Introducing you today to the UK hard rockers, KinStrife. Learn more about their upcoming debut album below!
Hello KinStrife! Thanks for taking time to answer a couple of questions for us. Would you mind introducing your band to our readers?
Alan Kaye: KinStrife was formed in 2013 by Dave Richards (bass) and myself (guitar) after we met a couple of years when Dave joined a band, I played in. That band didn’t even get as far as a gig. But we stuck together and after what felt like forever found the correct band members in the form of Mike Hoskins on vocals and Simon Richards (drums). A set list of covers was learnt pretty sharpish as I had already booked some gigs. It didn’t take long however before original songs were mentioned and we hope that is what we are now known for.
What’s your point of view on the UK hard rock scene?
Dave: I think that the industry is very difficult to get yourself heard. Rock is classed as dirt and no one wants to air it despite the fact that there are so many talented people out there. They are all doing it for the love of it, not the fame or fortune!
Simon: The hard rock scene in the UK is a massive underground movement and always has been since the late 60’s when it emerged. It is difficult to stand out among all the talented bands out there who are all trying to get noticed, and rightly so. The rock scene has never really made massive in-roads into the mainstream music world, other than for a very select few bands who have managed to do it. This does not detract from the fact that the pool of talent, in a genre that is shunned by most, far outstrips any other music genre on the planet.
Most of the guys and girls in rock bands play at least one if not two instruments and play them well. This is real music, played well and unites so many different people from so many different walks of life. The most fun and safest place to be is at a rock concert. Everyone looks out for each other and gets on together due to their love of rock music. Rock music will never go away. It is a voice for young and old.
You’ve been in the studio lately to record your debut album. How excited are you for this record to be finally out?
Dave: Completely overwhelmed. Just hope everyone else loves it as much as we do!
Mike: Fluffy unicorn excited
Simon: We are beyond excited at the moment to have been able to record our debut album. It has been a steep learning curve for us all and it is, and has been, massive fun. It is a lot of hard work, especially behind the scenes, which is something that you do not realize until you do it. The biggest eye opener is the difference a good sound engineer makes, and we had a really good one.
The transition from raw recording to editing, mixing and mastering totally blew us away. Getting the right balance was essential as we wanted the songs to sound as perfect as possible. But still be recognizable and able to be played live. It is no good having a massive production if you are unable to replicate the songs live.
Where did you find your inspiration for this upcoming release?
Simon: Inspiration from the upcoming album came from lots of different areas. Each member of the band draws from their own personal experiences and influences when adding their parts. These influences come from things that we have heard, seen or been involved in. There are a lot of deep personal stories being told throughout the album, not only with the lyrics, but also with the music. When the album is released, have a listen, you will see what we mean.
How’s your usual writing and recording process?
Simon: When writing we normally have a fairly straight forward system, if you can call it that. Alan, our guitarist, has been coming up with riff’s and melodies for years and he has a mountain of stuff up his sleeve. We normally start with his ideas for a song which may stem from a riff he wrote back in the 90’s! Mike, our vocalist, will then put lyrics to the riff’s. Believe you me, Al doesn’t make it easy for him at times! Mike also has a massive selection of material he can use as well as writing new stuff. Mike is passionate about his music and can pull words from nowhere and make them fit. It is then down to Dave, our bass player, and Simon, our drummer, to try and fill in the gaps!
The chemistry between Dave and Simon has grown and got stronger over the years and they both work well together as the rhythm section, putting their spin on what Alan and Mike has come up with. Sometimes we work for hours on a song, only to find it is not working. We then leave it for a while and come back to it later. There is one particular song on the album that we pretty much gave up on. We left it for a while, changed a few things with it over a couple of practices and hey presto, it became one of the strongest songs on the album. We don’t throw anything away permanently as things tend to get recycled and used somewhere.
When it comes to recording, we don’t have loads of experience. But what we have just done seems to work. We practice a lot to get the songs right before going into the studio, get together at the studio. And get our heads down and work hard. We all know when we are pushing too hard and need a break, so we stop. The actual recording of the album took three days to do all twelve songs as guide tracks. In hindsight, we maybe should have taken a bit more time, but we all wanted to get them done.
You’ve unveiled in the meantime a lyric video for your track “Fear”. Would you say that this is the song that best reflects the spirit of the album?
Mike: No, it’s our crazy nights not our God of thunder. We love this!
Simon: Fear was the track we decided to do as a lyric video simply because it shows our ability to do something quite different to a lot of other songs on the album. Also, Fear is a massively personal song for Alan and Mike, so this was the one we decided to do first. There is not one single song that defines or reflects the spirit of the album though. Every song lends its own voice and style to the album and perfectly blends to give us, what we think, is a massive first album.
The last words are for you. If you have any other projects in the making, here’s your chance to talk about it!
Simon: As for the future of KinStrife, we are looking at songs for a second album already. We are just starting on the difficult path of launching and promoting an album with no back up from any label. Trying to be heard and stand out in the sea of talent that is out there is difficult. All of us are realists though. We all know how things work. That is one of the benefits of being around for a while.
At the moment, we are going to carry on gigging as much as we can and trying to get our name out there. First and foremost, we are a live band. That is what we love and what we are going to carry on doing. Come and see us if you can. We always do our best to make sure everyone has a good time at our gigs!
Thanks for your time!