Global Metal Apocalypse caught up with James, vocalist of Welsh rockers Kyshera on their past, present and future whilst we interrogated them with our pincers and Katherine Jenkins bondage restraint.
First off what does Kyshera mean, who came up with it and were there any other band names drafted?
Kyshera is a word that I created out of thin air to be unique only to us. It doesn't have a meaning as such, as it was only created to be a name - turns out that there are actually quite a few real Kyshera's around the world!
Is the album going to be released independently or via a label (if label how did you managed to achieve this?)
Sensitive subject haha! The album will be released independently through our own Konic Records & will be available in all the main stores. It was originally to be put out through Rising Records. But after our brief experience with a record label, we will most definitely be staying independent for a long time to come. (P.s. James was referring to a record label we know well and for the purpose of the interview we removed the label name).
Your upcoming album 'Made In China', what is the concept behind it and why that particular album title?
Each song deals with one of what I consider to be the things making our world a worse place - such as political corruption, organised religion, celebrity culture, media, consumerism, prejudice etc etc & on the last song 'Ants', I try to convey the positive message that all of these things can be changed if we want to, as all power really lies with us. The title & the title track is to do with how in this age of mass produced, cheap, plastic rubbish that no-one really needs but that we keep ourselves in a constant tail chase to acquire - that even we, the consumers & producers of those products, are actually products ourselves, bred to work, spend, buy, sell & serve a purpose for the masters of the world.
It seems that South Wales is becoming a breeding ground for acts from Wales, but North Wales seems quiet, what can you say about this?
Hmmm, I can't say really. We're pretty detached from the Welsh scene, we've always had a lot more love from everywhere else, so we tend to play away a lot. There's quite a rigid criteria for what makes an 'acceptable band', in Cardiff most definitely & it has more to do with clothing & how friendly you are with any of the 2 promoters there, than the music.
What makes 'Made In China' different to your past releases?
Its bigger in scope, bigger in ambition & better produced haha. I'm really proud of it but it was a bitch to put together, 4 months of hard labour which resulted in me losing several stone in weight & having black outs, where I would just pass out randomly ha ha.
What plans do you have for 2012 and beyond and are there any special announcements coming soon?
We've got a UK & EU tour through November & December, plus a new, free song, not on the album, a new video in the works & possibly a special 'unplugged' event if we get the time!
Are there any young bands in your area you wish to give shout outs too?
Ha ha, I'm definitely going to get in trouble whoever I mention as there will always be someone I haven't, so I'm gonna play it safe & just say Colours of One, great band, lovely guys, go check them out.
You call your music 'Konic', why is this and what does it mean without using genre-tagging or cliches?
Konic is another word that I made up out of thin air, like Kyshera. It begun as just being a name for our 'sound' that was unique to us, but has grown into something much more - we now have a Konic manifesto which promotes rebellion to the mainstream in all of its forms, whether it is mainstream music, art, fashion or whether it's mainstream media politics or mainstream small mindedness. We want to see a Konic movement where the mainstream is challenged & the alternative celebrated across the board.
Finally do you have anything to say to your fans?
Come & join our pages on Facebook & Twitter. They're the best way to keep up to date with what the band is doing - and always challenge the mainstream / celebrate the alternative, in all forms :)
_Hyvää päivän Suomessa, tämä on Englanti kutsumus!
(Good Day Finland, this is England calling!)
Barbe-Q-Barbies, the Finnish quartet have recently been racking up untolled attention across Europe and are establishing themselves as the next big thing since The 69 eyes and The Rasmus, but what lies beneath these red-hot beauties is nothing near as powerful as their music, they aren't your average girls either as Niki (vocalist) and Kaisa (guitars) explain.
How did you girls form and did you instantaneously feel that you personally wanted to be a musician?
Kaisa: I joined the band in 2003, actually by then we didn’t have a vocalist. I also witnessed BQB’s first gig from the audience: Niina was doing the vocals and a guy was playing the drums. I have played some instruments since I was three so basically that’s nothing new to me. Being in a band was though, and it turned out to be a blast with four of my friends…
Niki: I have always been into music since I was a kid, but I started singing at the age of 19, I was doing a solo project but in 2007 i dropped it and became the singer of BQB instead.
Hailing from Helsinki, the local scene itself - is the rock/metal scene big there and what are the best venues to play at?
Kaisa: There are a lot of bands in Helsinki, and also across the whole of Finland. Also there are a great number of “bubbling under” bands who try to make it big. I would say the metal scene is bigger than the basic rock scene, especially the kind of classic rock that we play. I think the best venues in Helsinki are definitely Tavastia, On The Rocks, Nosturi, Loose and The Circus (we haven’t played in the Circus yet). There also are a few number of smaller venues which are great for the newcomers.
Niki: I think Finland is pretty famous for their Heavy metal bands and there is lots of festivals over here for that type of music like Tuska, Sonisphere and many more, there are not as many festivals that are only for rock / classic rock, but then again there are a lot of venues for Rock Concerts.
What was your reaction when Lordi did the unimaginable and win the Eurovision?
Niki: I was like Holy S#it! It can’t be true, but it was and then there was a big party all around Helsinki so it was pretty cool ;)
Kaisa: Well, what can you say… it was unbelievable. We were at Nosturi’s “Eurovision studio” drinking beer and watching the show. You could say it was a hell of a party after it turned out Finland won the contest…
Do you feel in recent times, Metal and Rock music alike is breaking down the gender biasness in that only males can play such a genre? Do you feel that more and more females are being attracted to the genres?
Kaisa: I think it takes time to break down those prejudices, and to prove that women can play rock just as well as men. It still is a bit of an odd phenomenon, especially in metal and rock.
Niki: Nowadays there are definitely more girls into playing rock and metal, I guess there is also more music schools, more possibilities and more girls in general that have realized it is okay to be a Female Rockstar!
You got quoted by Bam Margera and The 69 Eyes, are they friends of the band and/or have you met them?
Kaisa: Well, you could say that ;) I meet Bazie every day since we’ve lived together for 5 years now… We met Bam through The 69 Eyes and it’s so cool he digs our band.
Niki: Yes we are good friends with The 69 Eyes and I met Bam through Andy McCoy (Hanoi Rocks) many years ago and became good friends.
Since your first release in 2003, how (if) would you say the band has changed and describe the band's current style of music?
Kaisa: I would say the band has changed a great deal since those days. There have been changes in the line-up (vocals and bass) and it also took time to find out our style of music, or the common thread, so to say. We are also ten years older but still forever kids who love rock ’n’ roll, I think that’s a thing that never changes.
Was your gig at The Borderline in London on the May 30th 2012 the first time you played in the UK? How was the gig for you?
Kaisa: Yeah, that was our first trip to UK as a band. It was a great experience to play there and we would love to go back to UK soon. A big hello to everybody who was there, and thanks for the rocking evening!
Niki: It was Awesome!! Hopefully we can come back there soon, and we have talked about still coming this year so let’s hope so.
As far as band influences go, do they come from just rock bands or are there any other influences in other genres?
Niki: I’m influenced by all genres and I still listen to all kind of music, it depends on the day and my mood, I might listen to heavy metal,r&b or pop.
Kaisa: For me rock music has always been a passion, actually since I was a little kid. I would listen to my older brother’s KISS albums and a great Finnish band called Smack. My influences basically come from rock music.
What plans do Barbe-Q-Barbies have for 2012 and beyond and what has already been done this year?
Kaisa: We’re going to the studio in October to record our next album, besides that we so far have a few gigs booked in Finland and possibly we’re doing some gigs outside Finland after our studio time.
Niki: We are mostly working on our new songs, but also preparing at rehersal for upcoming gigs, i think 2013 will be our year. We are releasing the album some time in February and then we are hoping to really start touring, this year has been great as we made a deal with Plastic Heads and got our album realised in Europe, we have had super good press and great feedback, so we are really excited for what the future shall bring.
Finally, what would you say is the best music festival in Finland is?
Kaisa: In my opinion there are three: Ruisrock (in Turku), Provinssirock (in Seinäjoki) and Tammerfest (in Tampere). Actually so far we have only played in Tammerfest, but we’re looking forward to going also to Ruisrock and Provinssirock maybe already next summer. There also are a lot of great smaller summer festivals in Finland, there is something to do for every weekend in the summer.
Niki: Last year we played in Oulu Qstock and that was a really nice festival but there are many good festivals all around Finland so I do recommend anyone that hasn’t been here yet to come over cause you´ll have a blast!
Global Metal Apocalypse has asked the girls a question we are keeping under wraps as a future project, but it will be the biggest ever taken on and let's just say the girls said yes to it.
The Alternative music interview page features interviews from Eurovision entries to other non-metal music entities.
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