Jesse Kivel from Kisses chats with Music Feeds before their first Australian tour.
Music Feeds: So you guys have got your debut album out, how’s that feel to sort of be at the end of one part of your career and starting another?
Jesse Kivel: It feels a little sad. I was very satisfied with the music and aesthetic of this record and knowing we will be moving into a new phase is always a little sad, but exciting as well.
MF: The music has a distinct pop direction, what made you choose that aesthetic?
JK: I have always written pop music and it is what I listen to. Doing what you know always seems like a good idea.
MF: The music industry these days is crowded with so many bands that the idea of starting a band, making it big and living the rest of your life in comfort and excess seems almost impossible these days as winning the lottery. What made you want to pursue a career in music faced as you are with such an industry?
JK: Well, the dream started in High School and when you are that young, you are not really aware of the odds, you just know you want to do it. As I have gotten older, I have noticed exactly what you’re talking about and it makes you feel cheap as a band to think you can be so easily replaced. If I didn’t have the contacts and friends I have now, I would probably not try and start a new band.
MF: How does the songwriting work in the band. does one of you come up with the main idea and the other one adds to it or is there more of an exchange between the two of you when it comes to sketching out songs at the start?
JK: This first record was primarily written by me. Zinzi contributed some vocals but for the most part the songwriting and production is my own.
MF: With dance pop of the kind you make being fairly widespread these days, how do you plan on setting yourselves apart from the rest of the bands out there doing something similar?
JK: I don’t think it is as widespread as you think…sure people make dance music but the dance music producers who actually write songs instead of grooves I think are few and far between.
MF: What would you say to those who might say you’re coming a little late to the dance pop party, that MGMT and their cronies have drunk all the booze?
JK: This is a cynical interview! Anyways, I wouldn’t even begin to compare what we do to MGMT and dance music, especially dance pop, has found an audience for decades and will continue to because it makes people feel good.
MF: The songs have been getting played a lot on triple j over here, our youth radio broadcaster, how are they doing elsewhere? I ask because your music has a very Australian sound to it in a lot of ways. Do you listen to any Australian bands?
JK: I am not sure how it is doing elsewhere, radio is a mystery to me. I don’t really listen to Australian bands although I do like The Ruby Suns (from New Zealand) and AIH. Oddly enough, even though people compare us to them, I have still yet to hear a song by Cut Copy!
MF: You guys have been likened to everyone from Arthur Russell to Belle and Sebastian, garnering praise all over the place, has that made it harder to remain objective about the music?
JK: It definitely makes me look at my music more fondly. If people didn’t like it and thought it sucked, it would probably bum me out!
MF: What do you have planned for the next few moths what should we be looking out for?
JK: Look out for a cover/collaboration to come out in fall and a full length sometime next year. Also look out for us in two weeks in a city near you!
The Heart Of The Nightlife is out now on Pod/Inertia J Kisses are performing at Purple Sneakers ‘Last Night’ on June 10th with Them Jeans