I caught up recently with the fantastic Kid Adrift to find out how it feels being touted as the next big thing and his plans for his upcoming album.
Really, what is it like to be considered ‘That next big thing’?
The first time that was said about us as a band it was a half-page newspaper article saying many things, most notably that I'd had a fall-out with Elton John that week (I've never met the man in my life!). There was a huge picture of me and one of Elton and all my friends back home were freaking out. I've tried to keep my head down and get on with things since that episode without listening to any hype chat, I find it quite embarrassing, I've never taken well to attention and still get nervous enough just performing to be honest.
Your halfway through the album, what was the initial vision of what you wanted to sound like?
If I could sum it up in a few words: A pop record being taken down to the west end of Glasgow by Son Lux/David Bowie and getting it's face smashed through a window of distortion and noise.
Now with collaboration of high level producers, what’s changed?
Kinda like a pop record being taken down to the west end of Glasgow by Steve Dub (Chemical Bros engineer/producer) and getting it's face smashed through a lot of nice analogue gear and then through a window of distortion/noise!
On a day to day basis, how does having larger expectations change your outlook?
It's very exciting but to be honest I feel pretty guilty a lot of the time. My family are mostly medics and I love doing this but I feel wracked by guilt oftentimes cause being in a band is so much about looking out for no.1 and doing what you want to do. I have some ideas how we can do some cool things with charities we've been involved with before…
How many shows did you play before getting interest?
As our previous ramshackle incarnation before Kid Adrift we used to play open mics doing an electro cover of Deftones My Own Summer, and Bjork's Army of Me with just a little Korg and a drumkit. The Deftones cover is actually still a part of our set. In that band we played a load of shows to anywhere between 5 and 30 people in little venues around Guildford and Scotland. As Kid Adrift we only initially did little gigs at friends parties, first one was in a barn in Surrey. We were signed mainly off the back of some demos that made it onto Zane Lowe's radio show via Vic Galloway's show at Radio Scotland.
Did you do anything different in terms to promote yourself?
I didn't really have a strategy, I guess I was just lucky and made a few songs that people liked and then they carried their own momentum. We've had some amazing people back us and would never have made it without people like Ross Allen, Vic Galloway and Kasra Mowlavi spotting us early on.
You’ve described your gigs to have a ceilidh atmosphere, and the music to have a darker feel-how do you manage the balance?
We use pretty heavy beats and bass live which gets people moving but I think the darker side is in what's on top of that. The harmonies, textures and lyrics. We had a great gig at Old Blue Last recently where the whole place was jumping from front to back but bizarrely at the same time everyone was singing lyrics I mostly wrote about being in an ambulance one time watching someone having a brain haemorrhage. Probably a lot of people don't listen to the lyrics but I like to think they are just exhilarated by getting things out their system. I hope the gigs are therapeutic, they probably save us a fortune on potential psychiatrist bills.
In a world of categorization you have been given the ‘Dub step-post-rock tag’ is that ridiculous or close to the mark?
I think there's elements of Dubstep in our sound but basically I just like taking all the crazy underground sounds going on and using them to make messed up pop tunes.
How has working with John Metcalfe been, surely a wealth of experience-the last few months must have been a steep, but positive learning curve?
Metcalfe is really blowing our minds. We're doing two tracks with him for the album and one is like a modern day Eleanor Rigby with beats and sub bass, it's such an honour to have his input. He managed to keep the whole new Peter Gabriel album fresh despite being limited to Strings and piano for every track, I was blown away and knew we had to track him down!
How close are you to completing the album?
We've mixed just over half of it now, we have a load of songs floating around and we're just deciding which ones to include. We'll be constantly releasing bits and pieces until the album is out next year though.
What is the roadmap for what the next steps are?
We want to make this album as good as it can possibly be, we've been working 17 or 18 hour days non-stop and through the night for weeks. It's been a really exciting and creative time for us. Also we are taking our Live show down some crazy routes, we want to make it something never seen before, I won't give away the game but we're building some pretty out-there MIDI controllers
How far are we away from a full blown tour?
We'll be doing one early next year, possibly with a very exciting band, details to come early January…
Going from small venues to potentially much larger-in terms of production and approach what changes?
I'm fascinated with Sub-Bass. The larger the rigs we get to play on the more that element can be exploited. We've been in the studio doing some science and making bass waves about 7m long in physical length, you can even make bass waves that are below the threshold of human hearing in pitch, they are just shockwaves. But if that isn't crazy enough you can derive harmonics from those shock waves, add them in above and trick your brain into hearing them as actual notes.
At the end of the year, where do you personally want Kid adrift to be and what do you want to have achieved?
I want Kid Adrift to travel back in time, kick my own ass and tell me stop writing about my inconsequential thoughts and problems and instead spend my energy writing about things that people actually need to know about. Cheesy as it may sound I desperately want to feel like we've found the reason for this platform we're on, what we can do with it to make a difference. Even if it's just making Pop dirty again.