After a very hectic year for Kidsmoke I managed to catch up with them so they can reflect on what happened, from featuring on Black Mirror to releasing their EP Save Your Sorrow. It was a really interesting interview, so I hope you enjoy!
Hey guys so I’ve been keeping tabs on you over 2017, you’ve had a really busy year with a lot of gigs. Which would you say has been the most memorable?
As a band we love to play festivals, so we were over the moon to be asked to play Festival No.6 in Portmeirion. We’d heard a lot of good things about the festival and it didn’t disappoint. We played the Lost in the Woods stage alongside our friends Campfire Social and it was the only part of the weekend that the sun came out, so everyone was in high spirits. A load of wasps did try to attack us during our set though, but I don’t think anyone noticed.
This year has had you play so many different venues and with so many bands, is there any particular venue you’d like to go back to? And which bands stood out when you played alongside them?
We played a lot of places/venues we’d never been to before and had the opportunity to headline more shows this year. For me, EBGB’s was really enjoyable; it was our first time playing Liverpool and we seemed to go down really well. I’m hoping we get to play that venue again this year.
A handful of bands from the North-West are doing really well at the moment, and deservedly so. Seazoo, Peaness, Campfire Social and Cull are all bands we’ve enjoyed playing alongside this year and are all well worth keeping an eye on.
As a late sort of present to you guys at the end of the year your track ‘take me to the river’ has featured on the highly rated Netflix show Black Mirror. That must’ve been very special for you guys, how did that come about?
We were emailed by a music publishing company called Sentric back in February and they told us that they’d pitched our song ’Take me To The River’ to Black Mirror and it had been accepted. I had pretty much just finished watching season 3 at the time of receiving that email so the whole thing was a bit unbelievable. It was confirmed about two weeks before the new series dropped on Netflix that we were to be featured on the episode ‘Arkangel’, directed by Jodie Foster. It all feels a bit surreal (in a good way) and the response we’ve received since we announced the news has been quite overwhelming.
You also had your EP Save Your Sorrow released this year, which I really enjoyed. How do you think it was received? And are you happy with it now you can reflect?
‘Save Your Sorrow’ was received pretty well I think. Each of our releases has been more popular than the last so I take that as a sign that we are heading in the right direction. I’m happy with how it turned out overall; with all of our recordings there’s things I’d go back and change but working to time/money constraints seems to work well for us. We sometimes have a tendency to overthink things, so the limitations help keep things sounding more natural and unforced.
Making an EP can be a taxing experience, how did you find it? Is there anything you would like to have done differently?
We recorded the EP in two parts. ‘See The World’ and ‘Waves’ were recorded and released first, then we were awarded the Horizons Launchpad fund which allowed us to go back into the studio and record 3 more songs. As with any band nowadays money is tight, so without the launchpad fund I’m not sure if the EP would have even happened, so we’re extremely grateful to the people at Horizons and the Arts Council Wales.
Recording with Russ Hayes at his studio in Penmaenmawr is always a great experience. He’s extremely encouraging and makes the whole process of recording a lot easier and more enjoyable. We tend to play the songs live for a while before we go into record them, because in the early days we found that recording songs we don’t know inside out doesn’t really work for us. I think that’s why we sound more confident on ‘Save Your Sorrow’. Well, I hope that comes across anyway.
Looking back I don’t think we would have done anything differently. I think sometimes we underestimate how important the finishing touches can be when recording, which is something we’ve noted and tried to remedy on our upcoming singles.
On a totally unrelated note, 2017 has been a string year for music. Which albums have you been listening to the most, any artists that have surprised you?
For me, ‘Party’ by Aldous Harding and ‘Capacity’ by Big Thief had the most impact on me out of all the albums released in 2017. Both albums are stripped back and really emotional. I pretty much fell in love with both of those albums on first listen.
With 2018 around the corner, I get the feeling that this is going to be an important year for you guys. What can we look forward to in 2018 from you? Also I what are you most excited for?
We are keen to build on this momentum so we have two new singles ready to go, both to be released in the first half of 2018. I feel these songs are a bit different to what we’ve released before so I’m excited to see what people think of them. Our main goal in 2018 is to record and release our debut album, and we are working on new songs at the moment in the hope of getting back in the studio asap.
Thanks so much for taking the time to complete this interview, I wish you all the best for 2018 and I look forward to seeing you live next year!
Interviewed carried about by Alex Wise @AJWise