many of No More Kings’ inspirations. The particular episode dealt with the Pilgrims leaving England, seeking freedom and independence.
Pete studied fine art in college and has worked for Disney and the Jim Henson Company; he is an accomplished animator and also speaks Japanese. He designed the interior album art for the band’s first album as well as the album art and packaging for their second album. Pete claims his main sources of musical inspiration are the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Radiohead, Billy Joel, Beck, and Genesis.
Gentlemen, welcome to NinjaPimp Online Magazine. How are you doing today? Doing great! Today is a beautiful day in sunny Los Angeles. The birds are singing. The dogs are barking. Love is all around.
Can you introduce the band members for us? Sure. There are six of us: six young strapping lads. On guitar, we have Christian Wojcik and Josh Taylor. Playing the super-bass we have Beau Burtnick. Kicking the tasty grooves on the drums, we have David “D.G.” Grant. Tickling the keys is my man Timmy Maglothin. And I’m Pete Mitchell. I sing.
So how did your come up with your band name? Can you tell us about it? The band name is from an episode of School House Rock. I grew up watching those little animations. I pretty much got all my history lessons from those things. Anyway, “No More Kings” was a song about the pilgrims coming over from England. I loved the sense of the American independent spirit that the song evoked.
We love your “Sweep the Leg” video. Whose idea was that? Thanks! Yeah, that video was a lot of fun to make. We are going to be rolling out a bunch of behind-the-scenes footage of it on www.sweeptheleg.com very soon. The idea really came from Billy Zabka, the guy that played Johnny Lawrence in The Karate Kid. He really just went nuts with it, and got everybody from the movie back together. It was so fun to be part of that, and watch it unfold.
What was the best part of filming that? Great question. There was a lot about that video that I loved. Probably the best moments for me were all the wire stunts Ã¢â‚¬â€œ jumping up onto the bus, the Matrix crane kick stuff, and falling through the ceiling of the tournament. I mean, I had never done anything like that before. It was really exhilarating.
What do the fans thing of the video? The fans love it. Even people that don’t like the song or the band love the video. I think it tapped into 23 years of fan subculture.
Who or what inspired the song “Leaving Lilliput”? I really enjoy the Gulliver’s Travels theme. Ted Danson.
“Zombie Me” is also a great. Who wrote that? I did [Pete]. I write all the lyrics and melodies for the songs. And my buddy Neil Robins [of the band Dirt Poor Robins], writes all the instrumentation. We’re like Batman and Robin. Or Batman and RobinsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Dirt Poor Batman.
Are all of those songs on one CD? If so, what is it and where can we buy it? They are! Thanks for asking. It’s all on one action-packed CD, available on iTunes, amazon.com, and most retail stores.
Our website is www.afro-squad.com. What do you think of the site? I love “Episode Zero”! Neil and I used to make tons of ninja movies in my backyard. We broke my parents’ camcorder at least three times. So the Afro-Squad stuff brings back happy memories for me. I also love that the speedometer says “holy crap”. Great stuff! Mad nunchuck skills, too.
What do you think of our band the Protagons and our video “Episode Zero”? Featured Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFrGLbBMow4 You know, you are always welcome to use our characters SnowMan and KrazyMan in your future videos. I couldn’t get any of the music to work, but as I said, I loved the video. Great stuff.
What NMK projects would you like to talk about? Right now, we are gearing up to shoot the next video for our song “Michael (Jump In)”. So I’m really excited. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Lots of crazy stunts.
What does the future hold for NMK? We’ve got high hopes for the future. Flying cars. Talking robotic servants. Fluffier dogs. But specifically for No More Kings, we are currently working on our own ice-cream flavor. Due out next year. We’re getting ready to head back out on tour. The road. The long and winding road. And then hopefully start recording our second album. Can Afroman sing?
What would you like to say to your fans? I know everyone does this, but I really want to thank our fans for continuing to support us. Because of our MySpace plays, we are able to book better shows, and more of them. So in our case, the fans really do make all the difference. We love getting messages from our fans, and we always love meeting people at shows. We’ve got some exciting plans for our street team as well. So we encourage anyone who’s interested in joining to please go to www.nomorekings.com. You can shoot zombies there, too.
Is there anything else you would like to talk about? I think that’s all. Thank you so much for interviewing us. I look forward to the next Afro Squad episode! Maybe someday we can match our kung fu skills and join forces!