Alex Worsnip 07/02/2004
"I'd like to think we were at least one of the hopes for our country, bands like ourselves...are proving that unique, passionate music can survive" - Dan Williams. Kill Kenada are one of GodIsInTheTV's tips for 2004, playing a visceral, ambitious and lyrically charged blend of edgy, unique noise. Alex Worsnip speaks to guitarist Dan Williams...
GodIsInTheTV: A friend of mine described you as 'the only hope for the wimpy British rock scene'. Do you agree with this assessment of the rest of the scene? Some might describe you as more influenced by American music... Dan: "The British rock scene is, as you describe, very 'scene' based at the moment, and it's quite depressing how one band becomes successful and then has a hundred clones thrown at it in desperate attempts to make money. Other than that, you just have pop-rock stuff like The Darkness or whatever which you can only barely associate with the British 'rock' scene. I'd like to think we were at least one of the hopes for our country - bands like ourselves, Jarcrew and Yourcodenameis:milo are proving that unique, passionate music can survive, but we generally just have to work a whole lot harder. And yeah, probably more influenced by American music".
GodIsInTheTV: Do you feel part of any particular 'scene', or do you feel out there on your own? Dan: "Our music is pretty genre-bending, we don't really associate with any scene conciously or not. Even the press have a hard trouble at labelling our music which is one of their principal jobs. We've been called everything from 'brit garage' to 'art-punk' to 'progressive emo-thrash', which I guess all fit, but means that no, we don't feel part of any 'scene'. If anything we're part of a whole 'non-scene' thing, which I guess is a contradiction on everyone's part! Haha! As I mentioned, I feel bands like Jarcrew and Yourcodenameis:milo are in a similar field to us, but as we're all so diverse it's hard to even distinguish that! I guess our similarities are in our lack of similarity to anything else. If that makes sense! Hehe".
GodIsInTheTV: When you got Gordon Raphael on board as producer, were you concerned that your records were going to come out sounding like The Strokes? Not that the Strokes are bad, but I think anyone could see that you have a more intense sound. He hasn't produced many other big names yet... Dan: "We had the opportunity to work with Gordon quite early on in our recording career, and decided that we really had nothing to lose. We liked the sound of the Strokes, but felt most importantly that he captured *their* sound and vibe very well. If he could do the same for us we'd be laughing. We felt he did an amazing job on our early recordings, and indeed our latest single, but we're not willing to rest there, we want to keep pushing our sound!"
GodIsInTheTV: How on earth do you manage to keep your live act so chaotic yet controlled at once? Every scream is note-perfect, as it were... Dan: "I think Tim would disagree, haha! We've been playing together a long time, and understand the importance of actually 'playing' the music, rather than just knowing what it sounds like, then going out there and throwing yourselves around and making a load of noise. You have to remember, most of the time at our stage, the audience don't know the songs! We want them to hear them and understand them!"
GodIsInTheTV: Sonic Youth are clearly a big influence on you. Do you feel yourselves as continuing their musical style or legacy in any way? Dan: "Not really, not conciously, though it'd be great if we had as much of an influence and legacy as them! We all listened to a lot of Sonic Youth growing up, as well as a lot of other bands, and they just naturally infuse into the music. I'm sure if we listened to as much Whitesnake you'd be hearing a very different Kill Kenada!"
GodIsInTheTV: XFM have given you a lot of backing. How much do you think that helped you out? Dan: "Loads! John Kennedy has been great in his support of us and all our features in X-ray have been instrumental in getting our name out among the people. Xfm holds a lot of respect especially in London, and is great for breaking smaller bands".
GodIsInTheTV: Did you enjoy your recent tour with Ikara Colt? Dan: "Yes, it was great. Amazing time had by all bands".
GodIsInTheTV: I'm trying desperately to find some meaning behind the words of 'Massachusetts Murder Medallions'. Is it actually about something that happened, or is it just typically insane? Dan: "From what I gather it's about America, death, the afterlife and some other jazz. All very ethereal. I don't think even Tim knows what comes out of his head sometimes!"
GodIsInTheTV: So what's in the pipeline? Any festivals for the summer? Dan: "We're still unconfirmed for the New Bands tent at Reading/Leeds, keep your eyes peeled! But we do have a festival confirmed, it is the TMF festival in Essex, August 7th. 10,000 people, and we'll be playing with 80's Matchbox B-line Disaster, Jetplane Landing, Amplifier, Million Dead and a load of other cool bands!"