INTERVIEW: KINGSWOOD

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Kingswood are an indie rock outfit from Melbourne Australia. After touring the country in their own right and with such acts as The Living End, British India and The Saints – 2012 was a massive year for the quartet. Currently on tour with rock heavyweights Grinspoon, we sat down for a quick chat with guitarist Alex Laska to talk jazz fusion, the Delorian and Grinspoon fantasies. 

By Meghan Player

Your sound seems to lie somewhere between Redcoats and Queens of the Stone Age, with a dash of Led Zeppelin – are there any particular bands that inspired your sound?
Redcoats? Not sure…. We think ABBA.

I understand that you had each been in bands prior to forming Kingswood – how did the sound of the previous bands compare to the sound you have now?
Way different. Punk thrash, jazz fusion soul reggae latin band… Therefore there are elements that are shared, but that’s as far as it goes.

Have you incorporated any of the previous bands style/techniques into Kingswood?
The approach is the same – to make something of interest and not something mundane.

At present you’ve released your 5-track EP ‘Change of Heart‘ – are there any plans for a full-length album in the works?
Definitely. We will have our full release out mid August to late September, details of which we cannot divulge although you can expect to hear the most exciting sounds ever recorded in the current millennium. Think of the Delorian. This album will be our Delorian.

You’re currently out touring the country with Australian rock heavy-weights Grinspoon – have you been enjoying the shows thus far?
It’s been a real journey. In the two shows we’ve done so far out of 20+ I feel spiritually cleansed and emotionally touched. I’m still yet to realise my deepest darkest fantasy involving Phil from Grinspoon.

Having recently caught your support set at the Metro Theatre in Sydney, I was certainly blown away by the energy and enthusiasm you showed throughout the set – is having a great time on stage as important as the music itself?
Yes, absolutely. Playing live is an amazing experience for us and generally for our audience also.

You’ve shared the stage with some of Australia’s finest – Grinspoon, The Living End, British India – have you taken away any first-hand advice from these acts?
Yes.  Keep doing what you’re doing.

2012 was quite a big year for the band, with numerous festival spots added to your touring repertoire – was there a particular festival moment that stands out in your mind as a highlight?
The crowd at Splendour, no doubt. The most exhilarating charge of energy you could imagine, particularly for us being an Unearthed band.

Melbourne seems to be dominating the Australian music scene at present with some ridiculously talented bands – yourselves included – have you noticed the rise in exceptional bands in your hometown?
It’s a hard one. Sure. A scene arises in which Melbourne shows us the great and wonderful bands that get cultivated through the scenes we have here, but to be honest I haven’t really noticed it. I go and see a lot of shows, as many as I can, and when you see a great band, you immediately categorise them as exactly that, a great band, so by the time they emerge, it’s no surprise.
The surprise in fact comes from the notion that “it took that long?!”, but things always take a long time. Patience. The balance that lies behind all things. I’m not trying to say that I’m a vanguard in the discovery of great music, but I think potentially of late, I’ve just been in the right place at the right time.
Having said that, the balance is always present, there are always great bands in Melbourne, and always loads of terrible bands also – so whilst to the outsider, Melbourne is rearing its head as a contender for the “new-wave” of talented bands, I disagree and say it is in fact Brisbane that should take the flag, and someone in Brisbane, will probably say Perth, and someone in Perth will probably say Sydney. You know?!
The problem here is one of objectivity, really. So you’re probably right. I don’t really know what I’ve said here actually, although it makes sense in my head.

After the current tour, what else is on the cards for 2013?
We have show with Aerosmith in Sydney on 28/4 then recording the album! And then its release! And then touring! And more shows! Shows! Shows! Shows! Album! Album! Album! Vinyl! Vinyl! Vinyl! Basically having an incredible time and just getting better and taking it to more people.

Finally, how would you convince our readers to catch you live?
Come and see a band that people are saying are “better than Led Zeppelin” [laughs]

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Many thanks to Alex for taking the time to chat to us. You can check out upcoming tour dates as well as Kingswood’s music at: http://www.kingswoodband.com

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