Interview With Kylesa
They hail from Savannah, GA, and their sound defies all rules and regulations of style blending. I spoke to some of the members of Kylesa at the New England Metal Fest on April 22nd and here’s what Laura (vocals, guitars), Philip (vocals, guitars) and Corey (vocals, bass) had to say:
Gothique: What’s the story behind the band, how did you guys start the band?
Philip: Well, when we first started in 2001, we had three members of [now dissolved] Damad, now I’m the only one left. Then we asked Laura to join.
Our bass player at the time, Brian Duke, passed away and it was a very difficult time, it took us 6 months to get over it. But now things are good- we have a new bass player and a new drummer.
Gothique: Where does the name of the band come from? Does it mean anything?
Laura: It’s a Buddhist term. It’s spelled different though- Kilesa Mara, and it basically means “demon of defilement”.
Gothique: You recently signed to Prosthetic Records. How did you decide on this label?
Laura: Oh man, it took us about a year to decide but we’re very happy with them. They’ve been really cool and supportive. Even here [at the New England Metal Fest] we don’t fit in the whole thing but they were really cool and put us on the main stage.
Gothique: Just last month [March] you released your second album, “To Walk A Middle Course”. How do you feel about it?
Laura: We’re really happy with it. Prosthetic gave us the freedom to do our thing and that’s really cool.
Gothique: How is it different from your previous album?
Laura: Well, we don’t really fit the stereotype. We don’t put boundaries on what we do, we don’t stick to one style, you know. I mean, even our first record wasn’t the typical metal album. We thought our fans are gonna be weirded out by the second one. But so far the response is good.
Gothique: You collaborated with producer Alex Newport ( Melvins, At The Drive-In). How was it working with him?
Laura: It was great and it was intense. Alex is not a metal producer but we like him a lot because with every record he makes, it’s always something different.
Philip: It was great, he tightened us up [laughs] But it was good, you know. He understood our vision.
Gothique: What are you major influences/ bands?
Philip: Mostly 70s rock, punk, hardcore. We have hundreds of bands that have influenced us. We actually have a huge CD collection. We all live in the same house and sometimes we just smoke a joint and start making a mixed tape, you know, everybody puts something on it. And then we listen to it in the van when we tour.
Gothique: Can I post the pot-smoking part?
Laura: Oh yeah, totally, we’re straight up about this [laughs]
Gothique: Isn’t it hard living in a house and being the only girl around? I mean, from my perspective guys are very messy.
Corey: It’s hard living with her, she’s the boss there [all laugh]
Gothique: How does the writing process go? Who’s writing the lyrics and composing the music? Do you all do it together?
Laura: We all put something in it, we all work together on the music. We all just jam and feel it out. Philip actually writes most of the lyrics, I help too. But yeah, we try to create music that we all enjoy. We don’t want to be on stage and somebody says “man, I hate this song” but they play it anyway. So everybody puts something from himself into a song.
Philip: This can be very hard at times but at the end we are all happy with it
Gothique: How did you end up with 3 vocalists? Was this the original idea?
Laura: Well, we didn’t wanna have a central figure- just a male or female lead singer. We are all equal in the band, everyone has his say and it’s like… this ego thing, we didn’t want any of that.
Gothique: Tell me, how’s the metal scene down in Georgia?
Laura: It’s great actually. It’s small but there are devoted fans that go to shows and all that. We live in a very small town- there’s not much to do but go to the local bar, get drunk and play music. So that’s what we do [laughs]
Gothique: Sounds good to me [laughs]. In the same line, what are your plans and expectations for the future as a band?
Laura: Conquer the world [laughs]. No, I’m kidding.
Philip: We actually don’t have any expectations, we just do what we like. We were never like- “I’m gonna go to college and I’m gonna get a great job after that”. We don’t think like that, we just do what we love and that’s music.
Gothique: Any last words to our readers?
Philip: Listen to records in reverse. There’s a lot to be heard
Gothique: Subliminal messages?
Philip: Yeah, exactly. Even on our CD booklet… there’s something hidden on it.
Laura: Yeah man, smoke some pot and listen to records in reverse [laughs]
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