Gods & Kings
Based in the damp, moss-covered, coffee-crazed urban wilds of the Pacific Northwest, Gods and Kings are the most unlikely of rock bands.It all started years ago in the basement of a Portland suburb where drummer, Tim Fiori and guitarist, Matt Kuttruff would meet (much to the chagrin of the neighborhood) to almost-jokingly chisel away at extended, psych-out rock jams and covers of beloved classics. An odd stylistic choice for both since Fiori had found his musical legs providing blistering, machine-gun percussion for short-lived death metal band Night Terror while Kuttruff wheeled his way in and out of various acoustic folk and blues troupes. Unlikely bedrock for a foundation of rock n' roll but, as time passed, the jams tightened, the chops improved, and the two decided to make it official. Taking on the moniker 'Bridgewater', they became something of a revolving door for transient vocalists and bass players alike and, although still working away on a large catalogue of material, the two quickly became frustrated and disheartened.Enter Kengol-wearing bass maestro, David 'White Chocolate' Woodall. Alumnus of Beaverton-based dirty electro-pop purveyors, The Gentry, Woodall, despite the seventy-plus mile commute he'd face to do so, quickly joined and the hopeless duo became a rejuvenated and powerful trio. The three set to work tearing into the song catalogue and rebuilding from the ground up. Drum sticks were splintered, blood was spilled, riffs were forged but still they lacked a crucial element: a voice. And so the three plunged into the digital morass of the internet and the search began.After months of false starts, failed auditions and awkward rejections the little band from the 'burbs had sunken back into the doldrums until, one day, they chanced upon the music profile of Jeff Hays. Here were YouTube videos of a skinny goofball sporting an orange fright-wig and cranking out some of the funkiest acoustic neo-soul, multi-tracked choral arrangements, everything under the sun with this pristine, phenomenal voice. They knew, despite the difference in genre, they had found their singer. And so, on a rainy January evening, Hays, then a Vocal Performance major at Linfield College, a multi-instrumental prodigy, and a veteran of the bands Sunnygrey and Footnote Legacy, made the trek to the suburban basement and Gods and Kings were born.