THE KINISON re-united a few months ago after disbanding in 2005! This guys were signed to Fearless Records at the beginning of their career and got picked up by Travis Barker of BLINK-182 later to record their full length. In January 2013 they have reformed and today I’m proud to their first interview in a long time!
The band is releasing a new EP titled “Oh, The Guilt”, which was recorded with Paul Fig (DEFTONES / COHEED & CAMBRIA)! It comes with the new title-track and 2 unreleased live tracks (“What Would You Do?” and “Stevie Nicks vs. Nikki Sixx.”). Scroll down and learn more about the outing and their comeback in my interview with the band’s vocalist Christopher Lee Lewis.
Hey guys! Welcome back! How does it feel? :)
Hey! I must say, I was quite excited when I finally saw the pre-order launch go up on the Highwires website. I had been showing early screenshots to my family and friends. It felt good to be back in business.
How are the preparations going so far? Do you feel nervous?
No, not nervous at all. I am not much of a nervous person unless I am hungover at a grocery store in the AM.
Haha. Tell me, what made you take the break back in 2005?
It was actually a complete break up. Not even a hiatus. I truly never wanted to play those songs with those guys again. I was over it. The road, the business– it all got to me. I was ready to sleep in a bed for once.
So what was the drive for getting back together?
There were some quiet rumors going around that we were going to be offered some festival dates so among members, we were calling and text messaging discussing whether or not we would consider doing it. That brought us to getting back into a room together and writing a few new songs. It was organic, nothing was forced. A real brew-crew of a time.
It’s been 8 years since you decided to take a break. It’s literally the eight part of life of an average man :) What on earth have you been doing all this time? Have you developed some new projects?
I started a few bands and nothing came about. Guy and I recorded a few records together (one in the forest in the depths of Maine, US, the other in our hometown). I have always had passion for food. I grew up in the restaurant business so it was a natural and lateral move to go back into that. I now run a successful restaurant in Los Angeles.
Are you back with the full force of the last line-up? I’m sorry, but people are always analyzing whether this was better than that :) What are your thoughts about this?
We Guy, Mikey and myself are back. However, Frank was the original bass player before quit and ran off to go to medical school. He is now a top doctor in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. We also added Bryan who plays piano/keys. Bryan and Frank grew up together and have been playing music with one another since middle school. It was an easy move to bring him on and fill in the blanks.
Ok, so we’re not getting a full tasty meal, but just an EP, right? Is it just a tease before the actual full length album? :) I bet you’ll have been rehearsing for the upcoming shows, has anything new and interesting come out of that? :)
No, no rehearsing currently. Guy is busy in Maine catching lobsters. As soon as he gets back, we will get into a room together and start writing our next record.
Tell me more about this new track. Are you proud of your new work? What’s changed?
Oh, the Guilt was written last week. Guy sent me this track that I really liked (it wasn’t supposed to be a KINISON song initially). It had blown out drums and I loved the chorus. I was playing it one day and my two year old daughter (shes now three) started dancing to it. I then noticed that it was stuck in my head regularly. I brought that to Guy’s attention and it was the first thing we worked on once he got back.
How would you describe Paul Fig’s contribution to this new era of yours?
Paul is the main-man. One of the most talented people in the business these days. He had an excellent ear, is fair and his ultimate goal is to make you, as a band happy. He makes it happen.
Is there a story behind the cover art of the EP?
Our guy Andrew over at Highwires and I discussed some themes and ideas. He promptly provided half a dozen images and we liked all of them. We finally settled on the one you see now after a knife-gut battle with Guy.
How did you end up releasing it via Highwires?
Felix from Highwires just cold-emailed me one day on FB. The relationship grew from there and we made it happen relatively quickly. It just made sense for both parties.
Were there any chances to return as a Fearless Records band again?
We have no relationship to Fearless whatsoever.
How about Travis Barker’s LaSalle Records? Have you talked to him about possibly releasing it via his label? Do you still keep in touch?
LaSalle is currently a defunct label and isn’t releasing (to my knowledge) any more records. In fact, that is how we got to re-record Mortgage is crank for the pre-order. I found out that we owned a lot of those older tracks.
The EP also contains two exclusive live tracks recorded at a show at the Glasshouse in Pomona, CA during the summer of 2005. Very cool. How do you remember those shows?
Not only do I recall them, there are videos of them! One of them is up on the Highwires site right now. They were recorded for part of a full live record that got shelved due to the band breaking up.
Do you feel all the “classic” songs still sound fresh and relevant to you? Any modifications you plan to make?
At the end of KINISON, we sort of turned into more of a jam band– no, not like PHISH or something but we would spend a lot of time on one song and explore where it took us. I expect for us to do more of that with the new members but also capture it in a studio, rather than live.
How do you see your current local music scene? How has it changed over the years?
I never felt as if we were ever part of any scene. Camaraderie wasn’t something we experienced as far as the music scene went. Growing up in IL, we hated the other bands around us and never agreed with “support local music.” I certainly made damn good friends on the road, but never felt part of anything. I doubt we ever will.
By the way, do you all live in the same neighborhood?
I live in Los Angeles with Frank and Bryan, as stated above, Guy lives in Maine and Mikey lives inland CA.
Generally speaking, how do you feel like the music industry has changed?
I still feel like it is an old dead dinosaur and I am happy labels like Highwires want to work with bands like us. We may be old and washed up, but we can still rock! I love the Internet and I hope things trend the way they are (hopefully) going. Physical albums are going the way of the buffalo and are only good for shows. I have not been in a record store in 5 years. That may change now that NIRVANA’s reissue of In Utero comes out soon though!
Cool, thanks. Thank you for your time! Thanks for being brave and getting through this lengthy interview :) Good luck for the new era, the upcoming shows and everything you have going on! Keep on rockin’!
Cheers from Warsaw! :)
Cheers and thank you.