Monday, 20 April 2009

Interview: Kitchen's Floor

It seems like the biggest influence on bands in Brisbane these days is the anime Voltron. Bands form, split apart, and then form new and improved units. Kitchen's Floor is just one example of this phenomenon, with former members of French Horns, Look!Pond, Marl Karx, and Gutters coming together to create noise-infused havoc.

The trio originally consisted solely of Matt (French Horns, Look!Pond), who began Kitchen's Floor as a solo project in 2007. In July, 2008 Julia (Gutters) joined him, and the duo recorded a debut EP. In October of the same year the lineup was expanded to include Glen (Marl Karx, Permanent Dirt blog). The first half of 2009 has seen Kitchen's Floor recording their first LP, and, to learn about the results, we interviewed the band's founder, Matt Kennedy.

Before Hollywood: What has the experience of recording the LP been like? Was the process similar to recording the EP or did the band take a different tact this time?

Matt Kennedy: We recorded the EP in one day over a couple of hours, it was very simple and easy to do. When we recorded the album it was over a couple of months with alot of gaps inbetween sessions. We've recorded it with Joel Stern, who organises events for Audiopollen, runs Otherfilm and is involved in alot of other stuff around Brisbane. He's the busiest guy I know which is why there were long gaps between recording. His house is in Highgate Hill and his studio is his basement, which is a big room with some couches to sit on, a kitchen to look at, a toilet to piss in and some recording equipment. It's alot more comfortable than if we had done it in a legitimate professional studio, which wouldn't have suited us at all. Joel got a really nice sound for us with the most basic of equipment. All the songs were recorded live with some basic overdubbing. The main problem for us was not getting too drunk, which happened during the recording of the EP where we had originally recorded 9 songs but 4 of the songs were recorded later in the day when Julia and I were both trashed and sounded horrible so that's why the EP is only 5 songs long. I also broke alot of guitar strings and we were always hungry. It has been an awesome experience.

BH: Did you feel that Joel had a strong influence on the recordings? I know that Audiopollen usually has a rather diverse range of artists associated with it, and that Joel himself dabbles in experimental electronica.

MK: Joel has a very broad knowledge of music, more than I can comprehend. His influence was knowing exactly what we should and wanted to sound like, which is what a good engineer is all about. We basically tried to keep the recordings sounding as we sound live, with no studio effects or trickery, and Joel was cool with that. He was totally into it.

BH: And how would you describe the results?

MK: We're happy with the results! We've recorded 11 tracks for the album and they've all turned out pretty well. I was worried about it turning out too 'slick' which has happened to me in the past but it's got a nice raw sound. All our equipment is junk, The guitar was recorded through a 15 watt practice amp which isn't even mine and our drumkit is bits and pieces of old drum kits put together. Not really through choice, we're all pretty poor. I should return that amp sometime...

BH: In the past local bands have been limited to CD's, but recently there've been numerous Brisbane bands putting out releases through mediums such as vinyl, downloads, USB sticks, and even SD cards. How do you plan on releasing the album? And do you have a title for it?

MK: The album is titled 'Loneliness is a Dirty Mattress'. We're going to release it on CD first, then maybe vinyl in the near future if we can afford it. It's being released by R.I.P Society Records, who are a new Sydney based label. They've put out releases by Circle Pit and Lakes, we're big fans of both of those bands so it's pretty exciting.

BH: Any plans to tour the album?

MK: The will is always there, just lack of money is always the main issue. It's easiest for us to play in Newcastle, Sydney and Melbourne but it would be really nice to tour New Zealand. We'll have to see what kind of response the album gets.

BH: Kitchen's Floor is definitely a band with both feet firmly set in the DIY camp. What do you think has been the attraction in this aesthetic?

MK: It's the only way we can get things done. There have been people who have helped us out a great deal like Joel Stern, but for the most part we have to do everything ourselves. The large number of bands compared to the small number of decent venues in Brisbane is a big problem. Unless you organise shows yourself in your friend's laundry or something, weeks can go by without anything happening. That can get very boring.

BH: What have been your favourite venues to play at (friend's laundrys included)?

MK: We take what we can get with venues as in we don't get asked to play them very often. I would say we don't have any favourite venues. Houseshows are always special compared to a bar or club which is a business with restrictions, liabilities and security. There's more freedom and fun playing in somebody's lounge room, basement or laundry that's completely overcrowded with wasted kids. Saying that, it is always nice to take advantage of a decent P.A. that a bigger venue can provide. I'm all for everything.

1 comment:

Darragh said...

Hrm, I'm skeptical....the French Horns. Some would argue if you could call what they did music, though they certainly caused a stir 'back in the day'