Way back early in 2017, Kamino got in touch to tell us about their then-upcoming debut EP and an accompanying video. Due to “gremlins” (little buggers are everywhere), the video was delayed slightly… like about 8 months. Finally seeing the light of day, the band have rattled through our interview questions and we have the video to wrap things up as well!
We’re from a gloriously sunny (today anyway) Bristol, UK.
How did you meet?
Myself (Ed) and Chris (drums) are actually brothers! Paul & I met in secondary school and got to know Dan a little later down the line (Dan and I went to uni together, studying music).
How long have you been playing as a band?
We’ve been playing as Kamino for a couple of years now. However we actually formed Kamino as a fresh start from an old band we used to play in, so that we could refine our sound, and also make use of all the experience we’d had growing up with the old band to get things right with Kamino. The old band was formed when Paul and I started college, so in a sense we’ve been playing music together in one way or another for 10 years or so.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
It’s actually a variant of the Spanish word for “journey”, or “road”. But it’s also present in Star Wars, which I think is where most people recognise it from when they come and say hi at gigs. We’re happy with either version of the story!
What are your influences?
I’d say the direct influences on Kamino’s sound are bands such as Muse, Queens of the Stone Age, Pendulum, Enter Shikari… parts of each of those fused together to create something new.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
There’s definitely a theme to Kamino tracks in general – they’re heavily vocal-led with lots of harmonies/crowd vocals going on. The instrumental side is then built up of rock riffs, layers of synths/orchestral elements, and drum beats to compliment the whole thing. It’s quite a wall of sound. Individually we love so many different genres of music, and I think this rubs off on what we do with Kamino, sometimes in quite subtle ways – like a certain drumbeat, a guitar tone or synth sound. I think this helps to keep us unique, being inspired by so many different sounds and styles, and combining them to produce something fresh.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
The EP is quite thematic lyrically – it follows a three part concept. “Antidote” should be the cure but it kills you, whereas “Aconite” should kill you but it feels good. “Ghosts” is the aftermath – how things could have been if they had worked out differently. Within these songs and other Kamino tracks we were inspired by more close-to-home/personal subjects like love, anger and loss, but also things a little more mystical, like myths and legends, the universe and the supernatural.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We’ve always taken pride in our live show and put a lot of thought and work in to be able to execute it, and as much of it organically live as possible too. I think audiences generally recognise this – some of our fans even prefer our live sets to hearing us on record! Since forming Kamino we’ve played a handful of shows, with support shows for bands like Black Peaks and Boy Jumps Ship. 2017 was strong for us with a number of dates under our belts, as part of a tour to support the EP release.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
At one venue we once set the fire alarms off mid-set. That was quite rock and roll, considering we also drowned them out to the extent where we had to be told to stop playing. One of the wildest things I’ve seen would probably be Rammstein firing a rocket at themselves during a gig. Indoors. Those guys know how to put on a show.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
We’ve got an array of different guitars between us – my live setup is a Fender Telecaster for anything in standard/drop D tuning, and a Gibson SG for drop C.
Paul plays an Ernie Ball Armada which isn’t a much heard-of guitar but has an awesome sound, he keeps this in drop C and has been able to adapt his parts for songs in different tunings to fit. This helps us out a lot for space whilst touring.
Dan plays a Fender Jazz Bass which he’s actually in the process of doing a complete refinish on – there’s a seafoam green bass coming to a Kamino show near you very soon! We’re also big fans of pedals – my favourite is my TC Electronic Hall of Fame, the reverbs are so adaptable & versatile, and just sound incredible. Dan uses a Darkglass bass overdrive pedal which we discovered when working with Nolly from Periphery on a previous project – the tones he gets from this are huge.
Chris has what I can only describe as a small army of Zildjian cymbals, but they really help to add little splashes of detail to our sound.
What are your plans for 2018?
A couple of months ago we very subtly hinted on social media that we were up to something.. .we’ll be revealing much more on that very soon. But to give you an idea, there’ll be new tracks, new music, new videos – we’re not gonna hold back on the content this year. And hopefully there’ll plenty of touring & live shows to go alongside all that!
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
For “love to be supporting” I’d choose Muse. Not only are they my favourite band and a huge influence, but we’d be pretty guaranteed to have a huge stage and cool array of lights and crazy stage effects, which would be an absolute dream come true! And a big audience to go with it. As for the opening band, our Bristolian mates IDestroy are always a great laugh to gig with. I think that’s a pretty killer lineup right there.