The Kite Machine have rocked the hell out of 2018 with their brand new track ‘Sinister Sound’—a heavy rock tune with sweet grooves that you’d expect from bands like Queens of The Stone Age and The Black Keys. We stole some time during the band’s Aussie tour to talk with frontman Levi Anderson about new tunes, Sting and selling out shows.

TEO: Hi, Levi! Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today. I’m going to launch right into it: ‘Sinister Sound’—what a track! Can you talk us through the track’s creation?
Levi: Sure thing! It was one of the first songs where we set a few more boundaries for ourselves. Normally we have a lot of ideas that we throw into the mix, but we set a lot more limitations for ourselves this time to try and make the best kind of pop song that we could. It was a bit different for us and we ended up coming up with something that was a little more hard-hitting than we initially intended, but it works pretty well.

Was there a specific inspiration behind it?
It mostly came about from experimenting with different sounds. We recently bought a drum synthesiser and messing around with that inspired the chorus’ big drum sounds. It’s also one of the first songs we’ve written where Liam has played the whole song on a synth bass. So those two elements forced us down a creative path and made it a bit more electronic and a bit more spaced out. A lot of our songs are usually quite complicated…but with this one we decided, let’s just leave some room.

That kind of answers my next question—that you’ve changed your approach a little bit. Do you feel like your intentions have changed musically?
I think there’ll always be room for the old school Kite Machine style of writing where we put a bunch of riffs together, because we love that kind of thing. But it’s definitely opened our eyes to a new way of approaching the songwriting process. It’s had such a great reception that we’re definitely excited for it, and to play it live is really, really fun. So, we will definitely head in that direction.

So, you’re touring throughout September and into October. What can we expect from the live show?
Everything we normally bring to the table: big sounds, big energy, we like to go 110% the whole time. We just played our Melbourne show last night, it was our first ticketed show in Melbourne, and we sold out, so that was pretty fun for us.

That’s great! So, you guys are from Geelong—do you feel a difference in the type of crowd when crossing the border?
Yes and no. Everyone’s pretty similar, obviously a few more people know us down here and there’s always a bit of nervous energy for us going to different places, because you don’t know what to expect. But we’ve played in Sydney a couple of times and [have] been pleasantly surprised at the reaction we get from people. We’re getting a little bit more used to it, so we’re excited to come to Adelaide and other cities as well.

Awesome. Are there any other artists you’re really excited about or would love to work with?
We noticed that Living Colour are coming to Australia pretty soon, and we’re all pretty big fans of them, so we would love to be able to play a show with those guys. We’ll see. We’ve put some feelers out, so we’ll see if anything comes out of it—they’re definitely one of the ones that jumps to the forefront of our attention.

Are there specific artists that have influenced your style? Personally, and I may be way off, but I hear a little bit of Sting in your early vocals?
Oh, really? Cool, thank you. All three of us have different flavours. I’m more indie-rock, so Jack White, and Rage Against the Machine; the drummer’s more into prog-metal, and the bass player is more into that funk rock—he grew up on a lot of Jebediah and Green Day. When we put all that together, it comes out with our sound. It’s funny that you mentioned Sting because we have written songs in the past and the Police have really influenced our songwriting. Especially during ‘Charlotte,’ our last release, we were really listening to a lot at the time and I think it really came through. I just love the way that they construct songs. Their arrangements are really inspiring as well, because they’re a three-piece like us, with just guitar, bass and drums, and they still make it sound huge and there’s still space and catchiness. It’s nice to see that you can still do all of that with three members. So, yeah, they’re a pretty big inspiration to us. Nice pick up.

What else are you ready to drop in 2018—can we expect more new music?
Absolutely. ‘Sinister Sound’ is the second track, including ‘Charlotte,’ that will be on our debut album which will come out early to mid-next year, we haven’t set a date yet. There’ll definitely be a couple more songs getting fed through for the rest of 2018. And we’ve just been announced on the Queenscliff Music Festival lineup which is pretty exciting stuff for us, because we love that festival.

You can watch the music video for ‘Sinister Sound’ below.


Thursday, 11 October 2018 – SYDNEY, Frankie’s Pizza

Saturday, 13 October 2018 – BIRREGURRA, Birregurra Festival

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Photo: supplied