Kath and The Kicks – Interview
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD – What type of artist are you?
Kath – We are a rock band. Alt rock. So as a group that’s our artistic direction. As an individual, I am a singer-songwriter and performer. I play guitar, bass and drums and I love arranging songs and messing about with sounds.
Shaneen – This may appear strange for someone who plays music and works as a creative mentor, but I don’t consider myself an artist. I enjoy being in a supporting role and like to think of myself as more of a muse or a supporter of art and creativity. I think this is why I work so well with Kath as she is a phenomenal artist and has wonderful creative ideas and I love being able to support her in expressing those and crafting them into their highest potential.
Matt – Left handed, happy in the moment beat stomper
PD – Tell us the brief history of yourself.
Kath – I’m a Leeds girl where I’ve spent most of my life, apart from 5 years over in Manc studying music and playing with bands. I’ve done music my whole life, it’s just what I enjoy doing!
Shaneen – I was born in Bradford and was raised in Bradford by my mum and dad until they separated and the family moved to Keighley. I lived with my mum, 2 sisters and brother, but often saw my dad most weekends. My dad was, and still is a touring musician so I’ve always had creativity and music in my life. I started to become attracted to playing music myself while in college when a few of the lads I was studying with decided to start a band. I felt inspired to get involved and the rest is history really.
Matt – Wakefield, the most wonderful little city on earth created this Kick. Many years playing with amazing and talented musicians and finally found my happy pocket with these beauties.
PD – Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Kath – I think most people know this now, my fave band is Skunk Anansie, I’ve followed their career and they have inspired a huge part of my musical development. But I like everything from chilled Jazz and Radio 3 to Slipknot and Deap Vally.
Shaneen – My musical influences stem from listening to 90’s grunge music in my late teens/early 20’s. Bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains. I also adore Queens of the Stone Age and Deftones. My dad has been a big musical influence for me as he blazed a trail for me to follow in his musical footsteps while also creating my own unique style. Non musical influences for me are definitely spiritual teachers and guides such as Michael Neill, Alan Watts and Thich Nhat Hahn. I find that maintaining an awareness of the bigger picture in life offers a lot of grounding perspective.
Matt – I appreciate and enjoy all creative sounds. I absolutely love faith no more….. System, Deftones.
PD – What are your dreams and goals?
Kath – Ultimately to enjoy life and be happy. Musically the sky’s the limit. I would love for us to be signed to a label that can support us on our journey and to play with some cool artists, raise our profile and travel places to play festivals and gigs. I would also really like to write a new album with Shaneen and Matt and get it distributed to the masses. This is our plan.
Shaneen – My dream is to live a wholly creative life. To be able to earn a living from playing music, exploring nature and being free to take part in doing what I want when I want to. I also have a desire to help and support others in being able to live out their dream life too.
Matt – To enjoy life with as few disasters as possible and to love every little bit. Making a career out of this, playing bigger gigs and festivals, record an album. Make millions, end world poverty, save the whole actual earth and attain world peace.
Kath – They are some modest targets Matt! If we’re going down that route I would actually really like to go into space.
PD – Who writes your songs, what are they about?
Shaneen – Kath writes all the songs then Matt and I offer support and creative input along the way until the song is complete. They’re about all kinds of things really. Just whatever is affecting Kath at the time to inspire the creative expression to emerge.
Kath – It’s great being able to see the songs evolve from a tiny idea that we’ll jam at practice to pulling the arrangement together and fine tuning it as a band. I try not to do too much on my own because the jamming part can uncover really strong ideas so it’s best not to be too concrete on things. An idea can take over though as you can’t stop thinking about it!
PD – How do you promote your band and shows?
Shaneen – We tend to promote on social media mainly, alongside word of mouth through friends and family.
Kath – Yeah, there is an underground network all over the country. Artists support each other, promoting and just generally helping each other out.
PD – What do you think about downloading music online?
Shaneen – I think it’s great. All of my music is streamed online and I think it’s a great way for people to be able to enjoy music that they maybe wouldn’t have had access to any other way.
Kath – Yeah I agree. Online downloading has made music really easy for people to find. It’s a natural development like lots of things in life. The good side is music is so accessible and as an unsigned artist, you can really get your music out there. Downsides are it’s harder for artists to make a living and it’s almost too easy to influence what people listen to. I worry about the range of musical exposure, we must keep telling our younger generations about lesser known great bands from the past so they know of other options, genres and messages that they can relate to. Also, it’s cool to play an instrument! Keep it real.
PD – What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Kath – The song that is going to be our anthem, because it’ll be the song that makes us… It’ll come soon, when it’s ready!
Shaneen – I’m Gonna Crawl by Led Zeppelin. I first heard it when I was about 17. I was in an online relationship with a man from Utah and he first told me about Led Zeppelin. I remember he sent me some CD’s and that song was the first song I fell in love with. I was living with my dad at the time and he had a wooden bass in his living room. I would put the song on and pretend to play along with it, even though I didn’t know how to play bass at the time. I love the feel of it and it articulated how I felt at the time being in a relationship with someone I couldn’t get to physically.
PD – What are some of your pet peeves?
Kath – Bad drivers! Bad music and horrible noises. I carry earplugs everywhere.
Shaneen – Small talk. I’m absolutely terrible at it and I never know what to say. A messy house. It drives me mad when my house is a mess, especially if I’m busy and I can’t find time to clean it in the way I would like to.
PD – What is your proudest moment in music?
Kath – Probably getting my 1st Class Hons from Salford in Popular Music and Recording back in 2005. The sheer talent I was surrounded by was amazing. It pushed me to be the best I could. The next will be doing the album with Shaneen and Matt, that will be a life achievement for sure.
Shaneen – My proudest moment in music so far was being asked to play at CRO CRO Land which was a music festival set up in support of female musicians. We got to play alongside artists such as Bang Bang Romeo, Nova Twins, Smiley and the Underclass and Weekend Recovery. I also got to meet Jon Kennedy from Radio X which was cool. It was an awesome gig and I made loads of cool new friends. It also set the tone of the potential for Kath and the Kicks as it was really early in our musical work together.
PD – So what are you working on at the moment?
Kath – We are wrapping up the final mixes for our next single ‘Walls Between Us’, then will do the video for it. We are also working on new material which is really exciting.
Shaneen – Yeah we’re working on some amazing new tracks at the moment. Two new ones are coming through and Walls is nearly ready for release.
PD – Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
Kath – The Fenton in Leeds 28th September and 15th November at The Backroom in Leeds. You should come to these because you’ll love it and you’ll leave feeling empowered! Plus you can have a drink with us.
Shaneen – Yeah The Fenton gig is a charity gig set up by one of our fans, it’s going to be a great gig
Kath and The Kicks links:
Band location – Leeds England
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