ONE of the questions I was keen to ask Kid Kapichi…
was whether Rock was in a good state. The Hastings-based group discuss that and the influences behind their new E.P., Lucozade Dreams; how they got together and what gigs they have coming up – the guys recommend some cool new artists to watch.
The band tell me about their process and tell me what music they grew up around; if they get a chance to recharge away from music; whether there is a busy music scene down in Hastings; what advice they would give new artists – they end the song with some great song selections.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
The week’s been wicked; so glad to have the E.P. out finally. Our trip to Scotland, to play some shows, was wicked. It’s left us a bit skint but we’re really excited to get the England shows underway.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We’re Kid Kapichi; a four-piece band from Hastings. It’s tricky to describe our sound: it’s kind of a heavy, riff-based thing with a bit of a haunted house vibe. Have a listen and decide for yourself.
Our line-up is Jack Wilson (Lead Vox/Guitar), Ben Beetham (Lead Vox/Guitar); Eddie Lewis (Bass) and George Macdonald (Drums).
Lucozade Dreams is your new E.P. What sort of themes and stories inspired the songs?
Lucozade Dreams, as a whole, is based on a caffeine-fuelled lucid dream.
To be honest, on this E.P., there are a few different themes, ranging from our own political views in Machine Men; Getting out of an abusive relationship in Cinderella - and your typical ‘observational night out song’ in Jack Jones.
Is there a cut from the E.P. each of you would select as a highlight?
Jack: I like the fake build-up in the first verse of Puppet Strings
Eddie: I like it at the end of Machine Men - when it all kicks off massive.
Ben: Me and George both love the solo in Cinderella. It’s a well intense bit of the live show to play.
The video for Puppet Strings is out. Can you tell me about the song and its origins?
Jack: It kind of explains it in the first verse, really: it’s about being used as a pawn in someone else’s love game - but you don’t care because you’re not emotionally invested in it.
Will there be gigs to support its release? Where can we see you play?
Ben: We’ve just finished our tour, which went all the way from Inverness to Torquay and ended with a proper sweatbox at our hometown show in Hastings.
Eddie: We’ve got some more shows in May. One at the Bolieroom in Guildford (T.B.C.) and playing at the Lock Tavern in Camden on the 12th as part of Frank Turner’s Lost Evenings festival.
How did Kid Kapichi get together? Did you all know, when you started jamming, this was it for you guys?
Jack: Ben and I had a flat together in Hastings Old Town a few years ago and we both would occasionally write music together. Pretty early on, we wrote a song called Ice Cream and decided to get a band together and gig it out. I knew George and Eddie from school: we used to play at break times in this practice room and loads of people would gather around the window and watch.
Ben: Yeah. As soon as I met those guys and we played together, it was pretty instant that it all felt right.
You are based down in Hastings. Is there quite a busy scene in that part of East Sussex?!
George: In Hastings, particularly, there’s an insanely good music scene; really diverse and well-high quality of all different genres.
Ben: Yeah. There’s live music that spans across all Jazz, Soul; Blues and Funk-type genres and, in the younger crowd, you’ve got artists like Sam Wills, Folded Like Fabric and Alibi making waves. To be honest, the wildness of the audiences is what adds so much to the scene, too: everyone’s always bang up for it.
Some doubt whether Rock is in good shape. With artists like Black Honey and Royal Blood; do you think Rock is very much alive and well?!
Jack: it’s difficult to say. Personally, I’m always so focused on what we’re doing as a band that I don’t have time to notice what the state of Rock and Roll is. I think I just believe that regardless of what you’re doing, if it is good, it will shine through eventually.
Ben: I think that there’s deffo been a lull in the number of bands in the forefront for the ten years that came before Royal Blood dropped: they sort of reminded everyone that Rock can exist in the mainstream and, since then, it’s been nice to see a gradual increase in the number of bands coming through.
There’s still more ground to be made though, definitely. I think we’re still at the beginning of the revival.
Who are the artists you all grew up listening to? Did music come into your lives early?
Jack: Luckily, both my parents would always be the types to have music on every day in the house and I’d always be that annoying kid that wanted to know the artist, the track name and the album. It was mostly '60s through to late-'80s. I filled in the rest of the blanks myself. Everything from The Beatles and The Smiths to Led Zeppelin and the Sex Pistols.
I remember being obsessed with the solo in Hotel California for years and the intro to Whiskey in the Jar. You can’t forget the first time you hear those songs.
Ben: Yeah. There’s always been a lot of live music in my house; from a young age, always people bringing instruments round and having big jams. I played the drums when I was a young kid - but the guitar won in the end.
If you could select one album that means the most to you; which would that be and why?
Jack: That’s a really hard one. I think influence-wise for me, personally, it is Amphetamine Ballads by The Amazing Snakeheads.
That was kind of a real turning point for me when I heard that album - and I just kind of got it. I understood where I was going wrong and just felt like a huge door had swung open when it came to writing.
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
Ben: There are deffo some interesting things happening in the pipeline. Just trying to build our team around us and get some more music and videos out there as the year goes on…and are hoping to (just) gig more and more at bigger shows.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
As a band, some of the best memories have been the hometown shows when we haven’t played in ages. Every time we do one, we always end it saying: “That was the best Hastings show”. The E.P. release was mayhem.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Ben: Mainly, just that there’s never any rush to be putting music up before you’re definitely ready. Make recordings for sure and gig out as much as possible, but saying ‘This is us in all our glory’ too early can be the kiss of death sometimes in terms of people getting on board. We were gigging and getting our sh*t together ages before Ice Cream was put out.
IN THIS PHOTO: The Kiffs
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Jack: Well. You guys are probably more in the know than we are when it comes to new music out there but, within Hastings, there are some great up-and-coming bands. The Kiffs are gonna be amazing. They supported us in Hastings the other day and blew us away. The Mystic Shed are great. Primal raw stuff.
Lucky Girl, who are also supporting us soon, are insanely good. Great name, too.
IN THIS PHOTO: Lucky Girl
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
George: It’s pretty full-on at the moment: there isn’t much time to chill.
Ben: Yeah. The gigs themselves feel like a release after all the graft that goes around them with the other band stuff.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Ben: Without a Face – Rage Against the Machine
Jack: Queens of the Stone Age – Turnin’ on the Screw
George: Cotopaxi – The Mars Volta
Eddie: The Specials – Ghost Town
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