Fireworks

Fireworks Magazine Online 61 - Interview with Kill For Eden

KILL FOR EDEN

Interview by James Gaden

When I reviewed the debut album by Kill For Eden In Fireworks Issue 57, I raved about it and my opinion hasn’t wavered. The band have released a brand new EP which singles out their excellent track ‘Living On Mars’ from the album and backs it with two brand new songs. I talked to lead guitarist and song writer David Bown to discuss all things Eden…

I rated Kill For Eden as one of the best debut albums I've heard in a long time and it remains that way - can you tell me how the four of you got together?

I met Lyla through a band personnel website. I was writing all this music but needed a singer to develop the material into songs. Lyla was looking for something with enough meat on the bone to get her musical teeth into and work with a band playing original music. We then met Mike who wanted to focus on bass after fronting a few bands in London and we found lead guitarist Andrea who is from Cremona, Italy where the famous Stradivarius violins were made. We are a five-piece band but like Spinal Tap before us, until now have had problems finding the right drummer. However a year ago we met Wally a fantastic drummer from Omsk in Siberia who has settled in London and he’s slotted right into the band very nicely.

Lyla's awesome voice and the great riffs attracted me to the band in the first place. Is Lyla responsible for the lyrics and David the music, or do you both pitch in on everything?

I write the music that starts the whole thing off and Lyla the lyrics and melodies.
Lyla is very good at finding a melody and/or hook that compliments the feeling of the backing track. The lyrics are also intelligent which is a huge bonus as that makes it all the more interesting. Some bands just add words that sound right but mean nothing, I mean I love early Van Halen but some of those Dave Lee Roth lines were bovine to say the least. But then again it didn’t do them any harm.
So I suppose there’s two schools of thought there on the lyrics and I guess and Lyla definitely comes from a more thoughtful approach rather than the meaningless ‘but it’ll work somehow’ school.

With all the songs on the debut album being penned by yourself and Lyla, there is obviously a chemistry there. Did you both immediately share the same musical vision?

I think there’s a common ground there certainly. Everyone starts with Led Zep/Deep Purple and AC/DC and then brings their own personal influences into the mix. We have a goal to create music with strong melodies in the classic pop music sense. We want to make heavy rock music sure but there has to be a catchy line and an infectious groove too. We’re definitely not a heavy metal band and I’m sure a true metal head would be only too keen to agree with that although there are some aspects of metal that I love. I grew up on UFO, Scorpions, Rush, Metallica, Black Sabbath et al but equally The Beatles, Queen, ELO, Tom Petty and a host of others that ain’t heavy rock.

How does Kill For Eden typically begin the song writing process?

Essentially I write the riffs, grooves, chords and musical hooks. I usually find myself whistling ideas into my phone outside Sainsburys that turn into killer riffs in the Kill for Eden R&D studio. Then Lyla develops these backing tracks by adding melodies, lyrics and arrangement suggestions.
One of the things I forget as a guitarist is that singers need enough space to breathe so things like that have to be factored into verse/bridge/chorus lengths.

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Kill For Eden is an unusual name - what was the inspiration behind it?

Kill for Eden represents the irony that throughout history, in the name of religion, people have killed in order to preserve their ideology of Eden (purity of their beliefs) and happily kill those who don't conform. Most religion teaches its followers to seek a place of Eden here on earth (ie a place free from sin) but ironically in order to find it, it creates fanatics who will kill for it (ie heaven, Eden, jannah (islamic heaven). Look recently at Islamic fundamentalists....
Also in the past many wealthy groups of whites have killed to preserve their high quality of life. Take slavery in southern America. Whites didn't want to share their Eden with blacks & killed to preserve their selfish greedy lifestyle in the American civil war. We have seen this happen throughout Africa, Israel, and of course across the British Empire.
In a way we still do this in first world countries leeching off the planets resources so that we can live the lives of luxury at the expense of the planet and the poor who work hard for little return ...

You put the album out independently - did you seek a record deal or preferred to keep control yourselves?

We preferred to keep control in the absence of a major presence. Unless there’s huge financial muscle behind you, you’ll always be part of somebody else’s agenda so we prefer to be no.1 on our own agenda until such time as a significant offer is there.

'Kerosene' had a radio mix on the album, which singled it out as a standout track. 'Living On Mars' is the second one to be highlighted, this time via an EP. Was it a hard choice deciding which songs to single out? 

It was a very difficult choice as there are several tunes on the album which are radio friendly, after all that’s how we approach song writing in the first place. Eventually we went with Living On Mars as many people picked up on that song when the album came out.

The EP features two tracks which weren't on the debut album - 'The Dome' and 'Shoot Me'. Were they written afterwards? 

Yes they were written after all the album tracks.

They seem to have a darker, heavier feel to the material on the album - is that an indication of what's to come, or simply experimentation? 

A bit of both really. I certainly want to explore the idea of heavy music with down tuned guitars and yet make it accessible to the mainstream via catchy melodies overladen on top. I think The Foo Fighters and Nickelback do that very well.

Is there a plan for a second album - and if so, will these two tracks be on it or are they exclusive to the EP?

There is a plan for a second album but those two songs will have to go through the same stringent song picking process as anything else we write before being included so we’ll see.

What's next for the band?

Well I’m happy to say that Lyla is expecting a baby this December so we’ll take a hiatus for a few months and probably start gigging again from Springtime 2014 with some club dates and hopefully some festivals. You’ll see me in the meantime outside Sainsburys in West Ealing this winter humming into my phone and writing some killer tunes. Also there’s a few new video’s, some live, that we’ve made that will be going up over the winter on YouTube and our website.


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