Ross Cunningham 16/01/2008
Black Kids have been tipped by almost every music journalist on the planet as one of the bands to watch in 2008. With the strength of the songs on their brilliant "Wizard of Ahhhs" EP and their growing reputation as a must see live act it's easy to see why. Having played only a handful of dates in the UK previously they return to rightfully take the headlining slot on this year's Vice Live Tour. Dates, venues and how to claim your free (Yes free) guestlist tickets can be found at www.vicelivetour.com If you can make it along on this tour I strongly recommend that you do before you have to pay to see them in much larger venues. I was recently lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview lead singer and guitarist Reggie Youngblood, and I'm happy to say he was a very nice guy indeed. After I stopped apologising for being Scottish and hoping he would be able to understand my accent we had a good chat about amongst other things Media Hype, Kate Nash, and Reggie's poor musicianship.
Can you understand me? I'm Scottish sorry...
Yeah I have a couple of cousins from Scotland.
You're coming back to the UK in a couple of weeks for the vice live tour, are you looking forward to it?
Definitely, yeah I'm excited because we've hardly played outside of Jacksonville and I guess in the past couple of months we've played New York, Chicago and London and we're really interested to see how people respond to us elsewhere in the UK.
I read that your bassist Owen used to study in Scotland, will it be the first time for visiting for the rest of the band?
I went when I was really young like seven or so and i think it'll be the first time for Kevin and Dawn, but yeah we're really excited, I hear Glasgow is a good town.
Yeah it's a good place for gigs you'll get a good reception.
I read that you are supporting Sons and Daughters on their next tour, have you heard them before?
Actually yeah I saw them in Atlanta, I wanna say a couple of years ago supporting Franz Ferdinand, yeah we're really glad to be supporting them it should be a great tour.
I also saw you were supporting Kate Nash, do you know each other or how did that support slot happen?
Well we haven't met yet, I guess that came about cause she covered one of our songs ("I'm not going to teach your boyfriend how to dance with you")
Yeah I was just going to ask you about that, have you heard it yet?
Yeah I have heard it, I'm loving it, she left us a message on our Myspace saying "I covered it I hope you don't mind."
I'm glad you like it at least, it would be a bit awkward if you were going on tour together and you didn't.
Yeah it could be worse (Laughs)
Do you think you might get on stage together at some point in the tour?
I'd be terrified, I don't know, I feel really uncomfortable playing without my friends I kind of have a sort of anxiety about things like that. The thing about me and black kids is that I think the only reason it works is because of the personal relationships that were there before we formed the group, and they can deal with my quirks and my limitations. I think real musicians would probably give up on me really quickly (laughs)
I think you're being a bit hard on yourself there but ok i'll take your word for it.
No I'm really not (Laughs)
I've been listening to the "Wizard of Ahhhs" EP for a while now and really enjoying it, what made you decide to offer it as a free download?
We didn't really think about it too much it just kind of felt right, the more that I speak about it the more I think we're just a group of unknowns from nowhere how could we afford not to give away our music. We used to like to hold our cards too close to our chest, but it just didn't make any sense, no one knows who you are you might as well get it out there so people do.
With all the hype surrounding you in the UK at the moment do you feel the pressure or do you just see it as the natural progression of the band?
Yeah I guess I don't know, I mean after we played six shows in five days in London and the response was quite good, I think that took a lot of pressure off of us and for this time around as well. I don't know I don't think anyone puts more pressure on us than we do, but we're excited and enjoying all the attention. (Laughs)
I know you signed a management deal with quest are you any closer to signing a record deal yet?
I think we're very nearly there, I don't know if I can say as of yet, but we will have a record deal fairly soon, we've already started recording tracks with Bernard Butler, the last time we were there we did a couple of tracks with him and we'll resume work when we get back.
So are you hoping to get the album out this year then definitely?
Sure, yeah hopefully by Summer.
Have you got any ideas for a name for the album yet?
I've got a couple floating around , nothing concrete as of yet, we thought about putting a self titled album out but that's kind of boring, but I'm still tossing ideas around with the group, probably as ridiculous as Wizard of Ahhs (Laughs)
I like that title, so I like your ridiculous-ness. Are you excited about the year ahead and what's going on with the band?
Yeah definitely, good god I'm sure it's going to be wild, I'm probably going to be close to exhaustion by the end of this year but I'm so excited about it, I mean I don't know me Kevin and Owen have been playing in groups in towns for nearly ten years no so it's definitely what we've been working towards.
Have you got any plans to play any festivals in the UK in the summer or is it too early to get anything confirmed?
You know I do think that's on the agenda I'm not sure which ones we will be playing yet, but yeah I think it's safe to say that we will be hitting those festivals.
Well hopefully you'll come to T in the Park or Connect in Scotland...
I've heard about T in the Park is it great?
Yeah it's amazing, it's always one of the best weekends of the year for us, I've been for like the last six years in a row.
Oh brilliant, sounds good.
Just the one last obligatory random question, since it's the New Year have you made any New Years resolutions, or do you not believe in them?
Em its always embarrassed me that I'm not bilingual, my mother speaks like four languages and I only speak English, so I think this year I'd like to suss out second language to learn and then proceed to tackle it, A bit boring I know (Laughs)
Yeah I want to learn Japanese but I doubt it will ever happen..
Well you just got to get up to bat..
Thanks a lot for your time, I hope you have a great year and if i see you at the gig in Glasgow I might point myself out and say I've annoyed you on the phone.
Yeah, yeah I would like that very much, cheers take care.
"The Wizard of Ahhhs" EP is available to download for free from www.blackkidsmusic.com