Johnny Kills – Maybe next year
Louder than war’s Ioan Humphreys has a listen to Johnny Kills’s latest single ‘Maybe next year’.
Ok so what has happened to Johnny Kills? This lot’s debut single ‘Take it easy’ was a frenetic chaotic affair that set your heart racing and could potentially spill valuable beer on disco floors (ahh remember them?) Then they come out with this? This!!?? This is a love song! How dare they?!?? …..breathe, Ioan breathe…
Ok, so complete with oooos and aaaaahs on the chorus, this is surely Johnny Kills channeling their romantic side just to throw us off guard? Yes? Well, kind of. This great catchy tune has all the elements that their debut had (obviously apart from the tempo and pop punk immediacy). The vocals are strained, yet heartfelt which makes the notion of this being a love song even more believable. The riffs are catchy and it only takes a few listens until you are hooked on the melody and meaning of this tune. It’s not a million miles from their debut.
Again, Johnny Kills have proved that that they can not only do catchy 100mph pop punk, but they can also do a cracking love song, albeit with a noisy skuzzy outro just to show their mean side. For a band to show such diversity at this early stage is great and they are very much forgiven. I’m just looking forward to their next release to see where that takes them. Who knows? Well lets ask them!
LTW: Hi guys! Where are you? What are you doing right now?
Johnny Kills: On a train heading to Parklife to see the Chemical Brothers and get rowdy.
LTW: You are currently on your second single ‘Maybe next year’ after your awesome debut ‘Take it easy’ What has the reaction to your output been so far?
JK: Well neither song has been the absolute smash with Coldplay esque numbers kind of hit we thought that they’d be, but its been alright I guess…. In all seriousness we’re really happy, the tracks seem to have gone down pretty well and we’ve had some really nice and cool and attractive people say some lovely things. Like you’re doing now, hopefully.
LTW: What are you musical/cultural influences?
JK: At the risk of being incredibly cliche we’re really into the slacker 90s vibe that’s re-emerging. We love Pavement, and new bands like The Magic Gang, Bloody Knees and Honeyblood. Wolf Parade are sick too. In terms of culture aside from music, we all individually digest a lot of stuff from films, books and TV etc. which we use as inspiration to develop characters and points of views to write from. Programmes like Flight of the Concords or Peep Show or Aziz Ansari’s rad Master of None where the characters come from an accentuated version of the actors’ real life persona is kind of how we see our songs- the feelings and emotions are true to us, whilst also being developed in fictional directions too.
LTW: Do you think that this rather depressing time of political and socio-economic turmoil is (unfortunately) a fertile time for creative expression?
JK: Yes, for sure. I think times like these lead to great music being created as either a direct rally against the problem, a la the Sex Pistols and the punk scene, or as pure escapism. We’re closer to the latter so far – neither of our songs are overtly political but they do have slight undertones by virtue of being about growing up and the growing pains involved with this. Any song about these sort of things will be affected by your country’s political and socio-economic situation during your youth, as this of course affects your general outlook. Anyway to answer your actual question, whilst in bleak times music can be an important protest tool it also plays a key role in just allowing a window of enjoyment into your life.
LTW: So after this single, what are the recording plans for Johnny Kills?
JK: We’ve been talking about recording in the summer time to release a proper first single that’d be on Spotify and everything which is all nice and fancy. We’re at the stage of picking between a few songs but our recording guy (and drumming guy) Michael, is very busy this summer. Get your shit together Michael!
LTW: And live?
JK: We have a gig at the Hope and Ruin in Brighton on September the 3rd for This Feeling so everyone book a week off work for that – it’s gonna be heavy. After that we plan on doing more gigs through Autumn in any cities we have a remote connection to, but our guitarist Lewis sorts all that out and is really slacking. Get your shit together Lewis!
What a bloody lovely bunch.
Johnny Kills play The Hope and Ruin, Brighton, for This Feeling 3rd Sept 2016
Johnny Kills can be contacted via their Facebook.
By Ioan Humphreys. More writing by Ioan Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.