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Interview: Phillip and Laura – Kylesa

Interview done for metalfan.nl in 2006: Read the orginal (Dutch) version here.

First off, congratulations with your new album, I really like it.
Phillip: Thanks!

How have the responses to the album been so far from press and audience? And how are you looking back at it now that it’s been released, are you satisfied with the album?
Phillip: The response has been great, from both our fans and the press, we’re definitely stoked right now. of course looking back on the record there are going to be things we wish we could have done better, but we really worked hard on it, so we know we did the best we could with the limited time and resources we had.

Since you aren’t too familiar on this side of the ocean yet, can you tell a little more about the band, how did you start etc?
Phillip: We started in early 2001 in Savannah Ga. after the band i was previously in, Damad brokeup. originally kylesa had three members from that band. since then we have been through all kind of struggles to keep this band going, the worst being the death of our original bassist Brian Duke who passed away from an epileptic seizure. We have had several line up changes, i am currently the only member from Damad still in the band. However Laura, Corey, and I, have been constant members for about five years now.

Your previous album was produced by Alex Newport, this time you decided to do it by yourself, what’s the reason for that, weren’t you happy with his work or did you just want to keep it in your own hands?
Phillip: Working with Alex was a great learning experience, and we were happy working with him, but for this album we really had a clear cut vision of what we wanted to do, as well as i had more experience as a producer going into this record.

Same goes for the artwork, previously you worked with Pushead and someone from Circle Takes The Square, what’s the reason for doing it yourself this time?
Phillip: Same as above, Laura knew exactly where we were all coming from on this record so it made sense for her to do the art.

At the moment you are on tour with Converge how is that going so far? Nice turnouts? Are you getting along with them?
Phillip: The tour was a lot of fun, the turnouts were good and Converge are cool guys.

Have you heard the new Converge album already by the way?
Phillip: By far it is my favorite record they have put out yet. Excellent!!!

You just returned from a small European tour a few weeks ago, how did that go? And in particular the Dutch shows in Leiden, Utrecht and Hoogeveen?
Phillip: Europe has been great to us, the shows were a lot of fun and the people we met were all really nicel! The dutch shows were cool as well!!!

Is there any difference between touring in Europe and the States, and what do you prefer?
There are some small differences here and there. Generally i love touring so i like going anywhere we can.

Since your music is quite diverse. What kind of audience do you usually draw to your gigs?
Phillip: These days it does seem like all kinds of different people come check us out, not super big crowds or anything, but usually i would guess pretty open minded music fans, we have had people from other bands come up to us and say that we have some of the coolest fans, There are almost never fights or any kind of bad vibes at our shows, despite the differences in the people, so that’s cool!!

You do have two drummers now, isn’t that giving any problems during your live gigs. I don’t think you play big stadiums and such, is there enough room for them, or do the guitarists have to stand in the audience?
Phillip: We have played all kinds of venues with them, from basements to bigger clubs and so far we have made it through every show with little problems.

Last touring question, what do you do in between shows. And what music do you listen to while being in your van/bus?
Phillip: When we are home we practice a lot and work whatever jobs we can find. With as many hours as we spend on the road there are tons of different bands that get played. Way too many to list, ranging in all kinds of different styles. Some recent favorites are the new Melvins, Converge, Planes Mistaken For Stars , and Napalm Death albums. As well as Witchcraft, No Hope for the kids, Regulations, Idiots Rule, Neu, May Blitz, etc. etc. There are so many good records out there we never run out of stuff to listen to!!!

Being with 2 drummers and 3 vocalists, how do you write your music? Is it a group process or are there main songwriters?
Phillip: Generally it is a group process, but it varies from song to song. Laura and I write all the lyrics.

What’s the idea behind the new albums’ title? And the lyrics, what are they about?
Laura: The album title, “Time Will Fuse it’s Worth” is pulled from the first song on the record. It goes back to a conversation Phillip and I had about the relevance of the past and how it relates to the future if the future ceases to exist. Without the future, the past does not exist. You might ask yourself, why do we fight for a future? It’s because the present or past would not exist without one. And what value does that have if no one is around to reflect back on that? And exactly whom does this future exist for? A lot of these questions came up and although it all can be pretty subjective (like our music), I feel strongly that we are living during a really heavy time period with a lot of trouble ahead of us to face. Many of us are blind to it and others seem to have given up or just don’t care or are just interested in themselves and their own well-being and fortune. But time will tell as they say yet I think it’s more caustic than that hence the use of the word fuse rather than something more direct. Most of the lyrics on the record are reflections and observations of what we see and experience in our daily lives.

The Georgia scene isn’t as familiar as a lot of other scenes (New Orleans, Florida etc.) but a lot of interesting bands come from there. Of course Mastodon is a familiar band, but also bands like for instance Circle Takes the Square and Baroness are starting to reach a bigger audience. Do you think there is a typical ‘Georgia sound’? And how’s the scene there, the contact between bands, opportunities to play, crowds?
Phillip: The scene in Georgia kind of varies, i am most familiar with the Savannah scene, since that is where we are from. It is a small scene, but there are a descent amount of cool bands and everyone is for the most part supportive of each other. I don’t know if there is a particular sound that all the Savannah bands have ,but i think there is a common goal of pushing genre boundaries a bit.

Are there any bands from Georgia (or anywhere) that you think we should keep an eye on?
Phillip: Sure there are always cool new bands popping up, i guess for now check out Black Tusk, they are a newer heavy band from Savannah

What are the plans after this tour finishes and in 2007?
Phillip: Lots of more touring! Next up is a U.S. tour with the Hidden Hand.


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