prick up your ears and dance: the little kicks interview;
QUICK UNRELATED PLUG: Glasgow types, get down to Stereo tonight for the second of The Last Battle’s Springwell EP launch gigs, with support from Second Hand Marching Band and Loch Awe. Promoted by Him With The Ears (all the better to blog about your band with, my dears!), tickets are four quid in advance or five on the door.
Today we’re punting Little Kicks though in time for their own new album – if you’re in Aberdeen you can catch them tomorrow night, but they’ll be in town in a couple of weeks. In the meantime you can download their free single “Call of Youth” at the bottom of the post, and check out some chat from frontman Steven Milne.
Who’s in the band, and how did you get together?
The band is a four piece band made up of Toby (guitar), Scott (drums), Lewis (bass) and myself, Steven (vocals/keys/guitar). We all met in Aberdeen and I think its fair to say were a pretty tight knit gang. I guess we were all floating around the music scene as gig goers, had the same friends, liked the same bands, (disliked the same bands too) but most importantly had similiar interests and it all stemmed from there. The band has had a couple of people come and go along the way (especially in its infancy) and Scott did join more recently but the band we have now feels like a unit and were all very much on the same page – which is why I think we work well together.
Three words to describe your sound…
Upbeat, Catchy, Indie-Pop
What influences you?
I guess we see our role as a fun band to go and see and as an upbeat group so we try and write with that in mind. We do have some sad/downbeat songs but most of the time we’re more interested in what will make people’s ears prick up and what they can have a jump/dance to. As a band I think were all pretty split when it comes to musical influences but we’re always playing each other new things which is good and can be quite exciting. I personally like all kinds of music so my influences are pretty varied. I tend to find that I soak things up a lot and get ideas from them without realising. I DJ a lot and have a fondness for disco/afrobeat occasionally which is a self indulgence I admit, but the rythmic influence of those types of songs is amazing. However, I also like really chilled out stuff which is more wordy like Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Love/Arthur Lee or even film soundtracks (another guilty pleasure).
So I guess we’re pretty eclectic but overall, I like the fact were all quite different as opposed to all liking the same thing – it’s made for more interesting writing sessions.
What releases/shows do you have planned at the moment?
We are currently putting the touches to our second album so everything is concentrated on that and making it as good as it can be. It should be out in late September, but we’re not pinning anything down until we’re satisfied with it. Having heard the early mixes we think it’s going to get a good reception and probably surprise a lot of people too! It’s a bit different for us sound-wise and we’ve worked really hard on it so that will be exciting to get it out when it’s finished.
Gigwise we are playing a home-town show on the 2nd July in Aberdeen to play the new album out and then we have gigs booked in Edinburgh (15th) and Glasgow (16th). In August we’ll maybe do another single, as the last one (“Call of Youth”) certainly got a good response and helped increase interest in the album so that will maybe be our August plan. Main thing is to get the CD finished though so that’s all we’re thinking about at the moment!
How do you feel about the current Scottish music scene?
I think there are literally tonnes of great Scottish bands on the go which is fantastic. I think on the negative side there seems to be a trend of bands who all seem to sound the same to me which I dont get and in some cases have tried (there is a spate of Mumford & Sons and Biffy Clyro-apeing acts!). On the whole though, if you dig a little deeper, there’s a lot of young talent there and it’s difficult to keep up.
Scottish writers have always been great at words, bittersweet sentiments and melody – it seems to be in the water up here or comes from being inherently Scottish I think – Edwyn Collins, Frightened Rabbit are great examples of amazing pop songs with pretty dark lyrics. I love that kind of stuff/those bands!
And what are you listening to at the moment?
Today and yesterday I’ve mainly been liking the new The Rapture single which I got sent earlier – it’s stuck in my brain on repeat as is Boxer by The National, LCD Soundsystem’s This is Happening, Andrew Bird’s Noble Beast, Gil Scott-Heron’s Pieces of a Man and I really like my friend’s band Indian Red Lopez’s album which came out last week.
Aside from that I am DJing at a new night at the weekend so I’ve been trying to dig up loads of old 45s in my flat which I havent listened to in ages. So far I’ve found Rod Stewart’s “Young Turks” and Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love”. So you can add camp disco to the mix too I guess!
The Little Kicks on tour:
15/07 Edinburgh, Sneaky Pete’s (with Fridge Magnets and Discopolis)
16/07 Glasgow, Captain’s Rest (with Fridge Magnets and Town of Saints)