Scotland’s ‘Kick to Kill’ Survive Tragedy and Show Some Love for Old Punk Fans, Japan and Hate on the Hypothetical Island Album Question

kick to kill 1Glasgow-based Kick to Kill is truly an unstoppable, indestructible band that is being engulfed by excited hype as it sets the stage for the reveal of its addictive, dark, and simultaneously beautiful, rock sound.

The Scottish four-piece, which formed in 2007, has gone through some significant career and life-changing turbulences in its relatively short existence. Days after the debut single, Quit Tomorrow, was launched, Kick to Kill began to fall apart and was soon left with no bass player. Finding the perfect candidate and finalizing their line up – Dave Cook (Vocals/Synth), Harris Hill (Synth), Lewis Macaulay (Drums) and Ewan Shearer (Bass) – they began recording new tracks, and that’s when the next unforeseen event shook the band. This time though, it was more traumatic. Frontman Dave Cook was attacked on the streets of Glasgow and stabbed four times in the head and chest. Barely, but thankfully, avoiding a punctured lung, the relentless Cook showed the utmost determination and perseverance when he discharged himself the next morning and was quoted as simply saying, “It doesn’t hurt.”

Back in studio, and perhaps more passionate than ever, Kick to Kill is wrapping up its debut EP, scheduled for release early next year, and is planning to officially launch the first single, Cut Me, on November 2nd. Seems like everyone’s taking notice as the track has been receiving countless praises from some of U.K.’s finest press, and it hasn’t even been released yet!

Amidst all this drama and excitement, the extremely charming and witty Dave, Ewan and Lewis agreed to a quick chat with The Rock and Roll Report.

1. How did Kick to Kill start?

A: Dave: We met at college. None of us came from Greenock, which is where the college is, and we all stayed at the college student dorms so we got to know each other pretty well, fast. I was in a band before I started college but had to leave them before I moved away. I wasn’t happy in that band so I wanted a band I would not be embarrassed about.
We met through college. I wasn’t involved in starting the band but I have seen the band progress from day one.

2. Is there a story behind ‘Kick to Kill’?

A: Dave: I was in the studio with a band called Julia 13 and they were recording an album. They were spitballing loads of possible names for it by placing tons of A3 sized black paper all round the studio and writing on them with a gold marker pen. They had serious ideas and not so serious ones, and I saw Fight For Fun Kick To Kill and thought, “That’s pretty cool”, so I stole it. It supposedly comes from graffiti football fighting firms [that] write on walls as their mark.
Thugs? [laughs]

l_32713d882bd6412491c19ff32054ca9f3. When you’re writing music – what’s the process?

A: Dave: It has changed a lot from when we started. At the beginning none of us had ever written a song so it was a steep learning curve for us. Now, I normally have a riff or chord pattern and lyrics, and then take that to a rehearsal and we just try different things around that until we find a winner. I sometimes rewrite the lyrics 3 or 4 times once the music is done.
: Since I’ve joined, most of my time has been spent getting the existing songs right. After the single launch hopefully we will have some spare time to spend writing new material.

4. Does writing get any easier with time?

A: Dave: It does because the more we work with each other in a creative way, the more intuitive each of us get at knowing what we want the end product to sound like.
What we are looking for becomes easier to get to. The more you write the more you know what will work.

5. How would you describe your sound in 1 word?

A: Dave: Discharge.
Words do not do anyone, or anything, justice!

6. How has the recording process been treating you? What’s the best part of recording?

A: Dave: It is a very slow process because we try to have a high standard, but we do most of it ourselves. The best moments are getting a song complete, although I do enjoy watching Lewis drum in a sweaty booth for six hours trying to get that perfect take.
I love being in the studio, as long as my equipment works nothing can go wrong…

7. The new single, Cut Me, hasn’t been officially released yet and it’s already getting rave reviews – must feel pretty darn satisfying?

A: Dave: I guess because it hasn’t been released yet and we haven’t played any gigs to promote it, it’s hard to feel anything. It’s great that people like it. I don’t think we sound like any other bands at the moment and I hope that might go in our favor.
It’s great! Every week Steve forwards us all the new reviews. I don’t think I’ve been disappointed by any of them.
I like it!

8. How close are you to having a finished album?

A: Dave: Not close at all. We will have an E.P. with 5 or 6 songs on it though. That will be out next year.
Lewis: 2013?

l_649b277f602444b59f003540fa6702909. If you could collaborate with any artist or band, who would you choose?

A: Dave: I wouldn’t, but I would like to play guitar in a band just for the sake of it.

10. What’s been the best gig so far?

A: Dave: The best gig was a gig in Newcastle with The Damned. That was a really awesome moment for us. It was on a much bigger scale than we’re used to. The old punk crowd seem to get us more than the indie kids do. That’s how we found our manager Steve, he’s an old punk! [laughs]
Our last at The V Club. I’ve only played three with the band so with the first two I was still getting used to playing with the guys.

11. Any country you’d really love to play?

A: Dave: Over the last couple of years we have had offers from Italy to go over and play [and] I think they really like their dark gothy stuff over there, so I would love to go and see how it would go down over there.
Japan. It just looks awesome.
Japan, obviously.

12. Standout ‘Kick to Kill’ moment so far?

A: Dave: The best early moment for me was when we released our first single. It was on physical release and that was exciting. Then it got played on XFM for the first time and it seemed like we had finally started to move in the right direction.

13. Bonus question: If you had to listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?

A: Dave: Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division.
Segu Blue by Bassekou Kouyate.
If I had the choice of listening to one album for the rest of my life, or nothing at all, I would probably choose nothing. Can you imagine listening to your favorite album over and over again, for the rest of your fucking life? That would spoil it [and] then when it eventually broke it would drive you insane as that’s the only point of musical reference you have heard for the past however many years. I would just remember songs and sing them to myself. No one can take away my memories of music. Not even a hypothetical question!

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