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Melbourne rockers, Kingswood have a released a single, I Can Feel That You Don’t Love Me, from their upcoming album, Microscopic Wars. Ahead of their WA shows at the Prince Of Wales, Bunbury, on Thursday,  August 21, and Capitol on Friday, August 22, (the album’s release date) SHANE PINNEGAR chats to guitarist, Alex Laska.

Kingswood’s debut album, Microscopic Wars, may surprise some with its eclecticism. It was recorded in the US with  producer, Vance Powell, who apparently knew how to coax the best out of the four-piece.

“Everything that you’re hearing on the album is within the musical realm of Kingswood and always has been,” guitarist Alex Laksa begins.

“I think rock’n’roll can definitely extend to interesting and varied corners. We had all these songs, then Vance would say, ‘you’ve kind of gone down this road, what can you do in this realm that I find impressive?’ He kind of takes you where you’ve gone, but pushes your creativity and makes you think bigger.

Leading the charge of this new broader musical palate it the mellow new single, I Can Feel That You Don’t Love Me. Not only is it a ballad, but Laska took lead vocals for the first time.

“I sang the demo with the idea that Fergus (Linacre, vocals) would eventually be singing it,” he explains. “With this one, I brought it in and everyone was like, ‘Man, that vibe is definitely your voice’. Then it was just, ‘Well, why not?’”

Laska credits Powell with the crystal sound of Microscopic Wars, and reveals the band were excited to work with the guy after his stints with Jack White, Kings Of Leon and Arctic Monkeys.

“He’s a wizard when it comes to making things sound good. There’s a reason we picked him. We really got into Blunderbuss by Jack White. His name came up and it was like, this is the guy that made this record that we all love the sound of, so when the opportunity arises where you get that person to make your record you’re like, ‘Fucking hell! Let’s do this by any means necessary!’”

Kingswood celebrate the release of Microscopic Wars with a national tour, taking in just about every corner of the country from late August right through October. Laska says the band are pretty active on the road and do as much as they can when travelling.

“You get to experience amazing places that you would never have thought to go,” he notes. “You get to see amazing things and meet all these cool people. We thrive on the essence of meeting people and extending all these relationships. Obviously, meeting all the people and all the parties are great, I’m not going to lie. At the end of the day, we love playing music. Imagine you get to travel around and do it every day – it’s just the best thing in the whole world.”

With a reputation for energetic live shows, one wonders if it has resulted in any on-stage collisions or mishaps.

“Oh yeah,” the guitarist laughs. “All sorts of stuff. I do this thing where I have so much adrenaline and that gets sort of destructive. I never used to understand why people would smash guitars and now I totally get it. When you’re so charged with energy you just need to release it some way. I’ve never smashed my guitars, but I used to dive through the drum kit with my guitar on me, which is really not cool.

“Luckily, we haven’t completely broken anything yet, but I’ve done some pretty bad things to my body. I jumped off the kit once last year and completely fucked my back and the next two weeks I was playing shows on a stool – it was really bad!”

Having first played with Linacre aged 12, and been in bands with the other guys on and off over the past decade, perhaps the most surprising thing is that the foursome have come together finally with a united vision for what they want in a band.

“Yeah, it’s really weird,” Laska agrees. “I don’t know if you believe in this – I don’t even know if I do – but it’s meant to have happened because it is pretty miraculous. I used to play in bands with Mango (Hunter, bass) when I was like 14, 15, 16, and we played acid jazz, like Herbie Hancock stuff. Jay (Debrincat, drums) and Ferg played in a punk band all their teenage years at school. It’s just weird. Everyone’s always been around each other musically, in a way. So there you go.”

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