King Kong Company are coming and they are coming to rock your local bingo hall, with hypnotic jello molds and grannies on acid. At least that’s what you would expect from watching the video for their first track from their self titled debut album. “Spacehopper” by the bands own admission is their biggest hit and it’s a pretty massive track full of humor and irony and I wouldn’t expect anything less from the Waterford group.
Having reunited in 2010 the band have embarked on several projects. “Projects like the 12 videos in 12 months just wouldn’t have been possible in the 90’s”, says keyboardist Tom Stapleton, “so us reuniting wasn’t strange as we had all remained friends and even worked on other projects together but it was completely different from before”, he adds. The band is currently on an Irish tour promoting not just new material but also their new album, their first in fact. The official launch is Novemeber 27th in The Academy in Dublin with ticket holders being the first to get their mitts on the album as part of the ticket price. I saw King Kong Company perform this time last year in Dolan’s Warehouse in Limerick and it was a night of dancing and getting ridiculous! “Yes, so we are building up to Academy at the moment fine-tuning things. With each gig we are getting better and trying out the new songs. And actually the album is still a work a progress so depending on the reaction each night songs are added and edited from the album. Which is hectic being two weeks out but exciting”, says Tom.
It seems the whole album is a kind of stream of consciousness affair with the band working with producer Tim Holmes (Death In Vegas) and receiving remixes from other outside producers. “We have never worked with an outside influence before. We can’t say yet how it will turn out. Some of the remixes have been amazing coming from different angles and we never thought it would sound like this. Then you hear others and it makes you question the original song. Was it so bad that this is the best they could come up with? But I guess that kind of self-doubt is part of the process and the business so you have to go with it and hope something good, or better comes out of it”, explains Tom.
The band has drawn on a wide range of life experiences and influences for the album. “It’s a proper democracy where someone will comes with an idea or 2 and send them on to each other, work on them at home and then see what comes of it”, he explains. “Sometimes we just laugh at the idea and take the mick out of whoever thought of it so you do have to be a bit thick skinned but it comes from a good place, no one is ever afraid to bring something.” Each member has different experiences from studying music to Djing and influences range from Led Zeppelin, Reggae, and Leftfield. I ask if the monkey and robot iconography is some sort of commentary on the state of society. “Ha ha ha no we don’t think that deep at all. But I have been told to put it out there that Trish, our dancer, is single and looking to mingle.” (Trish I apologise if this was a joke, Tom made me do it!)
What is Tom looking forward to in 2016? “I’m looking forward to a day off”, he jokes. The band has been working 24/7 finishing the album ahead of the launch while maintained a hectic touring schedule across Ireland. “2016 at the moment is a blank page which is quite exciting! We’ll be looking to tackling bigger festivals, stepping up a few notches especially in the UK”, he adds. “Things have changed from when we first got together. Technology, social media, and booking agents. You need to get your music out there to get a better profile. The idea of a record or label has changed. Now your music can lead to higher billing at festivals and better gigs.”
And what is Tom’s ultimate gig experience? “Something low key like Madison Square Garden or Glastonbury”, he laughs, “We have really simple expectations really!” In the meantime the band are really looking forward to the rest of the tour and the Academy date and official launch of the long awaited album.
If you are looking for a real fun night out check out King Kong Company at:
Nov 20th – Roisin Dubh, Galway
Nov 21st – Tricky’s McGarrigles, Sligo
Nov 27th – The Academy, Dublin
Dec 5th – The Pav, Cork
Dec 31st – The Set Theatre, Kilkenny
Launch event details are here http://bit.ly/KKCinTheAcademy
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