Interviewer – Phill Bruce
Interview Date – November 2011
Matt - Vocals/Guitars of Kites
The UK music scene has some unseen talent that when you look will surprise you. Kites are a bunch of lads from London who have the ability to mix electronic sounds with jazz unique classic vibes. I had to find out more about this amazing talented band, and had the fantastic opportunity to talk to Matthew from Kites and here is how it went.
GC – Thank you for giving Grave Concerns Ezine this interview, firstly can you tell us a little bit of a background about yourself and where in this beautiful world you are from?
Kites – Yeah basically I am the singer and one of the principal songwriters for Kites. I had a pretty nomadic upbringing, I was shuffled about from port to port. So I don’t really have any geographical loci as such but now I am London based and the rest of the band are London based so we are really kinda building up quite a big fan base in London. But we have been getting a lot of recognition throughout the UK which has been really terrific.
GC – At what point in your life did you decide to form your band and why?
Kites - Well I have kind of being writing music since the age of 11 which was when I picked up a guitar and it has been an on-going passion for me. I have been in various music outfits really since the age of 12 onwards. I only became a vocation probably a couple of years ago when I was toying around with various professions when I realised that it wasn’t going to work and I found myself kind of unwittingly plunging more and more into a musical outfit and getting I suppose the kind of feedback I wanted from that project.
GC – What’s the meaning of the name Kites?
Kites – When I formed Kites there were so many bands with about 15 syllables in their names and it’s difficult to choose a band name in one line of text. I wanted something pretty simple, something really pure and I was kind of trying to hark back to bands with one syllable names like Pulp and The Smiths. And I wanted by virtue that I would be able to define a name that people associate with us whilst being able to conjure up so much imagery and kind of control it ourselves and Kites had kind of an airborne adopted message. It’s a name I had circulating in my cranium for some time.
GC – How would you describe the music that you make?
Kites – I would describe it as quite provocative, it’s a word I use a lot when I talk about the music. We want to engage the audience as much as we can. It’s got occasionally a quite aggressive electronic under belly, extremely lyrical, slightly long at times. Hopefully I want to grab the attention of the audience and really channel our energy into them.
GC – Who besides yourself is in the band and what background are they from?
Kites – It’s a diverse crew, they are all London based. We have got Rich who is kind of an electronic wizard, he plays the synthesizers for Kites he kind of holds the band together while we are on stage. And then there is Jasper who is phenomenal on the guitar, he has a jazz and classical pedigree. And then there is Jack on the trombone. We kind of have an aesthetic element of Richard combined with a classical element which kind of combine I think to make what is an interesting sound.
GC – What are your musical influences?
Kites – Yeah this really varies from the rest of the band, everyone plays a different piece of the jigsaw which we kinda make up as Kites. We’ve got Jasper who’s into his jazz. We have Richard who is a lover of his 80’s synth pop. I’m obviously inspired by the kind of lyrical gods that have broken the British landscape, this could be anyone like Oscar Wilde or Morrissey. There are defiantly different influences that just put into a melting pot and kind of played together.
GC – Where do you see your band in five years and what are your hopes for the future?
Kites - In five year’s time, hopefully I want to be on desert island discs where ever possible because that would be quite a good thing believe it or not. What we want to do is get longevity out of the outfit. We are really interested in touring as much as possible and not be a disposable band really.
GC – Is there any place or venue you would like to play at and why?
Kites - I would really like to play the round house in London because the acoustics are always amazing and it always has its own ambience. Every band that has played they have been able to create their own magic and it’s something that I’d really like to work towards. I like venues that are kind of slightly unique in their own architectural right and that is certainly one of them. It just brings a unique quality to the music I think.
GC – Without giving too much away is there any instrument or program you wouldn’t be without and why?
Kites – Well when our electronic equipment breaks down, our synthesizers or laptops it’s major concerns. In fact we did a gig about a few months ago, ok we did a gig then we had to cancel a gig at The Hare And Hounds a few months ago in Birmingham where out laptops went into complete breakdown. It was embarrassing and humiliating but generally we are quite simple and we can ride out.
GC – What song that you have produced so far is the most special to you?
Kites – There is a track called "Yellow Letter" at the moment which me talking about things subjectively, which people who have watched the show says it brings out a kind of deeply emotive feeling and it has taken on a life of its own. Having said that I put my heart into all the tracks and it’s important to try and believe in them ardently myself and convey that passion and energy to the audience so that you can believe the impossible.
GC – OK a little fun now, name your five desert island discs?
Kites – My five desert island discs, oh my god. OK, I would put Patrick Wolf – Lycanthropy in there, I’d put Slint – Spiderland in there, I’d put New Order – Substance in there, I’d put Pulp – Different Class in there and I’m going to have to put OK Computer by Radiohead in there.
GC – You are in Disneyland and a zombie disease effects all the Disney characters, you must kill the zombies to survive but which character gets it first?
Kites – That little crab from The Little Mermaid that’s singing all the time, I’d take him out immediately with some sort of sword or some other such instrument yeah. For a crab he is just pretentious, so yeah he would get it.
GC – What is your favourite take away food?
Kites – I must confess and say it’s not all that glamorous, it has to be Italian pizza. My hang over cure of choice, that and a lot of Coca Cola in tandem will usually clear any hang over I have in my system.
GC – What is your favourite time of year?
Kites – My favourite time of year is without a doubt winter. I hate summer, I don’t like perspiring. I like the crisp, clear energy that winter has at times especially like those wonderful Christmas days that we get very very rarely in the UK.
GC – Thank you for giving Grave Concerns this interview, is there anything you would like to add?
Kites – I would like to add we are doing a lot of touring in the coming months and we are going to be releasing a track soon called "Brother" (Out Now) and we are very very excited about it.
Take a Listen to "YELLOW LETTER" by Kites.
Thanks again, good luck.
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