INTERVIEW: Mount Kimbie
With the festival season in full swing, the only thing left to do is to decide which one to go to. St Jerome’s Laneway Festival has definitely been a favourite for many punters over the past few years and in 2014 we’ll be seeing DANNY BROWN, HAIM, CHVRCHES, KING KRULE and UNKOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA all playing the festival along with some other fantastic acts.
MOUNT KIMBIE are also playing Laneway Festival next year and we couldn’t be happier. The band have had many successful shows down here in Australia and are excited about travelling down again to play more shows to some excited crowds. We picked one of the minds of MOUNT KIMBIE about their upcoming shows and what their plans are whilst back in Australia.
As apart of the official opening of Dimensions Festival in Croatia, you played in a Roman amphitheatre with Bonobo. What was it like to experience this?
It was pretty mind blowing actually. It was quite a rushed day and I injured my hand, so there wasn’t much time for it to soak in before walking out on stage. It’s just an incredible setting. We were there a couple of years ago as tourists and had a look around at the amphitheatre. I got off stage to watch some of the other stuff and it was like, wow! The lighting guy did an insane job there which made it really, really special.
Performing in Australia is almost becoming an annual tradition for you guys. What encourages you to tour here so regularly?
The crowds have just been so good every time. Even for the first time we came down, we played a sold out show at The Bakery in Perth in front of only about 500 people and the enthusiasm was really good. I also have family down there so it’s like a free ticket. I get to hang out with my brother and sister so I take a holiday at the end of the Australian tour. I’ve also got some really good friends there too so it’s always just a pleasure.
Unlike most festivals overseas, Australian brands such as Laneway Festival regularly bring the same bill to all of the capital cities. Do you feel lucky to be able to tour the country with artists like Four Tet and Jamie XX?
Yeah, I mean the line up for Laneway is awesome. Warpaint, King Krule, it’s going to be fantastic! I’m really excited to be able to see them all the time. Lots of friends are going to be there as well so It’ll be great.
Your latest album ‘Cold Spring Fault Less Youth’ is a lot more vocal orientated than ‘Crooks & Lovers’. Why did you decide to make this transition?
I don’t know really, it’s just the way the songs were coming out. It felt like I was holding back from it but then we decided to get into it and ended up really enjoying it.
Can you please explain the meaning behind the album title ‘Cold Spring Fault Less Youth’?
There isn’t one particular meaning of it which is kind of the idea. With our music and our lyrics, we never want to lead people down the road where they feel like there’s one particular meaning of it. I think it’s always more interesting to leave enough space for people’s own interpretation of it and for me that’s what it’s about really. It’s not about the ego of the person making it and what they’re trying to say. It’s about how people interact with it and what they take from it. It’s almost like a chapter heading with these different branches of a tree.
King Krule provides vocals on two of the tracks on the record. How’d this collaboration come about?
It was pretty simple. We just asked him if he wanted to come and listen to some really early ideas. We went into the studio and took away little snippets of music and ideas. It came pretty easily to be honest. We wrote them together and it’s very much embedded in the writing of the tracks which is important to me.
Do you have anyone in mind for a collaboration on your next release?
Not at the moment. We’re definitely keen to work more with that because the process was so enjoyable. I think we’ll definitely do it again in the future if the schedules allow us to. There are always a couple of people. We were just on the road with a guy called Jonwayne, we’d like to work with him.
Who’d be your dream person to work with?
For me, it’s got to be kind of a more natural, organic thing, as opposed to like Beyonce or someone like that. With someone like Archie it was really natural and it wasn’t forced in any way. We’ll just take it as it comes and we’ll get there eventually.
Considering you and King Krule are both on the bill for Laneway Festival, is there any chance we’ll get to witness him making an appearance during your set?
I don’t want to jinx it but there’s definitely a possibility. We’ve done it before and it’s something we really enjoy doing. Hopefully we don’t clash or anything like that in the schedule but we’ll see.
How have the logistics of your live show changed since we saw you perform last year?
Well we have another member so that’s quite a big change. So there’s three of us on stage so it’s really helped us assess how we approach the tracks live. It’s allowed us to explore individual instruments and get more lost in it. That’s the main difference. We’re also a bit tighter than we were. When we came out last time we were trying out new songs and now they’re all finished, so we can come back out and do that.
Is the new member of the band a multi-instrumentalist like yourself or does he play one particular instrument?
He’s like us, he’s a jack of all trades and plays a little bit of everything. He’s mostly behind the drum kit but he’s also playing bass guitar in parts and singing, as well as a few other little bits. We keep it fairly open between the three of us in terms of what we can all do.
Are there any other artists on the Laneway Festival line up who you’re really excited to check out?
There’s a lot! I’m a big Warpaint fan so I’m looking forward to seeing that. Danny Brown is someone that I really like. Autre Ne Veut as well, I really like his records. It all looks pretty good! Savages too. It’s a great festival.
Is there a certain activity you enjoy doing in your spare time whilst in Australia?
It’s always fun spending time with my family. We get to go on road trips. A really good friend of mine lives in Sydney so I’ll come out early to spend a week with him. The Blue Mountains has amazing nature and it’s pretty much the best thing you can see.
The first time you came to Australia you toured with Seekae and I noticed you were pretty close to them after that. Do you think you’ll catch up with them while you’re here?
Yeah, I’m going to stay out at Alex’s place for a bit before the start of the festival. They’re great guys and we’re really good friends. I’m looking forward to it.
Have you heard Alex’s solo album?
Yeah I have.
What did you think of that?
It’s fantastic man! It’s a really exciting way how he’s approached it. I haven’t heard all of it yet so I’m looking forward to it, but everything I’ve heard I’ve been a big fan of.
What are you planning on achieving in 2014?
We’ve got to get another album done. After Australia, we’re going to scale back the shows and just do little bits here and there but not any kind of big tours. Finding somewhere new to live and making a new record are my main goals.
Words by Tony Kingston