Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Music That Made... The Kiara Elles

A couple of years ago at the first Indietracks we chanced across a band called the Chiara L's with no prior knowledge and were immediately taken in by their lively Popguns-meets-K Records fuzztoned pop. A couple of years and a slight name alteration later The Kiara Elles are ready to break out of whichever Leeds lair they've been working up their sound from, a modern-day Altered Images for the post-Long Blondes kids to fall in love with. They have an album set for spring 2010, and before that a 7", limited edition with home made and hand stamped sleeves, out tomorrow. "Odio will go blog > indie disco > charts > car advert in a matter of months. Enjoy it while you can bear it" advised the Guardian blog. Well, we can easily start that procedure. All five of them responded, so concentrate.

First single bought
Chiara (vocals): Honestly can’t remember
Jonny (guitar): Angel Interceptor by Ash, though I nearly bought Gangsta's Paradise by Coolio but they were restocking the shelves in HMV so it wasn't there, I like to think of it as a happy piece of fate. The Ash track had a really strange vocoder cover of John Lennon's Gimme Some Truth on it too which was quite eye opening to a thirteen/fourteen (cant quite remember) year old
Emma (bass): Something gay
Amy (synth): Aqua, Doctor Jones or Barbie Girl on cassette.
Dan (drums): Think it was Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun (on tape)

First album bought
Chiara: When I was 6 I asked for True Blue by Madonna as a present
Jonny: The first one that was bought for me at my request as a child was Bad by Michael Jackson, my uncle bought me it as well as a collection of his old Motown singles, obviously back then I never knew that Dirty Diana was about the backstage tendencies of Miss Ross but it had some slick music on! The first one I actually paid money for was Nevermind by Nirvana, still love every track on that album (Incesticide is my favorite of theirs though) swiftly followed by Bleach then a delve into Britpop for a while before coming out the other side and buying OK Computer.
Emma: KLF - Chill Out
Amy: I really don't remember buying my 'first'. I didn't have a CD player until I was 15 so it could have been anything.
Dan: Oasis - Definitely Maybe

First gig voluntarily attended
Chiara: Possibly Green Day when I was 16 (I know – bad!)
Jonny: Catatonia at Leeds Met University 1998. I was a fan of their Way Beyond Blue album at the time and was keen to hear their new material plus I had a bit of a thing for Cerys. Then she was still at the stage where she would play a gig in Cardiff and throw a TV out of her own house window because there was no hotel. Made her seem like a proper indie queen at the time before she went jungle hopping with people from Eastenders.
Amy: Travis with Kings of Leon, Christmas 2003, my ticket out of Bedford.
Dan: Cast at De Montfort Hall, Leicester

The record that most made you want to get into music
Chiara: Gets worse: Green Day – Dookie
Jonny: Again that would be Nevermind, I think as that album had the first songs that me and my mates from school learnt, we formed a little band and had a go at it. I think it made a noisy refreshing sound to hear Teen Spirit or Breed belting out from the music room window at lunchtime instead of the endless bingo hall keyboard and drum versions of Every Breath You Take that people had inflicted upon us previously. Our teacher was great, he even let us do a parents' open day where we got to annoy the hell out of them with our very ramshackle version of About A Girl from Bleach. A year later he played piano with us during a cover of Karma Police. Ah, memories.
Emma: Nirvana – Bleach
Amy: House of the Rising Sun, The Animals, and a couple of songs by Booker T and the MGs. I must have been quite young at the time, 5 or 6, I remember those songs being played on my Mum and Dad's favourite radio station Classic Gold Amber and wanted to play an organ like that.
Dan: Would have to be something from my dad's record collection, either Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here, something by Queen, The Beatles or The Travelling Wilburys

The three headliners at a festival you were curating
Chiara: Le Tigre, Crystal Castles, Cure
Emma: Arcade Fire, Sonic Youth, Brian Jonestown Massacre
Dan: Stevie Wonder, The Smiths, The Clash

A song not enough people know about but everyone should hear
Chiara: I Close My Eyes To Think Of God by Comet Gain
Jonny: All Flowers In Time, a rare duet by Liz Fraser from The Cocteau Twins and Jeff Buckley. It's one of the most beautiful yet fragile songs ever made. Hits you in the head and the heart hard yet you come out the other side of it feeling ten feet taller that before you put it on.
Emma: The Past Is A Grotesque Animal by Of Montreal
Amy: Anything by Isobel Campbell
Dan: The Kiara Elles - Odio

A song you'd play to get people dancing
Chiara: Trash by The Whip
Jonny: It depends. If I wanted them swing about like an embarrassing uncle then I would put on Let's Dance by David Bowie, if it was more of a summer afternoon it would be Master Blaster by Stevie Wonder, but if I want to have something a bit more punchy and brutal I would probably go with Shoot Speed Kill Light by Primal Scream and coincide it with copious amounts of turbo shandy.
Emma: Untrust Us by Crystal Castles
Amy: Raveonettes - Sleepwalking
Dan: The Undisputed Truth - You + Me = Love

The last great thing you heard
Chiara: Male Bonding by KASMS
Jonny: Seen a few great bands the last couple of weeks I can't really choose between, three bands live that have really taken me that spring to mind are Bellini, Jeniferever and Vessels. Recording wise I really like the new Chapman Family single called Virgins. I think it shows people they have some depth to the songwriting to go with the noise.
Emma: Sea Within A Sea by the Horrors
Amy: Linda Keel - Apple Pie, played by Rob, the DJ boyfriend
Dan: High Contrast - Confidential

Your key non-musical influences
Chiara: Just to name a few: The Wasp Factory, surrealism, David Lynch, Lain, Harold And Maude, Irvine Welsh, Dino Buzzati, Paolo Villaggio, Peep Show, Bruno Bozzetto, Ballard, Basquiat, my friend Mari, my friend Emma, my grandma, independent fashion designers, Being John Malkovich, etc etc...
Jonny: Ethically Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, they always did and said the right things and stood by their actions, though if I am in a bad mood I tend to lean more towards Michael Douglas' character D-FENS in the film Falling Down. Sportswise Gordon Strachan and John Charles, but I won't elaborate. I hate it when people use football as a promotional tool to sell their bands, what's wrong with using your music instead? I also admire AP McCoy, anyone who can get thrown off a horse twice a day and still ride 3000 winners with injuries every day is made out of granite, plus he helps my bank balance occasionally. Visually - Francis Ford Coppola, Francis Bacon and David Hockney.
Emma: Spongebob Squarepants
Amy: Charles Schulz
Dan: Adidas trainers and expensive jackets

Your favourite new artist
Chiara: Heartsrevolution
Jonny: In terms of right this second it would be a guy called Pictureplane who supported Health at a gig I went to last night, simply because I had never heard him before in my life and he was coming from somewhere totally different musically. He is a one man electro-breaks-techno crossover with him singing, programming and mixing at the same time. I thought he was the roadie at first but then he just burst into his set. I love suprises like that, thank heavens for the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, it's great for bringing in new interesting artists in that way.
Emma: Heartsrevolution
Amy: Jack of Heart
Dan: The XX

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