Kingswood: “We Don’t Care About Showing Secrets Or Being Too Reclusive”

Have you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall while your favourite band recorded an album? Well, Kingswood have given their fans this chance with their aptly titled new documentary Welcome to the Studio. Available to watch on their website, it ain’t your regular band documentary. With no director, scripting or storyline, it’s entirely made up of candid footage of the band recording their sophomore album After Hours, Close To Dawn.

It gives fans and music nerds alike an insight into the production and sonic wizardry that went into the record plus the challenges and breakthroughs that resulted in some of our favourite tracks. Sewn together with fan commentary about the LP, it’s an unabashedly raw and unembellished look into the Melbourne trio’s creative process. Ahead of their upcoming national Maximus tour, we spoke with frontman Fergus Linacre about the documentary, the memories that he wishes they caught on camera and what you can expect from the next string of shows.

Music Feeds: What was the inspiration behind filming the recording process of After Hours, Close To Dawn?

Fergus Linacre: We always try to film as much as we can and for no real purpose. We just think it’s great to have footage of what goes on. So we kind of just had the camera there and said if anyone is near it and things are going on, pick it up and film. So you kind of just get a fly on the wall view and we all just got used to it. It’s not like we noticed it was there. So, you pretty much see what really happens in the studio. We thought it was interesting and not many people show it and every band is unique in the way that they record. I think it shows a bit of the spontaneity of how we experiment and come up with things.

MF: It sounds like it started off as something you guys wanted to do for yourselves, so what made you decide to share it with the world?

FL: Well, I started chopping it up and going over the footage and going track by track and then we set up this voicemail so that people could ring and leave us messages. We thought it was a nice idea to put out and we can keep the footage forever and, otherwise, it might never be used. The album’s been out for a while, so why not put it out and show people what goes on behind the scenes. We thought it was a nice element to add some of those messages from people who called us up just to show how much they mean to us as well.

MF: The fan commentary is probably my favourite part of the documentary. Who came up with that idea and how many messages did you get?

FL: I like to say that all ideas are collective Kingswood ideas but this one started off as mine (laughs). We got a lot of messages and they’re still coming in. It’s still live and we check the messages all the time. Some of them are really heartfelt and some of them are really deep and emotional. I suppose we chose lighter ones for the video, we didn’t want to make it too heavy. But some of them were really funny. Someone called up and said: “I’ve had your child and you owe me child support” (laughs). But yeah, it’s still going, so if anyone wants to ring up, go for it.

MF: And have you been happy with the reactions to the doco so far?

FL: Yeah, the fans love it and the nerds seem to love it too. We’ve been receiving a lot of questions and it’s almost like we opened up the door for querying about guitar sounds and what microphones we used, which we’re happy to answer. But it’s like we’ve opened the floodgates for the nerds – and I say ‘nerds’ affectionately because we’re all music nerds – but yeah, to learn more. They’re asking: “Did you actually end up using two microphones on the drum kit there?” That kind of thing. So, it’s a really interesting flow on of people getting in touch and asking about all that kind of stuff.

MF: I loved that we got an insight into the technical side of making the record but then also the very stripped back moments. Like when we saw Alex filling up glasses of water to use for percussion.

FL: (Laughs) Yeah, us tuning the glasses. We have a lot of fun experimenting and mucking around. We even captured some moments where we came up with concepts like for ‘Alabama White’ when we had this two drum kit, two bassline, hard left and right vocal thing going on. And you can see how excited we are and how much we love being in the studio.

MF: What was it like watching some of those breakthrough moments back?

FL: If anything it’s just made us want to get back and record the next album. We’ve already started writing and I know Al has a bunch of tunes ready to go. So we’ll probably record another album early next year. We just can’t wait to do it again.

MF: Do you think you’ll film this recording process as well?

FL: Yeah, I think so. But we might even step it up a notch and rather than having just us film everything. Because we couldn’t film everything and when we were really heavily involved, it was hard to stop and pick up the camera. So, maybe if someone was there the whole time to film it that could be cool. We certainly think it’s interesting and I’d love to see the kind of thing we put out from a lot of bands that I love. We don’t care about showing secrets or being too reclusive about that kind of thing, we’re pretty open about sharing what we do.

MF: Were there ever any moments that you wished you caught on camera?

FL: Ooh, you’re testing my memory now. There was one moment when they had me on a mattress lying down. You see a little of this in the documentary, but then they pinned my arms down and put me in a sleeping bag, put bricks on my chest and were flicking the lights and were trying to make me as uncomfortable as possible because I was singing too nicely or too well and it wasn’t getting the struggle or the sentiment of the song. So they had to make me so uncomfortable that I was suffocating to sing the song properly. So, that would’ve been good to capture (laughs).

MF: Good to capture?! Sounds bloody traumatic.

FL: (Laughs) True! And the worst part was that they told me that it wasn’t good enough and were like, “Nah, man. We’re done. We’ll try something else tomorrow.” And by this stage I was furious. I was like, “You guys just humiliated me and you’re not going to use it?!” but they came out of the studio and they were all laughing and were like, “We’re so sorry, we’re just joking. It’s done.”

But I kind of got Eddy (producer Edward Spears) back when we were doing percussion for ‘Atmosphere’. We just kept sending in things for him to do, like play with a stapler or a bowl of chips and playing drums with shoes and then he realised we were taking the piss.

MF: It’s been a few months since you guys released After Hours, Close To Dawn and you’re about to head out on a national tour again. Are you even more excited for this one because fans have had a chance to really soak in the album by now?

FL: Yeah, exactly. You’ve nailed it. When we first toured the record it had just come out, so people were just getting their heads around it. We got a taste of it at Splendour when so many people were there which we didn’t expect because we were playing kind of early on the first day. And they were singing even the verses back of a song called ‘Big City’ which wasn’t even a single. We were freaking out and it was just a big singalong. We had no idea that we were even a singalong band, it was amazing. So we’re very excited to play and have everyone know the whole album now.

There are also going to be nine of us on stage for most of it. We’ll have horns and backup singers. Beaker Best from Sticky Fingers is playing a bunch of shows with us too because Justin is having a baby! So we’ll have a fill-in drummer for a while. We’ve done it before having that many on stage and it’s hard to go back now because when you’ve got the horns there and the girls singing, it’s incredible.

MF: You guys are also touring with The Vanns and Dear Seattle. Are you looking forward to hitting the road with them too?

FL: Yeah! They’re both legendary bands. It’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s going to be a good little gang, I reckon. Especially driving down the east coast altogether, we’re going to be stopping off and go-karting and hitting the beach and it’s a great time of year to tour. It’s like a holiday and we’ll get to party and play shows, so it’s just the ultimate.

MF: Now that you’ve filmed the recording process, maybe it’s time for a tour doco?

FL: Yeah, I think so! We do have a photographer coming on the road with us and we’ve filmed a bunch of tours before so maybe there will be a tour video coming on. But we’re not really a band that’s like: “Look at us and look how cool we are.” If you’re going to do a tour video of you being wasted and doing crazy things, it’s not really the kind of stuff that we’d show. I think the reason we released this documentary is because it just showed us being ourselves and recording and [isn’t] anything that’s too “Hey, look at me.” We’re just not that kind of band. We’re not on Instagram every day showing off. Not that that’s bad but it’s just not us. So I think it would be more interesting if we get a tour video out that’s real or follows more of a story about who we are rather than just showing how much fun we have.

MF: Maybe it’s that lack of social media presence that makes documentaries like this so special because it gives your fans a little extra insight.

FL: Yeah, exactly. It’s like when you get the question “tell us a story from the tour.” But all the great stories, we don’t want to tell. We don’t want to just brag about what we’ve done and about this band came along and hung out and that kind of thing. That’s not as important to us.

You can watch the Kingswood documentary online and check them out at one of their 16 shows around the country in October and November.

Kingswood Tour Dates

Friday, 6th October

Metropolis, Fremantle

Tickets: Official Website

Saturday, 7th October

Dunsborough Tavern, Dunsborough

Tickets: Official Website

Thursday, 12th October*

Edge Hill Tavern, Cairns

Tickets: Official Website

Friday, 13th October*

Dalrymple Hotel, Townsville

Tickets: Official Website

Saturday, 14th October*

Magnums, Airlie Beach

Tickets: Official Website

Sunday, 15th October*

Mount Pleasant Hotel, Mackay

Tickets: Official Website

Friday, 20th October

The Met, Brisbane

Tickets: Official Website

Saturday, 21st October

Night Quarter, Gold Coast

Tickets: Official Website

Sunday, 22nd October

The Northern, Byron Bay

Tickets: Official Website

Thursday, 26th October

Coffs Hotel, Coffs Harbour

Tickets: Official Website

Friday, 27th October

Metro Theatre, Sydney

Tickets: Official Website

Saturday, 28th October

The Long Jetty Hotel, Central Coast

Tickets: Official Website

Friday, 10th November

Whalers, Warnambool

Tickets: Official Website

Saturday, 11th November

Fat Controller, Adelaide

Tickets: Official Website

Friday, 17th November

Karova Lounge, Ballarat

Tickets: Official Website

Saturday, 18th November

Forum Theatre, Melbourne

Tickets: Official Website

* Dear Seattle not appearing

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