North Kingsley, the new trio featuring System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian, recently released two EPs, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. Today, the collective — which fuses rock, metal, hip-hop, and trap — is premiering the video for the track “Rifle in Thought” right here at Heavy Consequence.
Along with Odadjian, North Kingsley feature vocalist/lyricist Ray Hawthorne and producer Saro Paparian. Shavo first told Heavy Consequence of North Kingsley back in late 2018, before the outfit even had a name. At the time, he said, “It’s bass-driven hip-hop, but I can’t really explain it. You guys need to hear it.”
“Rifle in Thought” appears on the band’s Vol. 2 EP, which arrived last month, following the release of Vol. 1 in August. Throughout each EP, Hawthorne delivers socially conscious lyrics over rock-infused beats, with Shavo’s bass playing also sharing the spotlight.
On “Rifle in Thought”, Shavo also plays guitar, telling us, “I’ve been pacing the releases for North Kingsley in a way where I want to gradually build up to who we’ve become artistically and style wise today. ‘Rifle in Thought’ is the song that moves us to phase 2, writing a lot more with my guitar using rhythmic patterns. It’s also the first time in a video where I’m seen playing guitar (‘68 Gibson Les Paul) along with bass (Warwick), that’s really gratifying for me because guitar is where it started for me at the age of 12 before I then moved to bass later in my teens.”
As for the tune’s lyrics, Hawthorne explains, “Writing ‘Rifle in Thought’ was a much different experience than many of our other songs. The idea was to write a song that was outside of my own perspective. Through the writing process I would remind myself that I wanted it to appear sort of vapid on a surface level, but if someone really dove into the lyrics there would be a deeper overarching theme to everything being said. The main character of this song is an unreliable narrator who is unaware of how he truly feels, and is completely blind to the path that he is clearly on. He often contradicts himself and is much more mailable than he would choose to believe.”
North Kingsley’s EPs have been released through Shavo’s own 22 Red Media imprint, part of the bassist’s lifestyle and cannabis brand, 22 Red. Vol. 1 is available here, while Vol. 2 can be picked up here.
Watch the video for “Rifle in Thought” below. The song follows previous single “False Idols”, featuring Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA.