The Kingdom Mafia
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The Kingdom Mafia

Beaumont, Texas, United States

Beaumont, Texas, United States
Metal Hardcore




"The Kingdom Mafia’s rhythmic metal"

The Kingdom Mafia’s first show was June 6, 2006. Think about that for a second. Got it?

It was 6-6-06.

Ideal for a metal band, wouldn’t you agree?

Jesse Arsement, 29, of Vidor plays drums and recalls that show as one of his favorites with the band.

“We really grabbed people, got their attention with the style of music we were playing,” Arsement said. “It was out at The Art Studio. A lot of people came out to see us and it was a really good vibe.”

But who is the Kingdom Mafia, aside from the individuals who comprise the band: Arsement, Peter Morello, James Phelps, Kelly Gale and Dustin Whitmore.
Arsement let us know.

Q How would you describe your sound?
A We’ve all kind of juggled around with the metal genres because there’s so many. We decided that we are melodic metal core, we throw some death metal in there every once in a while. In the end, it’s got a lot of pretty guitar sounds. They’re very rhythmical, with some wild drums, but the songs are very structured.

Right now all of our vocals are just screaming lyrics — there’s hardly any singing unless it comes from Kelly. We’ll throw in some background vocals once in a while. The music is about as heavy as it has ever been.

Q How did y’all decide on the name?
A It sounds really cheesy, but I had a dream. I love thinking about stuff like that. I had the word “mafia” in my head that day, and then “kingdom” came up. I put them together and was like … ‘that sounds really good.’ I brought it up to the guys … and we all liked it so we all agreed on it.

Q What’s the song-writing process like?
A A lot of times we’ll start with a guitar riff. James or Kelly will have something they will bring to practice and we’ll kind of build off of that. It turns more into a jam session; we’ll build off of that one riff and Kelly may have something to match it.

And I’ll just throw a fat beat in there and we’ll kind of … build from the bottom up. Once we start liking what we’re hearing, we’ll put different parts in different spots of the song and then structure it from there. It usually turns out pretty cool.

Q Are you guys working on an album?
A We’ve been trying to record a CD for like a year (laughs). We are actually are going to get some studio time in Houston. We’ve tried to record several times by ourselves but it just wasn’t sounding up to our standards. We don’t want to put something out that is kind of (expletive) and gets people turned off from it. We finally put our foot down and we are going to go get recorded. Hopefully we’ll have something out in the next couple of months.

Q What can we expect from your show?
A A lot of loud people with long hair and piercings (laughs). It’s always a good time. People get the wrong idea of the metal crowd/scene.

I think they think we are out to get somebody or we are going to contaminate their kids or whatever. But the nicest people I’ve ever met are these big metal guys with all the piercings and everything.

Everyone is just sweet. It is just a lot of fun people having a good time and enjoying the music.

The live show is going to be awesome. Anytime we go on stage, we make sure that we have everybody’s attention. There’s just a lot of energy and you can feel it. - Beaumont Enterprise

"Return of The Kingdom Mafia"

Return of The Kingdom Mafia

Let the metal masses rejoice!

It’s been a long time, but The Kingdom Mafia finally returns to the stage for a concert this Friday night (May 20, 2011) at Tequila Rok on Crockett Street in downtown Beaumont.
The Kingdom Mafia is joined by special guests Skanky Dave, Southern Death Toll, Lockehart and Avaris. Admission is $5 at the door for ages 18 and older.
Although much has changed about the local heavy metal band, the group has remained part of the local music scene despite not having any live performances in several months.
The Kingdom Mafia is comprised of Pete Morello, vocals; James Phelps and Kelly Gale, guitars; Dustin Whitmore, bass; and Jesse Arsement, drums.
LocalMusicGuide was able to catch up with drummer Jesse Arsement for a little Q&A about the band and its return to live performing.

Local Music Guide: What happened with The Kingdom Mafia? Why have you guys been away so long?

Jesse Arsement: The Kingdom Mafia has been my baby for a long time. The only thing that happened to the band was that nothing happened at all. Before April 23rd (2011), the band hasn’t played a show in over a year due to the lack of a rehearsal space. Everyone in the band lives just far enough away from the next person that it was almost impossible to get us all together in one location at the same time. It was very depressing not having that music in my life for such a long time. I couldn’t let everyone down, so I kept on looking for a jam room. One day my buddy, Cullen, told me about a place that sounded too good to be true. I jumped on the deal and now we practice twice a week and book shows that we know are going to help our status as a metal band.

LMG: What has changed musically about the band?

JA: Before the huge break we had a great sound. It was definitely heavy, but we could all feel the music getting more aggressive. After stepping back into our practice space from the long break, the music had a melodic metalcore sound. The vocals are more structured and the music perpetually attacks at each turn. Its loud, fast, and brutal.....just the way we like it.

LMG: Tell me about the new singer, Pete Morello. When did you know he was the man for the band and what set him apart from the rest?

JA: Pete Morello has lungs made of metal. He’s gone to the doctor to get x-rays, but always breaks the machine! Pete has been with The Kingdom Mafia since the departure of former vocalist, John Teague. You can really tell a difference in our live performance with Pete on stage. He just has that look of a front man for a metal band, but also has the talent to back it up.

LMG: Do you guys have any new music you are ready to unleash?

JA: We have a couple of new songs and some new material in the works. It’s faster and more aggressive than our previous writing style.

LMG: What’s next for TKM following this show?

JA: After Tequila Rok we’ll be recording a new EP, so we’re definitely trying to space out our shows. We’ve been a band without any updated songs on CD, so we’re way overdue for a good recording. Everything seems to be falling into place here lately, so I’ll shut up before I jinx it.


Still working on that hot first release.



The Kingdom Mafia is comprised of Pete Morello, vocals; James Phelps and Kelly Gale, guitars; Dustin Whitmore, bass; and Jesse Arsement, drums. TKM was formed in 2006 and are currently working on their sophomore album. Since the first album, "Ascension", The Kingdom Mafia has acquired a new vocalist and added another guitarist to formulate their current sound. 'Echoes of the Past' is a sample song from the latest recordings by The Kingdom Mafia. The songs are driving, with a great amount of energy and passion. TKM practices at a small rehearsal building for bands (the jam rooms) and has quickly moved up through the ranks of other local acts. They have opened for several national acts such as, GoatWhore, Element Eighty, As Eden Burns, PumpJack, Mistress Juliya, Six Past Hell, Adakain, and My Children My Bride.