Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed the band Kick Pistol about their music, what inspires them, and their performances.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
We’re Kick Pistol, a two piece Alternative/Indie rock band from St Albans, Hertfordshire.
When did you first WANT to write songs?
It was definitely in the early stages of the band, listening to some of our favourite artists. It would inspire Robert to imagine what our band’s original sound could be.
When did you take a step to start writing songs?
Probably back in late 2017 when we started to perform outside of our secondary school, we knew that we needed some original material to play live.
What was your first song released, and what was it about?
Our first song released was “Because You Know”, back in 2018, and is about the general lack of communication that can occur in relationships.
What was your latest song released, and what was it about?
Our latest song is called “Apparitions” and was actually released this week! It has more of a complex meaning behind it as the song tells a story. It’s about a person whose lover has recently passed away, and their way of coping with the loss is feeling the need to throw the blame at someone; however, the person he ends up blaming for his lover’s death is actually her, when really it’s no one’s fault. Overall the story covers the tragedy of a man who wants to move on, but doesn’t know how and instead is haunted by the past he once knew.
Focusing on your latest song. What were your biggest challenges with Apparitions?
Probably writing the lyrics, Robert ended up finishing them the day we went in the studio to record the song, which was quite stressful but we luckily got them done in time. It was mainly trying to find the right words to say what was in my head that took the most time.
How many songs are you working on right now?
We are sitting on two other songs that are already recorded but we have five other songs that we are working on getting ready to record and perform live.
Do you keep to a theme with your music, or just go where the mood strikes?
Usually Robert ends up writing songs about the negative sides to a relationship and general social hardships we’ve had to experience through our youth, but as of late, it’s taken a darker yet perhaps more supernatural turn to the songs meaning and sound. I think the best way to put it is that it would probably be a while before you see us write a happy song.
What is your favourite song you’ve recorded, and what do you love about it?
Probably Apparitions, just due to the journey the song has taken us over this last year of working on it, during a time when there have been so many changes in the world, particularly in the music industry. Plus it’s such a fun song to play live as there is so much to it (especially the big otherworldly bluesy/QOTSA-esque outro!)
Do you find other people’s music inspires you? Who do you listen to most?
It definitely has to be Muse as they were the band that got Robert into music in the first place. Radiohead and Queens Of The Stone Age as well, oh and can’t forget The Damned! We are also heavily inspired by classical music. Ernie gets his sound mainly from punk bands such as The Cure and The Jam, plus he’s also a massive Beatlehead.
Do you write your own music, or do you have musicians you work with?
Yes, we write our own songs. Our process is that Robert will write and record a demo on his Mac and then he’ll show me. After that we’ll work out how to perform it live before heading to the studio, but it’s there that our creativity really lets loose.
Do you play any instruments?
Yeah, Robert plays Bass guitar, Electric Guitar and Piano while Ernie can play Lead Electric Guitar, Piano and even a bit of Violin!
Do you like performing live, or does it scare you? Where can people watch you?
We love it! We’d play everyday if we could (and if our ears could handle it!) And we still get a bit nervous before on stage every now and again, but once we’re up there, we don’t want to leave! We usually play at our local venue called The Horn in St Albans, but as of recent, we’ve started to venture out into London Venues such as Dublin Castle in Camden and The 02 Academy Islington
Is your music available online, and where can people listen to it?
All of our music can be listened to Spotify, Deezer, YouTube, Apple Music, Amazon Music etc basically anywhere you listen to your favourite bands, you can find us there!
Are you able to make music full time, or do you have day job?
At the moment no, as the money usually covers travel and studio expenses. But Ernie and I both have day jobs, Ernie works in hospitality while I work at a local cinema complex on top of any sound engineering gigs I may do.
Are your friends and family supportive of your music career?
100%! We can also count on our family and friends to support us at our gigs. I mean it’s our parents who would take us to the gigs before we could even drive! so we wouldn’t be where we are without them!
What’s something you never expected about being a songwriter? What have you learned that surprised you?
I think the big thing I’ve learnt is that you can never force a song out of your brain as it’s something that takes time and patience. The way I like to see it is as long as you have an imagination, the song will write itself.
Have you had any experiences that really stand out because of your songs?
Reaching over 10,000 streams on Spotify with two of the songs from our EP was unbelievable for us! We’re so proud of that moment and so grateful that people are listening to our music.
Do you have any important events coming up we should know about?
Yes – we are headlining a gig at the Hope & Anchor in London on November the 16th. In addition, we are hosting an awards event on October the 31st to credit and recognise all the amazing people that helped us with our Stephen Lawrence Day Unity Livestream that took place back in April!
What is the first piece of advice you would give to anyone inspired to write songs?
To just keep at it, as with every song you write, you will always improve. Also, if you feel that your songs sound too much like another song when you first start out, don’t stress, as the more songs you write and more variety of songs you listen to over time, the easier it’ll be to find your original sound.
And, finally, are you proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
It has definitely been worth the effort. It is such a great feeling to know that people want to listen to our songs and watch us play live. We are very proud of how far we have come as a band over the years, and we can’t wait to see what the future has in store!
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