Release The ‘Young Blood:’ Marcus King On Getting Back To Europe, Staying Authentic And Meeting Metallica

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YOUNG BLOOD: Marcus King’s Young Blood LP drops Aug. 26, just ahead of his largest tour to date. Danny Clinch

The authentic blues rock and soul stylings of South Carolina-born Marcus King continues to come to life, with new album Young Blood dropping today ahead of the fourth-generation musician’s largest tour to date.

The 26-year-old “Road Puppy” took a moment before the album release to tell Pollstar about his recent touring post-pandemic shutdown and share some memorable moments from his already impressive career.

See also: Previous Marcus King Pollstar cover story

Pollstar: How are you feeling about the band and the music right now?
Marcus King: This is the happiest I’ve been with the band in a long time. Everyone is playing so well and listening to each other so much and everyone just feels so happy and bonded.

This tour in the fall that we just announced, we’re all really excited about it and it’s been kind of on the bucket list on the horizon for a while. COVID kind of pumped the brakes on a lot of our plans, but this is going to see us coming into or coming back to a lot of the markets that have been really good to us in the past. We’re going to be jumping into some larger venues and into some familiar venues and maybe doing a couple nights.

For example, we’re doing two nights at The Beacon and we all feel really right at home at the Beacon Theatre. This whole tour is pretty reflective of that. We’re going to feel right at home. Especially at the Ryman shows, I suppose. It’ll be nice to sleep in my own bed.

You are very proudly American and love American music specifically. You just had a lengthy Europe run. What are the crowds there like?
There’s two things I know for sure about myself, and that’s that I was born on U.S. soil and I was raised up on all forms of American music, so that’s a natural thing. I don’t come riding in on a Harley with an American flag shirt on or anything, but [fans] just dig it and they see the authenticity in it and they see and care that I have the reverence for my art form, and just music as a whole.

On your social media channels you’re often meeting rock stars and look to be having so much fun.
Man, that’s just still so bizarre to me, but it’s so gratifying and those are the kind of moments …I never really stop to smell the roses and look at the scenery. I kind of keep my nose down and just keep working and keep working. Career-wise, there’s only a few moments that I can count on my hand where I do take a step back and look at it from almost outside of myself. Where I got to introduce my father to Eric Clapton, that was certainly one of those moments.

What are some others?
I mean, the first time we played Red Rocks, the first time I was there and playing there. When I was on The Grand Ole Opry for the first time and, as corny as it sounds, maybe the first time I saw the Hollywood sign (laughs). I know that’s a cheesy one.

In late May, you wrapped up a secondary market run of U.S. dates with a stop at BottleRock in Northern California.

BottleRock was incredible. It was my first time seeing Metallica play, and the crowd was really sweet to us. Metallica’s crew was really sweet to us and they just put on such a great show. So electric. I’ve always loved Metallica. Their bass player (Robert Trujillo) came over to me and (fiancée) Briley while we were side stage and said hello, and that really floored me. It was the most climactic part of the tour and it being right at the end, it was just such a nice way to be like, “Oh right. We’re flying home tomorrow.” And they are up there just sending us home. It was great. Hell, the whole tour was really good. For the most part it seemed like every show had sold out or close to it. It was a really fruitful tour. We had a good time.

Young Blood is your second album with producer and Black Keys frontman
Dan Auerbach. How did the recording go?

Dan and I are just another-level comfortable with each other now after having done El Dorado together. We work really well together in the studio and everything happens very naturally. The process moves a little bit quicker than other situations I’ve been in. We cut this record in six days time and we had actually slotted out more time, but we didn’t need it. It happened so effortlessly that we were like, well, let’s go bowling. That’s what we did after we wrapped. We went bowling at the Brooklyn Bowl.