One of the most important and respected names in modern alternative music (expanded out of coldwave) The KVB, perform at Fuzz Live Music Club on 28th January in Athens. We asked them for an interview and they responded, as you are about to read, they are a band that constantly blend their live performances with other artistic elements that they explained to us (along with their musings’ development in time), also they are among these groups that success hasn’t removed their minds onto the ether above the clouds, and they offered us (but mostly you) a very nice and interesting interview, welcome The KVB!
Hello KVB welcome to LDD! You are performing live at Fuzz Live Music Club in Athens on 28th January. What are we expecting to listen and see on this performance by you? I saw somewhere that it’s not going to be just a band performing live…
Kat: We consider ourselves an AV project rather than purely a band, so our performances include projections, which are used with the audio to create an immersive, hypnotic atmosphere. We will be performing songs from our entire discography, with an emphasis on the new album ‘Of Desire’.
I always wanted to ask, what does KVB stand for, and how come you chose that name?
Nick: It really doesn’t have much relevance anymore, so is best kept as a mystery.
What, in your opinion, is the best artistic progress for the band, meaning that The KVB sound more mature and integrated than the “monolithic” ‘Into The Night’ EP back in 2011?
Nick: We are always striving to make better work and naturally all artists’ work progress when taking in new influences, using new equipment or experimenting with new sounds etc. With each of the last records we have learnt a lot more about making music, so we hope to keep moving forward with our ideas for years to come.
From the first ever, until your latest release, you have offered us few gems like ‘Into The Night’, ‘Never Enough’, ‘Hands’, ‘Shadows’, ‘Dayzed’, ‘Across The Sea’, ‘Fields’, ‘In Deep’ that also have their own video clips, where does inspiration come from, to compose that high quality and trademark music?
Kat: Some of these early videos were made by Nick from found footage, and was made before we started working together properly and compliment the more low-fi feel of these early tracks. After Kat became part of the project she made videos that were informed by her own interest in the haptic. This can be seen in videos such as ‘Across The Sea’ and ‘Fields’, which she made using 3D software as a digital theatre/film set. More recently, we have been very fortunate to work with two different filmmakers for the videos on our last record – John Minton (visuals for Portishead) who filmed us in Berlin for the ‘In Deep’ video and director Peter Strickland (Berberian Sound Studio, Duke Of Burgundy) who made the recent video for ‘Never Enough’.
Listening to your music, I hear cold wave with a lot of shoegaze elements in. How do you regard your music, what other music styles are you keen on, ready to “test” them in your sound and environments?
Nick: We don’t like to categorize ourselves as any genre, as our influences come from such a range of different styles and times. Also, because of this, we play a variety of genre lead events – from psychedelic/guitar driven festivals to more techno/electronic events. It feels a bit strange for us to be given these labels, like ‘cold wave’ or ‘dark wave’ etc. as that’s not the way we approach making music. In the early days of the project, I was unaware that some of these genres even existed until someone told me that was what they thought we sounded like!
The genre you represent is having a great renaissance in the past few years, why do you think young people are attracted in, as fans and as musicians too? Is it the synthesizers or the pedals, the “retro” feeling or just…the truth?
Kat: Perhaps, in an increasingly digital world people are wanting more real, hands on experiences, hence the strong attraction to analogue. There are also a lot of new companies making interesting electronics, like Athens-own Dreadbox who make very individual sounding synths/pedals – we have their ‘Erebus’ synth and it has been featuring a lot on some of our new songs for our next album.
All your video clips have a cinematic approach, what is your connection with cinema? Could you share with our readers 1-2 movies you enjoyed in the past months?
Kat: We both have a deep love for cinema and film scores. Some of favourite directors include Kaurismaki, Wheatley, Strickland, Argento and of course Hitchcock. Recently we re-watched “High Rise”, as we just got the DVD after seeing it the cinemas last year. Every frame in “High Rise” is so beautiful and disorientating, and the set is incredible! We love the original book by J. G. Ballard, and are a fan of Ben Wheatley’s other films too and recently re-watched another brilliant film by him called “Sightseers” – we have decided to visit places from the film when we are back in Yorkshire in March.
What’s your inspiration in your lyrics? Is there a certain philosophy behind?
Nick: All kinds of things inspire the lyrics, but generally, they are a reflection of our lives and experiences. On the last record, we realised that a lot of the lyrics revolved around love in its various forms: romance, lust, sadness and joy. We never set out to make our record about that, it just came naturally.
What about future plans?
Nick: We are currently writing our next album and will also continue to tour ‘Of Desire’ around the world, continuing with our debut Latin America tour next month.
Photo credits: Jakub Koncir (1st one), Laura Allard-Fleischl (2nd one)