Clicking Around with Music: Kid Koala

Posted 12/16/2009 by coelder in Labels: , , , ,

100% - Kid Koala

Kid koala is a mixing, ones and twos, dj-ing, graphic noveling, film making, machine of a man.  His music articulates power and feeling through a wide array of mashups and independent projects.  Montreal born, he's opened for the likes of Radiohead and Bjork in international venues.  From project to project, he tries to maintain a level of innovation to keep his mind fresh and creativity flowing.  A must listen.

Please check out his site and all of his music.

AS: How did 2009 treat you? Take our readers through the year, on the turn tables, in the comic world, and life in general. Anecdotes are added bonuses.
KK: 2009 was a bit of a blur but a lot of fun. In the middle of winter we started this new night in Montreal called "Music To Draw To... " It was an evening of quiet time records and everyone was invited to bring something to draw, knit, write, sculpt or whatever. My wife Corinne had a little bake shop and where she was able to test her new baking recipes. Everyone got a cup of hot chocolate and a pencil when they arrived. It was so inspiring to see all those people simultaneously working on such creative things. After that we went took the event to New York, Los Angeles and Toronto.
In the summer, a group of our friends decided to get together and shoot a live action version of the Nufonia Must Fall book. So we built a life size robot suit and a small crew of us ran the city shooting the robo-rom-com starring our friends Julie (malorie) and Paul (the robot). Hilarious.
After that we started to prepare for The Slew tour. So I spent a lot of time in the studio cutting custom vinyl records that we would use to recreate the tracks live on stage. We were joined on stage by Myles Heskett and Chris Ross on bass and drums and my friend Dj P-love was there to share scratch duties. It was a crazy rock show with 6 turntables, bass and drums. There were mosh pits at all of the shows. That was a first for me... Definitely a fun way to round out the year.
Corinne and I chased our baby daughter around and watched her grow and crack people up to no end. It was definitely an exciting year.

AS: What should we expect in 2010?
KK: We will be bringing The Slew to the UK and Europe and eventually back to North America. Also, I will be doing a new version of Short Attention Span Theater show with Dj P-love and Lederhosen Lucil in Vancouver as part of the 2010 Winter Olympics Cultural Olympiad. Other than that, I am trying to finish drawing and scoring the new Space Cadet book.

AS: Could you take us through the process for creating a track? Do you find you have an idea of what the end product will be or do you find yourself stumbling upon the tracks?
KK: Often, I'll have an idea of what I'd like to try making in the studio. For Some of My Best Friends ar DJs, I wanted to do a completely hand cut turntable version of Basin Street Blues. Once I decided that, I tried to find solo instruments holding single notes (woodwinds, horns and strings etc.) Then I take those single notes and bend them into other notes by hand and stack them up to make chords. It's kind of like strange lego music that way. I like that twisted sound the turntable. It adds a character that sounds a bit surreal.

AS: Do you find Montreal comes out in your music? If yes, how so? What city do you find is producing the greatest music and dj's.
KK: I think the music I've recorded here has been a product of the Montreal environment for sure. It's got a very supportive community of people with many artists and creative types so it's easy to be inspired by the people here. Also, the weather forces everyone to hide in their studios all winter. When it's winter time I always feel like recording quiet music but when it's summer time I like to bring up the tempo and cut loose a little.
I don't know what city is the best for music but who really cares? The world's kind of all one big city anyway. As long as the people out there are enjoying themselves while they're making and playing their music, I'm all for it!

AS: It seems like a lot of comics and graphic novels now use filler issues to pass the time. What does the industry need to do to promote plot development across new issues or is this sheerly in the readers' hands?
KK: I guess for some people there's this pressure to turn something out every few months. Both in music and books, I'm drawn to doing projects or using techniques that are quite labor/time intensive. To me, it's all about having fun and learning through the process... so I try to stretch that "process time" out as much as I can... in my mind it equals more fun... but by industry standards, I guess it's way too slow. Making records through these techniques is always going to take longer than traditional methods. It's kind of like making animated film or something. The end product may be too esoteric for some audiences but if you look/listen carefully, hopefully you can see/hear all the smiles we had making the stuff along the way.

AS: What artist is currently revolutionizing music? What are they doing to separate themselves from the crowd?
KK: Keyboard Money Mark! I recently visited his studio in Los Angeles. His studio is packed with every instrument, old school audio gadget, noisemaker, and effect imaginable as well as all of the traditional pianos, organs, guitars, drums, vibraphones, you name it! and he promises he's going to use everything on his next album which will sort of be his magnum opus. He was showing me how he is currently using cassettes to deejay... And also how he can flip old telephone test tone equipment to play melodies. That guy can bend a melody and story out of anything. And it all has his signature soul to it. Whether he's singing or playing keyboards or drums or whatever he gets his hands on, he always does it with that Money Mark style. I can't wait to hear what he comes with.

AS: As someone that crosses multiple media to fill their creative itch, what medium are you most drawn to as 1) a creator of art and 2) an observer of art?
KK: I just try to find those zone moments no matter what it is. Sometimes it happens when I'm playing live on stage, Sometimes it's that rush you get when the ideas are flowing at the drawing desk, sometimes it's that lucky accident that happens in the recording studio that surprises you and makes you say "WICKED!!!."
As an observer, I like anything that kind of makes you forget where you are and makes time kind of slow down. Sometimes you can get that reading a book, other times from a film or a perfect song.

AS: Is there anything else you would like to share with the ArtStar community?
KK: The Space Cadet tour/book/soundtrack is on it's way... It's the quiet lullaby-type project I've been working on. For the tour, everyone in the audience will get a pair of headphones and hopefully a beanbag to sit on.

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