Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some good old fashioned surf-rock, most likely a little more than the next guy even. But it takes a lot to catch my interest and get me looking into a surf band to be honest, ninety-percent of them sound the same and that’s just calling it like it is. And there’s nothing wrong with that I might add, if people like playing it and listening to it, and you can make a living performing it, right on and good for you… Kill, Baby… Kill! is not one of those bands though. It’s hard to even lump them in with most of the other serious surf stuff that I hear out there because they bring so much hardcore rock to the table that there are just about equal measures, take no names, balls to the walls, reverb drenched, guitar-torching surf and face-melting, heavy rock and hardcore punk influences as there is surf. The keys are another one of the things that sets Kill, Baby… Kill! apart as well, while they do sometimes simply fill in the empty space that isn’t being stuffed with guitar licks or the ballsy bass lines here, they also tumble spaciously and unfettered over the top of the music a good deal of the time, really adding an ambiance that’s lost in most of the attempted surf hybrids that I’ve heard over the years. Let’s face it, combining surf with most anything else and keeping the integrity of either intact is a feat unto itself and Kill, Baby… Kill! not only does it while making it sound easy, they do it while making it sound f*cking good! If you’ve ever wondered what it would sound like to be trapped on an island while fighting giant monsters in some sort of mechanized suit as a bunch of beach bunnies and a handful of burnouts cheered you on, the world is coming to an end crumbling around your head, bombs dropping from the sky, the hideous, grotesque reptilian beast managing to finally pry its way into the hull… Well you’re in luck! Kill, Baby… Kill! has got to be the soundtrack to the dystopian, apocalyptic future that we’re all headed for. Hunker down and listen for the bombs with founding member Noah Holt and current drummer Josh Jackson as they answer a gambit of questions about all things Kill, Baby… Kill!
Listen while you read: https://www.facebook.com/killbabykillal/app_2405167945
What is Kill, Baby… Kill!’s current lineup? Is this the original lineup or have you all gone through any changes since the band first started?
Noah: No, this isn’t the original lineup, by a long shot. Kill, Baby… Kill! originally started as a home studio project for me back in 2003. Then, in 2005, I managed to put together a live lineup that lasted for around four shows. The members were all quite young, mostly just finishing high school and had new opportunities ahead of them. What’s more, I had my first child on the way. So it was all put on indefinite hold and became a studio only project again. Finally, in early 2010, life changes allowed time again, so I started piecing together a lineup featuring musicians I had had my eye on years earlier, as none of the original players were available or interested in revisiting the project. This lineup started with Josh Jackson on drums, Rye Fannin on Rhythm guitar, and Jeremy Bagget on bass. Josh and Rye had been in a band called Typhoid Mary years earlier and I was a fan. Jeremy was just a local friend that loved horror movies and happened to own a bass. We played our first show of the revival that October. After it was over we were approached by Chris Eagle who had an interest in providing Keys for our music. I was reluctant, but decided within a few weeks to give it a shot and we haven’t looked back yet. This lineup lasted about one year, but Rye had a teenager type idea of what the ‘rock’n roll’ lifestyle was all about and really wasn’t up to the real work involved with being in a touring and recording band. Even more, the stress it put on everyone else wasn’t worth it. So nearly one year to the date of his first show he was gone. I would say let go, but it was very much a mutual decision. We decided to go forward without a rhythm guitarist, as the keys did a great job of filling things in anyway. Jeremy, within a few months after the departure of Rye, decided he wanted to pursue other interests. He played a few more shows with us, but we already had a replacement in the fold. Which brings us to our last addition. Erek Smith, who had already been playing in another band with Chris and Josh, stepped in and really filled out the bass position. In all honesty, his bass playing really was the missing link in defining what we are as a band.
The more people I talk to and the more bands I discover the more I enjoy musical connect the dots, piecing one member of one band together with another so on and so forth. Though I must admit, nothing beats cheating ha-ha! Are any of you involved with any other active bands at this point? Have you released any music with anyone in the past? If so can you share a little bit about that with us?
Noah: Erek, Chris, and Josh have another band called Street Shark. It’s a post-punk project with heavy roots in that late-80’s/early 90’s DC Dischord Records sound. It’s a fantastic project. I would be fooling myself if I stated that much of that sound hasn’t infiltrated the later music of Kill,Baby…Kill! and that’s a welcome thing. While I started this project to be instrumental surf, I have a twenty-five year background in punk and indie music, and those Dischord artists are some of the most influential on me. As for other projects I’ve recorded with… I spent the late 80’s through the 1990’s living in Auburn, Alabama and playing in that music scene. This is the scene that birthed Man or Astro-man?, Quadrajets, Immortal Lee County Killers, Pine Hill Haints etcetera. I was engulfed in punk rock through and through during that time. With that in mind, I had many bands, but most were of no significance besides learning how to be in a band. My first recording band was called Stuck@Zero. We were pretty standard early 90’s Pop Punk. We managed to put out one 7” on Arkam Records during that time. We also recorded another record for Tooth n Nail Records, but that was never released due to questionable lyrical content. After Stuck@Zero I had a hardcore band called Pedestrians that was pretty popular on a local level, but never managed to record more than some demos. Lastly, I had a stint in Backseat Virgins that were on Insubordination Records out of Maryland back in the mid 2000’s.
Where are you originally from?
Noah: Auburn, Alabama.
Josh: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
What was the music scene like where you grew up? Did you go and see a lot of shows when you were younger? Do you feel like the music scene there played a large role in forming your musical tastes or shaping the way that you play today?
Noah: I touched on it above, Auburn had a pretty awesome music scene from the late 80’s through the 1990’s. Now, outside of the bands listed above, Man or Astro-man?, Pine Hill Haints, Quadrajets, Immortal Lee County Killers, none of the local bands really managed any success outside of being popular with the local crowd. But the town was full of amazing and creative musicians. There were tons of local bands and rarely did they sound remotely like anything that was going on elsewhere. We used to call it the Auburn Punk Scene, but the reality was that it was the Auburn Music Scene. Shows would be Metal, Punk, Pop, Hip Hop, Country, etcetera, all mixed on the same bill. And we loved it that way. What was even more, is that the town had an international reputation as a ‘must stop and play’ for touring bands, so just about any band you would have wanted to see during the time played there. Even more, there wasn’t a real venue there. So these bigger bands actually played house shows. For a few examples, one of my very first house shows attended (around 1991) was Green Day. They played the living room of Stuart Ellis’ house. The last house show I remember ever seeing there was Murder City Devils and American Steel. Let’s see… Hoover, Neurosis, Less than Jake, Hot Water Music, Screeching Weasel, Pansy Division, Avail, All, Chemical Brothers, Four Hour Fogger (pre Mastodon), Damad… This list could go on. I’m not saying that I was at all of these, but that gives a good idea of the level of bands that used to come through. And spending about ten to twelve years going to shows, sometimes three or four per week, I saw thousands. But anyway… Yes, it was highly influential. Being surrounded by that much talent inspires you and pushes you... The funny thing was, and that still holds to this day, that it wasn’t so much the touring bands that I took inspiration from, but rather the local bands. If you were to ask me for a list of my top ten favorite bands today then Hematovore and Man or Astro-man? would still be high on the list. And that hasn’t changed since around 1992 or 1993. Which isn’t to say that having the high-profile bands you most admire come through and being able to engage them on such an intimate level wasn’t highly influential. It sort of destroyed the ‘bigger than life’ myth to most of us very early in our musical careers.
Josh: There really was no music scene being raised in small town Talladega, Alabama. However, there did happen to be a small, but very active punk scene twenty or so miles north of us in Anniston, Alabama. My friends and I would pile ourselves in a car and go check out rock shows at our favorite local venue 1213.
What was your home like when you were growing up? Was it very musical? Were either your parents or any of your relatives musicians or extremely involved/interested in music?
Noah: I really didn’t come from a musical family life at all. Sure, my Brother and Sister were in Marching Band, but that was the extent of things. I am told my Grandfather was an accomplished guitarist but he had lost fingers in an accident before I was born, so I never got to hear him play.
Josh: There really wasn't much musical influence in my household growing up. In fact, having been raised in a pretty strict household, most of the music that I found myself drawn to was heavily discouraged. I’ve been told that my grandfather was a touring lap steel guitar player, but neither myself nor my father ever had the opportunity to meet him.
What do you consider your first real exposure to music?
Noah: That’s a very good question. Radio was always on while growing up. But at the age of around ten I had a cousin along with a school acquaintance introduce me to the music that I would build off of. I remember my cousin lending me a copy of Staring at the Sea by The Cure and then the school acquaintance giving me a mix tape that included Dead Kennedys, DOA, and a handful of other punk artists of the time. That was ‘the beginning of the end’ for me. It was also around this time that I discovered the local College Radio Station. I recorded hours of it and listened to just about anything I could get my hands on.
If you had to pick on defining moment, a moment that opened your eyes to the infinite possibilities of music and changed everything for you, what would it be?
Noah: Besides being given the music I mentioned above, I really couldn’t say what that moment was. It wasn’t long after that that I decided being in a band is what I wanted to do, and it only took a few years for me to do so. And as any musician can tell you, once you get the bug it only infects you more and more.
Josh: I would have to say when I was introduced to what would eventually become my first band mates, we pretty much were the music scene where we’re from. There were very little musicians around, and as I said earlier, we would have to travel to a nearby town to find other likeminded individuals. The time spent and lessons learned with those guys was, and still is, priceless to me.
What was your first musical instrument? When did you get it and who gave it to you?
Noah: I started playing Trombone at ten for my school. A few years later my brother left an acoustic guitar in my bedroom and a few years after that I realized I knew how to play it. It wasn’t a conscious effort. I suppose, I was just meant to do so. Or, perhaps, I just realized it was a must if I wanted to one day be in a band.
How did you all originally meet and what led to the formation of Kill, Baby… Kill!? When precisely was that?
Noah: I met Josh back when I did my short stint with Backseat Virgins. As I said earlier, he and Rye, our former rhythm player, were high school kids and playing in a band called Typhoid Mary that played on the same local bills. Chris and Erek had played in another band together, and knew each other from High School.
I seriously dig the name and it sounds like a movie reference to me but what does Kill, Baby… Kill! mean or refer to in the context of your name? Who came up with the name and how did you go about choosing it?
Noah: The name is most certainly a movie reference. It’s the title of a 1960’s Italian Horror Film by Mario Bava that I’m a big fan of. I picked it because not only did I like the ring of it, but it also fit with the original idea of Kill, Baby… Kill!, which was to be very much a horror themed project. These days our theme has moved past blatant horror and more into the apocalyptic subject matter, but the name stays.
Is there any shared creed, code, ideal or mantra that the band shares or lives by?
Noah: I don’t really think so. We’re just four guys who get along and play well together. We all know how to approach working together with respect and professionalism. There’s little to no drama within this group of guys, and that’s why we’re still able to enjoy playing together and traveling. We all have pretty separate lives outside of the band. We actually had the discussion last week about how essential that is to longevity. We meet up to play music and to perform, then we come home and go about our separate lives. I suppose this prevents us from having the opportunity to get on each other’s nerves. After all, we are four very distinct personalities, with our own beliefs and such. That mix might get volatile if allowed too much time together. Music is our common bond. Oh, and we have, since day one, always set realistic goals. Once they’re achieved we set new ones. I have always felt that it would be better to look back on the band with fondness based upon what we did do, rather than having a bunch of “what ifs”. I have seen too many bands aim for the top from day one and make little headway. But so much can be accomplished if you take things one step at a time.
Where’s the band currently located at?
Noah: Jacksonville, Alabama.
How would you describe the local music scene where you all are at right now?
Noah: I wouldn’t say there is one… At least not of any unified kind. There are bands, and we all know each other, but there’s no organized, or semi-organized, scene here. I’m told there once was, but that was before I moved here.
Are you very involved in the local music scene? Do you book or attend a lot of local shows?
Noah: A few times per year we make an attempt to bring some bands through and organize events. But there really seems to be little interest here. Most of the old guard are now grown, with families and careers. Even if they want to be a part of something, life obviously gets in the way.
Do you help to record and or release any local music? If so can you talk a little bit about that?
Noah: We have a vanity label called KBK Records. It really isn’t active currently. The intention was to help release bands we liked in the area, but there just isn’t anything here that we’re interested in or that we feel would fit with what we would want for the label.
Do you feel like the local music scene has played an important or integral part in the history or sound of Kill Baby… Kill or do you feel like you could have done what you’ve done and sound the way that you do regardless of your location or surroundings?
Noah: Perhaps that old Auburn scene did, as we take heavy influence from Man or Astro-man? and Hematovore. But the local scene here has little to no influence on us. However, the other guys grew up in it and might have a different take.
Josh: Without a doubt the local scene has played a huge role in my musical taste and styling in regards to Kill, Baby… Kill!. Having the opportunity to see all the great punk, hardcore, and metal acts that came through Anniston in a sense gave me a pallet to work with. Being influenced by bands like The Groovie Ghoulies, The Independents, Teenage Terror and countless others that played locally plays a huge part in the sound of Kill, Baby... Kill! for me.
I really dig your guys sound and I always feel like I’m doing a band a grave disservice whenever I try and describe their sound. I’m not to awfully wonderful at it and I always just end up confusing more people than I inform. How would you describe Kill, Baby… Kill’s sound in your own words?
Noah: We call our sound ‘Apocalyptic Surf Punk’, but I’m sure that doesn’t really define things to the uninitiated. We play instrumental surf music with a very heavy punk and hardcore influence. Think The Ventures or Dick Dale, writing through the filter of Fugazi and Sonic Youth.
Who are your major musical influences? What about influences on the band as a whole rather than individually?
Noah: I touched on this above. Bands like Man or Astro-man?, Daikaiju, and other instrumental surf bands for sure. But also punk and indie music like Fugazi, Sonic Youth, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Devo, etcetera.
Can we talk a little bit about Kill, Baby… Kill’s songwriting process? Is there someone who comes to the rest of the band with a riff or more finished product to work out and arrange with the rest of the band? Or is it more of a situation where you all jam together and come up with ideas collectively and work things out as a band?
Noah: Most of the ideas come from me. I will usually have parts fleshed out in my little home-studio and then bring them to the band to build upon. We aren’t really a jam writing kind of band, as much as I wish we were, but there have been a few songs that have been one-hundred percent band written from the ground up.
Do you all enjoy recording? As a musician myself I think that most of us can really appreciate the final product, but getting to the point where you’re holding that album in your hands, getting everything recorded, especially as a band can really be a pain. What’s it like recording with you all?
Noah: I have a love/hate relationship with recording. But this mostly stems from never having the money to afford the time I would really like in the studio. Everything we’ve done has required a bit more of a rush job that I would prefer. But when it comes to the final product and getting to hear ideas fully fleshed out… That is the best.
Your first release that I know of was 2011’s self-released Sometimes They Come Back EP. Can you talk a little bit about the recording of the material for that EP? When was it recorded? Who recorded it? Where was that at? What kind of equipment was used? How was that album originally released and distributed? Is that still in print at this point? If not are there any plans to make that material available again in the future?
Noah: Sometimes They Come Back was self-recorded and self-released on KBK records back in 2011. It was a very fair representation of, what was then, a very young complete band with minimal experience collectively. We recorded that in Atlanta, Georgia at a studio called The Factory that happened to be Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez’s former dance rehearsal studio. Dan Dixon was the Engineer on it. We were also lucky enough to have Joe Queer, the singer for seminal punk band The Queers, handle production duties. We cringe a bit hearing those recordings now, as there’s a lot we would have done differently had we had the time and knowledge. But it has served us well and seems to be well regarded among surf fans. We were able to re-record the entire EP as part of our latest album, and I believe all of the songs benefited from being revisited. The EP is still available in digital format, and I’m sure there are hard copies floating around on Amazon and CDbaby, but we have personally taken it out of print.
In 2012 there was a Kickstarter campaign for what looked to be an absolutely killer 12” compilation of Alabama garage and surf bands. I know it reached its funding goal and that there were some other completely sick bands on there, including Daikaiju who I just think slay! The coolest thing about the project was that all of the 12”s that were pressed that didn’t sell as part of the Kickstarter campaign were going to be given to the bands so that they could make some much deserved and needed money. Did that project ever come to fruition? If so, were you all included on the final version of the comp and what track did you contribute?
Noah: That project is still on the slate. I actually spoke with the organizer last week and, pending what he says as true, the test pressings have been approved. All he is waiting on is correction on a sleeve printing issue. I really do hope this sees the light of day soon as there was a lot of support for the project. I never heard the final lineup for it, but rumor was that Man or Astro-man? might have been contributing a live track. The track we contributed is “Occupation of the Body Snatchers” and while this song is also included on our latest album, the version on the comp. is a completely different mix.
KBK Records announced in early 2012 that you were also going to be releasing a tour single on that label in May of 2012. Did that ever happen? If so can you tell us about the details of that release and how that material was recorded?
Noah: That never happened, much like a lot of our recording and release ambitions. Frankly, time and money is always a contributing factor in things either coming to fruition or not. The first two years this incarnation was together were a whirlwind. We toured about ten-thousand miles each year, filling every free moment we had. So stopping long enough to record was at times impossible.
You released three tracks around the Holiday season of 2013 that are only available digitally and haven’t been offered anywhere else to the best of my knowledge; “Vincent Price in the Deli Section of a Publix" (Live), "Haulin Hearse" (Rough Demo) and "Exit Sandman" (Live). Are there any plans to make that material available in any other fashion? I know they’re still streaming at this point for people to listen to either way on your Soundcloud page.
Noah: They are still streaming, but are no longer available for download. That was just a little Christmas gift to those that cared. The two live songs were from the 2005 lineup of the band and are songs we never brought into the 2010 and forward lineup. Both are songs I believe had strong points but need heavy re-workings, but I thought it would be interesting to give people a glimpse into what was going on back then. “Haulin Hearse” is a quick demo we threw down at the end of recording our last album. It’s a cover of a song by The Ghastly Ones that we did some heavy reworking of. It’s been a staple of our live set for some years now. However, there’s some controversy between one of the members of The Ghastly Ones and Kill, Baby… Kill!. Let’s just say that he was unhappy with our reworking and threatened legal action if we ever released it. If these songs ever see an official release they will be in reworked forms.
You all released your debut full-length, Corridor X last year (2013) on Deep Eddy Records. Can you share some of your memories of recording that album? Was it a fun, pleasurable experience for you all? When and where was that material recorded? Who recorded it? What kind of equipment was used?
Noah: Memories? Rushed and underfunded, as usual… We, once again, recorded that with Dan Dixon handling Engineering duties. However, it was at a different makeshift studio in Atlanta. Our friend Chad Shivers, best known for his guitar work in The Mystery Men?, Sorry No Ferrari, and The Squares, was brought on board for production. We have long admired him as a musician and song writer, and he holds that same respect for our band, so we knew he would come in with a lot of ideas for the songs that would only elevate them. It was a tedious, yet relatively quick process of recording the album. For the most part we are very proud of it, but hope to do a re-mastering upon the next pressing, as some of the volume levels seem low. It was also a pleasure to finally provide a complete album to Deep Eddy Records. The label had decided to take us on within a month or so of having self-released our first EP. That was in 2011. So it took us a while to finally feel we were ready to do a full-length album. It goes to show that Deep Eddy Records, while small, is a fantastic label to work with. They don’t ask any questions or really suggest anything. Their confidence is in us, and I am happy to say that we are one of the fastest selling bands released by the label since its inception in the early 1990’s.
Does Kill, Baby… Kill have any music that we haven’t talked about yet, maybe a song on a compilation or a single that I might have missed?
Noah: Not really. We have a decent amount of compilation appearances, but all of those are album tracks. The only “rare” material we have, other than the previously mentioned Christmas tracks, is a demo of the song “Trioxin Twist”. The studio version appears on our latest album, but we did a demo a few years ago while playing in Memphis, Tennessee. We threw it on the yearly SurfGuitar101.com members compilation, which I believe is available for free download on archive.org.
You guys have several digital only and compilation tracks that are unavailable or out of print at this point. Are there any plans for a possible compilation of your out of print or unavailable material?
Noah: I’m sure there will be a compilation of some of this “rare” material at some point, if only for our own archives. But as of now there are no immediate plans.
With the release of Corridor X last year (2013) are there any other releases in the works at this point?
Noah: We actually have a handful of releases planned for 2014, one is something very special and completely out of character. However, organizing schedules with the person we are going to collaborate with has proven difficult. I’m not going to advertise it until everything is set in stone, as we’ve promised too many things that never happened. The second, and most important, thing we are doing in 2014 is releasing a series of two-song digital singles through Deep Eddy Records. We thought like this was a good way to not only maintain focus and goals, but also to try out some different recording studios. Even more, it means more new material, more often, for those that might want it. I hope the first of these are released before the end of April.
Where’s the best place for our US readers to pick up copies of your album?
Noah: Deep Eddy Records, Double Crown Records, Amazon, Itunes, Spotify, CDbaby, and a slew of other retailers. Our album and EP are not hard to find. Hell, I believe you can even get them through Kmart online.
With the completely insane international postage rate increases this past year I try to provide our readers with as many options for picking up imports as I possibly can. Where’s the best place for our international and overseas readers to pick up your stuff?
Noah: Foreign distribution exists. Of course Amazon, Itunes, etcetera all have our material available all over the world. But I know Surfer Joe in Italy just picked us up, and there is a South American distributor that has our material, but their name is slipping my mind.
Does Kill, Baby… Kill have any major goals that you’re looking to accomplish in 2014?
Noah: Honestly, outside of the digital releases, 2014 will be more of the same. We will play most of the major surf/instrumental festivals and probably tour the Southeast. It would be great to make it back northeast or to the Midwest, but we’ll have to see if life will allow it this year.
Do you remember what the first song that Kill, Baby… Kill ever played was? Where and when was that?
Noah: Played or that was written for the band? If you mean written, “Psycho Beach Party 3000” was the first song I wrote for the project. It was a home studio demo from 2003. I had long tinkered with the idea of doing a surf band, but this song, although completely unplanned, was the song that let me know that it needed to be pursued.
Do you all spend a lot of time on the road touring? Do you all enjoy touring? What’s life like on the road for Kill, Baby… Kill? What, if anything, do you have planned as far as touring goes for 2014 so far?
Noah: Some of us have children, as well as wives, girlfriends, and careers. But with all of that in mind, we managed over one-hundred dates, averaging about ten-thousand miles per year, over the past three years. So… Yeah… We tour a decent amount. We’ve never been further than the Midwest and northeast, despite offers to go out west and to Europe being made pretty regularly. I believe we all enjoy touring, but we all realize that it can be pretty grueling. It is a lot of work and boredom. Endless stretches of road are driven in order to show up to a venue, wait around for hours, play for forty-five minutes, pack up, sleep on someone’s floor, and then get up and do it all over again. The gist of that is that if we didn’t like it then we wouldn’t do it. It takes a special kind of person to trudge through the rigors of touring and still see the beauty in it. Life on the road is pretty sedate for the guys in Kill, Baby… Kill!. None of us are much for partying and we’re all pretty responsible guys. Take that for what it’s worth.
Who are some of your personal favorite bands that you’ve had a chance to share a bill with so far?
Noah: Daikaiju; brothers in surf, good friends, and still one of our collective favorite bands. The Men, one of Erek’s favorite bands. The Madeira (Ivan is a God of the genre). We have a list of every band we have played with and the number is large. So many have been great, and a lot are bands that we greatly admire. But after so many, they start to run together.
Josh: Switchblade Kid, Daikaiju, Concrete Rivals, The Nowhere Squares, and The Green Seed to name just a few.
In your dreams, who are you on tour with?
Noah: In my dreams? So that means it could be bands that no longer exist? Fugazi… Without a doubt. Sonic Youth… Devo, The Cramps, Dead Kennedys, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet…
Do you have any funny or interesting stories from live shows or performances that you’d like to share here with our readers?
Noah: Our funny stories are all ‘you had to be there’ moments. I fear they would lose any sense of humor being retold.
Do you give a lot of thought to visual aspect of the band, the art of flyers, posters, covers and the like? Do you have any defacto artist that you go to for your artwork needs? If so, who is that and how did you originally get hooked up with them?
Noah: There’s a decent amount of thought to the visual art direction of the band. However, we’ve really struggled to find the right direction over the years. Starting off very much as a horror band, we used the classic movie poster aesthetic quite a bit. But we quickly realized how overused that was. We also realized that we were progressing past the horror idea. Thematically we are very tied up in the end of the world concept, and much of the art design has moved in that direction. I suppose my inspiration for that is rooted in movie imagery. Not really the Mad Max kind of apocalyptic imagery, but more the Children of Men imagery. I feel that takes away the camp and brings in the war torn reality and that really fits the sound of what we write. It isn’t fun or campy music. It’s pretty intense and serious. As far as artists go, we don’t have a set one, but we do know that we like the look of inked comics. So far we have worked with John Deitrich for our first EP, he does work for the Rat Fink brand these days and is very talented, and our album Corridor X was done by our friend Graves Stones up in Chicago. He plays with the band Alder Kings and is a very talented Comic artist. I threw the concept at him and he came back a few days later with a sketch that was exactly what I was viewing in my head.
With all of the various mediums of release that are available to artists today I’m always curious why people choose and prefer the various mediums that they do. Do you have a preferred medium of release when it comes to putting out your own stuff? What about when you’re listening to and or purchasing music? If you do have a preference can you talk a little bit about why?
Noah: In an ideal world people wouldn’t get too caught up in formats and just appreciate that there’s music out there. Most arguments I hear over what sound better are pretty much bullshit anyway. I love vinyl, but that love comes from my days of buying punk 7” records at shows. But bands pressed vinyl because it was the most cost effective means to put out music. It was half of what CD production cost. It wasn’t because of some belief it sounded better. But these days vinyl is priced through the roof. Our label doesn’t do vinyl, so we’re out of luck. But it never fails that we’re asked by someone at every show if we have vinyl. When we say we don’t, they walk away. I can’t help but think how fucking shitty that is. The music is what you’re supposed to be buying, and they are right here on this fucking CD. It sort of cheapens our efforts in my mind.
Do you have a music collection at all? If so can you tell us a little bit about it?
Noah: I have crates of 7” vinyl dating back to the late 80’s, most of which I bought from bands touring through town. I have hundreds of CDs, hundreds of vinyl albums, and I am sure there is a drawer of cassettes tapes from local bands in the late 80’s. That physical collection is mostly punk music. My real collection is all digital these days and spans about anything you can imagine. I just love music. I don’t search out new things the way I used to, but I listen to some of everything.
I grew up around a fairly large collection of music and I was encouraged to listen to whatever I wanted from a pretty young age. I would gran something completely at random off of the shelf, stick it into the player, kick back in the beanie bag, read the liner notes, stare at the artwork and just let the music carry me off to another place. As a result I developed a pretty deep appreciation for physically released music from a young age, something I don’t think I’ll ever fully shake or give up. Do you have any such connection with physically released music? If so can you talk about that a small bit?
Noah: As much as I love having my collection in digital format, there is a lot to be said for physical product. I’m not going to get in to cassettes, as they start off bad and just get worse with age. Tape doesn’t last for archiving music, but CD’s and vinyl do; despite vinyl deteriorating with each play. And all of those albums, 7”s and CD’s I have tucked away will be there in ten, twenty, or thirty years if I or my children ever want to visit them. Who knows what I will lose if I have an unexpected hard-drive crash.
As much as I love my music collection portability really has been an issue for me. I love taking music with me when I go out on road trips and no matter how much time I would spend burning and packing CDs or making mix tapes there was always that one album or song that I forgot to bring that just drove me nuts! Digital music has all but eliminated that problem overnight. I can carry more music on my phone that I could have stuffed into the trunk of my car a few years back. The internet has also been a real game changer, especially when teamed with digital music. Together they’ve exposed people to an entire world of music that they otherwise would never have been exposed to, and for independent artists willing to promote and harbor a healthy online presence it’s really levelled the playing field. Nothing is ever black and white though and with the good comes the bad. Illegal downloading is running rampant in the industry right now and while people may being exposed to a lot of new stuff, not only are they not always paying for music but it’s harder and harder to get listeners attention these days. As an artist during the reign of the digital era, what’s your opinion on digital music and distribution?
Noah: Digital distribution is a great thing, as it has allowed a lot of the cost associated with releasing music to go away, allowing smaller bands to push their product. But, like you said, it isn’t all black and white. There used to be a process to obtaining music that limited what you could consume. With this, I believe came an appreciation for what you could afford and or obtain. Now we’re overexposed with endless access to almost anything and I believe that has cheapened our appreciation of music as a whole. Maybe it’s limited our attention spans a bit? I equate it to the same reason why when you’re looking through your Netflix cue and “can’t find anything to watch” because there are simply too many options. I remember well, anticipating a new release and then finally getting it. It would spend weeks, and sometimes months, in my CD or cassette player. By the time I had grown tired of it or purchased something new I would know it back and forth. But today, and I am guilty of this myself, pirate downloads, endless albums at our fingertips on iPods and such, have led us to never stopping long enough to really appreciate one thing.
I try to keep up with as much good music as I possibly can. I spend more time than I would like to admit here listening to random stuff online, flipping through the bins at the local shop and talking to just about anyone I think has good taste mining for listening tips. I make sure to ask everyone I talk to this questions so please feel free to list as many or as few as you would like, but is there anyone from your local scene or area that you should be listening to that I might not have heard of before? What about nationally and internationally?
Noah: There is tons out there and we play with so many great bands, but narrowing it down is difficult. At the moment some of my favorites are This Machine Kills Robots from Canada, Daikaiju, The Mystery Men? from Atlanta and Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion from Boston…
Thanks so much for taking the time to do this, it’s been fun for me learning all about the band and I hope it’s been fun for you all looking back on everything you’ve done and managed to accomplish; I know it wasn’t easy and there had to be some brain wracking involved! Before we sign off and call it a day, is there anything that I might have missed or that you’d just like to take this opportunity to talk about?
Noah: You pretty much covered it. This was an extensive list of questions…
(2011) Kill, Baby… Kill! – Sometimes They Come Back EP – CD – Self-Released
(2011) Various Artists – Surfguitar101.com 2011 Compilation – digital – Surfguitar101.com (Kill, Baby… Kill! contributes the track “Trioxin Twist” (Original Demo)
(2012) Various Artists – Continental Magazine #19 Compilation – CD – Continental Magazine (Kill, Baby… Kill! contributes the song “Love Theme for a Twisted Mind”)
(2012) Various Artists – Radical Waves Compilation – CD – Deep Eddy Records (Kill, Baby… Kill! contributes the song “Love Theme for a Twisted Mind”)
(2013) Kill, Baby… Kill! – Corridor X – CD – Deep Eddy Records
(2013) Various Artists – Continental Magazine #21 Compilation – CD – Continental Magazine (Kill, Baby… Kill! Contributes the track “Corridor X” from their Corridor X album)
(2014) Various Artists – Monsters Of Surf Guitar – CD – Dingdong Records (Kill, Baby… Kill! contributes the track “Duck And Cover” from their Corridor X album)
Interview made by Roman Rathert/2014
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2014