August 20, 2010

Interview: It Kills

It Kills is a fantastic new Post-Rock trio hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia. They have just released their eponymous debut album and it indeed does kill! Will Robinson plays the electric guitar, Lisa Lipton plays viola, piano and guitar and Solomon Vromans plays cello and guitar, with all three sharing singing duties. Darcey Fraser plays drums on the record.

We spoke to members Will and Lisa about their new project.

How did you guys meet?

LISA: Will and myself have been friends for 10 years. Art school buddies, then room-mates, then musical collaborators. Will met Sol in the produce section. I met Sol through Will, and we all fell in love.

You were born out of the ashes of I See Rowboats. Tell us a little about that breakup and how that led to the new project?

WILL: Band break - relationships are hard. With regards to the new project, it gets quite cold in Halifax during the winter months so we decided to continue playing music together in order to keep warm.

What are your major influences? Was there anything in particular that inspired you for this project?

WILL: We have many many influences, old and new... Arvo Pärt, Sibylle Baier, Vashti Bunyan, The Beach Boys, Arthur Russell, Glenn Gould, Nirvana, Steve Reich, Sonic Youth, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Marvin Gaye, Mountain Man, Bad Brains, Patti Smith, Neil Young, A Tribe Called Quest, Stereolab and on and on and on. I suppose a few of the things that inspired us while writing the material on our current record were winter, change, vocal harmonies, each other.

LISA: I would say 'YES YES' to the previously mentioned, and then say 'Oh ma coeur’! Scout Niblett, Joan of Arc, PJ Harvey, Jay-Z, OK Vancouver OK, Atticus Finch and Another Scout.

What are you listening to right now? Any albums of the year so far?

WILL: Arvo Pärt, Mountain Man, Arthur Russell, the radio. I am excited for the new Panda Bear record to come out.

LISA: Today I'm listening to Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen and John Frusciante's “The Empyrean".

It seems like Halifax has quite a thriving music scene. Would you say that's the case? Any bands we wouldn't have heard of that we should be watching out for?

WILL: Since moving to Halifax about ten years ago I've always been intrigued by the diversity and vitality of the city's music scene. There are so many great Halifax bands to make note of. Cousins, Ghettosocks, Duzheknew, Dreamsploitation, Long Long Long, Rich Aucoin, Bad Vibrations, Dog Day, Cold Warps, The Rhythm Method, Cactus Flower, Mean Wind and so many more.

Who would you say your peers are in today's music scene, if any?

WILL: All of the aforementioned Halifax bands!

LISA: I’m in Sackville, New Brunswick right now, so I would say Julie, Fred, Shotgun Jimmy and Baby Eagle.

A lot of the song titles on your album are quite nautical in theme. Was there a singular concept behind the writing of the album or a particular theme running through it?

WILL: There was never a concept in mind other than to write, record and perform a piece of music that felt honest and worthwhile to the three of us. For the most part the song titles were chosen pretty arbitrarily.

LISA: Except for “Old Song”, that song was always old!

Do you have any plans to tour Canada soon?

LISA: We just finished touring across Canada for the first time (by train) in July. It was beautiful and amazing. We have a few shows in August and the fall to look out for.

If you could join any band past or present who would it be?

WILL: To play bass in Sonic Youth.

LISA: To play drums in Nirvana.

[AUGUST 2010]

Hear "Sailors" from the It Kills album here [Right click and choose 'Save as...' to download]

The album is available now from iTunes and CD Baby.
You can preview more tracks on their myspace page.