KINGSWOOD Ready to party


Kingswood released their excellent second album After Hours, Close to Dawn earlier this year and are now heading on yet another massive tour around the country to celebrate it. KIERRA POLLOCK spoke to lead guitarist and songwriter Alex Laska about tracks from the album, blues influences, touring, and the band’s love of regional towns. Kingswood play Metropolis Fremantle on Friday October 6, and Dunsborough Tavern on Saturday October 7.

Creepin’ is such a catchy song, and a great single, could you tell me a bit more about it?

Creepin’ was actually written in NY and it came to me just as the chorus first initially. I had the chords and melody and lyrics in my head for ages and ages. I let it sit there for a while, it changed tempo a few times before I sat down with it and started mucking around with the music. As I kept hearing the chorus in my head, I heard a little melody underneath it which started off as a synth line but ended up being the bass riff. I just thought it was such an interesting melodic thing, rather than putting it where you would usually think to put it in the realm where synths and lead lines live, why doesn’t that become the bass line and the feature riff and we just should completely have that on bass which is also unusual. Then I put it together and the guys really dug it. It’s a really weird song, it kind of wrote itself. I was just patient with it, I let it sit in my mind enough for it to reveal itself. Those ones are really lucky. They just come every once in a while and your just like cool, I didn’t really have to do much for that!

Some tracks on After Hours, Close to Dawn seem to have a real blues and soul influence, was that something intentional? Do you often listen to a lot of that style of music?

Definitely everything on the album is intentional, there is no doubt about it, but equally it comes from your subconscious really, all that music is definitely something we are all into and listen to a lot. That is how I learnt to play guitar, listening to blues guitarists, blues artists, I’ve loved the blues for as long as I can remember to be honest. Its always going to be an influence on us and our music because its so much apart of my musical upbringing, as far as what I started listening to when I started playing guitar, which is a big part, or was a big part of Kingswood, obviously it is cause I play it. Soul music and blues is wrapped under the same umbrella to me and its music that I love.

The track Atmosphere is also really cool, how did this track come about?

So Atmosphere is one that originally Ferg had penned. He had the lyrics sitting there for ages actually, but didn’t really have a musical context for it. It was a really interesting one, he had chords, but nothing really solid, and then when we got into the studio in Nashville, something happened and I heard this little guitar thing. Again, most of the stuff I try and let it appear in my head, I don’t want to just sit behind my instrument and let my fingers do the work, I think it doesn’t eventuate into a strong song, because you just go to stuff that you’ve done your whole life, its just habit. So I heard this little guitar riff and penned this rhythm around it. Again I showed the guys and everyone was into it. It had great emotional aesthetics, and yeah, just became the song!

This is your second tour since After Hours, Close to Dawn was released, is there a bit of a different vibe this time around now that the album has been out for a while?

Yeah this is the party tour! Heaps of entertainment, all of the songs that people want to hear and big sing alongs. The last tour was very artistically driven, and musically trying to be quite involved and complex, which we did, I think, really well, but this one’s like, okay we’ve done the art piece, now its just time to enjoy the songs, and to really perform, entertain the audiences through the songs a lot more rather than worrying about the intricacy of the music.

You guys are playing quite a variety of different venues this tour, from venues with a capacity of hundreds, to venues with a capacity of thousands. Does the different atmospheres affect your performance?

It most definitely affects the performance, but not because necessarily of anything other than, the more intimate it is, the more interactive it can be. Not to say that it isn’t for bigger audiences, there is just a completely different atmosphere. Its not so much the rooms, its the way the crowds respond, which effects the performance in certain ways. You can have a small show where everyone is really captivated, or you can have a small show where everyone is going insane, and its just high energy the whole time. There’s a different kind of energy.

Kingswood always hit the regional spots when you tour, do you guys really enjoy playing the regional spots?

Totally! We love touring this country, and love people who have supported us through it. Because we toured so much regionally initially, that’s kind of how we’ve grown to where we are. People really respond to us, and respond to that, going back to the same places time and time again, just to build that relationship. We’ve done WA a lot in the last four or five years.