JOEY and Luke of Kidd Bayou have been discussing…
their new single, Gold, with me and what we will see from them in the future. I ask how they got together and bonded; whether a similar taste in music is what got Kidd Bayou progressing and smoking – the U.S. act look ahead and discuss touring and what they want to accomplish before the end of the year.
I was curious whether the boys planned on coming to the U.K. and whether there are new artists we need to seek out; what their favourite memories from music are – the guys tell me how they chill away from their busy music careers.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Joey: The week has been good. Got a couple practices in with the band - really trying to work out the kinks to for our release show.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
Joey: My name is Joey...
Luke: …and my name is Luke Hall. We are two guys.
Joey: We are a couple friends who happen to make music together.
What is the story behind the new single, Gold? Is there a background to it?
Joey: Yeah. There is, actually. When I was writing Gold, I think it was one of the first tracks we recorded on the album; I wanted to have this themed album where all the songs were about different historical events that had some significance. I wrote Gold about, hopefully, this is obvious enough, the Gold Rush. There are some lyrics about Sutter’s Mill and James Marshall, the San Francisco 49ers….
I would recommend Wikipedia if you need a refresher.
Lisa Rono provides backing vocals. How did you come to meet her? What, do you feel, she adds to the mix?
Luke: I’ve known Lisa since middle-school. She’s super-talented. At the time we were working on Gold, I was also working with Lisa on her solo project. I played her the track and she hummed some harmonies - and she was gracious enough to sing on it. I think her voice really elevates the song. It’s haunting and beautiful.
How did Kidd Bayou start life? When did you meet one another?
Joey: We met in L.A. at a party. I have told this story several times but I am not sure exactly how it all went down, but we decided that it was a party at my house. I think it was Christmas-themed. I was wearing a onesie and Luke showed up also in a onesie. So, you know, it just clicked. I was like: “I like this dude”.
The rest is history.
Luke: That sounds about right. One of my friends, Tien, was living with Joey at the time. Such a bonus to find a new friend at that party.
It seems, Luke and Joey, you have similar tastes in music. Is that common ground a reason why you are so connected as a duo?
Joey: I think it’s that and we are friends first and foremost: we both are musicians and had our own bands previously. I was a big fan of Luke’s old band, Dayplayer, as well as his solo stuff, Last Home. So, it was pretty natural for us to start playing together. It was great. There was no pressure. It was just two guys throwing around a few ideas and seeing what stuck. Sticky Stars is what stuck.
Luke: It certainly helps that we share similar tastes. We throw ideas off of each other and, since they are distillations of our common inspirations, they usually aren’t too far off the mark.
I know you are both from different parts of the U.S. Where are Kidd Bayou based right now?
Joey: I recently moved back to Chicago and Luke is still in Portland. So, I guess we are bi-coastal if you consider Lake Michigan a coast. I get out to Portland a decent amount. The last time I was out there me and Luke actually laid down a new track.
So, we are still creating but it’s in fits and spurts.
Luke: Lake Michigan is not a coast…
Joey: Splitting hairs.
Where are you heading on tour? Where can we catch you?
I am trying to figure that out right now. The plan is to have a release show in Chicago and then hopefully, after that, one in Portland. Maybe late-June for Chicago.
Might we see you in the U.K. at some point?
That would be ideal. There are no current plans but I would love to do a little tour out that way.
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
Luke: I hope to live to see 2019...
Joey: Simple enough.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
The first time we jammed together. It was in a tiny little practice space in L.A. Luke played the drums and I played the guitar. I think we recorded some of it. I think of few little bits may have made their way on the record.
Luke: Yeah, that was the start of something special.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Joey: Death Cab for Cutie or The Shins. I think we have a similar sound. They are very influential in my songwriting.
My rider would be honey mustard pretzels.
Luke: Nada Surf!
My rider would have to include some salt and vinegar potato chips.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Joey: Make music because you love to do it not because you want to be famous.
Luke: Exactly. Focus on your art and the rest will follow.
IN THIS PHOTO: Now, Now
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Joey: I would say the majority of us hanging out is outside of music. That’s why this whole thing is special; music comes second after friendship. I think that’s why it was so easy to make a record: there was no pressure; it’s just two buddies hanging out who happen to make music.
I unwind with a beer and some conversation with friends.
Luke: …and golf, when I can find the time and it’s not raining in Portland. Golf is a major outlet for me, and Joey too, I think. It’s nice to be outside for a few hours and turn off.
Joey: ...and get frustrated with yourself for four hours.
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