Between Kings Vocalist Nic Machuca Talks New Song, ‘Antidote,’ and More


Between Kings – Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Estevan Oriol

Nic Machuca of Between Kings discuses the band’s eclectic rock ‘n’ roll influences, new music and more

Brisbane, Australia’s Between Kings have a nostalgic sound that hints at everything from ’70s rock ‘n’ roll to ’90s alternative. The band recently released a new single, “Antidote,” which is packed with raw riffing and catchy melodies, and a new album is on the way.

Between Kings vocalist Nic Machuca checked in with Audio Ink to discuss the new album, Between Kings’ retro style and more. Read the full interview below.

Between Kings’ music is described as “a throwback to those times when rock ‘n’ roll music could save your life and a glimpse into its possible future.” What inspired you to dig into the roots of rock ‘n’ roll with your music?

We all grew up listening to rock music, and I think that reflects in our sound. We have those influences of heavier music in our songs and have found our own way of making our songs heavy while retaining our own unique sound. We love those bands who could make a whole stadium sing at the top of their lungs, so we try to write music that makes people want to sing.

Who were your top five musical influences growing up, and how did those play into what you do with Between Kings?

That’s a tough one! I think all of us were influenced by listening to bands like Linkin Park, Blink 182, The Killers, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine. These bands helped us understand how to write music that people can move to and rock out to while spreading a message or telling a story with their lyrical content.

You’re working on your new album with producer Jimmy Messer, who has worked with AWOLNATION, Kelly Clarkston and Selena Gomez, to name a few. What makes Jimmy a good fit with your music?

Jimmy has been amazing to work with. He has worked with some of the biggest names in the game and knows how to dig deep into the individual parts of a song and make everything sound as good as it does in our heads. He has helped us define our sound while letting us stay true to where the song comes from.

Tell me about the inspiration behind your new song, “Antidote.”

Our song “Antidote” is about struggling with mental health and coming to terms with the fact that sometimes you need a little help to cope with things and that’s okay. Some of us in the band struggle with mental health issues daily, so the song reflects that internal battle and overcoming your own demons. Whether the antidote be prescription medication or other forms of medication, some of us need something to get us through the day and it’s okay to need help.

What should fans expect from your new album, as far as style and themes?

For this album, we touch on multiple themes ranging from love to lust to mental health to nostalgia. We have reached a point in our writing where we are able to take influence from our own human emotions and put that into song form. These are all emotions we feel as humans, and we express these emotions on this album. We even have a cheeky rebellious song on the album.

What’s ahead for Between Kings through the end of this year?

We are about to finish recording the last songs for this album. When the album is out, we plan on hitting the road and playing our music for as many people as we can. We love playing live shows and meeting our fans, so come see a show and hang out with us!