In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview with KILL CITY KILLS. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
How important is the band’s name in giving out the right kind of vibe?
Nikki: Pretty important. You know in Russian there is an expression: “As you name the ship, it will sail”.
Ellis: I suppose that English “Give a dog a bad name and hang him” is pretty close haha. Anyway, I think Kill City Kills gives a right vibe according to our music and style.
Andrew: I always thought that the name is extremely important. Now I’m thinking about what you can name whatever you like. The main thing is that people feel when listening to your music and even then they begin to put a special meaning in the name, and not vice versa.
I wanted to start a band in the 80s but couldn’t find the right people to do so with. What was it that made you want to do the band?
Ellis: I know Nikki and Andrew like forever, played in severela bands with them. So starting KCK with those two was easy, since we have simillar vision on music. I started my first band when I was 17. I realized that there is no other way for me to do anything else and I still think so.
Nikki: Finding the right people is 99% of success.
Andrew: Oh, I remmember how I started playing in my first band. A classmate just came to me and said ”Andrew, we’re starting a band here, we think you’ll be cool playing drums ”. Just like in South Park about the bass player haha.
With so many genres and sub-genres of metal today what is your definition of the music you play?
Andrew: I think our fans know best. Rock, metal, heavy metal – we are here somewhere.
Nikki: Some kind of high-octane shit or something. Ellis must remmember haha
Ellis: Indeed. We like heavy metal canons, but do this in our way.
How do you arrange the tracks? Is there a method to how you arrange the songs on a record?
Ellis: If we talk about an album, the record must take you by the hand and lead you through some experiance. On this point, you have to think about a listener and emotions you want him to walk through with your music.
Nikki: An album is not just a bunch of songs, it’s a story. It is important to tell this story in the right order + the tracks have different moods, this is also important to consider.
Andrew: You feel the mood of each song and then a sequence of moods stands in your head. Just like in composing music.
I am fascinated by how people can still come up with things that hasn’t been done before, chord structures that hasn’t been written, sentences that hasn’t been constructed before. Where do you find your inspiration to create?
Ellis: Melody and context. Creating song ideas is a medetative process for me. You have to open your mind and shut the logic. Sometimes I hear Nikki’s riffing and I come up with melody ideas and song context. Love this process.
Nikki: I’ve been getting inspiration from classical music lately.
Andrew: I don’t know, I just sit down and start playing drums, playing Nikki’s riffs and Ellis’ vocal lines. I don’t remember sitting and waiting for inspiration to compose a part. Only hard work, you know.
How important is the graphic side of the band? How much thought goes into art work etc.?
Ellis: For us, band is not about only music. It’s way more. Go check our socials and website. We always in search of ways to create something to express ourselves.
Nikki: Everything is important. We spend a lot of time discussing the design of something. Even if we work with an artist, the ideas are still generated by the band.
Andrew: For us, this is an extremely important component + I have a company that deals with graphics and visual effects. So the requirements for ourselves are extremely high. It seems that I am contradicting myself, because said above that the name is not so important, but now the era of visuals and a spectacular picture is extremely important
I get the feeling that more and more metalheads too are just downloading single tracks. Is the album as relevant today as it was in the 70s and 80s? Is digital killing the album?
Ellis: Production cost for an album is pretty high, so it’s the hard way for indie bands. It’s way easier to release singles. Digital gives more opportunities for musicians and listeners anyway. It changed industry. Some formats of releases had to make room for new ones. I don’t think it’s bad. Listeners decide what they want – a whole album experience or single.
Andrew: The digital era and the current pace of life are killing albums; people can no longer immerse themselves in listening to a disc for 50 minutes. But I’m not saying that you don’t have to release albums. I say “get together and make such an album to change the game! ”
Nikki: For me, an album is a whole, I rarely listen to songs separately. And for me, switching to digital in this regard has not changed anything.
Are we killing our beloved metal scene by supporting digital downloading or can anything positive come from supporting single tracks and not albums? Will the fan as we know him / her be gone soon?
Andrew: All right, don’t worry, this is natural selection. Let everything be as it is. This is not the case when you have to go against the tide and shout “stop doing it, stop!”
Nikki: Recently, there has been some kind of transformation. But I hope that by downloading one track, the listener will want to download the entire album.
Ellis: Music industry changes rapidly. And there’s nothing you should be afraid of. We love our fans, we see positive feedback, we go on with our stuff. As I said, it’s not only about music.
Is there a scene to speak of for a band like yours? Where do you fit in?
Andrew: Finland, Scandinavian countries, Japan, Korea, China and soon US.
Ellis: Right, Europe first. Not so much fans here in Mother Russia, a little more worldwide haha.
Nikki: Heavy metal is pretty versatile, you know.
What does the future hold?
Andrew: Fading away hip-hop scenes and reborn rock and metal.
Ellis: Oh yeah, horns up baby.
Nikki: And don’t forget about our new album release. It’s gonna be a banger – you’ll see!