Kill It Kid’s Chris Turpin Talks Blues Origins, Development of Sound + More
Get to know Kill It Kid! The upstart rockers have been on a steady rise since forming in 2008, blending elements of the blues in with their heavy guitar-driven sound. The band is promoting their 'You Owe Nothing' album and 'Loudwire Nights' host Full Metal Jackie recently had a chance to chat with guitarist-singer Chris Turpin about the band's love of the blues and unique instrumentation, the development of their sound and the success they've seen since their song "Run" was featured in a Samsung commercial. Check out the chat below:
Chris, what did the lonely desperation of the blues, specifically Robert Johnson, evoke in you so strongly it affected how you make music?
To be honest, it was an absolute fluke discovering it. It was finding Brian McCallen and Robert Johnson, every song that ever recorded in a cheap record store here in the U.K. where you can buy like everything that ever recorded for 5 quid. And I put it on when I got home, and I’ve never heard anything just so vivid and powerful. It was the idea of it being a one man band and just seeing it entirely for yourself. There was nothing like that on the radio or that I’ve ever heard before in the U.K.
Kill It Kid incorporates more than just one style and instrumentation. How is it a disservice to the music when people try to categorize your band?
Well I think it’s necessary of the industry, If you’re in it, people need like for likes to discover a band at least. I don’t find it disgusts me or anything like that. It’s just frustrating in terms of being a musician and creative sorta curve you take and progression because you need a change as you get older. [It's] how you feel, and you know you’re not always going to be making the same music for the rest of your life. So in that respect, it doesn’t really work, but it’s just unnecessary you know?
As a singer how are you able to better express yourself with your voice having Stephanie [Ward]'s voice as a point of contrast?
I see a huge difference but mainly in terms of the songwriting process. But you know, if I sing one line from a male perspective, however harsh or aggressive it can be, if it comes from a female’s voice, it makes a dramatic difference. You can change the outlook really of the entire song, so in that respect it changes sort of the creative foundation of our writing. Massively. And it gives me a lot more scope as well. And I think it’s relatively unique to have, duets in a band. It’s a hard thing to do, duet writing, it’s like a '60s art, you don’t hear it much in popular music today so it is an interesting spinoff. And it can put you in a lot of different places emotionally and an audience as well.
Why is it important for young musicians to develop and discover an appreciation for music many generations removed from their own age?
I think we need to go back to the source, you know whatever you love, essentially everything you hear on the radio today is a distillation progression of everything that’s come before it. I think it’s fascinating we can go backwards with archeologists and find these old early folk songs. Cause once upon a time, hundreds of years ago, people weren’t moving, they were staying in one place, and music was nurtured and cared for and was part of community and had so much spirit and history behind it. And I find it absolutely fascinating.
You know Western music now has become more and more homogenized because everyone has listened to it. What’s pumped out of America, and what’s pumped out of the U.K., and we are essentially best sellers anyway. So I think it’s incredibly important to go back as far as they can, you know? Even in terms of recordings and recording quality, we get to the brainwashing to listen to perfect, pristine, highly compressed pumped pop music. You know how it has to be, and there is a certain sort of world rural severity in really early field recordings that you’re not going to hear today, anywhere else. And you know music back then wasn’t recorded necessarily to sell, it was recorded because you know, it had to be, and it was important to people than, not this time, by itself, and a big house in Beverly Hills or something.
It's usually long established classic rock bands that lend their music to TV commercials. What doors opened for you from one of your songs being used for a commercial?
It had to be a big impact on us because all of a sudden people could find us. And we’re very alternative, underground, subculture band. People didn’t really know who we were, and music we made was incredibly different, so a lot of people on the scene, around us at the time, so all of a sudden being picked and being thrown into, you know, a world’s stage like that, made a dramatic difference. And all of a sudden, people get interested and we had more money to record the next record, and it shared some light, just for a moment on our catalog. Which is really exciting.
Thank you so much for taking the time.
No worries. Thanks for having us. Those were great questions.
Thanks to Kill It Kid's Chris Turpin for the interview. You can pick up Kill It Kid's Y'ou Owe Nothing' at Amazon. And look for Kill It Kid on tour at these stops. Tune in to Loudwire Nights With Full Metal Jackie and Tony LaBrie Monday through Friday 7PM through midnight online or on the radio. To see which stations and websites air ‘Loudwire Nights,’ click here.
Kill It Kid, "Blood Stop and Run"