Headline Act: The Kanz

We have a trans-international triumvirate for you today. That means three people from very different places… Take it away, Fabio!

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

Me (Fabio) I am from Bologna, Italy. Joaquin, bass player is from Costa Rica and Jan, Drummer is from Switzerland.

How did you meet?

Fabio: “That’s a very strange and unexpected story! Funnily enough I have known Joaquin (the bass player) since we were in High School. He is originally from Costa Rica but came to Italy (my country of origins)  for a one-year cultural exchange back in the 2000s and we became friends, started playing rock music in a pretty cool high school band together and played gigs in local pubs and music venues in Bologna, Italy. We had a lot of fun! But after one year of cultural exchange Joaquin had to go back to Costa Rica and I haven’t seen him nor heard from him for about 10 years or something like that. To be honest I thought I would never have a chance to see him again because of how far we lived from each other.

Then, when I decided to dramatically change my life in 2017 by leaving Italy and coming to London, UK, and starting a new punk rock band from scratch… Guess who was already there waiting to join a rock band in London??? Yep, that’s right! Joaquin was living in London as well! Call it circumstances, faith, coincidence or whatever .. It’s extraordinary that after such a long time we found ourselves living in the same city again and being able to play music together just like when we were kids is absolutely mind-blowing! Regarding the Drummer Jan instead, we met when the band was already formed, up and running.

For various reasons our last drummer had to quit the band and therefore we were looking for a new one. When Jan was given the chance to perform as a drummer in our music video for the song “Take It All”  We immediately thought: “Oh wow, that’s cool… Hey Man! You should stick in the band!” and so, there you go.. Jan joined the team giving such a professional and excellent contribution to our music and since then the band has been pretty solid!

How long have you been playing as a band?

Fabio: “It all began as a small adventure in 2017 when I decided to leave my country of origin Italy where I was working as an actor in theatres, playing musicals for kids and occasional shows in summer resorts. I decided to dramatically change my life by coming to London, UK, and start a new punk rock band from scratch. I went to several live music venues in London attending random open-mic nights and live rock gigs in the London area. This gave me the chance to meet new musicians – kind of “crazy” and “out-of-mind” ones like me! – who shared the same interest in the underground scene and pop-punk music.

Some of these encounters brought to life amazing friendships and committed musical collaboration. Eventually in 2018 the band was fully formed and after a few changes of members during the early months, the band formed up and running. The current full team consists of me (Fabio) Lead singer and Guitar Player, Joaquin Antonio Ramirez on the Bass and Jan Zwiebel on the Drums . Since then, the band started playing gigs everywhere in London and released a total of 8 singles. Our following on Spotify has grown a lot in the last few years and we have been featured in several playlists, released a lot of music videos… We are very happy about how everything is growing around with our music and ambitious mission.”

Before you get sick of being asked… Where does the band name come from?

Fabio: We were sitting in a pub in Kilburn, London called “The Brondes Age” and discussing what could have been the official name of the band. We weren’t getting many inspiring ideas, probably due to the amount of alcohol we were drinking or other unspecified reasons (laughs), but suddenly Joaquin noticed some empty cans of coke laying on the table of the pub and shouted: “We could be the cans!” And I know It sounds total bullshit but I can assure you that in that precise moment the sound of that word unexpectedly fitted so well! It was direct! It was explosive! It was cool and most importantly it was easy to remember. So basically we just added a “K” and a “Z” to the name because those are two letters that have a peculiar sound that can possibly remind us of sci-fi, cyberpunk, futuristic samples often used in the production of our songs and showing off the ‘electronic’ vibe of the band’s sound. So there it is: The Kanz. I hope you like it. If not… whatever.”

What are your influences?

Fabio: Musical influences come from various artists of the punk rock alternative scene like Green Day, Blink 182, Muse, Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance, Mindless Self Indulgence, Celldweller, Pierce the Veil and Nothing But Thieves. But the whole Kanz philosophy is inspired also by the pop-punk culture of American Pie’s Parties, electronic techno dubstep sound designing, alternative rock lifestyles and sci-fi, futuristic cyberpunk culture which can be often noticed in the artworks of our singles. I would say there is also a touch of ‘musical theatre’ vibe in some of our songs and I guess that’s because of my past works in the theater business and previous musical shows I performed in, that shaped a lot of my background and musical influences.

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Describe your music. What makes you unique?

I would define our band as an electro pop punk band. Rock music, and especially punk-rock for us, is the key to reveal your true self and express yourself. Cause there is really no time to hide yourself in life. You just want to feel free and you want to feel like you don’t have to put a mask on.  Punk rock is an attitude. We believe in this because thanks to punk rock our life “tastes” more like actual freedom, but it also gives us a chance to accept life no matter how much shit gets thrown at you. You can walk in the dark alone. You don’t need to be afraid of who you are. And with rock music you know there are millions like you that feel the same. Broken souls looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. And so we say that we can look for it together, through the power of music. That’s the Kanz’s mission in my opinion. And we do it in our own way of course. Taking a step forward from the classic pop-punk vibe of the 90s-2000s and bringing it to the next level: the digital, electronic, cyberpunk, sci-fi era.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

When it comes to the lyrics, Me (Fabio), I like to talk about my personal experiences like break ups, very passionate (sometimes platonic) love stories, feelings of rebellion, need to express myself, the need to make a lot of noise etc.. all of this at 360 degrees both from a positive and negative point of view (and sometimes from the embarrassing one!) but I always filter the lyrics with the lens of a bigger picture so that people can also see a little piece of themselves in the song and they are able to understand the whole world and philosophy behind what we do as alternative rock artists. I see The Kanz and our fans as part of the same family: a family of weirdos. people who want to affirm their identity because they have been hurt, abandoned or currently living in a situation that stresses them out. But also enhancing the value of family and love, and how important it is to express yourself in the way that makes you feel happy.

We also stand for the search for glory (Money matters yes, but to quote Avicii: “ I want to be remembered for the life I lived, not for the money I have made”), being remembered for the things we have done that really makes us proud. Moreover We stand for gender equality, we fight racism, we believe in science, we fight for freedom of speech, we fight for kindness as a solution, we fight for unity and love with the people that share your same beliefs. These and more are what truly inspires The Kanz music I think.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

Well, I guess that the reason why our music has been often described as “Stadium-Punk Rock Music” is because we play some kind of real high-energy mind-blowing rock shows! We like to play sing-along songs and deep emotional tunes, jumping a lot on the stage

And making you shake your butt on the dancefloor with some electronic party vibes.

Also, we often throw foam boomerangs around at our shows as if it’s a three day fest (even if it’s just a shitty pub in London). We literally throw them at the crowd during a live show and see if they are able to catch it before it comes back on the stage. Anyways, It all looks like a proper pop punk party celebration.

We have played around 100 gigs so far (mostly in London).

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What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

I remember this show in which we threw around 30 foam boomerangs at the crowd and people in the audience were going wild trying to catch them, it was such a big mess..

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

Fabio (Vocals & Guitar): For the live shows I mainly use two guitars: a “Gibson Melodymaker – Joan Jett Signature” model and a “Rivolta Combinata Junior by EASTOWOOD GUITARS” model. In the studio I also use an original “2011 Gibson ES-335 Custom Shop” model for recordings.

Joaquin: Yamaha TRBX505 5-String Bass

Jan: I play a Pearl Masters Maple drum kit that I bought from a touring drummer. It’s gone around Europe for the last 20 years.

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

We are currently plugging/promoting our latest single “Borderline” which was released on June 11th together with a fantastic Music Video on Youtube that we shot with marvellous Mat Green from Brighton. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a must! [Scroll down! – Mosh]

What are your plans for the next 6 months or so?

We are currently working in the studio recording new tracks that will be released starting from September 2021. At the moment the drummer is tracking the drums for all the new tracks and then we will start recording bass, guitars and so on. Also we will start a mini-tour of the UK from September until the end of November. All dates have already been announced on our social media pages.

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!

Regarding bands we would love to support I would say: Yungblud, Machine Gun Kelly, Mod Sun, Stand Atlantic  for the most recent acts or otherwise it would be amazing to support legends like My Chemical Romance, Blink 182, Angels & Airwaves, All Time Low, Green Day and Avril Lavigne.

Bands we would choose to open for us: Polly Pik Pockets, Five Days North.

Check out this month’s Headline Act Playlist on Spotify and YouTube

The Kanz: official | facebook | instagram | spotify | youtube

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