Hailing from Aberdeen, The Little Kicks are back this month with their brand new single ‘Bang The Drum Slowly’. We got the chance to catch up with the group to find out a little bit more about their music, plans for the future, inspirations and more! Read on to find out what they had to say…
For those who may be new to your music, how best would you describe your sound?
We play upbeat melodic music utilising a mix of vocal harmonies, synths, piano, strings, guitars and drums on our albums to create our own original material.
What challenges have you faced in the music industry so far?
Well, we live in Aberdeen which is about as far from the “industry” as you could be so I think that travelling distance can be a disadvantage at getting noticed. I also guess we don't have a huge label helping push us or a pot of money at our disposal but to be honest we are pretty content with our lot and happy doing things ourselves our own way. One challenge we have is that we have quite a varied sound and don't really fit one genre or style which can make us a difficult prospect to someone trying to sell or describe us to an audience used to having things labelled more clearly.
How difficult would you say this career path is in terms of making a name for yourself?
I think firstly it's very difficult I think for a band to “break” in 2017 based on their music alone. It helps if you have a certain sound, look, angle or story. Furthermore, people hearing you is a difficult task because there are so many bands and songs to choose from. So I think if bands can get their music featured in some way (be it via an advert,movie or show) then thats a big break which becomes an opportunity if you can sustain that interest or turn it into ticket or record sales to make a career from music.
How important is it for you to have creative control over the work you produce?
Yeah, we spend a lot of time on our music and on the way our music is presented so I think we are pretty keen on keeping that to be at a professional level wherever we can. From gig posters to any online posts and where our music is used or featured we do care pretty deeply that it's put forward and presented the right way. Although I have just mentioned advertising or media exposure in a positive way to help build a career we certainly wouldn't just say yes to any product or placement in order to make money.
Where do you draw influence and inspiration from for your work?
I don't think we take direct inspiration from one band or artist or we would end up copying which I'm keen to avoid. We do definitely take reference points of sound but we all listen to wildly different sorts of music which collectively feeds into the mix. For the last record we created a Spotify playlist of reference bands and songs for each track which was very helpful in the studio to get to the sounds we wanted. They became pretty eclectic playlists with selections of film soundtracks, soul, funk, punk to pop and classical music so we take a lot of influence from a wide variety of different places and we all share music with each other pretty constantly too.
If you could collaborate with anybody going forward, who would you choose and why?
I think production wise probably Soulwax as while we are not a dance band those guys just know so much about music and sound - their general approach to music is a big influence on us not to mention their remixes. We've actually met them a few times (via Djing with them and our friend putting 2ManyDj's on) but not quite worked up the courage to even suggest working together as we've tried to play it cool. Their studio sounds incredible and to even spend a day in there one day would be a real dream come true.
Tell us a random, funny fact about you that not many people know.
We use a sampler live to re-create some of the things we cant afford to take on tour or play as a four piece (strings, heavy 70s synths, random percussion). The sampler is pretty integral to the show and nicknamed Sandy which was a joke name that stuck. One day Sandy got sick so we had to buy a back up sampler which in the interests of gender equality we nicknamed Mandy.
Do you have definitive aims or goals for your career?
I think next year we would like to keep pushing this record as there is still a lot of people who haven't heard it so we want to gig as much as possible. Along the way I wouldn't mind also doing some writing to see what comes out and making tentative starts on songs for a new record. I wouldn't expect it any time soon but seeing as the last one took us 4 years to make and release there is no harm in making a start as we definitely want to avoid repeating that type of lengthy gap.
Where do you hope to be this time next year?
At this precise moment anywhere thats warmer than Scotland as it's freezing today. Let's say Soulwax's studio in Belgium and hope that they read this interview and make our dreams come true.
What should we expect from you in the coming weeks and months?
Well we have a single out on Friday which we are excited about then a couple of shows left this year in Scotland before a short break for Xmas. In the early part of the year we play King Tuts in Glasgow which will be a great night and we already have several bookings coming in for the Spring so we will be around travelling in our van gigging – do be sure to come to a show and say hello!
The Little Kicks’ new single ‘Bang The Drum Slowly’ is out now.