With their well-crafted songs that will have you coming back for more, Kizzy Star is not just any old indie band. Thanks to their unique fusion of powerpop, rock, and just the right amount of The Killers-esque mood and style, the Glasgow, Scotland quartet seems to be on a mission to revive the sometimes glum, and bland, music scene. There’s something indescribable, something hard to pinpoint, which makes their sound infectious, and listeners can’t get enough.
Having released their official debut single, Out of Control, in March of this year, and having just wrapped up a national tour of the U.K., they seem to be garnering rave reviews everywhere they turn, and it’s no surprise.
With so much promise and talent I couldn’t help but track the guys down for some interview time and Vocalist Tony and Drummer Mick graciously obliged to chat about everything Kizzy Star. (Note: the group is rounded out by Guitarist Martin and Bassist Lee, who must not have been feeling talkative on interview day.)
Q: How did you all first meet, and what was the driving force behind you starting the band?
A: Mick: Myself and Tony kinda fell into each other’s laps. He had had a few drummers, but they didn’t really meet the criteria that he was looking for, and he found me through another friend. I tried out for the band and fell in love [with] the music straight away -luck I got the job, eh?! He had already organized a guitar player, Martin, and a bass player, at the time a friend of his, John, but John lived far away and personal issues prevented him from staying in the band. I was already friends with Lee, ex-Dogs Die In Hot Cars, and I asked him to try out, and that was the line up finalized.
I think the driving force we had when we first started jamming is exactly the same as is it is now, and that’s to make music we want to listen to, and to get it out to as many people as we can, so they can feel the buzz we get when a song is finished. It’s kinda like that shiver you get down your spine and your Mum tells you “Someone’s walking over you grave.” That’s the feeling we get when a song is finished.
Tony: Basically, we had all played in bands on the Glasgow scene and we all had the same goal in mind: to make great music.
Q: How did the name ‘Kizzy Star’ come about?
A: Tony: A friend had a little girl and she called her Kizzy, and said one day she would be a star. It just reminded us of bands like Mazzy Star and Big Star, it felt right.
Q: What’s your song-writing process?
A: Tony: Most songs are written on acoustic guitar. If it sounds good on acoustic, it will sound good in any format!
Mick: There’s a few different approaches to the song writing. There’s when Tony brings in a full song and we practice it, that was more common in the early days. There’s when we just get a jam around a chord progression or melody and let it evolve in the room while jamming, and there’s just recording loads of ideas and basically putting the bits together. These different ways gets the different dynamic of each member of the band in every song, and gives real ownership to each of us.
Q: I love your sound, how would you describe it in 1 word?
A: Tony: Anthemic.
Q: You’ve been in the studio for the past two years, how has it been treating you? Best and worst moment?
A: Tony: Worst moments must be when the equipment breaks down and holds up the writing process. Best is when songs are finished and sound great live!
Mick: It’s been amazing actually. The low moments were probably getting up and running with the problems with the line up. I, without being too cheesy, think the best moments are just now. We know how each other plays, reacts to the music, and most of all, how we communicate what we want from the songs. That’s why bands are together for years before they get their own sound: that is the hardest part of being a really good band.
Q: How close are you to having a finished album?
A: Tony: Hopefully we will release an album start of next year. We have a second album’s worth of songs already written.
Q: If you could collaborate with any artist or band, who would you choose?
A: Tony: Probably Debbie Harry. I would love to write another Union City Blues type song.
Mick: Well, this is probably where we would all be divided. As I am a big heavy metal fan I’d probably be the one to ask a horrible band to do something with us and get either laughed at or thrown out! But seriously, I would really like to work with cool producers more than artists, like Steve Albini or Dave Fridmann.
Q: When you’re touring, what’s one thing you absolutely can’t live without?
A: Tony: Coffee!
Mick: Cheap wine from Sainsbury’s! Nah, erm, for me showers. I know, not very rock and roll, eh?
Q. What’s been the best gig so far?
A: Tony: Glasgow’s O2 Academy. A 2000 home crowd loving Kizzy Star.
Mick: Probably Hammersmith Apollo, just because it’s such a famous venue and it’s overwhelming looking out from the instrument that I’ve been learning and practicing in my bedroom, dreaming about doing something like that, and it’s actually happening. Bliss.
Q. What has been one standout moment as ‘Kizzy Star’ so far?
A: Tony: Loch Lomond Festival, other good bands giving respect. We all like a pat on the back sometimes.
Mick: I personally think our tour was the best thing we have done, but my ultimate is to play in front of a crowd and people, not my girl and my folks I may add, are singing the songs we have written. You can’t get better than that.
Q: Plans for the nearest future?
A: Tony: Play as much as possible and just keep on being Kizzy Star!
Mick: Get the record finalized, and take over the world! Mwahaha!
Get your Kizzy Star dose at http://www.myspace.com/kizzystar