We spoke to lead vocallist for KILTO TAKE, Jon Crosby about how the group began, inspirations and their upcoming album 'Resolute'.
When and how did you all meet?
Karl (bass) and I went to the same school as each other, but it wasn't until many years later we actually met through mutual friends and found that we shared the same passion for music - listening to it, writing it and playing it.
We were into the same sort of bands but approached them from extreme ends of the spectrum, coming at them from different influences and sharing the music that inspired us to get into playing music in the first place.
We used to hook up from time-to-time and jam, and somehow we reached a happy medium that really worked and decided that it was time to take it to the next level and do the band thing properly - so we set about finding a drummer.
We met Lee (drums) down our local rehearsal studio, and after hearing him play we knew he fitted our style and sound perfectly. We gelled right away as if we had been playing together for years. He shared the same passion and obsession we had for music, and was into similar bands too, so we knew then we were on a good footing.
We originally started KILTO TAKE as a four-piece, but we found we were moving down a path that really wasn't us musically, so we started again as a three-piece - with me taking over as vocalist - at the beginning of 2010.
We kept the same name, scrapped the old material completely and started writing a load of new material that was darker, more mature and more suited to us, and the direction we wanted to take initially.
We showcased our new sound to Medical Records who signed us straight away and put us into a recording studio to produce our debut EP. After touring it for a year and writing in between, we managed to pick up a dedicated fan base, and were sent back into the studio to record our debut album.
Where did the name 'KILTO TAKE' come from?
We wanted something that stood out and was totally personal and unique to us, so we formed it from the letters - not using all of them of course - within each of our three names, prior to becoming a four-piece.
It looked great written down amongst the other contenders and it had a certain 'chantability' to it, which our fans soon picked up at our live shows and festivals. It is always a topic of conversation and is nearly always pronounced wrong - but I guess that's part of its charm. We pronounce it KILTOE TAKE.
How long has your debut album 'Resolute' been in the making? How did you find that process?
'Resolute' was actually quite a quick album to write and produce. We entered the recording studio two weeks before recording was due to begin armed with only four songs that were finished - the rest had yet to be written or finished off to some degree.
It was an intense, but fun period, feeding off each other's focused creativity, piecing together all the ideas, melodies and riffs we had been playing around with for a while.
I think giving ourselves such a tight deadline stops us from fiddling with the foundation of each song too much - sometimes you can destroy the essence of what made a tune stand out in the first place if you have time to tweak and re-tweak - especially in a studio environment.
This album was something we needed to get out of our systems. It's more of a progression than a definitive body of work, but it is a great platform on which to build from.
We spent about a month in total writing, recording, mixing and mastering. It is definitely an album that has to be played loud - the louder the better!
What challenges have you faced so far in your career?
For me it was making the transition from being a guitarist to fronting the group as a vocalist. I had never really sung before starting KILTO TAKE, other than in general song writing, but the two things are poles apart - so finding my voice and discovering where I could take it has been, and continues to be, an amazing journey.
Our first few gigs as a three-piece were very experimental, expressive and a huge confidence booster - for me in particular. Rather than wait until the songs were finished vocally and sometimes musically, we used to drop them into our live sets and just experiment, leaving me to adlip lyrics on the spot and change melodies. In fact, sometimes it would just be melody centric! It was more about feeding off the energy and emotion rather than getting it right - that would sort itself out.
What can we expect from the album?
The album has definitely got an instant appeal to some degree, but it is more of a grower - hearing something slightly different every time you listen to it. It is filled with subtle nuances and building textures and layered choruses. It has been described as a 'front-to-backer, with each song possessing a standalone quality...'.
For us, we just wanted to write something that ebbs and flows in all the right places, and that highlights the emotive melancholic themes throughout. It sits really well with the latest indie acts emerging as well as sitting comfortably amongst past heroes, so it will never really be out of place on our fans' playlists.
How would you describe your sound to those who haven't listened to you before now?
Musically our sound is fairly stripped back yet layered; intimate and intricate, yet energetic and expansive, with a dark, brooding edge that underpins the themes to our songs - a beautiful contradiction in terms that shouldn't work, but somehow does!
Who has influenced the band's direction?
We grew up listening to, loving and being influenced by bands like The Cure, Raidohead, The Chameleons, The Jesus and Mary Chain, early U2, Joy Division, The Smiths, My Bloody Valentine, Echo and the Bunnymen, Depeche Mode, Bowie, Sonic Youth, The Stranglers, New Model Army - the list goes on and on - so maybe there is a little bit of everything hidden away in there to some degree - somewhere.
Of course we listen to a lot of new music too and each have expansive collections spanning many decades and many genres. I think we influence each other just as much, coming at each song from a three-pronged attack. What we have been listening to that week and how we feel emotionally really dictates proceedings in the creative space.
What upcoming projects aside from the album can we expect to see?
We are currently writing new material at the moment and hoping to get into the studio at the back end of the year to start laying demos down. It is definitely a step in the right direction for us sonically.
Live, fans can expect to hear songs off the debut album and a nod to what we have up our sleeves for the next.
Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with?
There are lots of artists I'd love to collaborate with, but my favourite bands growing up - and in fact to this day - are Radiohead and The Cure.
There is nothing else out there that sounds like them. Thom Yorke and Robert Smith are such diverse talents possessing such amazing and expressive vocals - and Johnny Greenwood is a total guitar hero of mine.
Just to be in the presence of all three would be epic. Both bands are more relevant today than they have ever been, and will continue to be for a long time to come.
'Resolute' - KILTO TAKE's debut album is released November 25, with 'Mimic' out now via iTunes.