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Band of the Month: Kilamojo

Can we get some background story on the band? Who are you all, and what’s your story?
We’ve all known each other since we were kids. Myself (Alex) and Phil played in our very first band together as teenagers; me on guitar and Phil on drums. Funnily enough, the main riff in our tune “The Reinvention Of The Wolf” came into existence then and hasn’t changed one bit since. That first incarnation of the band died when we both left school and went our separate ways – I went off and did god knows how many jobs and got heavily into techno music and Phil went to uni.

My first meeting with our bassist Dio (Dom), was when we were even younger; 11 or 12. I used to knock about with his older brother and went round to his house one afternoon and ended up mistakenly shooting Dio in the face with a BB gun. After that, I didn’t see him again for another ten years or so. At that time, I’d written some riffs and had a lot of ideas for songs, however, with no one to play them with, so I thought I asked Dio if he fancied getting together to see if we could make something of them. We decided we needed a drummer and I gave Phil a buzz to see if he was keen. He was immediately in, didn’t even ask for demos to listen to. We all met up where Phil and I went our separate ways a decade earlier, which was in my mum and dads loft, which they kindly enough allowed us to use for our first few rehearsals. From there on in, we became Kilamojo.

How long has Kilamojo been going for?
Kilamojo’s been going for around three to four years. We spent a long time just playing together and making music, not bothering with social media or even telling anyone about what we were doing for the first couple of years. We were all just buzzing off the ideas and tunes that seemed to be coming together really easily. On a personal note, I was just happy for some of my songs and riffs to be liked, actualised, and shared with two great mates. Because we’ve known each other for so many years, the music was always just considered to be a part of the discourse between the three of us; we’re just mates, and the music just comes as naturally to us as the conversations. Kilamojo is most definitely a sum of all its parts. Without all three of us performing, playing our bollocks off and giving everything, it just doesn’t work. The music we make is a consequence of the relationship we have. The name ‘Kilamojo’ was my brother Sean’s idea. He was originally asked to be the fourth member and vocalist, however he wasn’t feeling it at the time. I didn’t want to sing, however after a year or so of looking for someone to fill the gap and trying out singers, Dio and Phil quite literally bullied me into doing it.

You’re due to release your upcoming single ‘Tock Tick’ – is that your first actual release? Tell us about it!
Our upcoming single ‘Tock Tick’ is our first official release, and there will be a video accompanying it. We’ve previously released a self recorded/produced demo EP a year or so ago, which that was a lot more loose – it contained three songs that we love and are a pivotal part of us and our live shows. When we recorded the demo we were adamant that we wanted to do everything ourselves; from the recording, to the mixing and the overall mastering, and we had no professional equipment to do so and also little idea. The gear for the most part was bent, borrowed or broken, but it was us! The demo is an incredibly raw and real representation of what we are and what we can do. We would describe ‘Tock Tick’ as an 8 minute odyssey that has no real intention, other than to take you somewhere. Think Sly & The Family Stone grooves, Sabbath-esque darkness, Sgt Peppers psychedelia with a healthy dose of melody thrown in for good measure; just a rock ’n’ roll song!

How would you describe your music in general? Are you influenced by music along the lines or what you’re making yourself, or is it the result of a mix max of genres and sounds? Our music is a combination of all of our personalities and musical abilities. Between the three of us we listen to all sorts of music, from turn of the century blues to the deepest Bedrock Records electronica cuts, and everything in-between. We have our own way of approaching our instruments as individuals which helps bring our own personalities to the table, thus creating our own feel and sound.

How do you work together as a band? 
Being a three piece it makes things easy musically as we don’t have to worry too much about sonically stepping on each others toes. The flip side to that coin is that it does mean we all have to play our arses off because there is nowhere to hide if one of us fluffs it. I, Alex, write pretty much constantly either on guitar or keys. Lyrically I’m always reading, writing and making notes; it’s a constant process.

I’ll go into our rehearsal space with a riff, idea or an arrangement, and if the lads like it then we start to turn it into a fully formed piece of music – we’ll slice it and dice it, cut bits, add bits; essentially do whatever we think the original ideas need to make it work for all three of us. Most of the time this just entails jamming it out.

We try to get together twice a week after work, playing for at least eight hours a week. If you know each other well enough musically, then the jams and ideas become a lot easier to turn into songs; this is the case with us. We tend to not give a single fuck about traditional song lengths and structures as the bands we love never seemed to care about those things either. Our rule of thumb is if it feels good; it is good.

You’re taking your Sly & The Family Stone grooves and Sabbath-esque darkness to London next month as you’re playing Blondies 3rd of May, what can we expect from the show?
An hours’ worth of melody, groove, riffs and soul!!