raw, heavy, inelegant: the kill it kid interview;
Despite how excited I was initially when I heard that Bath four-piece Kill It Kid were releasing a new album, it’s had nothing close to the time it deserves that I spend listening to it yet. And it’s not their fault: the young band tend to be lumped in with whatever genericana revival tends to be doing the rounds at any given moment but to do is to do their increasingly complex songwriting a disservice. Listen to Stephanie Ward’s soulful vocals balance Chris Turpin’s increasingly primordial howl and tell me this is folk music. This is the blues Robert Johnson sold his soul at the crossroads for. Easy listening it ain’t, which is probably why I’m yet to warm to it as easily I did the young band’s self-titled fresh-faced debut.
But I was still dead excited when frontman Turpin agreed to have a chat in the run-up to this month’s album release and related tour. And, after hearing his responses, I’m ready to listen to this “garage blues record” with new ears.
Remind us who is in the band and how you all got together?
We are Chris Turpin, Stephanie Ward, Marc Jones and Dom Kozubik. Three of us met studying at University. I was playing solo acoustic blues shows (Mississippi Fred McDowell and Son House) when Marc approached me after a pretty squalid gig on the edge of town offering his services as a drummer. Me and Steph had met playing together in an awful soul band, we decided to make a break and start a roots blues band. Having played several shows together in different guises we got Kill It Kid together nearly three years ago. Dom turned up later, he was doing sound for us in a venue in Manchester…and we dug his Led Zeppelin tattoo…so he joined the band.
Three words to describe your sound…
Raw Brit blues
What influences you?
Anything and everything. That’s a huge question.
What can we expect from the new album?
Our second record is more focussed. We knew what we wanted to do. Conceptually it beds us in our influence – samples from Alan Lomax field recordings are seeded across the album and the subject matter is darker. We were sick of suggestions that we should pander to taste makers and sacrifice musically things we feel strongly about. We appreciated this may be one of the last times we get to record on such a scale, so we decided to track the album that we wanted to hear. It’s raw, heavy, inelegant and it’s exactly what we wanted to put down. No violin, no acoustic guitars, it’s a garage blues record.
Also having watched young people damaging themselves, spilling out of the club beneath my flat at 3am barking like dogs and screaming like children whilst listening to artists with such ferocity and intent like Blind Willie Johnson and The Carter Family, really cut me up and affected my writing. The record pivots on this idea, in fact kick-out time at this club has been sampled in “You’re In My Blood”.
What’s been the coolest thing to happen to you as a result of your musical career to date?
Seeing Dylan in the flesh, helicopter over New York and meeting Jack White.
What releases/shows do you have planned at the moment?
Three and a half weeks trucking around the UK coming up with the album release, then in October/November the same thing but around Europe.
And what are you listening to at the moment?
Little Walter and Amede Ardoin.
PREORDER: Amazon [UK]
Kill It Kid on tour:
10/09 Dublin, Academy 2
11/09 Belfast, Auntie
12/09 Glasgow, King Tut’s
13/09 Liverpool, Shipping Forecast
14/09 Leeds, Nation of Shopkeepers
16/09 Brighton, The Albert
17/09 Portsmouth, Southsea
19/09 Bristol, Louisiana
20/09 London, XOYO
21/09 Manchester, The Deaf Institute
22/09 Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach