Interview by Annalisa Orlando
Interview with KW KW Campol
I understand that you have been music for a little over six years. What makes you both gel so well and what drives you both creativity?
Well not only are we in this band but we live together, own a business together, and are married. The band started right around when our relationship did and as we have grown as musicians we have also grown as people. I feel like we pride ourselves on the type of open, honest communication that lends itself well to both the creative process and fostering long term, meaningful relationships.
Do you have individual strengths and weaknesses that complement each other?
Oh definitely. Vic is very specific on what they like aesthetically and musically and is very quick to say when they like or dislike something, and I am definitely an ideas factory and having someone to cull the bland ideas from the potent ones is super helpful.
I can tell by your thoughts on Nihilism in the themes of your album that there are some strong philosophical and intellectual themes throughout the LP, could you tell us a little about these?
Well, the album is about the personal struggles against getting settled into apathy and the feelings that you can’t do anything to enact a positive change in the world. It is so much easier to sit down and keep your mouth shut and do nothing than to take a stand and fight for not only yourself but those around you who could use your voice and actions to make it through the world. Within that comes bashing back against the ideals of moral nihilism, which is an absolutely stupid life philosophy to have and one that a lot of metal bands tend to personify. Caring is rad, making the world better is rad.
What makes this album different to your previous releases?
I feel like all of our releases are different from one another, that comes with growing as musicians and people and crafting songs over longer amounts of time. Specifically for this album, we went into the studio trying to make a record that stands on its own without considering how we are going to pull it off live, which is quite a different approach to how we have done it in the past. I feel like the result is new layers and textures you didn’t previously hear on our stuff, but it is all grounded by the constant that is Vic and myself recording the guitar and drums live in a room together, that has always been and probably will always be.
Would it be fair to describe your music as Avant-guard? I have never heard anything like it. How was it received in more “traditional” metal circles?
I guess you could use that term, we are definitely rooted in doom metal and branch off from that by being individuals with our own tastes and ideas on how to craft music. Becky from our label used the term experimental when describing us and I am happy to let that word hold for a while. I am not sure how it is received in more traditional metal circles, but it seems like people, in general, are really digging what we are putting out and connecting to it on some level so that is a wonderful feeling for sure.
Your LP cover art aesthetic is so refreshing and unexpected. What was the creative process behind it?
We sat down late last year and had a long conversation on what we wanted to do. We’ve used photography in the past and utilized pure illustration on our last record, but wanted to find a way to meld the two. Vic is really into bright colours and pastels utilized in a surrealist context, and I am a big b-movie horror fan. We combined the two with this idea and drew it up. Truthfully our original drawing and idea is exactly what you see on the album cover, Danika Zandzboer & Brianna Duguay, the photographer and model respectively, both did such an amazing job bringing this weird idea to life. It could easily have looked cheesy and stupid but they really brought the structure and emotion to it in a way we could have only imagined until they made it a reality.
I noticed that there were a strong narrative and conceptual voice throughout the album. Are your songs ordered in a linear story or are they more loosely tied together in the concept of the album?
This album doesn’t really have a linear story, mostly just a collection of musings and thoughts on the subject at hand: Apathy, and how to combat it.
The use of choirs and female vocals reminds me a little of Medieval Gregorian chants. Did any non-musical things, such as history or art, influence the record?
There is definitely a vocal melody in Glory, Glory! That was inspired by Gregorian chants. I am very inspired by musical theatre, in general, having been a lifelong fan, as well as the aforementioned cult horror movies. Vic is big into surrealism, a lot of that came out in the art and the spooky vibes throughout the record.
Your biography tells us that you retreated to a treehouse cabin to make the record. Is that typical when you are working on a new record?
We rented the cabin to do the lyrics for the record, its definitely not typical but we just wanted to get away for a few days and enjoy some nature and focused writing. We had a lot of words written, but it took those few days removed from everything to really orchestrate the lyrics and vocals.
What has been your favourite gig to date and why? This could be either one you played yourself or one you attended!
My favourite show we ever played was at Roadburn 2019, it felt like the culmination of years of playing music to get to that moment and it did not disappoint. The venue had 700 or so people in it and another 300 outside not able to get in, and the crowd was so wonderful and attentive and we played for an hour which is the longest set we have ever played. It felt really special.
What is the music scene generally like where you are based in Ontario?
Ontario is a giant, giant province with a myriad of local music scenes, we aren’t too plugged into it, to be honest. We can only tour so much in a year so like 95% of our shows are not only out of our home area but out of our country, I think we have only really played in our home city of Hamilton maybe twice? Ontario has a rad history of heavy bands though which is wonderful.
Did you have a tour in the works? Any plans to visit Europe and showcase your new album once the COVID-19 lockdown has eased?
We had a ton of tour plans before the COVID-19 pandemic started, and just like everyone it was all cancelled. We won’t make any plans until it is safe to do so because it’d be dumb to try to book something just to have it cancelled because we were overzealous. Once we can we will definitely be back in Europe!
What are your views on bands who give away their music free on social media? Do you think this is a good beneficial marketing idea, or should fans be paying to purchase tracks?
I don’t know, whatever people want to do is fine with me. All of our records up to now are available for free or Pay What You Can on Bandcamp, but most people just stream stuff on Spotify anyway, right? I’m not one to pass judgement on people trying to have their art be heard, that’s up to the individual to decide how they want to present it and if they want to charge for it.
Do you think the metal scene is sufficiently diverse and if not, how could it improve to become a more inclusive place for the queer community?
Amplifying queer voices, specifically marginalized queer voices, is essential. The metal community has definitely opened up in the last 5 or so years, but there is a long way to go before it is a truly welcoming and inclusive community.
What are your favourite bands at the moment? Can you recommend us something to listen to?
I almost exclusively listen to the Tragically Hip & the Hold Steady’s bootleg live concerts. I am a big creature of habit, but if you’re looking for rad stuff that’s come out recently anything by Bismuth, Elizabeth Colour Wheel, Cavernlight, Orville Peck, & the new Lilim record. Also, I highly recommend everyone get into the original broadway cast recording of the Last Five Years, shits beautiful.
“Glory, Glory! Apathy Took Helm!” is out now!