TMF meets Fighting Kites
On the eve of the release of their latest bunch of tracks, this time on a split with Broken Shoulder, TMF fancied a little chat with chirpy post-rockers Fighting Kites to see what's in the pipeline and what's been tickling their fancy.
Hi Dan! First off could you introduce yourself and just explain your role within Fighting Kites?
I'm Dan, I play the drums in Fighting Kites. And a bit of saxophone and guitar and other things.
How did the band as a whole come together?
The earliest incarnation of Fighting Kites was just me and Neil, each trying to play numerous different instruments with lots of looping and such. It made for very stressful - and consequently very infrequent - gigs. After every show we pretty much retired from music for six months because of the trauma. Dave's arrival, playing bass, was a necessary stabilising influence. But it all really fell into place when Neil found Luke (guitar/foot keyboard) in the warehouse at his work.
Your music has a definite math/post-rock feel to it, and the band that first came to mind when listening to you guys was Do Make Say Think. Are those the kind of bands you take inspiration from and how close do you feel to what those acts are doing?
We are definitely fans of DMST and some of those sorts of bands, and I think they were an inspiration near the beginning, so it's not surprising if you can hear them in us. I'm not sure about feeling close to what they're doing, though - without particularly meaning to, we seem to have ended up making songs that in spite of being quite complex in some ways, and not having any singing, are also pretty direct and melodic and even catchy. Which is quite unlike most of those sorts of bands, including the ones I love.
You’re latest release is a split with Broken Shoulder which is the solo guise of member Neil Debnam. What do you think of them and do you think he’s being a bit cheeky trying to steal all the limelight?
Well, we knew Neil had had itchy feet for a while but it seemed a bit extreme, throwing himself off a bunk bed and breaking his shoulder so he would have an excuse to make a solo record. It was quite upsetting at the time really. Luke, Dave and I decided that if he wanted to be like that we were going to go on without him, but he just keeps turning up at practice - it's a bit awkward to be honest, but we try not to talk about it.
What can listeners expect from your side of the split?
Four slices of experimental instrumental pop gold. To get you in a good mood before Broken Shoulder bums you out again (in the best possible way).
What drew you to work with Audio Antihero as a label?
Neil's solo record seemed to have found a very comfortable home on Audio Antihero, so when Jamie (Mr AAH) asked us if we were interested in doing something as Fighting Kites we jumped at the chance. Jamie evidently puts a huge amount of care into every release so it's great to be working with him.
Is there a full–length in the works and when can we expect to hear it?
Yep, we've been working for a while now on an album which is VERY CLOSE to being finished - it'll be out on Variant Records later this year.
Describe the experience of seeing Fighting Kites live in five words.
Fun dancing exciting times, fr.!
What are the band's immediate future plans?
The split with Broken Shoulder is out on Monday (10 October), and we'll be having a slightly belated launch party at Ryan's in Stoke Newington on 22 October - details here. And then playing as many gigs as we can, getting the album out, and playing some more gigs after that.
Lastly, name 3 songs or records which are tickling your fancy at the moment.
I've been a bit obsessed with a free compilation from Room 40 records, put together to celebrate their 10th birthday I think. There's lots of droney electronics and that sort of thing, which I love, but it's also quite varied - fantastic stuff from Grouper, John Chantler, Ben Frost, Chris Abrahams (from The Necks), David Grubbs, and lots of other great people. It's here if you're interested.
I've also been enjoying the Colin Stetson album that came out earlier this year - saxophone-based post-rock, which of course everyone needs more of. And for obvious reasons I've been listening to a lot of Bert Jansch and Pentangle in the last few days - very sad to see him go.
The Fighting Kites / Broken Shoulder split is reviewed here. Grab yourself a copy of that split at the Audio Antihero bandcamp!