Live energy fuels Kooks
There’s something about those U.K. bands. It seems any time one touches Vancouver soil, moshing, crowd-surfing or, in the case of Art Brut, laps around the room ensue.
There’s something about those U.K. bands.
It seems any time one touches Vancouver soil, moshing, crowd-surfing or, in the case of Art Brut, laps around the room ensue.
Paul Garred, drummer from the Brighton-based Kooks, agrees.
“With British bands, I don’t know what it is. When we go to America or Canada or overseas, everyone seems a lot technically better than us, so maybe what we lack in musical ability we make up for in energy,” he said. “But I don’t know … maybe that’s just in my head.”
Despite his modesty, chances are Garred’s band will fit the pattern. And with their second album Konk hitting No. 1 on the British charts, the quartet have much to jump about. For the new disc, the Kooks penned some 90 songs, many written while touring their debut, Inside In/Inside Out. Whittling down the shortlist, Garred said it was a question of balance.
“It feels like less and less bands are constantly writing,” he said. “That’s not completely true (for everyone) … but some bands do like a side tour, then take a break off to write and record straight away, so the work’s kind of rushed.”
That extra time meant more focus on details — a brush of percussion here, a guitar riff there — but not in the sense of squeaky clean production. Garred explained the band focused on spending more time on their parts compared to a debut where they “kind of winged it.”
“I think the first one was much more skuzzy, and definitely had a vibe, while this one is slightly more detailed,” he said. “(In terms of production) we like the sounds of (classic rock) records … I know the White Stripes record straight to tape, and maybe a lot of other bands too, but bands like My Chemical Romance go right to Pro Tools, polish it right away. We wouldn’t do that — we want to keep it old school.”
Rob McMahon is a freelance writer. A graduate of UBC’s Journalism program, he contributes to Metro and other publications. Top music memories include a road trip to Coachella and catching Lollapalooza ‘95.