The Kilniks Q&A

By Maddy Crehan

The Kilniks are a five-piece indie rock band known for their rich vocal harmonies, driving rhythms and catchy guitar hooks. The band have come together from their various musical backgrounds to create a blend of music that is unique, upbeat and energetic. With influences ranging from artist such as The Strokes to Lou Reed, there’s never just one genre in a set with these guys.

2011 saw the release of the band’s debut EP, “Not That Kind”, one of the first releases by newly formed label Decibels Records. This year, look out for the release of their Double-A side ‘The Moment She Inspired/Doubts In Me’, the latter track including the vocal debut of drummer Alex Roper.

The Kilniks are always up for a party, especially if it involves a dress-up theme. This year alone they’ve hosted a Mexican tequila night, a birthday party for the band’s two-year anniversary, and an 80s night, just to name a few.

1. Describe The Kilniks in five words.

Fun rock and roll times.

2. Who are your favourite artists on the Melbourne music scene at the moment?

Haha, how much room have we got? But yeah, there’s quite a few. We’ve played with some truly awesome bands recently. There’s a three-piece punk band called Scotdrakula that we’re really fond of. Other bands we really like are Rosencrants, funk-pop band Animaux, folk-rock band Howard… the list can really go on for ages! Oh, Francolin are also a definite favourite of ours. (Apparently they got props from Gotye… really cool!)

3. What’s the song writing process like for The Kilniks?

Most of our songs are written by our guitarist Liam and our guitarist/singer Tom. Liam starts the song off by writing a riff or a chord progression, and from there with Tom structures the song and writes lyrics. However, lately we’ve been noticing our songwriting being a much more band-inclusive affair. For example, our song ‘It Isn’t Right’ owes its vocal hook entirely to our bassist Lewis, which really made the song stand out we think. Another example is our new release ‘The Moment She Inspired’. Initially written by Tom and Liam as a punk-rock song, our drummer Alex came up with the idea of playing the song in reggae style – which we’ve stuck with  and now recorded!

4. After just releasing singles The Moment She Inspired and Doubts In Me can we expect an album or EP anytime soon?

After recording the two tracks we’re definitely keen to release more! Part of the reason for this is that we’d really like to work with Nathaniel Tanter again – his production was absolutely amazing on these tracks. But yeah, there’s plenty of tracks that we’d love to record, so another EP is definitely on the cards for us!

5. What was it like working with Decibel Records?

It was an incredible experience being able to work with them last year. It’s an amazing idea, getting young bands in to record and release their own EP. And the fact that it was financially supported by The City of Darebin meant that we were able to do without any financial pressure that a commercial release would have. It was quite a daunting task for us trying to record the four tracks for the EP in two days – there’s just so much to get perfect! But after all that work, we were really proud of the finished product. And getting to release it and have our own professionally packaged EPs to sell at gigs was just as amazing.

6. Being quite a young band, what have you learnt from the music business so far?

In terms of getting your band out there, we’ve learned that you’ve really got to make your band stand out from the crowd. We like giving our live shows a little twist – we like putting a ‘theme’ on our nights, like an 80s theme or a Woodstock theme. It just makes it that much more fun. That, and it gives us a reason to bust out some really cool covers.

7. How do you feel about Rdio and Spotify and the new streaming trend?

Yeah, it’s pretty cool getting to discover all these artists through these streaming apps. Not sure how much the artists actually get from them, but I guess it’s still much better than having their music pirated. It’s still best to buy the albums and songs – it’s the only way the industry’s going to survive. But yeah, it’s still cool getting to know different artist’s songs without having to buy the entire albums but still getting them a little bit of pay.

8. Where’s your favourite venue to play?

Haha, again, how much time do you have? The Evelyn in Fitzroy is definitely a favourite hangout. We also love The Brunswick Hotel and Northcote’s Bar 303, it’s always really fun playing there. Lately we’ve also done a few gigs at The Noise Bar in Brunswick – we’ve been doing a series of themed gigs there once a month, it’s been really awesome.

9. Who would be your dream act to perform with?

We’d love to open for acts like The Strokes or The Libertines if they’d have us, since they’ve definitely had a big influence on our sound. But there are plenty of young Aussie acts we’d love to play with, names like San Cisco and The Jungle Giants definitely come to mind.

10. Most memorable band moment?

Last year our keyboard player Nat went on a five-month trip to Europe. She was due to come back in the new year, but surprised us at a gig we had on Boxing Day by showing up… during our set! Definitely a favourite moment for us.

11. What’s coming up next for The Kilniks?

We’ve got one last themed gig at The Noise Bar coming up… a JUNGLE party! It’s on September 23rd, and we’ve got some sweet acts lined up for it, including Rosencrants, The Coconut Rebellion and Marauders. There’s also going to be $1 Pots on the night for the first two beer kegs, so it’s setting up to be an awesome night!