Q&A with Kid Kapichi
Hedonistic Hastings quartet Kid Kapichi are setting the scene alight with their riff-filled, riotous rock music that promises to kick you even when you are down. Mosh-pits and melodies galore, the band’s live shows are equally as electrifying as their music; having played a run of shows around the country including in one of the culture centres of the capital – Camden – the likely lads sure are making their mark in music.
We spoke to the boys about their constantly misheard band name, a naked man who frequents their gigs, as well as about them joy riding in a police car in their video for ‘Waster’. The band are set to release their new EP next year, and have recently set up a GoFundMe page in order to fund their project.
FOR THOSE THAT HAVEN’T HEARD OF YOU BEFORE, DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND IN THREE WORDS.
JACK: A Haunted House.
KID KAPICHI – WHERE DOES YOUR NAME COME FROM?
BEN: When we were in one of our first ever studio sessions before we had a name, there was a fucked up vocal loop on repeat that sounded like ‘kidkapiich-kidkapiich-kidkapiich’ and in the midst of coming up blank for names for ages, one of us just said ‘how about Kid Kapichi?’ and it just stuck.
JACK: Plus we thought we’d be the only thing that came up when you searched it, the only problem is nobody can spell it – we didn’t really think that through.
BEN: Yeah no one can ever hear it in a crowded pub when they ask your name. We’ve had Kinky Peaches a lot – sick band name – and a personal favourite, Ginger Piggy.
JACK: We got asked to play Fat Tuesday, an amazing Great Escape-esque festival in our hometown of Hastings, and Skunk Anansie were the headliners. They happened to see us play and Cass Lewis the bass player ended up ringing me one evening and asked if we wanted to come and support them at Rock City, Nottingham. It was a mental experience, had to play it so cool on the phone haha
BEN: Yeah and with the Slaves thing, it was literally just after they’d singed with Virgin and they were playing at this amazing little rock venue in Hastings called The Tubman (RIP). We got asked to support which was wicked as we’re big fans, it was sick to be a part of probably one of their last shows in a venue of that size. It was intense.
ALTERNATIVELY, IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY BAND SUPPORT YOU IN ANY VENUE – WHO AND WHERE WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
BEN: Hard choice but Brixton Academy has always been top of the list as a dream gig for us.
JACK: Yeah that or the Pyramid Saturday night haha. I wouldn’t say ‘support’ would be the right word for these guys, but we fucking love playing with the Nova Twins, and have done many times over the years. The combination of our two sounds shouldn’t work on paper, but totally does. Plus they’re just the coolest cats.
HOW DID YOU GUYS MEET NOVA TWINS?
BEN: It was back in 2015 at what was the Barfly in Camden. They were playing before us and we were just like ‘what the fuck! This is insanity!!’ – All 4 of us going nuts in the crowd man.
JACK: We knew we had to bring our A-game to follow the madness that had just gone down. The girls stayed till the end and loved our stuff too.
BEN: Then we got them down to Hastings for a wild show together, both bands ended up partying together till dawn and the rest is history.
WHAT’S THE BEST GIG YOU’VE EVER PLAYED?
BEN: Well it’s certainly not the biggest but Hastings pride was a really special one for us this year. It was just great to be involved with something so positive and for something bigger than us.
JACK: Yeah, plus having smoke cannons and dancers wasn’t bad either.
WHAT’S THE BEST GIG YOU’VE EVER BEEN TO?
JACK: Literally too many to name, but me and Ben both saw QOTSA just after they dropped Like Clockwork, and that was a really inspiring gig for us to share.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU DO TO PREPARE BEFORE YOU GO ON STAGE? ANY RITUALS?
Ben: Yeah, a skinful of peyote and a deal with the devil – same as every band.
WHAT DO YOU USUALLY DO AFTER YOU’VE FINISHED YOUR SET?
JACK: To be honest we usually go and spend time with the audience and check out whoever else is on. In truth we’ve learnt a lot over the years from talking to people who’ve just watched our set.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BEST REACTIONS YOU’VE HAD?
JACK: We had a guy that used to come to our gigs a lot in Hastings, still does sometimes, but he’d always get naked in the crowd during the set. You’d know if he was dressed by the end that the show was a dud haha.
BEN: Yeah it’s sick to get straight back in the action after a show, plus a lot of the time it’s the first visit we’ve had to a place so it’s sweet to party with the locals.
ANY STORIES YOU CAN TELL US ABOUT THAT?
BEN: Ah loads over the years, one we were talking about the other day was after a show in Liverpool where they owner loved us and said we should come with him to the other place he owned, so we think sick – more bands, maybe a lock-in.
JACK: Fast forward to us entering a totally empty strip club, everyone present (dancers and bar staff) old enough to be our parents. As in everyones just sitting down on their phones before we arrive and then see us, huff, and get up to give us the spiel. Dark vibes man.
BEN: Yeah we had to find an exit route pretty sharpish – said we had to go to a cashpoint and one of the dancers whips out a card machine from thin air, so us 4 just straight up bolted haha sometimes you just have to run out of a place a pretend it never happened.
YOU WERE ALSO RECENTLY PART OF THE THIS FEELING BILL – WHAT DO YOU THINK IS WORKING ABOUT THIS PLATFORM? IT HAS GARNERED QUITE A FOLLOWING AND REPUTATION!
BEN: Yeah This Feeling are great, I think Mikey Jonns is obviously someone who cares about championing and providing a platform for new acts, and that attitude has filtered down into every show we’ve ever done with them.
JACK: It’s obvious he’s worked really hard and is passionate about it, so if you have both those things, I suppose you’re bound to succeed.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CURRENT MUSIC SCENE AS WELL?
BEN: I think the renaissance in guitar music and grime that’s happening at the moment is definitely one of the most exciting things to happen in the last ten years where, arguably, there has been a bit of a drought in meaningful music. Although that’s not to say there haven’t been some amazing acts come through in that time, just the concentration seems to be growing, which is refreshing to see and hopefully be a part of.
JACK: I think because there is so much less money to be thrown at artists now, everything is a lot more DIY. The benefit of this, is that acts have much more creative control over what goes out there, so not only is the content more exciting in my opinion, but the foundation on which its built is a lot harder to break down.
CAN YOU RECOMMEND US ANY BANDS WE MAY NOT HAVE HEARD OF THEN?
BEN: Hmm I dunno, you guys are pretty savvy when it comes to new acts but just where we’re from in Hastings there are some of our peers that we’ve grown up with that are doing cool shit right now.
JACK: Yeah Alibi are a really exciting band from round our neck of the woods, they’ve got some amazing tunes. Same goes for Someone Anyone and Wytch Pycknyck too.
THE VIDEO YOU MADE FOR ‘WASTER’ SEES YOU STEALING AND JOYRIDING AROUND IN A POLICE CAR – HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO PULL THAT OFF? WAS IT EASY TO GET THE PERMISSION AND DID YOU HAVE TO BE SUPER CAREFUL ETC?
JACK: We have an amazing director we knew from Hastings, called James Green, he honestly is owed every ounce of credit for that vid. He managed to sort the police car, god knows how.
BEN: Yeah we were a bit worried when the police asked us what the video was about, we just ‘forgot’ to mention about the ending scene.
DID YOU SHOW THE VIDEO TO THEM AFTERWARDS?
JACK: Haha we didn’t personally, but maybe they’ve seen it. Half expecting to get pulled for ‘broken brake lights’ more and more as things pick up for us.
BEN: To be fair though it’s not a million miles from reality judging by some of the kids we went to school with that became coppers. Truth hurts haha.
THE VIDEO IS A HEDONISTIC HEAVEN – WHAT’S THE IDEA NIGHT OUT FOR KID KAPICHI?
JACK: Feel Good Hit Of The Summer says it better than we ever could.
BEN: Haha, yeah sorry mum.
YOU RELEASED YOUR DEBUT EP EARLIER THIS YEAR – CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR INSPIRATIONS FOR THIS SELF-TITLED RELEASE?
JACK: I’ve got a real thing for spaghetti westerns and I wanted to incorporate that vibe into our recordings as much as possible, saying that, its probably more apparent in EP2.
We all have very different musical influences, but besides the obvious ones, Amazing Snakeheads have always been a huge inspiration for me.
BEN: Yeah all 4 of us have pretty eclectic music tastes for sure, but luckily they all seem to meet somewhere in the middle. In truth even listening to soul or bhangra can give as much inspiration for grooves and riffs as listening to other guitar bands. It comes from all sorts of unexpected places. Yeah super excited to get the next EP out at the beginning of next year, it’s got a similar stamp to this one but just with a thicker layer of ink.
FAVOURITE WESTERN FILM THEN?
JACK: It’s a classic for a reason – gotta be The Good The Bad and The Ugly, the soundtrack alone is one of my favourite vinyls. Although Django is a close second.
I ALSO NOTICED YOU GUYS DRESS QUITE DIFFERENTLY FROM ONE ANOTHER – HOW IMPORTANT WOULD YOU SAY STYLE IS TO YOU AND YOUR MUSIC?
BEN: Style is definitely something that’s important to all of us, but I think that we all just try and stay authentic to the kind of styles that we each genuinely align ourselves with rather than saying ‘we’re all gonna be this, or that’ – there might be the occasional clangs but I reckon for the most part we all come off looking like we’re in the same band on stage.
JACK: Yeah I agree, we all have different styles spanning from different eras and decades. I suppose it’s the same with musical tastes to a certain degree. I guess that’s the beauty of any band, that all these different pieces of a puzzle fit together.
I like to think the style stuff works though, we wouldn’t be true to ourselves if we wore a ‘uniform’ as such.
BEN: I think some of us have the capacity to adopt a few different styles sometimes too, like George shaved all his hair off the other day and I’ve deffo seen him eyeing up some new vibes to add to his collection haha.
WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOUR’E STUCK FOR INSPIRATION WHEN WRITING A SONG?
JACK: I think we both have very different approaches to writing.
Ben is the hard worker of the band, most definitely. He’ll treat it like a job and be much more professional when it comes to that side of things than maybe I am. He’ll write until something clicks, whereas I need something to click prior to sitting down with a guitar.
BEN: Yeah the thing is with Jack though, it might come a little less frequently, but when he does bring stuff to the table he always strikes oil. I’ll have like a million ideas on the burner and only some will rise to the top and prick our ears up, at which point we’ll come together and make it happen.
JACK: To be honest the magic happens when we’re together. One of us might hear a 5 second segment of a song we’d been working on, and then take that and use that as a new foundation for a completely different song. For me personally, my inspiration often comes from overhearing a killer line in someones conversation, that to them meant nothing but sparked something in my head.
BEN: At that point we’ll take the song to Eddie & George and the tune starts to properly come alive with the full band, their musical stamps add so much to what you hear in the finished product compared to the raw song.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE SONG OF THE MOMENT?
JACK: Too many. . . . been listening to Alexandra Saviors debut album a lot recently. Quite enjoying that. ‘shades’ is a particularlly good one.
BEN: I’ve been digging this tune Fruitflies by Gabriel Garzon-Monato for ages – sick fucking changes.
JACK: Big shout out for our walk on tune though Tommy Cash – WinaLoto
YOU HAIL FROM HASTINGS – WHAT IS THE MUSIC SCENE LIKE THERE?
JACK: Honestly, and not just because its our town, the music scene in Hastings is outrageous, super diverse and constantly growing. Music is really the lifeblood of the town.
BEN: Couldn’t have put it better, and yeah there are loads of cool bands most notably, again, our friends Alibi who are doing cool stuff at the moment. Wicked songs, wicked vibe. There are certain venues tailored to certain genres but for us our favourites are probably Carlisle, Albion & Palace.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS GOOD/BAD ABOUT THE LONDON SCENE?
BEN: I guess one of the difficulties of London, especially when you’re not from there, is that because it’s so important to crack as an emerging band, the competition is so fierce and the saturation of bands is so high.
JACK: You’re literally competing for a place in the capital city of one of the biggest music capitals in the world. So it can be hard to get heard amongst all the noise.
BEN: Having said that, there’s also a lot of music lovers in London, and some of the best crowds we’ve played to, so its all relative I guess.
HERE AT UNDERGROUND WE CHAMPION SUBCULTURES AND THE RENEGADES AND REBELS WITHIN THEM. IS THERE A PARTICULAR PAST SUBCULTURE YOU FEEL AN AFFINITY TO, AND IF NOT, CAN YOU SEE ANY PROMINENT ONES EMERGING NOW?
JACK: Personally I’ve always loved the Teddy Boy fashion side of things.
Musically though, its amazing to see bands such as Shame and Fat White Family etc writing songs with a real social commentary. Anyone who says musicians have no right to talk about politics are idiots – if you have that platform, you should use it, in fact it’s your duty if you want it to be. It’s felt like something the music scene has been missing somewhat since the 80’s.
BEN: I’ve always had a great level of admiration for movements like those in the Summer of Love and the original punk movement. The level to which those people saw massive flaws in society, and acted to create such huge changes in the way that people were able to express themselves and be free of repressed behaviours has always been hugely inspiring to me. Like jack says though, that type of thinking and expression couldn’t be more relevant now, so it’s really refreshing to see more and more artists using whatever platform they have to get a meaningful message across. Social commentary has always such an important part of art, and it always will be.
WHAT’S THE BEST ‘FUCK YOU’ SONG IN YOUR MIND?
BEN: Ah hard to pick a best, people have managed to say ‘fuck you’ in some pretty special ways. Ebeneezer Goode by The Shamen is a good example of getting one over on censorship, just that it got to number one cracks me up. I’m big into RATM when I’m feeling like hitting up a riot though, countless ‘fuck you moments’ haha. We actually ended up hanging with Tom Morello a few months back, Novas dropped us a text cause they were chilling with him in London after playing together in Paris. It was a trip man, he deffo knows how to party.
JACK: Yeah we’ve written a bit of a fuck you song on the next EP called Machine Men. I’m looking forward to hearing the reaction to that. I’ve always liked Dead End Street by The Kinks, It’s timeless and as relevant as ever now it seems. The sign of a good song.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR KID KAPICHI?
JACK: We’ve just completed EP2 and couldn’t be happier with it. Feels like the perfect advancement on what we’ve already done and cannot wait to get it out there early 2018.
BEN: We hope to have an exciting festival season and bit by bit the world gets to know the name… and how to spell it.
WHAT WILL THE NEW EP SOUND LIKE?
BEN: Well, we feel that it’s an advancement on EP1 without straying away from the sound we’ve developed.
We knew what we wanted from it, more than before. So a few screws have been tightened in the recording process to make sure the sound has even more weight to it.
JACK: We couldn’t be happier with the songs on it. We’ve definitely just expanded on what we did with the first EP and delved deeper.
The Haunted house definitely has a few more floors to explore this time round.
CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR GO-FUND ME PAGE?
JACK: So as we’re currently working independently, and its no secret that being in a band is an expensive career choice. We’ve ( albeit a little reluctantly ) decided to set up a Gofundme page. We’re putting 80% of the money in ourselves but we’re looking for £2k just to help us along.
BEN: Yeah, its being spent on recording cost, video costs, along with purchasing ninyl and merch all for EP2 and even EP3 when we get around to that.
We’ve never really wanted to ask fans for money in this way for our own reasons, but it came to a point where we’d put everything in and still fell short; and we knew that our fans had always been there for us through thick and thin, so we reached out and the response has been amazing, especially for a time like Christmas where we’re all skint anyway.
AND WHAT ABOUT YOUR GIG NEXT MONTH AT THE LOUNGE IN ARCHWAY?
BEN: We’ve got a show at The Lounge in Archway on Jan 27thwith Camden Rocks. We’ve known Chris McCormack since we were wee saplings starting out, and he’s always been a massive support.
JACK: Camden Rocks has gone from strength to strength and it couldn’t be more deserved. We’re really excited for the show, to anyone reading this – get involved.
FINALLY, WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO KARAOKE SONG?
BEN AND JACK: ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ without a doubt.
JACK: Every time.