Neurot Recordings Artist - Kowloon Walled City Interview up...
Interview with Scott Evans Vocals/Guitarist
The music goes from delicate and fragile to bombastic, I would say almost post-rock to doom metal at times. What was the vision of your latest release, Grievances?
We tried to write songs with a lot of space, with room for notes to die out. We also edited very aggressively, making sure that every part we left in had a good reason to be there.
We never think, or talk, in terms of genre. We used to talk more about specific bands that we were trying to pull inspiration from but we don't seem to do that so much anymore.
You were working with Brutal Panda a very DIY / Extreme music label that seems to like to work with bands that experiment with various sounds. Why the move to Neurot from Brutal Panda?
We love the guys at Brutal Panda and would happily work with them again. But we got an offer from Neurot and we decided it was worth trying. They are also great people, and they have a slightly different audience and possibly more reach than Brutal Panda. But I told Mike and Bob at Brutal Panda about our plans first. There's definitely no hard feelings.
What is the live show like for Kowloon Walled City I've seen some videos clips on you tube but how does the music changes from album releases?
We'll change subtle things over time. Tempos might change -- there are a few songs we play much slower than the record, for instance. We may drop intros or stretch out sections. The usual stuff. I've had people tell me that our shows seem more aggressive than the records.
What artists influenced the style and sound of Kowloon Walled City?
Originally we had three bands as jump-off points. Godflesh, Shallow North Dakota, and Unsane. That was almost ten years ago. Since then we've grown into our thing and I don't know that any influences are so direct. We might say "can we do a four against six feel like this Handsome song I heard the other day" or "can we refer back to a part the way this Neko Case song does" or whatever, but those are little touchpoints. Style and soundwise we don't really look to other bands anymore, we know each other well enough that we can dig it out of ourselves.
Do visuals and image play a big role in the musical visions you create?
No. Album art almost always comes last, we've yet to make a video, etc.
When Kowloon Walled City enters the studio how are songs and albums constructed is the music the base then lyrics or the opposite? Is there a story or theme already in place when you enter studio?
By the time we record the music is 95% complete. We may decide that something's not working upon hearing it played back, and make some last minute changes. Lyrically it's a little of both. Since I record our band, my mind is pretty full until we're done recording basics. So sometimes I'll finish lyrics and vocal parts after that, when my brain frees up a little.
Are there any bands that you like to collab with not releases split albums but work together on music with as one unit?
I'm not sure ours is the right band for that, but maybe. We've traded off vocals for a few splits and that has been great. I would definitely do that again. As far as a full-on collab like The Body has done a few of now, I'm not sure.
Why do you think the San Francisco area has always been a hotbed for avant, extreme and experimenting musical sounds? We can go band to the Punk movements to Thrash metal, Post Metal etc?
Historically there have been lots of awesome weirdos here. And once there's a bit of a scene it can draw other like-minded folks. As the Bay Area gets less and less affordable, we'll see if this changes.
I ask this often: If you could describe your band's sound in three simple words to someone who has never heard you before, how would you do so?
Idling dump truck.
Is social media, digital media and promotion the best way to get music exposed in 2015 or does touring, word of mouth and the human interaction make the band a longer lasting career?
I'm probably the wrong person to ask! I think social media is at its best when it involves human interaction, rather than just being advertising. As for a long-lasting career, the best recipe for that is for everyone in a band to be adults, and respect and appreciate each other. Barring that I guess you can get super successful and just be stuck. That seems to work for some bands.
Do the members of Kowloon Walled City record music with other projects or artist as well?
Sure. Our bass player Ian is in about ten other bands - the main ones right now are a pop band called Roman Cities and a new post-hardcore thing called Less Art, which he's playing in with Jon and a few friends from Thrice and Curl Up And Die. We’ve done three records as our goofy side project Snailface. And I'm a recording engineer, so I record tons of bands.
Any closing thoughts?
Listen to Pile.