Interview: Kids of 88

| June 9, 2012


Words by Ash Kissane

New Zealand’s new wave/electro duo, KidsOf88 describe their music as “a cross between a late ’80s police drama intro theme and a sophisticated super hussy.” The pair have just released their second album, Modern Love and will be bringing their brand of “thoughtful pop music” to Brisbane this weekend. MM caught up with the pair to discuss the new album, pop music and MJ induced injuries.

MM: How did KidsOf88 come together?
KO88: Sam and I were friends since the start of secondary school. We would go through all the terrible and amazing music phases the universe had to offer through this period. Sam was a great guitarist and I was an able drummer, so not only were we enthusiasts of music, we played in bands together, made drum ‘n’ bass remixes for the schoolyard, and won a national band competition together. We started focusing heavily on electronic based production when we left school, and the combination of the songwriting background led us to a project now known as KidsOf88. It started off with a few “Back to the Future” inspired art pieces with about twelve friends on a Myspace in 2009, but after we released our first single through the persistence of our now manager, Ashley Page everything started to snowball.

MM: How did you find the NZ music scene treated you when you were first starting out, particularly Auckland?
KO88: The way we started out as KidsOf88 was very unorthodox; we never really intended for anything to reach further than a cheeky song sitting on a social networking page, so we were never really part of a “scene” as such. It was more like, “where did this song come from and who the hell are these dudes?” When things started to pick up for us after releasing “My House” as a single we had to work backwards instead of building from scratch, all the fundamentals were back to front.

MM: How would you describe your sound?
KO88: Sub genres eat your heart out, especially this new album, it’s like part tropical part cinematic trance part dickswinging pop. It is, in essence, thoughtful pop music.

MM: What’s your song writing process like, is it a collaboration?
KO88: Very much so. There could be a single cook in the kitchen or a full team of sous chefs and a dessert maker; it all works differently each time in terms of an originating idea or final product..keeps each approach fresh.

MM: Are there any particular artists that inspire you?
KO88: Our tastes are pretty broad, and we’re not freaked out by much. We seem to be into a new thing each week, but over the last couple of months it’s been Octa Octa, A$AP Rocky, Prince, Barrington Levy, Teebs, Orbital, Disclosure, The Beatles (mainly George!), Teen Daze, Kindness, and a bit of Harry Belafonte on a Sunday arvo.

MM: Favourite track on the new album?
KO88: A song called “Feel The Love”. It’s just so self indulgent, but amazingly communal at same time. [It] has a sort of 100bpm slug-nod with a sun-drenched, high-life party feel.

MM: Have you always had an interest in pop music?
KO88: It all started with Mike. I actually overspun a Michael Jackson spin when I was young and split my head open on the living room coffee table. From then on, pop has been literally engraved on my forehead. It would have probably been through our parents listening to Fleetwood Mac, Crowded House, and The Cranberries that instilled a sense of melody into our youthful minds.

MM: Favourite album?
KO88: [That’s] probably the hardest question to ever answer. I want to say “MJ”, I also want to say, “Fleetwood”, but I’ll probably have to go with Jimi Hendrix’s, Are you Experienced, it’s just one of those albums I can hum all the parts without thinking about it, and it was one of the first albums I idolised as a kid among De La Soul’s, “3 Feet High & Rising” and Michael Jackson’s, “Bad”.

MM: What can audiences expect from your upcoming show?
KO88: New songs, new dancing shoes, and whole lotta love.

Kids of 88 hit Alhambra Lounge Saturday June 9, get tickets here.

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Category: MUSIC

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