Interview: Chill Out with Campus Rockers Kvlt Ddy Kali Bowden October 10, 2016 Blogs, Q&A As I walked into a residency aptly named “Space Camp” by frequenters, I was immediately engulfed into the laid-back daily lives of the band Kvlt Ddy. Kyle Beam, the band’s supplier of vocals and guitars, and friend-of-the-band Mike sat on one of two very college-like couches in the living room. Kyle was smoking a cigarette and strumming his guitar, and Mike was playing slowed down and sped up versions of songs they enjoy jamming out to. I sat down on the other couch and was offered a cup of black coffee, which I gladly accepted. We talked about our college lives as we waited for drummer of the band, Evan Pacheco, to get off from work as a dishwasher at Kappa Alpha Theta. After about 20 minutes of conversation about college, cigarettes, weed and Mac DeMarco, Evan showed up and we were able to start the formal interview. Unfortunately, third member of the band Andy Horvath was unable to show because of a coinciding interview for his other band (what a productive guy), but I was still able to gain some great insights into who these guys are and what they produce together as a group. Kvlt Ddy is a three piece, self-proclaimed “fast pseudo-metal indie” band, which plays an eclectic mix of fast and slow but always loud music, predominantly written Beam. Pacheco is also somewhat responsible in the process of creating the band’s sound, he writes a lot of the drum parts in collaboration with Beam. Horvath plays bass and is also a member of another band called Super Defense. Beam, Pacheco and Horvath are additionally full-time students at Syracuse University. Kyle is a senior music industry major and plays double bass for the school, and both Evan and Andy are juniors in the Bandier program. Following is a very casual interview I held with Kyle and Evan, in hopes of getting to know a bit about Kvlt Ddy. 20 Watts: What musical inspirations do you guys draw from in your creative process? Kyle: As for songwriting influence, I’ve always really been into Jeff Rosenstock who’s from Bomb the Music Industry but has his own old project now. Also, Phil Elverum from The Microphones and fuckin’ Mount Eerie. In other, more abstract ways, i draw inspiration from lots of black metal. Basically, I just sit around by myself and listen to black metal all day. Evan: (to Kyle) Yeah actually, the embodiment of you is basically just like cigarettes and black metal. 20 Watts: Are you guys working on any new projects currently? Kyle: Yeah, actually we’ve got an EP coming out soon. Evan: It’s done, we just need to figure out how to release it. Kyle: And I’m writing an album also. 20 Watts: So, you guys are playing a show at The Vault this Friday, what’s your setlist like? Kyle: Our setlist changes a lot, but this Friday we’re planning to play basically the same one that we have been doing a lot lately. Evan: Basically all of our best songs. Kyle: Yeah, so it’s “RIVIA,” then “SORE SOLES ACCOMPANY SOUR SOULS” (the first two tracks off their May 2016 bandcamp release I THOUGHT I WAS DOING BETTER), and then the next one is “the chrome,” after that is “lingering will” (off their EP Springing Graves from March of this year), then comes “COCO LOPEZ,” then “untitled.” Evan: (to Kyle) Wait, did we name it, or are we just keeping it untitled? Kyle: I don’t know yet. Evan: Fuck it. Kyle: Yeah whatever, so that’s that one. Kyle: So then we end with … that I guess. Well, we usually just accidentally throw a song in there in the end randomly, but yeah that’s about it. I THOUGHT I WAS DOING BETTER by kvlt ddy 20 Watts: Do you have any funny stories about mishaps during any of your shows? Kyle & Evan: (going back and forth) Always… guitar chords are always an issue, always breaking strings, Andy fuckin’ unplugs his bass a lot by accident — steps on it because we move around a lot. Evan: Yeah, we got that live energy… well, we’ve like lost stuff before. Kyle: Yeah, we left weed in Buffalo. Kyle: Oh yeah, this one time, Andy unplugged his bass right at the pinnacle moment of the first song in the set, “RIVIA.” he hit his pedal, and he was just getting too into it and he stepped on it and unplugged it. Evan: Honestly, I feel like there has been something really dumb that we’ve done before, but I just can’t think of anything. Kyle: Nah dude, we’re fuckin’ professionals, we’re so tight, we don’t make mistakes. 20 Watts: Can you describe your show visually and musically, and any pre or post-show rituals that you guys tend to have? Kyle and Evan: SWEAT … so much sweat. Evan: Every show we play is so hot. Kyle: We play loud, we sweat a lot … as for pre-show rituals: drink a beer and smoke some weed and post-show rituals: smoke weed and drink a beer. 20 Watts: Okay, so what do you think makes you performance unique? Kyle: Well dude, we play hard music, it’s like kind of technical. Evan: I feel like we’re decently tight for like how much we’ve been playing. Kyle: Yeah, we’re super tight, we play fuckin’ loud, and we play really fast and some of it’s hard… so we’re like a little different from all the other fuckin’ indie rock bands around. 20 Watts: Can you describe your songwriting and recording processes? Kyle: So, I write all the songs. And usually I’ll have an idea for something probably and I have a shitload of riffs just like stored up that I jammed out to and shit, and then I’ll stick ‘em together with some transitions, and we have some music. Evan: (to Kyle) You will literally just get baked, and just send me a bunch of shitty demos on Facebook, and you’re just like “oh, what do you think of this,” “oh, I’ve been working on this,” and I’m just like “ok, this is cool.” Kyle: Yep, that’s the songwriting process. As for recording, for everything except for this EP we recorded it in my bedroom. But, for this EP we recorded with this kid down in Rhode Island at Brown University. Evan: We were able to actually use a practice room, and live record the both of us together, and then we overdubbed bass and vocals onto it later. But, before that, like last year, Kyle just made all the guitar tracks — half of which didn’t even have metronomes — and it was just like alright. Kyle: Alright, well at least they’re done, they exist. 20 Watts: How long have you guys been friends, and how did the band come together? Kyle: We’ve been friends for like three years now. We used to be in another band called ride bikes. Evan: Yeah, that’s how me, Andy and Kyle from Kvlt Ddy, and our friend Alex who’s not here anymore, all became such good friends … And then that kind of snowballed a bunch of musical things to happen, we all got involved with different things. Now, after that band split up, we kind of segmented into two bands. 20 Watts: If you could have any band or artist cover one of your songs, who would you choose? Kyle: I would get this band Weakling back together and they would cover it. Evan: I wanna hear like, someone with nice gear, so they can make our songs sound better … I’m gonna go with Jank. 20 Watts: For each of you individually, If you were on your deathbed, what would be the last song you’d wanna hear before you die? Evan: I would go with “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” off of (The Beach Boys’s) Pet Sounds. Kyle: I’m thinking “Bottle In My Hand” by GG Allin … that would be so funny, like when I die put a bottle in my hand. 20 Watts: If you could have any one of your songs retroactively applied to a movie soundtrack, which movie would you pick? Kyle: “2001: A Space Odyssey,” during the space travel scene. Evan: (to Kyle) What song would you pick? Skeleton Knuckles or something during that scene? Kyle: Nah, I don’t give a shit what song is in it, but that would be sick. That would be a hell of a lot more interesting than fuckin’ staring at the stars for like 20 minutes.