Kill It Kid Interview

Formed in Bath, Kill It Kid are getting a lot of attention. Their second album, Feet Fall Heavy, has been hailed as one the most interesting records this year and, just like any curious dog, Soundbite Culture wanted to sniff out what all the fuss was about. Tim Green met vocalists Chris Turpin and Stephanie Ward pre-gig at Shoreditch’s XOYO venue to discuss touring, riots and, ah, socks.

Soundbite Culture: Hello to you both. Are you looking forward to the gig tonight?

Chris Turpin: Always. It’s going to fantastic.

SC: Have you played at XOYO before?

CT: We played here with Mos Def, acoustically, but never our own show.

SC: So your latest album is called Feet Fall Heavy, care to explain what that means?

CT: It’s a like a line you would say to yourself; “Let my feet fall heavy” like “let me get through this”. Sort of like a prayer. It’s also the title of one of the songs.

SC: How long did it take to complete the album?

Stephanie Ward: We did it in ten days.

CT: Ten tracks, ten days.

SW: In a studio here in Shoreditch actually. We recorded most of it live, did about two tracks a day, then spent the rest of the time sorting out all the little bits.

SC: Sounds like you’d be up early and working late?

CT: It was a very intense process. The last record we did was in the States and we really took our time and made it pristine. This time, we wanted to work in exactly the opposite way and make it very raw and simple.

SC: Are you completely happy with it?

SW: You always hear little bits that no one else hears, and you think that could have been done better. But on the whole, I’m really proud of it.

CT: It’s a snapshot. That’s the band at this moment in time. Like tonight, we’ll probably play better than we did on the record. We’re constantly evolving.

SC: You all met in Bath, but have you ever had a “Sally Lunn Bun” [Famous Bath teacake]?

SW: I’ve had a ‘Sally Lunn Bun’.

CT: I never have.

SW: You were saying that the other day. They come from the oldest building.

CT: In the world?

SW: In Bath. I’ve been in there for tea; all the floors are crooked and they make the waitresses wear old fashioned pinnies. Nice buns though.

SC: What’s it like being signed to One Little Indian Records?

SW: They give good direction, but essentially let you get on with it.

CT: To their credit, they’re one of the few labels that gives 100% creative control for the artist.

SC: Some of their Feet Fall Heavy stock got damaged in the London riots. Do you think any of the rioters were listening to Kill It Kid?

SW: Whilst rioting?

SC: Maybe?

SW: Oh god, Did we instigate the riots?

CT: We didn’t instigate the riots.

SC: You tour a lot, where have you received the best reaction?

SW: Texas. The Americans seemed to get us instantly, from the first song really.

SC: How do they differ from London audiences?

SW: Well it depends on where you are. The English really appreciate our live music but they just seem more reserved. Very quiet. There’s no problem with that, but as musicians you tend to feed off the audience a bit. In America you get a lot of “whooping”.

SC: And you miss the “whooping” when you’re here?

SW: I enjoy the whooping.

SC: How about the worst reaction?

CT: I think I’ve blocked them out.

SC: Any hecklers?

CT: The best heckle we ever got was in Berlin, where one of the blokes in the front just screamed; “You’re so fucking lovely”. Great heckle but weird.

SC: Very complimentary.

CT: Yeah, it was nice. We were in Brighton the other day and the pissed people in the front started chanting for “one more song”. We were only on our second.

SC: When you guys are on tour, do you ever make any strange requests of the venue?

CT: We always ask for socks but never get them.

SC: Socks?

SW: Just clean socks.

SC: Are you lacking in clean socks?

CT: On tour, you’re always lacking in clean socks.

SC: Can you sum up Kill It Kid in a soundbite?

[both lean back on the sofa and fold their arms]

SC: Ok then, if Kill It Kid was a fruit, what would it be?

CT: I think we’d be a cross between a dragon fruit and a mango.

SW: That’ll do.

Despite the riots, Feet Fall Heavy is available now on One Little Indian Records.

Tim Green

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October 2011