BAND SPOTLIGHT: The King of Mars

Straight out of our very own town comes The King of Mars–a rock/funk/indie band with nine, yes nine, members in it! If you’re wondering why there are nine people invovled, it’s because The King of Mars plays with a horn section and auxiliary percussion to make a rich, full sound for their listeners. In their own words, their staple sound has been described “as if Radiohead and Red Hot Chili Peppers had a musical baby and added a horn section to it. We put a heavy emphasis on musicianship without sacrificing catchy hooks and thought provoking lyrics.”

The King of Mars was first establshed in 2015 and, at the time, they were a four-piece rock band. Since their creation, they have added a piano and synths, horns, and auxiliary percussion which opened a lot of doors for them in terms of what they could do with their music. They thought more creatively as they tried to incorporate everyone’s sound and branchd out from the classic rock genre.

Coupled with a passion for traveling and experiencing new places, the band has enjoyed touring the US and are hoping they will be able to tour the major European cities in the near future. They have met many great people throughout their journey and have loved watching how their fanbase has grown over the years.

For more on The King of Mars, click here and be sure to chck out the extras below!


If you could tour with any band, who would it be?

One of my (John Bruner) biggest influences for this band has been Father John Misty. His songwriting and lyricism is some of the best I’ve ever seen/heard. I would love to be able to open up for him someday. Another big influence for this band is Stevie Wonder. I love him for his vocal chops and the way he arranges his horn lines. I definitely hope to see him live in person someday and to be able to open for him and his band would be a total dream.

What’s the best gig you ever played?

My favorite gig we’ve played so far has been at Evanston SPACE. We opened up for one of my favorite bands, The Dip. We got to meet the guys and hangout with them for a while before the show. It was awesome to see some of our role models in person and be able to get the crowd warmed up for them. The venue was also one of the coolest places we’ve played. If you’re ever in the area, I highly suggest checking SPACE out.

What’s the weirdest thing to happen while you were on stage?

One time when we were playing a show in Knoxville, TN, we had just finished playing the song, War Pigs by Black Sabbath, and a big guy in the crowd loved it. He was so excited we played that song that he wanted to hear it again. After every song we’d play, he’d scream “War Pigs!” at us. We could tell he was high on something because he’d just came out of the bathroom with white powder all over his face so it was an awkward situation. Eventually we played part of War Pigs again towards the end of our set just to make him happy. He loved it and we gained a new fan, but it was a weird situation for sure.

What is the biggest challenge you face as a band?

The biggest challenge most local bands face is gaining exposure and reaching new audiences. The best way we’ve been able to find new fans is booking shows outside of our home city of Chicago. We’re gaining ground in the Michigan music scene since we’ve played four shows there in the last year. We plan on hitting Michigan a couple more times this year as well as some other major midwest cities like Milwaukee and Cleveland. Follow The King of Mars on FaceBook, Instagram, YouTube and Spotify to keep up with our shows and music!

What do you guys like to do during your time off?

All of us have other jobs that keep us busy when we’re not playing as The King of Mars, but personally I like to read, watch sports, hangout with friends and pet dogs. Hopefully someday soon we’ll be able to make The King of Mars our main job and put all of our efforts to the band.

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