Featured Artist – Suplex The Kid

6 03 2012

POST-ROCK FOR PERFECTIONISTS

It’s really rare to find a band whose perfectionistic qualities shine through in their recorded work these days which is why its especially pleasent to come across a band who does. Enter Glasgow post-rock quartet Suplex The Kid. By christ their music has an extremely polished finish. So polished you could probably see your own face in it, a sentence which makes minimal sense but I’m sticking to it. I’m always really impressed when you can really hear all the time and effort that has gone into recordings of music and it’s patently obvious just how much work and nit-picking must go into producing Suplex the Kid’s material, a quality which sems to be lacking in somebands nowadays. Formed in mid-2008 Suplex The Kid seemed to have enjoyed some decent success through a medium which looks like its going to become much needed for most fledgling bands out there. Word of Mouth. Also helped by the internets amazing potential for viral reach over blog and rapid share sites. Suplex’s eponymous first album garnered some real underground followingn and owes a lot of its success to it become a well recognised album through the much villified but heavily used “rapid-share” websites found throughout the internet. Gaining radio airplay as far afield as the United States and perhaps, more bizzarly, Hungary this band have found that the pandemic style spread of their album through the internet has brought nothing but positive effects to their work and noteriety. This unexpected underground success really impressed me right off the bat. Suplex The Kid must be doing something right with their music if they are making people worldwide sit up and take notice of their work. Hats off to you there guys. I for one am extremely impressed.

Now. I caught Suplex for the first time at the second night of The Breadcrumb Trail alongside Little Bay and, my personal favourites, Thula Borah and I have to tell you, the tight nature of their recordings really translates well to their live performance. I was pretty much astounded at how epic their sound was and how effectively each member interlocks with each other so well and it equates to a smooth and enjoyable listening experience. Being a relative “newbie” to STK I had pretty much no background to go on as to what I was expecting and when the four-piece finally entered the stage and filled my, and everybody elses ears with their own brand of powerful and flowing post-rock I knew this was going to be a band that would be nothing short of very impressive. The main thing I took from their live performance is Suplex show that you do not need to be overly flashy and do a lot of tapping to impress your audience all you have to do is write engaging and uplifting music that the listener can relate to and get into. This in itself is a hard act to master but these four musicians have managed the balance perfectly.

After a thoroughly enjoyable gig (which I need to say, all the participating bands can be proud of) I felt the urge to race home and listen to some more of Suplex The Kid. Now, as a person who is wholly distrustful of rapid and file sharing websites I chose to avoid these sites and focus on finding their work on Facebook, Youtube and even poor old MySpace. Pretty much first thing off the bat I noticed while I was listening to the track “It’s About Time You Changed” was the production quality. I am not really one of these production geeks who really makes a major thing out of production values but it was pretty hard for me to not notice this. The first track I listened to was a joy. Crystal clean guitars, lovely low end bass and some of the best sounding drums i’ve heard on an album since hearing Intronaut’s “Valley Of Smoke”. The value on these is so well done that it almost gives the song another dimension and gives each instrument its own voice giving the listener the chance to hear exactly what is going on in this piece individually as well as a whole. It was a top choice to begin my listening experience. Next up was the amazingly named “Duck And Cover Charlie Brown”. Trust me, give a song a funny or strange name and I will give it a go (strange habit, but it’s never steered me wrong). This is probably my favourite Suplex song of the lot. Starting out with song bright guitars that put me in mind of Explosions in the Sky (a boring comparison but hey, it’s my blog. So bite me) which then bursts into life with crushing guitar and some pretty beefy bass passages. This is almost the quintessential post-rock song in itself. It has everything the average fan is looking for with this type of genre and it again highlights Suplex The Kid’s talent of showing that you can create an effortless and infectious song that is bursting at the seams with great musicianship and not have to be overly flashy, show off or use a million pedals at once. I’m really impressed by their almost minimalist approach to writing music and they have gained another fan through me. I’m looking forward to catching more of them in the future hopefully.

Furthermore, I would strongly advise that you check out Suplex the Kid’s recent E.P. “The Trinity Test”. It is jam packed with some epic post rock goodness and once again I have to mention that the production value is as close to perfect as your are going to get for a band of this scale. Check out the link for the track “Rebuild The Machines” from The Trinity Test above. You’ll get a great idea of STK’s infectious simplicity and some of their amazing skill and tightness as a perfroming unit. Also, below is a link for my favourite track, “Duck And Cover Charlie Brown”

Now onto my favourite part of the feature. The interview. Big thanks to David of Suplex The Kid for doing this.

 

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

 

Hey guys. Before I get started grilling you with questions, give me a nit of background into your band. How long have you been going for etc. Also, is there some form of backstory behind the band’s name?

It’s not the coolest of stories I’m afraid. We all met at work!! I got a job at an electronics shop where I met Graeme who was into the same type of music as me. We started writing and recording demos. A few months later Euan got a job there too. He said he played bass. The three of us started meeting up and playing and writing. Finally Richie got a job there. We were playing our demo over the shop PA when Richie said to me “here mate, is this Mogwai or something?” I immediately liked him, he said he played drums, the next day we were in a rehearsal studio. This was in October 2008 I think.

The name came from Euan and I. We were standing talking one lazy afternoon in work and there was a really annoying child running around knocking things over. At the time Euan and I were talking about wrestling for some strange reason. Just as the child ran past us I turned to Euan and said “I’m going to suplex that kid!” Ridiculous….

 

You guys sound seems to be deeply rooted in the post-rock genre. Do you guys take all of your inspiration from bands and music in this genre or do you have some outside influences that shape your music?

We have never really spoke about the type of music we want to make, it just seems to come out the way it does. The only thing we have spoke about is trying to keep the song moving instead of playing the same riff over and over like a lot of post rock bands do. We like to plan the song out like a pop song with intro, verse, bridge and chorus parts. I suppose not having a singer has also helped with the post rock label on our band.

 

Tell us about the writing process that you guys use whilst producing your music. Listening to your music you can hear a great attention to detail in your work. Do you guys spend a lot of time writing and refining your work whilst creating music?

Usually I’ll write and recorded a song and bring it into the studio to play to the band and then we’ll go to work on it. I never expect the song to finish the same way I demo it. It could take one night to finish or a few months to finish. It depends. Each of us have an input and we’re quite good at telling each other when something is not right but usually we’re all on the same page which is good. There’s never been a band fight….yet. Graeme would win anyway….

 

Now, you worked with Andy Miller, who himself has worked with Mogwai. How was it working with such a well-known and respected producer? How did the opportunity to work with him present itself?

We had a master plan at the start of being a band. The idea was to get a set perfected and record a well produced single to send to record companies and radio stations. So only a few months into being a band, before ever playing a gig, we booked a session with Andy at Chem19. Looking back, I think we rushed it a bit. The single was obviously produced really well but now that we’ve grown as a band, we can see we should of waited before going in. The song we thought was finished at the time clearly wasn’t, so in the end, we held back on releasing it. The experience was great though. He spoke about recording Mogwai’s The Hawk Is Howling. We were like kids in a sweet shop and probably really annoying to work with. I think if we went back now, we would have very different results.

 

What are the plans for your second album? Have you guys set a release date and are you planning to release any new material as a taster ahead of the albums official release?

We are recording our 2nd album on the 1st of April. We’ve booked a day in a rehearsal studio and are going in with our friends Charlie Gill and Emily Tilbury who are going to be producing and engineering. We’re taking a very DIY approach to this album. We’re going to really take our time get the best possible sound without going into a professional recording studio. No release date as of yet, as we don’t know when it will be completely finished, but it will be as soon as possible. We’re also planning to make a video for the single off the album.

 

What has been the band’s crowning achievement since its formation? Also, what has been your biggest/most well received gig in your time as a band?

Our biggest achievement was when we realised our first album was all over the internet without us knowing and it was getting really well received! It turns out it had been picked up by file share websites and post rock blog websites and had spread all over the world! We got in touch with one website called The Siren Sounds and asked how many downloads of it they had had and they replied “over 4000”!! It was unbelievable. We also got loads of emails from radio stations saying they had played songs of ours and also some fan mail saying they loved it. That really felt good. Would of been better if we had charged for it. Even a pound and album! Mustn’t grumble though….

Gig wise, our first ever gig at Barfly was a great feeling. We were first on and we had brought in a big crowd. I think everyone I know was in the room which was quite strange, but everyone enjoyed it. I think it surprised a few people who I don’t think expected to like it but did. In fact it was that good, they had to shut down Barfly…

 

Have you got any big plans for the upcoming year? Any big gigs or tours we should know about?

The only thing in our sights is to record the new album, make a video, release them, get them on the net again and try and get that buzz going again we got from the first album. After that book loads of gigs and drink a lot of free beer!

 

I caught you guys at the Breadcrumb Trail a week back. Are you encouraged by the increasing amount of exposure that yourselves and other post-rock and more progressive bands are getting in Glasgow from nights like these and the support of sects like The Whole Heart Collective?

Yeah, Im loving this wee scene that’s started. Its a nice feeling to be a part of it and to play with some great bands. That’s a few times now we’ve been sharing a stage with the mighty Thula Borah and Little Bay. Its nice to see some familiar faces at gigs and its always stress free playing with bands who are in the same genre as you. The amount of times we’ve been on before bands who cover Kings Of Leon is fucking ridiculous. We’ve had some strange looks at gigs let me tell you. But yeah, I hope the Breadcrumb Trail and Whole Heart keep getting bigger and I hope we can remain a part of it.

Before we finish, hit me with a random, and hopefully sinfully embarrassing, fact about the band or a band member.

Richie’s got webbed feet.


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