I N T E R V I E W
Matt Kennedy of Kitchen's Floor
by Arpie Shirehorse
(Photo by Korren Winters)
Basic lazy research tells me that Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, a big city with warm temperatures, reached freezing point for the first time ever in July 2007, reaching minus 0.1’C. In that same year, one of the city’s coolest bands was formed. It is entirely plausible that these two events are inextricably linked, and I for one am choosing to believe it. The band in question go by the name of Kitchen’s Floor, and their lo-fi DIY punk tunes are a veritable delight, reminding me of some of my favourite bands, particularly ‘Westing’ era Pavement and Guided By Voices. Luckily for us Hamiltronians, they are visiting our city on July 29th for a show at Nivara Lounge as part of a nationwide tour. HUP caught up with the band ahead of their visit.
You’re finally coming to NZ! What took so long? There were a few failed attempts over the years to organise something, and we were booked to play Camp A Low Hum in 2012 but instead I had to go to a friend's funeral the day we were meant to fly out which was depressing to say the least and then we were rejected each year after that for some reason. It definitely wasn't through lack of wanting to or trying. Up until I met Michael McClelland who organised this tour for us NZ just seemed a hard nut to crack. Communication and enthusiasm between both countries seems much better now though and I really hope it leads to more Australian bands touring NZ and vice versa.
Tell us about the Brisbane scene…are there a lot of bands/venues and is it generally well supported? Sure it's a place that has its own "sound" and is big enough to have a few unified musical circles but small enough that everyone is still connected in some way. We got the venues and our bands are damn good, hey NZ bands come play Brisbane! If I like and believe in a band from anywhere that wants to play Brisbane I'll go out of my way to organise stuff or help them out in any way as much as possible and I'd expect any other place to do the same. Community and duty.
Do Brisbane bands get overlooked at times in favour of those from Melbourne, Sydney etc. in terms of press coverage and getting their name out there? If you're making the kinda downer punk music we make it's kinda obvious we ain't gonna reach the heights of our Australian contemporaries say Royal Headache or Blank Realm. I mean I'm 30 and have been doing this band shit for ages and have only reached a certain level of whatever the heck this is. I think I've written at least a few decent albums which should theoretically make me as big as Beyonce right now but the world doesn't work that way so whatever. It doesn't matter if you're from Brisbane or Melbourne or Sydney or Kyogle, if you're making music independently and even if it's amazing and unique it ain't gonna take you to any greater heights than your own creative satisfaction unless you luck out like Courtney Barnett or whatever, and even that has it's obvious limits.
What was the catalyst for starting Kitchen’s Floor? I was 21 and had been in some silly bands and wanted a stable band that I had total control over and one that sounded like the world I saw so Kitchen's Floor was and is the sound of how I perceive the world.
You’ve been going for almost ten years which is quite an achievement…what’s the secret? The secret is that Kitchen's Floor is basically just myself so technically it can keep going as long as I live. The line-up has changed so many times, people have left or quit or I've kicked them out and by now half of Brisbane has played in the band at one point or another but throughout that drama the songs and intent remain the same so Kitchen's Floor just trudges on toward eventual ruin.
What is your writing process typically? Most of the songs tend to be written late at night alone by myself with an acoustic guitar. I often get quite drunk before and during the song writing process which helps bring out the demons.
Is Britain doomed after voting to leave the EU? I'm mainly concerned for the people I know over there and what impact it will have on them. If you wanna get all historically minded then nationalism is an awful concept that leads to so much unnecessary bullshit so events like this that divide countries and cultures can never lead to good things.
Any favourite NZ bands? I've been obsessed with GPOGP since hearing the Scrying LP last year, what they are doing is so unique and awesome. I'm looking forward to seeing Hex when we play Wellington, "Witches Of The Hex" is such a fkn cool anthem that I've been listening to daily lately. A lot of NZ bands at the moment seem to be embracing the occult and I am for it. We're playing with NZ legends Axemen as well who I've had some good times with when they toured here in 2011. Looking forward to seeing Pumice, Kraus, and The Trendees as well. I'm really excited to watch every band we play with. Obviously the Flying Nun catalogue is a massive influence on Australian bands, myself included. The Bats "Daddy's Highway" is one of my favourite albums of all time, it is total perfection.
Which member of KF is the sportiest?! Glen rides his bike around Brisbane like a champ. I am really good at walking long distances and Liam can bench press 600kg without a sweat.
What’s your favourite KF song to play live? "Strength" off our latest album Battle Of Brisbane. It's a short tight tune with some of my personal favourite lyrics which I get to scream the whole way through, and it seems to confuse the conservative punks out there which I get a kick out of.
Which other Brisbane bands should we be listening to? The crop of 2016: 100%, Bent, Scraps, Cannon, Piss Pain, Primitive Motion, Blank Realm, Teva, Hexmere, Extra Foxx, Clever, Per Purpose, Thigh Master, Rebel Yell.
You can curate a show anywhere in the world with any three bands, dead or alive, and there’s only one thing to drink…who/where/what are we quaffing?! More than anything it would be a show of the bands of my friends who are no longer on this earth - Meat Thump, Chrome Dome, and Clag. We'd be drinking Canadian Club fkn Whiskey, Bulmer's fkn Cider, and Oettinger fkn beer.