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Mount kimbie21092013

Mount Kimbie: "We’re still a really new band"

30 July 2014, 10:00

​If you’re looking for some of the hardest working people in music then look no further than Mount Kimbie. They’ve been practically been playing three festivals a weekend for the past umpteen months and are soon heading over to the US for a mini-tour, so it’s pretty hard to see when the London based duo get some shut eye.

Over a year has passed since the release of their second studio album Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, a rougher but yet more refined progression from their debut LP Crooks and Lovers. It was a change that reflected their move from Scuba’s leftwing electronic label Hotlflush, to the pioneering Warp Records. Now, the London duo is beginning to make plans for their next record. They’ve recently moved into a new London studio space and have additional sessions scheduled with friends during the upcoming American tour, so it’s an interesting time to chat to one half of the two piece Kai Campos, as they begin to embark on their next chapter.

How have the festivals been going?

Yeah, they’re festivals you know. You get some good ones, some bad ones. They’re like the ultimate test for us but in a good way. It’s a challenge to sort of do something that we want to do in that kind of environment. The ones that go well are incredible because they are so big and overblown and yeah, as a whole they’ve been going well. Belgium has probably been our favourite as for some reason, its always really rowdy in a good way. We’re also really looking forward to playing in Croatia, as after everyone is taking a week off. Doing three festivals each weekend is pretty interesting though!

While you’re away it seems like you take a lot of photos to log what’s going on, is that important for you?

Yeah, definitely. I take a lot of pictures and sometimes they end up going public at some point. I think its really important and when I think about it I can’t believe where the last five years have gone really. There’s so much stuff that you forget about so it’s nice to keep records of it all. Especially as during some periods of the year everything is moving pretty fast so it’s something that I feel personally is important.

You say you can’t believe where the last five years have gone but when you do reflect on them, how do you take to it when you read things that label Mount Kimbie as pioneers of the post dubstep scene?

I don’t really know. It’s weird because to us, we’re still a really new band. In reality all that we’ve made is two pretty short records, so it seems strange to think about us like that. We were doing some press in Australia recently and it was a bunch of artists all together and this guy was said to us that you guys are here because you’re the old dogs and the veterans of the scene. It made us think like, what the fuck? So I think it’s a bit odd to us but when I think about other people’s records that had been an influence on me, and if we’ve managed to do that to anyone else its pretty incredible to really.

Do you find it frustrating when you are labelled as a certain thing – or when people say that you’re sound has changed over the years?

Yes and no. Fortunately there’s not too much of it. I think generally people are pretty good at understanding where we come from, even if perhaps sometimes people do feel a sense of entitlement to what you should be doing as a band. There was 3 years between our records, so where the first one finished wasn’t exactly where we just going to come back into it for the second one. I think it’s weird that people stay in the same scene and carry on doing the same things for years and years.

Seeing as you’re away so often, was it nice to come back home and play Lovebox last weekend?

It was really good. It was a real novelty to leave my house and walk to the festival. It’s always intense when half the audience is made up of friends and it freaks me out when I see my flatmates in the crowd. It was just a real fun day.

Before you head off back on your travels your playing an intimate gig on 31st July at the Converse CONS project – do you enjoy these type of one off shows?

We get a lot of things like this that come up - smaller gigs and one off things. Generally for us to be interested they need to have something about them that we think is going to make it exciting to do. In this case the CONS project has been really great with helping us achieve something visually, something that we’ve wanted to try out. As it’s quite a small venue, we want to do something with the whole room as an experience, rather than a one-way exchange with the audience and us. So all that stuff is just coming together with various people but what’s exciting for us is that the budget was there for us to engage with space.

Next up for you is a mini tour of the US – how do you differ the approach you take to these shows when compared with festivals?

They’re more kind of clubby shows, so it gives us a bit more license to try things out. The main reason we’re going out to the US is to do a bit of studio work, so hopefully there’s going to be space in these kind of shows to try out little bits and pieces out that we’ve not done before. I’m looking forward to that freedom that as its not the sort of stuff that we would try in a festival situation. It’s nice to know that if we overrun by like five minute, we’re not going to get kicked off!

You say you’re doing a lot of studio work when you’re out in the US, is this all for the new record?

Yeah, I mean, I’m not quite sure what we’ll be doing really. We’ve got a few little bits to set up over here then we’re going to go into the studio with people that we’ve met over the last few years who we’ve always said we’ll make some music with when we’re in town. We’re just going to see how it goes. Working with loads of others in different studios is not something that we’ve really done before and I find that it’s a little bit out of my comfort zone going into somebody else’s studio and making stuff up on the spot. But we’ve got some really good people to be working with, mostly in LA and New York, so it’s pretty exciting. They’re mostly interesting hip-hop acts that I’m into but I’m going to keep it to myself for now.

In between Crooks and Lovers and Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, you said that after years of making music everyday you just completely stopped, so have you changed the approach with this record?

Well I’m at the studio now, basically setting everything up, getting everything ready here at the new studio so that when we do start recording its all set. It took quite a long time last time to find a space whereas it’s working out really well here. We’ve managed to find a decent place and we’ve put a lot of work into it so it’s ready for when we begin.

Do you think being two albums through, you do things differently to what you did when you were making your EPs?

Yeah, I think it’s changing quite a bit in the stuff we’re using. At the moment in the studio is quite heavily analog based, and this is the first time where we’ve got somewhere big enough to have everything that we use set up all the time, which is just the dream for us. So instead of getting an idea, doing a really light sketch of it and then heading somebody else’s studio to record the idea, it’s nice to record everything here. Although I still do enjoy the process of going to other people’s studios and using their microphones and what not, so I think I’ll do the demos and stuff in our studio and then still go to other studios and meet other producers and mixing engineers to work on stuff.

You’ve also said in a recent interview that you may change a few elements from the last album – so what can we expect on the new record?

I guess at the moment it feels like we’re just carrying on further down the road of getting rougher and looser. We’re getting more joy out of our old stuff so it’s hard to say. It seems like we’re setting up for a slightly more gritty sound but I’m still interested in doing stuff that is ethereal as well. We’re also pretty keen to work with Archie (King Krule) again, as it was quite a good relationship both ways. I’m not too sure whether that will be on our record, his record, or something completely different, so we’ll see. We’re just going to try and let the songs dictate what happens.

Mount Kimbie play the CONS project tomorrow, 31 July. Apply for tickets here.

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