Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Kowloon Walled City Interview

San Francisco noise merchants Kowloon Walled City released their 2nd LP, Container Ships, in December 2012 and managed to instantly top many people's end of year lists, including ours. Their ominous, crushing brand of sludgy post-hardcore is absolutely thrilling and terrifying in equal measure. Container Ships is a raw, bleak and discordant record, but somehow still manages to capture enough energy to make it consistently compelling.

I recently fired an email with some questions over to guitarist/vocalist Scott Evans. Here's what he had to say in response:

Some of your music reminds me of 90s era bands like Unsane, Helmet and earlier Unwound. Would you say that era and those bands were influences on you musically? What else of a non-musical nature do you draw inspiration from?

Those bands are definitely important to me and I think their music has held up well. And when we started this band, Unsane was one of our big touchstones, along with Shallow North Dakota, Godflesh, and a few others. Non-musical inspiration is everywhere and I try to stay tuned into it when I can.

How often do you guys get out on the road? Have you had any interest or inclination to make it over here to the UK?

We manage one or two tours a year, depending on what's going on in our personal lives and if we're recording. We've never played in Europe, but everyone would love to do it. We may be working something out for next year.

What's coming up for you in the next 12 months?

For KWC, we have a few good shows lined up and we'll see what else happens. We're writing for another record, but you never know how long that will take. For me personally, I'm a recording engineer and I'm moving into a new studio in Oakland next week, which is really exciting.

Can you shed some light on Snailface for the uninitiated?!

I doubt it. Snailface is a riff mirage.

I first heard Container Ships during the winter last year and it soundtracked the season pretty well. What do you listen to during the cold season, and alternatively when the suns out and you've got your shorts on?

The weather in San Francisco is a little weird -- it's rarely sunny and hot, especially in summer. Summer here means fog and chilly, windy days. In autumn we get a few weeks of clear warm weather, and through the winter it rains. It's not as gloomy as it sounds. Anyway, the days here seem to work equally well for loud music or mellow music. Recently I've been listening to a lot of Roomrunner, Speedy Ortiz, True Widow, whatfunlifewas, Killer Mike, and Cellos.

Speaking of soundtracks, here's a hypothetical question. Kowloon Walled City has the chance to soundtrack one film. What movie would it be and how would it sound?

That's pretty hypothetical alright. Maybe something like Killing Zoe? That soundtrack was pretty amazing already though. We could do Falling Down. That feels about right. Not sure how it would sound… I could hum a few bars maybe.

Any bands out there that we're likely to have not heard about in the UK that we really should hear?

The bands I listed a couple of questions ago are great. Who else… Dog Shredder, from Portland. Lisa Papineau, from LA, has a couple of amazing solo records. We'll Go Machete. I like Cellos enough to mention them twice. We played with The Narrows (different band from Narrows) and Cower a few months ago and both bands were great. Also, Omotai, from Texas.

Finally, if you have any words of wisdom, life tips or tricks, share here.

I know the drummer loves that undamped kick, and it's cool, but put a t-shirt in there when you record.

- RR

Visit KWC online at: http://inthewalledcity.com/

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