By Christa Fletcher
Most kids fight against their hometown and think the grass is greener outside of where they grew up, but the four guys in the band We The Kings embrace their upbringing, showing all sorts of love for Bradenton, Florida on their self-titled debut disc, We the Kings, which was released in December 2008.
The alternative pop-rock band is named after King Middle School where all four band members attended — in fact, two are brothers, three of the guys went to elementary school together and some played on the same sports teams when younger. Songs such as “Skyway Avenue,” “August Is Over” and “This Is Our Town” speak directly to Bradenton locales and the culture of the resort community. Guitarist Hunter Thomsen even proudly sports a tattoo of the Sunshine State on his chest.
“We really just wanted to reflect on how much our hometown means to us, how it sculpted us and, even beyond the band, how long we’ve all been together,” says singer/guitarist/songwriter Travis Clark.
We the Kings (2007)
Smile Kid (2009) EPs
Between The Ink And Paper
Secret Valentine EP
Friendship Is A Touchy Subject
Nominated for "Best New Artist" at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2008.
Won "Best Pop Punk Artist" at the Top In Rock Awards in 2009.
Nominated for "Choice Hook Up" at the Teen Choice Awards (shared with Demi Lovato) for their "We'll Be a Dream" in 2010.
Singer/Songwriter Travis Clark:
"We really wanted the record to represent the kids that we are. We're uplifting, we love to have a good time and we love music."
One of the tracks on We the Kings' self-titled album is "August Is Over."
Vocalist Travis Clark says, "it's about Fall starting and people leaving to go back to school or home. We make friends and meet girls who we hang out with over the summer and then realize that you have to quickly say goodbye because they have to go home."
"This is a fun record, but we also wanted to make it as timeless as we could. It's hard to think in 20 or 30 years what songs people are going to remember from this time. We aimed to make those kinds of songs," says Clark. "I guess in 20 years we'll know if we did it."
The album's closer is "This Is Our Town," a tribute to the band's hometown Bradenton. "The town has always been there for us, so I wanted to really give it the love it deserved," says Clark. "It's such an emotional song for us, we felt that it was big enough to be the only ballad on the record."