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Interview: Mount Kimbie

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With the new Mount Kimbie album, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, due to be released on the 28th May, one half of the team, Kai, spoke to us about what to expect from their new music.

 

Mount KimbieLet’s start with the basics, why are you called Mount Kimbie?

Ha, well we didn’t really think we’d ever have to live with it for so long. There wasn’t a particular reason, it was just a dumb name we came up with, but we’re happy with it.

Comparing your new sounds with the old, it seems like you’ve moved in a different direction with Cold Spring Fault Less Youth. If you had to name your own particular genre what would it be?

Man I don’t know… The album name is kinda in a weird way something to do with genre, in that the five words sum up different parts of the album. But it’s a much broader record than the last one… We were a little bit more nervous last time so you naturally hold back a little bit. In a lot of respects we were much more confident in making this record and we felt able to just go for it really and be a bit more ambitious. It’s probably just as flawed as the last one but at least we tried something bigger, right?

I know now you have a drummer and you’re working on improving your live set. Did tailoring the album to the live set play a big part when making the album?

We tried to keep the idea of playing live out of mind: we didn’t want it to limit the album. Like some of the songs off the old album that we really didn’t think would work live ended up working best in the end. So we focused on the music that we liked instead and I think naturally the energy of that went into the songs we were writing and the structure of the songs. So now when we’ve been rehearsing this week we’ve found that they become much easier something that we want to play live. It quite naturally happened but we didn’t push it too much in that direction as we didn’t want it to be too much of a limit on what we actually do in the studio.

With it being a lot more ambitious and confident do you think your album is trying to give out a particular message?

When it’s going well in terms of writing songs there’s a feeling of ‘oh, I’m onto something here’ and you can’t quite put your finger on what it is. It’s like your expressing something that you can’t quite explain, and that’s why music is good – you recognise something in it but not something you could have a conversation about necessarily. For me, quite a lot of this record was about the actual creative process in general because during the first six months in writing it there were long periods of not doing anything good and being quite pissed off about that really. We hadn’t written anything for two years, and that’s the longest I’ve gone since I was 14, so it quite weird to find that you’ve fallen out of the habit of it and realising that you hadn’t really missed it. It was a case of wanting to fall back in love with the process… I didn’t feel like I knew what we wanted the record to be or what we wanted to say initially

Do you think that the chaotic sounds of Made To Stray, for example, reflect this then?

Yeah probably, there was a level of frustration and confusion, and then joy as well. The thing about having been through that and not being sure what you wanted to do and whether it would be any good is that when you do come out of that it feels so good, and even more rewarding. I mean we were being honest with the album; when we were like ‘this is shit’, we were being honest about it and we ploughed through to come up with something that we could be really happy with. I think that’s a fair reading of it.

The closing song on the album, Fall Out, seems to bring everything together a bit and has a much more optimistic note. Is this the feeling you have in ending  your journey with the album?

Yeah well we struggled quite a lot with the order of the album; I mean whereas the first album there were six or seven ways it could have worked, as there was less scope and it was a less intricate journey. But with this none of the tracks felt like an opening song and none felt like a closing record, so we just kind of went through the album in order choosing the first to the last. We felt that the happy song at the end was a nice way to round it off.

It’s the obvious question but one worth asking: who are your influences?

I think we get excited about people’s music just the same way as any other fan of music, and then what actually goes into your own art is more to do with things that you heard growing up that first got you really into music properly. I never feel like there are contemporary people who are influencing us, more like when you hear good music it makes you want to make music too. I always feel like our influences come from things we don’t understand very well, that we may hear at a friend’s house or just not hear very often; it seeps through into your music so that there’s just a library of sound that you collect that I listen when making music. It’s weird to think how maybe our music one day could be a catalyst for younger people when they want to make music in the future.

What does being with Warp Records mean for you?

It’s pretty amazing, it feels like we won a competition or something. We didn’t have a label when we started working on the album so we were trying to work out who to go with and I mean I used to buy their records when I was 18. In the end they seemed the right people to go with as they didn’t really have any expectations of what they wanted us to do, so we were free to do what we wanted with the album; they seemed to have a long term goal for us rather than treating the system as a cash machine. We got the album artwork back the other day and it’s breath-taking seeing the Warp label on the album, it feels like we’re cemented into their history amongst all the great artists they’ve had so it’s something that is really gratifying.

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