The Story Of Kkidss: Songs of Love and Pain
By Steffen Armstrong
Sometimes writing about music can be a privilege. Sometimes it can be more. This time last year Third Outing stumbled across a musician from Victoria, BC, by the name of Christopher Edwards. He was about to embark on a fascinating project under the name of Kkidss, where he was to record all 324 songs from his Songs of Love and Pain back catalogue across 9 albums...in 1 year. When we first heard the idea, we thought he was crazy. And he is, but in the most beautiful way possible. In simple terms Edwards is a genius. His music has a quality to it which only geniuses can magic. Some of his songs lose you completely, repel you, make you question their logic; then a moment later he finds the perfect melody, hiss, collage of noise which leaves you so sweetly thunder struck. Edwards is a perfectionist. It's a quality only the very special artists exude. And though not every Kkidss song is the greatest, every idea he thinks up comes from the greatest of places, and when he happens upon the right execution, there is no other music like it in the world.
Over the last year Third Outing have remained in close contact with Edwards throughout his recording endeavours, becoming more and more fascinated with the musician with every release. But to give you the same experience of Kkidss which we have been privy to, it wouldn't be right to celebrate the final ever release of the Kkidss project with a simple review. Instead, we share with you just some of the wonderful correspondence Third Outing have shared with Kkidss over the past year. Included are the thoughts and emotions shared by Edwards himself, along with the photographs during the time spent recording, and of course the music. Look at it all, or just look at the odd thing at random, either way, you'll discover something that will change the way you think. Though the project comes to an end, hopefully the music will not. Here is Kkidss from the beginning, to the very end...
Songs of Love and Pain
"Ok I gotta go to work at the liquor store, and then tonight I will reply to all of these"
"I think the first gig would have been on my parents porch, across from my high school. My Dad would say I was just screaming and being obnoxious. I definitely was back then. Very inappropriate".
"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. 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".
"Sure, Danny J is an amazing song writer. 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".
"It’s pretty easy to write 4 songs a day when they’re as simple as mine. There is a 324 song series I plan on recording. I wrote them in 9 months. The first album is called Hot Trash. 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".
"Red Star was crazy. I spent two days on a small island recording a haunted piano and frogs, and rain and fire. Then the tape got smashed and I had to splice it to two parts and change the cassette casing to salvage the material. A miracle. I had to use my ghetto blaster because my handheld is totally fucked now".
"I think all dreams can, and have already come true.
Some times I feel really sad, sometimes I feel really happy. I wouldn’t trade one feeling for the other".
"I wrote this song right after I met Amy. My song writing was at it's most honest it ever was and I hope to revisit each one of these songs with the kind of honour they deserve".
"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".
"It's a sound project, not a band. It's not even about the songs. It's about the sonic experience of listening to it loud".
"Some pictures my neighbour took of me after the madness".
"Sleeping 5 or 6 hours, then about 12 to 14 hours recording and producing. I'm covered in cables".
"I feel relaxed finally. And kind of sleepy. There's nothing more I can do to that album....or that I should do. The best things in life are the worst. Goodnight for now Doc".
"Apple Sauce is all about hope. Pure country melody's. But it has a dark side too, no one really thinks about what happens on the dark side of the apple. You're right about the dark side theory, no one pays attention to it, you nailed it. All my music is about that".
"I've just completed Vomit. I think I am going to take a break for a while. Let me know what you think about it. It's pretty fucked I guess. Here is a photo of me completing it earlier tonight. I hung out with El Yoshida yesterday, we went to the beach and showed each other our new songs. It was fun. He's a smart and sensitive dude".
"Like all my albums, it has a life of it's own, and in a way I don't really hold responsibility for them. I only write love songs, but I guess the specific theme here is birth, life, and death. Just like the songs, life is conceived and thrown through all kinds of processes before it eventually folds back into "itself". When it comes to mother birds feeding baby birds, they say regurgitation is a good thing and a sign of love and affection".
"It's all about getting the "shit" inside of you out somehow. I think it's my most honest one so far".
"The Red Thread was a dream that an ex girlfriend of mine dreamt about. She said in her dream there was a Shaman that came to her, and the Shaman said there is a red thread between you and Chris, and that thread will always be there. And no matter how much you love each other and how hard you try it will always be there. We broke up after 5 years, and remained amazing friends since then".
"That will be a wrap. I don't plan on ever recording another Kkidss album. But you never know.
All my favourite artists made one or two albums that blew me away, and then so many other one's that suck. I don't ever want Kkidss to be like that. That's why I've built it up for ten years before releasing my first one. I had to do them all at once for this to be possible. I was really fucked up when I wrote these albums and it was basically a long suicide note. But it's not any more. With Magic Soul you will see how it turns out in the end".
"I wanted my music to have a sound to it, like a sound that was unique. A raw and honest, and pure sound. Just like my writing was when I was younger. I always thought that My Bloody Valentine album was so cool because no one could touch it. I grew up listening to everything".
"I sold all my expensive gear to make rent and pay for whiskey. Whiskey was definitely a fuel for this entire project. But it was recording at all hours of the day. I've been working on it non stop since as long as I can remember now. Working out the names, and the melodies, and the story".
"And so the Songs of Love and Pain series may not be the end of Kkidss. But I certainly will be not adding to this series".
The Story of Kkidss: Songs of Love and Pain
By Steffen Armstrong