It’s officially summer so it might be the right time for a pop punk release and Monster Zero Records know it all about this! RANDELLS offer us quite a catchy opener with “Kicks” and potential beach hit “Pick Me Up.” Of course you’ll find your usual RAMONES riff (“I Can’t Make It In The Bedroom”) but “Holiday In The Sun” is not a SEX PISTOLS cover, more of a melancholic Californian punk tune with a cool little surf rock guitar part. The Swedish power trio also has its hardcore-ish moments with “I Don’t Wanna Be A Deadbeat” and “El Mundo Loco” but also chews bublegum in “Karen” and “Gum In My Hair.” “I don’t Wanna Go” is a pleasant surprise on this album since it offers us some kind of ’77 punk rock’n’roll from outer space. The bands sings about “The End Of The Summer” with BEACH BOYS backing vocals and then you realize the album is already over. It can’t be a bad sign. /Laurent C.
Pop punk is always better with some bubblegum added to it, and The YOOHOOS from Germany definitely know about this! This German power trio with both male and female vocals are influenced by GROOVIE GHOULIES, CHIXDIGGIT and 90s indie college rock, but songs like “Hello”, “Planet Heart”, “Spread The Magic” or “Decisions” could have been played by any early 90s underground Sunset Strip bubblegum glam punk band. The college rock touch shows in “Love Disposal Service”, “Heart On” and “Rainy Cloud” while “Bizarre Love Triangle” and “Rusty Robot” have late 90s/early 00s pop punk traces in them. You’ll also hear some good old CHUCK BERRY rock’n’roll with “Little Alien” and a short and interesting electronic dreamy ballad called “Spaceboy” just before the sweet punk rock song “Cuddle All The Kittens” that puts an end to the album. “Up Goes The Rocket” is out on Monster Zero records and you should grab it!/Laurent C.
Pink punk princess KIRIA is back with “Let Me In”, the third single from her full-length debut album “Radio”.
“Let me In” deliciously mixes Brit Pop melodies and violins (reminding of MORRISSEY or the MANIC STREET PREACHERS) to bubblegum punk hooks and glam rock handclaps. A great song to start the day with!
You’ll also find an unrealeased track to go along with this single, “Johnny Kissed Madison”, a mid-tempo punk rock’n’roll song with dirty guitars à la STOOGES.
Catch KIRIA live in London (Feb. 25th – Pure Rawk Awards 2011/March 4th – Club Antichrist, feat. special guest Paul Kaye) and in Nottingham (April 9th – Bitchslap Fest with the DOGBONES and five more bands.)/Laurent C.
England’s new candy pop sensation KIRIA is bringing back sexy pop punk with bubblegum hooks and attitude in the UK. She tells us about her debut album “One”, her songwriting and influences…. And you’d better believe her when she sings “I’m not one of those fussy, fussy girls”!
Can you introduce yourself? What have you released so far?
I’m Kiria. Pronounced Kih-re-ah. I landed on this planet to make some serious changes to the grey, tired world of Pop that this current age has tried to suppress us all with. I’m going to make you all so happy you will wear tight pink leopard print lycra and kiss each other all day long until you drown in your own happiness….
So far, I have released one track, called Live Sex On Stage, that was an expression of anger toward the current state of England’s pop charts, and from there on, the only way is up!
Tell us a bit about your first album “One”, where did you record it? Koochie Coo is your own label. Do you think that it’s better to do things by yourself in this Internet age? Will the album be distributed in Europe and America?
My first album, “One”, seemed to take forever to record and finish! I produced it throughout a difficult, insecure stage of growing up, so this album and the writing on it is a huge reflection of that strange, experimental insecure time….I’m so happy to have put it down, that the next ones are coming far more easily with my newfound confidence, and I’m getting more up to date with recently written songs, whereas some of those on “One” I feel I have grown out of already!
This album will be available across the world digitally, and in hard copy from my website. I much rather people ask for a copy so that they can have the lyrics, photos and artwork, which have had as much, if not more thought and effort put into them as the recordings!
I recorded it at a North West London studio, at the time named “Panic” Studios – very apt for the teenage crisis I endured whilst writing the lyrics!
I think doing things yourself is a great idea, if you want to remain in control of your own future and creative output, but it’s not an easy way forward! Lack of funds, time and power to get things looking and sounding great is not a weekend job, but I strongly believe that if you love what you do, and you keep yourself focused on any mission you embark on, you will succeed in fulfilling your dreams, but not without much hard work, many tears and a lot of patience!
You have many sweet bubblegum pop melodies in your songs. How do you usually write a song? Do you start writing the music or do you have an idea about the vocal melody first and then write the music?
I only write a song when a melody or lyric has come to me and not gone away for some time. I used to dream the melodies/songs when I was sleeping, and jump up and record them straight away in case I forgot them, but now I am more confident, I figure if and when they are good enough to use, I wont be able to forget them, as you never do a great melody, so I record them when the time feels good for me. Never in any particular order, but I write all my lyrics on train journeys. My favourite if I have the cash is jump on the Eurostar and head for Paris and back….
Do you have a steady band or do you work with different musicians as a backing band?
I don’t have a steady band. Not for want of trying, but finding a group of people who can all grow together and get on Musically and personally is not at all easy, especially when you are all growing in different areas and at different rates of speed, as all animals do. For this reason I don’t get too comfortable unless something feels right, I keep moving and growing, and in that process, it is just a natural progression that you win and you lose some!
Your video “Live Sex On Stage” features Mike Strutter, how did that happen?
That happened very naturally. Paul Kaye (Mike Strutter) and I are cosmically linked Punk twins. We don’t need to make a concerted effort to communicate – we just know, which is amazing. He has made me feel like so much less of an alien than I always believed I was growing up! When I wrote that song, he immediately sprung to mind to be my partner in crime for the song/video. I called him up, he came to a short rehearsal, which we filmed and edited in a day, he slapped down some vocals alongside mine, and the rest is history! Completely organic from start to finish, the way the most fun stuff always is….
We can find different music styles on your album. Do you think that a good song can work in any kind of style?
I believe so! I get so tired of groups and niches and journalists and people who believe in the general rule that everything should fit in neat boxes. We only have one life, so we should fill it with as many things as we feel like exploring! The day I can’t experiment with my creativity and do what I like with my own feelings or Music is the day I’ll throw my stilettos on the fire….
Here are some girl singers, what comes to your mind when you hear their name?
– Joan Jett:
– Wendy James:
Strong and beautiful, but I do not wish to be in a musical project with her again!
– Lady GaGa:
Nothing! It’s not about the Music….
– Wendy O’ Williams:
– Kylie Minogue:
Extremely adaptable. Pretty, made out of plastic, smiles a lot and doesn’t mind being played with – a bit like a Barbie doll!
– Lita Ford:
Great in rubber!
– Gwen Stefani:
– Lily Allen:
Posh kid wannabee poor kid!
– Katy Perry:
Dull clothes horse.
What are your favourite Morrissey songs?
Every Day Is like Sunday, The More you Ignore Me, The Closer I get and I’m Throwing My Arms around Paris!
Albums you couldn’t live without?
This week?! I have so many, they keep changing…. But, definitely Aladdin Sane by Bowie, Blank Generation by Richard Hell and The Voidoids, London Calling by the Clash, Marquee Moon by Television, Never Mind The Bollocks by the Pistols and (this week!) The Neurotic Outsiders album…. Is it true that you love boxing!? YES! I’ve been bullied in the past, and these days I like to know I can hold my own in this scary world….there ’aint no fucker gonna bring me down without a fight!
I guess you’re going to be busy promoting the new album. Any tour planned yet?
Unfortunately not yet! I am very busy in London, and so far gigs are only planned here, but I want to tour the world, I love travelling, and I just can’t wait to play in some different cities/countries, so it’s the first thing I want to get doing so watch this space!
How was the recording of your first album « Write Home »?
Recording “Write Home” went exactly how such things are meant to go, it was a bitter-sweet tasty treat. There were moments when everyone was on such a high from the way things were turning out and how quickly we were pumping out the songs, to the moments where we felt that we were at an absolute standstill. It was difficult because we didn’t have the luxury of much time, primarily because we simply couldn’t afford the cost of being in the studio for much more than a few days and a few hours per day, but also because we were packing camp to relocate the band half-way across the country. Amazingly almost every song was nailed within only one or two takes. The trials and tribulations ultimately are what makes being a band such unique and wonderful experience though.
Is the recording like you wanted it to be? Are you fully satisfied with it?
Absolutely. Diet D and our producer/bass player on the album, Dustin Habel, were perfectly in tune with each other and knew exactly how to produce the sound we all wanted from the finished material. Dustin was an incredible addition to the recordings themselves and his post-production work was equally flawless.
The band went through several line-up changes since you started, can you tell us why?
A band is such a tricky thing. Even when you are in middle school playing in your parent’s garage. There are so many elements that have to communicate with each other. Everyone has to get along with one another and be able to form strong bonds with each member equally, everyone must contribute an equal share and feel that they are given the freedom to do so–and there must be some more blatant commonality as well, as much as we’d like to deny it, appearance is part of the package and does make a statement about the connection between the members. But there is also that tricky business-side to the whole thing, as much as you try to avoid it, if you achieve any success or actively tour and make any sort of money at all…it becomes a business. And it is hard to mix family and business. I think the main thing with us seeing so many lineups to date has more to do with circumstance than anything else. We did part ways with our original bass player, Gianna Stiletto, after our first tour as the Kill City Thrillers; it wasn’t the prettiest of splits and we really wish it could have been otherwise, but circumstance lead ultimately to finding a replacement. When Dustin Habel stepped in to fill those shoes, it was only a couple months before our relocation from Denver to Portland was scheduled, and it was agreed that he was only on board for our time in Denver and not interested in making the move with us. We lost our beloved drummer, Jason Walker, for the exact same circumstances, he simply couldn’t leave Denver. I miss him dearly, he is one of my favorite people in the entire world. Once in Portland, we were immediately on the prowl for a new bassist and drummer, which came together shockingly quickly…literally with a couple weeks of being here. The fantastic Tony Mengis signed on from The Riffs to play bass and our new wild animal behind the drums, Stevie of The Weaklings, followed suite immediately as well. Unfortunately, our sweet lil’ lass, Rox.45, was not fending tremendously well with the relocation and decided it in her best interest to return to Denver. Ironically enough, one of our best friends, also from Denver,from the band Call Sign Cobra, Zach Brooks, decided he was heading to Portland. There was no question as to who would be stepping in on rhythm duties.
Was it difficult to find a record label or did you get plenty of offers?
To be honest, we can’t believe how quickly everything came together. We truly are still a baby band, we’ve been around just over a year and already have a single and a full length that will be in our hands any day now…especially coming from the midwest and a location very difficult to tour out of and find exposure (Denver), we can’t believe our luck. Full Breach Kicks was in contact with us within a couple weeks of the single being released and we honestly didn’t bother communicating with any other labels. They are small and grass roots and we certainly relate to that, but also honest and genuine and incredibly generous. We hit it off with Full Breach right from the start and we are very proud to claim our spot in the family tree.
Can we know more about your influences ? Any particular musicians?
This is probably best a group response, but in brief, I think what makes us sound the way we do is that all of us have very scattered interests, we all have many common favorites, but Diet D is a real historian and is incredibly versed in very underground blues from 1900 through the ’50s, he also loves the Phil Spector acts and modern pop. We each have very diverse musical tastes and they differ from member to member, I like everything from the ’60s girl groups to underground hip hop and gangster rap to metal to punk to all the glam and glitter of the 70s…but my roots are in Zappa and the original punks. I can’t speak for everyone here, but such is essentially the case with all of us.
You seem to be followed by lots of fans from Denver to Portland, am I wrong ? Are you close to them?
No, I think it is true, it feels really good to get messages and feedback from home, not just in Denver, but all over Colorado, everywhere we have played. Colorado Springs was HUGELY supportive of us and always brought out big shows that were an absolute blast. As for Portland, we are stunned at how quickly we have anchored ourselves, we’ve only played two shows since moving here and our first one sold out and oversold the door by 50 people ! We were totally shocked !! We absolutely love this place and all our new friends in the music community. Portland is incredible and was definitely a necessary evolution in the band’s progress.
Can you describe a SODA POP KIDS show for us?
One big temper tantrum. 3 parts sugar. 2 parts sweat. 2 parts blood and bruises. 1 part broken equipment. Shake it up and you’ve got carbonated hits.
Can we expect a European tour in a near future ?
Absolutely ! We want to get over there as soon as is humanly possible. We had hoped to make it out there this coming summer, but since relocating and reforming, our focus for the summer touring will be covering the majority of the U.S. But if you are out there reading this…HELP US GET TO EUROPE…WE PARTY WITH OUR PANTS OFF !!!
Avril Lavigne or Skye Sweetnam?
Gosh…some would consider this one of those stuck between a rock and hard place scenarios…but for me, there is no question. Avril Lavigne owns the key to my heart and the power supply to my stereo. Metal Mike from the Angry Samoans thinks I’m crazy for this…but he just isn’t willing to get down and get with it.
Jonnny, you witty boy, can you say something to put an end to this interview?
See you on the Swing Set !!!…or maybe the jungle gym ???