Alexander King Talks His Solo Career and Big Smo

Writer and Entertainment Journalist Josh Belcher - Rocking God's House (Cropped)I had the privilege recently to interview Alexander King. He is a solo artist and songwriter for Sony/ATV, and he was formerly a musician in Big Smo’s band. King starred in Season 1 of The Big Smo reality TV series on A&E and has appeared in Season 2 as well, which is currently airing.

I saw him perform recently at Exit Inn Nashville with his band Hatfield Bloodline in front of a packed local audience. You could barely hear most of the show because of the positive enthusiasm coming from the fans in the crowd — especially the ones who are proud to see a local act put middle Tennessee on the map.
Alexander is a very intellectual person who gives deep thought and consideration to each question that was asked to him. There are many layers to this performer, a man who gives his heart and soul to the art of making music. He has the gift to captivate an audience and grow his already popular fan base whenever he sets foot on stage.
Learn more about him at his Facebook page or find him on Twitter @MrKingAlexander or check out the Hatfield Bloodline official website.
Here is our discussion. Enjoy:
How do you like performing in front of a hometown crowd?
Man, it’s awesome. You know, for me being out the majority of the last three or four years and spending a lot of time on the road, to come home to the people who know the words and everybody is singing and it is not just the front row but it’s people you grew up with. I always like to say I don’t feel like I have fans I have supporters. So to get home is kind of like seeing your immediate support base.
Tell us about “American Gypsy.” I saw the title on your website and it said coming soon, is that the new album title?
Initially, it was my album title. I’m not sure if that is going to be the EP title or the LP title; there will be an EP coming out first, whether it carries the name American Gypsy or something different I am not really sure but that is the brand.
The band name Hatfield Bloodline I really liked. Could you discuss how you came up with it?
Alexander King Talks His Solo Career and Big Smo - Rocking God's HouseMy grandmother is from West Virginia, and she moved to New York when she was about 17, left home from a big family, a blue collar family of seven brothers and sisters, and she went to New York, and we didn’t really know a lot about our West Virginia family heritage and background for years because we always looked at my grandmother as being from New York. Over the last couple of years of her life, my mother — because she passed away a couple of years ago — my mother did a family lineage tree on and discovered that we are Hatfields by bloodline. Not many generations back, like only a generation before my grandmother. I am named after Alexander Steele, and he was the son of a Hatfield daughter, and he was my grandmother’s father, so my great grandfather and only four generations back. I’m a Hatfield, West Virginian bloodline, so it just seemed like the obvious band name to me as I broke out to do my own thing. I wanted to go with a name that was meaningful and meant something.
Big Smo Season 2 is on A&E now. How do you feel about a second season?
It’s amazing. It’s amazing that a bunch of guys from middle Tennessee had dreams of just making a living writing songs and performing those songs. That is what our dreams were, so for all of the other dreams that have happened it’s truly amazing. There are not a whole lot of words you know — incredible — words like that are what comes to mind when I think about what it really means. Because on paper we’re not really supposed to be where we are, and we have defied odds, and to be renewed for a second season, we kind of have an understanding of how TV works and how big that is. A lot of shows make it on for a first season. For us to be back on for a second season means that it really connected with people and means that they care about what the storyline is. And for me personally this season kind of deals more into my career outside of what I was doing with Smo. There is a point where it shows what’s going on with me; I don’t want to give too much away. It gives me a light that I didn’t have before, and I think for all of us. It’s been an incredible experience for the world to get to see us as songwriters and musicians and get to live our dreams on TV.
With the recent public announcement of the split of Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, and you and your wife being together for 17 years, what is your views on keeping a marriage together?
I couldn’t speak on Blake and Miranda, and that makes me sad, they are one of the only other couples that I know that I look at and I think wow that is awesome that they’re both in the entertainment industry. So that is really sad and I am a really big fan of both of them and I thought they were an awesome couple. And I hope that it is not a permanent thing for them and that they can work it out. As far as our life is concerned, the reason that I think that we are able to stay together is that she is a part of what I do — [but] not an entertainer — and I think that the battle of being married to anybody, being in a long relationship with anybody within the entertainment industry is that you’re having to share that person in essence with something else, another entity. So whether that is another man, woman or not, it is a really tricky dichotomy and balance to know that my wife knows that I am in love with something. There is not a level of love; you are either in love with something or you’re not, I believe. So she knows everyday that I am in love with something else besides her, and my children and she has known that since we met that I loved music. She also loves music, but I am in love with it in the sense that I have a relationship, that it causes me to be late to things, that if I am in the middle of it, it is hard to me to walk away from it. Even though I know I have other things to do, and she accepts that wholeheartedly and helps me keep my life balanced.
And I think in my opinion in the entertainment industry the reason there is such a big turnover rate in marriage is that a lot of people don’t accept and understand that going in. For us in the beginning we were blessed that there was no success and there was no TV and no label and not even a studio. I was recording in closets when we met and we were still teenagers — we where 19 years old, she was 20, I was 19 — and so I think that was a big part of it, that she was here before anything happened for me career-wise when it was still just a dream of mine. Also she accepts some of the weird stuff that comes with it. Like people want to touch you, be near you and close to you, and she doesn’t have a jealous bone in her body. She gets it for what it is; it’s
a part of the job description. But more than anything, I think that if you’re with somebody and you’re already successful that it’s different from when your with someone who has always been a part of it.
Do you consider yourself a Christian or spiritual person?
I consider myself very spiritual. I try to keep that balance as much as possible, and I pray a lot, more so in a gratitude space than praying for things. I have learned the older I got that being thankful in your prayers to God seemed to create what you would normally pray for anyway. I guess when it comes to religion, I have always had a sense because I grew up in so many different places. I have been blessed by being surrounded by people from so many different religions and at times of need I have ended up in so many kinds of different churches. To me music is my religion. Music saved my life. It gave me an understanding of divine intervention, which to me, music was God intervening in my life, telling me what path to go — and what more of a spiritual path is there than believing that you found something? For some people it’s Christianity, for some people it’s 12-step programs, for some its Buddhism, for some people its football [laughs]. Music is a religion because the basis of religion is something that gives you the direct connectivity to a higher power.