We love interviews at Last Day Deaf, ’cause this is artist’s voice uncovered & untrammelled! And this is more important than ‘opinion’, since most of us are all fed up with ‘opinion’ makers of the absolute nothing. This Kissmatic Lovebubbles’ interview is among the most significant ones, for the simple reason that it’s of really high sentimental value. Although, it was undertaken on the occasion of the Athens – Bristol indie pop mini-fest, this Friday, at Death Disco, this one is (at least for those who were lucky enough to ‘live’ the golden 90’s Athenian era) much more than that. This Happy Feeling, Mad Club, Pop Art Records, some keywords below.. We strongly encourage younger ones to read through this… Invaluable info & trivia!
Really pleased to have you on Last Day Deaf! So let’s start with this one. What happened with Kissamatic Lovebubbles? Back in action after many many years? How did you decide for this comeback? What happened all these years?
It’s really a pleasure for us too, to get interviewed by Last Day Deaf. To be honest nothing extreme happened to KLB all those years, and our absence was due to every day’s life obligations. Kissamatic Lovebubbles were formed back in Christmas of 1992. Initially we were just some friends who decided to follow the DIY motto back then. We were all amateurs music lovers. The connector between us was Chris from Sound Devise. We used to study together at the Piraeus TEI. I don’t know why, but it seems that this place was acting as a magnet for the indie pop society. I can recall some people who were also study there, like Vasilis from Next Time Passions, George from Sound Devise, Vasilis, former of Planet Of Sound parties and main DJ of Mad Club for years.
Chris was playing bass guitar at the very beginning of KLB, and the other members were Dionysis and Apostolis on guitars and Konstantinos was our drummer. I, Vasilis, was the vocalist. Later on, George replaced Chris on bass guitar.
We had been active for around three years, and the most important thing we earned back then was plenty of friends and of course the relationship between us. It was all matter of having fun and we were not even thinking about making a career or releasing dozens of albums.
Now after all those years and after getting a lot of experience, positive and negative, in our lives, we are back. The difference between now and then, is the experience of life we are carrying. We have worked hard, we have families and children, we’ve been through divorces and losses of important people. And, at last a call was enough to bring us back together, mostly to experience again things that we were missing.
From the original line-up, only Apostolis didn’t follow for his reasons. Our new bass guitarist is Stathis (Seaside, Pillow, Mavro-Kokkino), a good friend of us. George is playing the guitar now, as he was a guitarist, but the only free position we wanted to fill back in 1992 was for a bassist.
Would you like to transfer to our readers (or even remind them) the early 90’s, Athenian indie ‘climate’ with the clubs, the bands etc? What do you commemorate of this ‘golden era’? What do you mostly miss (apart from being younger)?
After all, someone can talk about the best days of our lives. But, meeting and marrying the girl of your dreams, having children and help them grow in a world full of unfairness, and at last working hard to stay untouched and concentrated on your principals, were the best achievements that we can be proud of. Looking back, to the times that our personality was configured, the word justification can be the best description of our feelings.
Well, the early 90’s period was our golden era, for our generation. There were clubs, bands, reliable people. I remember that it was obvious to go out every night, without having something arranged and have a great fun time.
You have only so far released one 7’’ single ‘Only Lust/Endless‘ on legendary short-lived label This Happy Feeling (One Night Suzan, The Crooner). Why didn’t “this happy feeling” last more then? Why didn’t you release anything else back then? Your jangly pop sound was so immaculate!
This Happy Feeling was created by members of the Athenian indie pop society, owners of “In Those Days” and “Little Charmer” fanzines, and members of Next Time Passions and One Night Suzan. It seems to me from the very beginning that the purpose of the birth of THF, was to be a reference, in the future, of the existence of a pure and healthy Athens indie pop scene. Only 4 7 inch singles were released by NTP, ONS, KLB and The Crooner. That was the purpose. You can say that is something like a short story of our lives, for all the participators. None of the bands were interested about a career, but just for letting something visible for the new generations. We were all proud of who we were and what we did.
KLB released a 7” single (‘Only Lust/Endless‘) for THF. We also had some other releases in compilations, ‘Picnic Basket (A Shelflife International Pop Compilation)‘ of US Shelflife Records, ‘Try A Little Sunshine‘ of Greek Pop Art Records, and ‘Pure Angels Club‘ of Noiz magazine.
We were more than satisfied with those releases.
Your sound is heavily influenced by the C86 & jangle pop scene. Which artists do you consider as your biggest influences?
I can say that me and George were the indie pop junkies of the band. We were vinyl and fanzines collectors. Speaking of George I can say that he loves Sarah Records and The Smiths. My favorite bands are The Wedding Present, The Pastels and Television Personalities. Dionysis favorite bands are The Fall, The Jesus And Mary Chain and Carter USM. Konstantinos, who still works as a DJ in major Athens clubs and bars, is the over minded person of the band, having several other influences. At last Stathis can hear The Clash and The Fall for the rest of his life.
‘Someday You’ll Be Mine’ was included in the excellent compilation album by Make Me Happy‘s ‘A Sparkle From The Past‘ with other great bands like Starblind, The Jaywalkers, Pillow & Next Time Passions. Would you like to provide us with some info, firstly about this gem (the song), and secondly about this collaboration?
When Elias and Ian, from Make Me Happy records came in touch with us, they gave us the idea to ‘reborn’ the band. They were trying to collect demos and unreleased recordings from this era of time, willing to present a compilation and give a clear view to younger people, of what was the early nineties Athens indie pop scene like. ‘Someday You’ll Be Mine‘ was the only unreleased song we had available in DAT format. It was our very first recording. We weren’t really satisfied with this recording as it could have been much better. It is typical “broken hearted” tune, influenced by early Wedding Present and The Pastels.
Do you believe that modern technology will help Kissamatic Lovebubbles reach a younger audience? Or you just don’t care?
We are an old school band. We are not really interested in modern technology, but no one ever knows. We prefer to stay as we are and hopefully, new generations will benefit more of listening to an old band with traditional behavior, instead of an old band trying to adjust to new standards.
Why should we come over to Athens – Bristol Indie Pop mini-fest at Death Disco, on May 18? What will happen? How do you feel about sharing the stage with The Groove Farm & Johnny Kinkaid? Did you enjoy your gig at TIKI a few months ago?
It will be a chance for the oldest to remember and for the youngest to learn. The Groove Farm were one of the legendary bands of the C86 scene. Members of the band have formed several other bands through the years like, Beatnik Filmstars, Kyoko, Five Year Plan, Girlboy Girl, The Total Rejection, Arrest! Charlie Tipper, Twelve Year Foundation, and others. They have been active for around 35-40 years now, and they are the living legends of the so called indie pop scene.
And to be honest indie pop is not only about ballads, balloons and twee things. It includes garage, punk and surf, like TGF. TGF are only playing part time now and only for special events like the one in Athens.
For KLB it will be an honor and we will enjoy it for sure trying to give the best of ourselves.
Johnny is a lonely troubadour, active member of Arrest! Charlie Tipper. He also runs his own project as The Rev. Jonny Kinkaid and of course he was a former member of TGF with Andrew Arthur Jarrett.
Le Page, are the new blood of Athens indie pop, and probably the most known band, especially for the youngest audience.
Will it sound too ironic if I ask about future plans?
Not ironic at all. To be honest we don’t have any future plans. We live and enjoy the thing day by day. We didn’t even have future plans for the band when we were young. We are trying to “steal” some time from our families and jobs and make some rehearsals. We are trying to play some new songs and we are thinking about releasing 1-2 7” singles, as this is how we grew and what we know. Old school punk pop band!
Last words belong to you… A message to indie poppers?
To us, indie pop, is a way of live. An attitude based on respect and friendship. We are trying to pass the same feelings to our children and we still hope that at last this world will become better. Let’s leave music pure and untreated by bad and uncomfortable habits. Kissamatic Lovebubbles – Punk Pop band!