Sometimes you listen to a new band or artist online and think they sound like every other band in the world, ever. You hope to hear something new, original, different, exciting; magical perhaps. We were intrigued to hear about a new Canadian artist who fits the bill. His name, Christopher Edwards, 30 years old from Victoria, BC. His stage name, Kkidss. The new master of Lo-Fi, who posted 21 new songs over the last month, took time out of his song writing schedule to catch up with Third Outing.
3rd: Lets start at the beginning, Christopher. We first heard about you from a French magazine, but you're actually from Canada. How did the French magazine find out about you and your music ?
Kkidss: One of the editors said he likes to just search randomly through bandcamp for artists sometimes.
3rd: So tell us more about you and your story?
Kkidss: There is a long story behind everyone and everything. I love talking about music! I've been obsessed with music since I was a kid. Starting with my parents CD collection. I like a good melody, I can play a good melody over in my head for days; it’s like a drug. Lately I've been listening to Chopin, Amy Casper, Mary Wells, Bach, even 2Pac. One of my bosses at the liquor store I work at has a really good taste in music. When she’s working she puts on her iPod. Every week I usually discover something new to listen to. Sometimes, though, I don’t listen to any music for long periods of time. Silence is good.
3rd: You said earlier that Scotland is where many good artists come from. What particular artists were you thinking of?
Kkidss: The Vaselines, Jesus and Mary Chain. I love earlier Camera Obscura and Belle and Sebastian. It's the same with Boards Of Canada which is funny because I used to think he was from Canada.
3rd: In the French article they compare you to Daniel Johnston. Do you like the comparison?
Kkidss: Sure, Danny J is an amazing songwriter. I understand why people always have to compare artists to other artists. Everybody says you’re like somebody else. But hopefully you like the artist they are comparing you to, not that it really matters.
3rd: So is it true that you recently wrote more than 500 songs? That's 18 albums with 18 songs each.
Kkidss: Yeah, a lot of them probably will never be recorded. It’s pretty easy to write 4 songs a day when they’re as simple as mine. There's a 324 song series I plan on recording. I wrote them in 9 months. The first album is called 'Hot Trash'; I'll record it soon I hope. The songs I just recorded on bandcamp are extra songs. They don’t fit together with other songs like an album works. It will be cool to revisit those 9 months. I went to some very dark and very bright places during that time.
3rd: So how did these very dark and very bright places affect the recording process?
Kkidss: I used to use a lot of gear and my signal chain was very complex. It used to take like a half hour to set up all the tape machines, mixers, pre-amp, compressor. Now I don’t even use proper microphones. I use a handheld cassette recorder and any cassette I can find. I sit on my bed and play my little broken Spanish guitar and sing. Recording is fun now. Then I take it off the tape out of the headphone jack and covert it. I try to live by the theory that less is more. The best things in life happen by accident.
3rd: Vancouver is known as the 'No-Fun city' but how is the Victoria's musical scene establishing itself?
Kkidss: Haha. I never knew Vancouver was known for that. I don’t get over there very often. I barely leave my house except to work or escape into nature. I miss nature; I grew up in it and haven’t been back in a long time.
3rd: As you work for a liquor store what would be your desert island drink?
Kkidss: The answer to that question would be a glass of cheap american whiskey, Black Velvet.
3rd: What exactly is the project Magic Message with Matthew Niemann and how did you guys meet?
Kkidss: I met Matthew in Kelowna a few years ago when I moved there to take an audio engineering and production course. His music Little Jungles saved my life. Little Jungles is also all recorded onto 1/8th" cassette tape.
Matthew somehow got his hands on a bunch of old cassette tapes called 'Magic Message'. They were 40 second loop tapes that were used for answering machines. We fill a whole bunch of the these tapes up with electric guitar feedback or whatever and then we play shows with the tapes through the PA and see what happens. It can get very loud.
Magic Message is more about soundscapes, spoken words, whispering, screaming; no real method. It’s about communication, anarchy, and language somehow. I don’t think we know what it is yet, but it’s exciting.
3rd: 'I wanna die' makes me think of The Cribs 'Be Safe' and the line 'I know a place we can go where you'll fall in love so hard that you'll wish you were dead'. Is the pursuit of happiness a dream which can never come true ?
Kkidss: I think all dreams can and have already come true. Some times I feel really sad, sometimes I feel really happy. I would’t trade one feeling for the other. I think that song is about feeling so good it becomes dangerous.
3rd: So tell us what's next for you? Are you going to self-release your albums? Do you have gigs booked?
Kkidss: I'm going to record lots. I would like to start recording at beach fires, and in the woods, tunnels, bathtubs, wherever. The bed works though. I love to perform for people but I'm not focused on touring or playing shows that much. Just recording, there's so much to learn still and so much work to do. "Gonna pick up a cheap guitar, gonna be a rock and roll star, gonna make it so far".
3rd: Is that the plan?
Kkidss: I guess so, I already got the cheap guitar. I don’t know what the plan is. I would like to inspire people to think a lot differently.
3rd: Finally, listening to your music made us think of this quote from 'High Fidelity' by Nick Hornby;
“What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music”?
What do you make of that statement?
Kkidss: I'm not worried about kids or anything else. I look up to kids. The content is just a reflection of ourselves. I think we have to change ourselves to change the content. Or maybe it’s the other way around. I think depression is very funny sometimes. Pop Music is always changing. Being skilled and talented is boring now. Or at least the definitions are changing. Pop music is a reflection of our times. If you listen to music in chronological order it sounds like something really special happened in 1968. Some children were singing today on the street outside my window while I laid in bed half asleep. It was beautiful.