(Photo Credit - Julia Schwendner / ThisIsJuliaPhotography)
We had the opportunity to chat with Kill Strings! This up-and-coming alternative group has a sound that simply rocks. They are about to drop a new single at the end of January that we're excited about. Check out what they had to say in their Artist Spotlight interview!
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
We've all started at a young age, trying different instruments along the way in various musical formations, such as big bands. So before we formed what was later known as 'Kill Strings', we had already been in a few bands, but it never really clicked. That was until we met at a school concert in late 2016, where our different bands played. It instantly clicked as we were jamming long after the concert. At first we were a quartette, but realized that it didn't work out that way for various reasons and are now a trio since the end of 2018 and before the release of our first EP "Introspection" in early 2019. Before the split with our former second guitarist, we had the honor of playing some major festivals in Germany, such as the huge Hurricane Festival, Open Flair Festival and the Oakfield Festival. We have since been recognized as one of Hamburg's best newcomer bands by the local press. A big help in achieving all of that was Spotify, who added our song "Shining Star" to their gigantic US playlists New Noise and Totally Alt (where it is still somewhere at the top of the list) as well as the German playlist Alternative Generation. We still can't believe how many people across the globe are listening to our music and we are grateful for every single one of them!
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
Usually, we start off with a simple riff or hook with no concrete direction in mind and see where it goes. Other times, we prepare a little snippet to provide some context, so that everyone knows what the song is supposed to feel like. But one thing that has always remained the same, is that we write the instrumental parts first, then the lyrics and the accompanying vocal melodies on top of that. First, we need to create the atmosphere of the song so that Lee can figure out what emotions the song is conveying and thus which lyrics could fit. Afterwards, we’ll arrange the overall structure of the song and make adjustments to instrumental parts in order to fit all the different pieces together. The last bit of work is polishing and streamlining. Most often we need to have played the song a few times to identify parts that are not working as intended or parts which are maybe too long and have a negative effect on the overall composition. Only then do we consider a song ready for recordings. But truth be told: A song is never truly finished as one continues to fiddle around with different aspects of the song as you continue to play it.
3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
We have a few bands that embody different aspects of music we love to hear ourselves. For instance, a great influence were the Foo Fighters and their at times animalist energy that they manage to integrate into their songs and live performances. There just lies so much weight behind every note they play and especially sing/shout. That’s why we were so thrilled, when the press started to compare us to our big idols and named us the “Foo Fighters of Hamburg”! When it comes to epic riffs, we tend to look to Royal Blood and Muse. The former is also a huge influence in the pursuit of thick, grungy sounds that we also intend to deliver, even as a trio. Another band that had a huge influence on us are Biffy Clyro. They just know how to surprise you with their sometimes weird or rather unexpected compositions and the amount of emotions they are able to deliver with their sound a few lines of text.
4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects, pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?
We are huge fans of our Big Muffs, both guitar and bass! It just gives your sound the extra grunge and is essential for all of our riffs. Newest addition to the family is the Kemper Profiling Amp. That particular amp offers us so many ways to experiment with different effects and sounds. It has been an immense help in creating a massive wall of sound, despite being just a trio. And last, but not least: Fender Telecaster all the way!
5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
One thing is for certain: it's always sweaty, loud and full of energy. We play every show with as much heart as possible! We love to interact with the audience and get involved in the action, like jumping into a mosh pit during riffs whilst playing. But also off stage, we enjoy having a nice chat with everyone who comes to our shows. It's really a familial atmosphere! Overall, we are stoked to have such an awesome fan base!
In terms of the venue, we love stages that allow the fans to come really close to the action, as if they were just next to us on stage (which they occassionally are). It's just that much more fun when you are not detached from the audience. Also, we don't mind free beer at a venue.
6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
We are always looking to connect our music with social causes. For instance, the money earned at our release party for our first EP "Introspection", was donated to charities (clubkinder e.V. / Basis & Woge), which collaborated with us to cover the expenses of street kids for an admission to a music festival. In addition to that we donate all our streaming royalties of "Everything That Isn't Me" to an organization that helps refugees and homeless people (Hanseatic Help e.V.). Same case with "Would You", where everything will be donated to Laut gegen Nazis e.V., a charity that fights against fascism. All that our fans give us in love and support, we give back to people that are less fortunate in life or who need help.
7. Do you have any upcoming projects you would like fans to know about?
Our next single "We Are an Army" is going to be released on the 31st of January. This will be the last single outlet of our upcoming second EP "THINK/LOVE/REBEL", which is set to release in early 2020 with two additional songs along our three singles. The singles each represent one word of the title and depict what we deem necessary in the current state of our global society. While "Would You" is a song against fascism and urging you to think before you act, "Must Have Been Love" is a plead to deal with personal, emotional issues to be able to give love to others. "We Are an Army" is a call to action to solve contemporary issues, be it environmental or societal, and thus to rebel against the ones standing in the way of solving those issues. We think that these three core concepts of contemplation, of giving love to everyone and of rebelling, are vital for modern society to work. We sincerely hope that people will be inspired by our music and act accordingly.