We caught up with Tom and Conor of R.E.P.E.A.T favourites Kinesis on their recent tour supporting Hell Is For Heroes. We talked music, politics and their forthcoming album.
By Tom Bage and Nick Adams
R.E.P.E.A.T started as a Manics fanzine over 10 years ago. In a decades time do you expect to have Kinesis fanzines all around the country?
Tom (Bass, lyrics): (laughs) We’re
not expecting it.
Are you fed up with being compared to the Manics?
Conor: It’s actually stopped a bit recently. I think when we started out it was like, we were young and political and there were no young bands to compare us to. The only overtly political band of the last ten years were the Manics so it was an obvious reference point. I can see why people need to do it. Journalists need to illustrate what a band sounds like, using comparisons at first, but these become tiresome after a while, but I think people are realising we sound nothing like the Manics. Maybe we’re talking about the same sorts of subjects, but that’s more an indication of the lack of political bands in the last ten years.
When you started the band did you intend for it to become a political device or has that evolved organically?
Conor: It’s just what we’re interested in as people. We didn’t force ourselves to be interested in politics. We didn’t sit down and say we’re not gonna write about anything else. Its come about because its what we’re interested in as individuals.
When writing, do you try to focus on the big issues, or do you look for examples in your lives to turn into songs?
Tom: It’s a mixture, when you sit down and write some lyrics, you tend to write what you feel most extremely about at the time. Whether it’s your future or whatever lies upon the horizon or what’s going on somewhere else in the world, its whatever I’m feeling at that moment.
What’s your opinion on the current situation in Iraq and Tony Blair snuggling up with George W?
Conor: I think the apathy in England
is sad. It’s bought out a lot of people who are against the war,
which has to be a good thing. It’s demonstrated that people aren’t
gonna be completely apathetic. I think it’s an imperial invasion,
and the way the oilfields were secured first was sickening.
Can you see America changing in our lifetimes?
Tom: Without going too deep into it, something is gonna happen, with the way the world’s shaping now. Something’s building up. Obviously we’re young, but with people like Donald Rumsfeld and George W. Bush in the American elite the corporations are getting bigger and are taking more markets than they were doing ten years ago. That may just the way it seems to me being 20, or it may be the reality. Islam and the West oppose each other and don’t seem to be able to co-exist.
Do you think music can change views and change the world?
Conor: Definitely. How we became interested in politics was through bands such as the Manics, Rage Against The Machine and to a lesser extent Radiohead. All these bands have changed our lives and changed the way we think and I think that’s proof enough that we can do the same. If it opened up our minds we hope to do the same to other people.
What are your goals for the rest of the year?
Conor: Hopefully to get the album out around August time, around festival season, and build it up from there. Hopefully it won’t bomb out. I think we’ve been building a pretty steady fan base and we just want to expand that, and get people to hear our music as much as we can.
How would you describe the album?
Conor: Its full of quite short, sharp songs taking wider aspects of the political and personal spectrum than our singles. I think it sounds more than just a collection of singles and album fillers. I think it can be seen as a body of work. We only finished it two weeks ago, and we’re really proud of it.
Where was it recorded?
Conor: All over the place really
Which record label is it coming out on?
Conor: Independiente in England, which is the home of Travis, and So Solid Crew! It’s coming out on Sony in the rest of the world.
How does signing to a major record label sit with your political beliefs?
Conor: All Indie labels are in it for the same reasons as the majors. Indie labels just aren’t as good at doing it! All record labels are trying to get money. If you sign to Fierce Panda they are still trying to get the profit margins as high as possible to make the next album. If you look at the three main political bands of the last ten years, as The Manics, RATM, and Radiohead, The Manics and Rage are on Sony, and Radiohead are on Parlophone, which is part of EMI. We see it as an effective way of getting our message across to as many people as possible.