Americana balladeers of the wild frontiers, KG Bird just released their Morning Weather EP. The EP is music for accompanying the rising sun with modern day folk tales from the Southwestern edges. The Echo Park by Silver Lake rockers originally banded together as Cue the Moon, where the brothers Chris and Tim James, and Ryan Parmenter evolved into KG Bird with the additions of Steel Toed Slipper's Will Nicoll on guitar and Matt Moss on drums, with Aya Kawaguchi joining on keys. Premiering a listen their extended player with us today, the celebrations continue this evening with a “School Night!” record release show in LA at Bardot Hollywood.
Opener “Pull the Mask Off” pulls you in with Will Nicoll's guitar, Matt Moss's rhythm and with Chris's invititations of, “the door is open, come on in, 'cause I'm definitely worth it”. “Suffer Tiny Whales” gathers the tragedies of life into an explosive plume of guitar skronk and strut that casts off the unwelcomed feelings into a sonic ball of dissplaced fury headed toward the boredom of the sea's inhabitants. The title track “Morning Weather (That's Just The Way That It Goes)” operates on the infectious volition of the hop-along progressions of, “speak softly until no one can hear” with comedic lyrical moments like, “I want my best friends to befriend my friend Steve, he's got a lot of money”. The morning haze rock keeps brewing and moving with “I'm A Child” that jumps with the group's bravado before transitioning into instrumentation more indicative of the group's electric Southwest persuasions, as we come to the last call-closing time of the parting organ lead beauty, “Parlor”, and its “get along everyone” message.
Singer/guitarist Chris James took the time to chat with us about everything from the band's name pertaining to the Penguin's secret warehouse, night time sugar versus morning inspirations, and onanistic Twitter rituals while listening to All Things Considered.
Were you guys fans of the 1996, Aristocrat bar game K.G. Bird when you penned your name?
It's funny, everyone thinks that. We actually have to pay $0.75 a month in royalties. The name actually came from an old 1960s Adam West era episode of Batman. It was the Penguin's secret warehouse.
“Suffer Tiny Whales” is not your usual run of the mill, 'save the whales' activism. What is the story behind this bar crawler-bawler/bar-brawler?
I killed an actual whale and I DON'T want to talk about it.
What is it about “Morning Weather” versus the complacency of evening time? As you put in the title track, “I get so complacent when it's night time sugar”.
Night time sugar is never a good idea. I end up saying things I mean. Morning weather is always better. I'm most inspired right when I wake up. Each day is brilliant, and yet, everyone is unhappy. It's hilarious.
Is “I'm a Child” an ode to 'babies having babies' or more like a public service announcement from KG Bird?
I say, children are the future AND the past. It's crazy, every single person in the world has the shared experience of being in the womb, being an infant, and going through childhood. I don't know, I guess, ultimately, I reasoned that 'I'm a child' had a nicer ring to it than 'I'm an adult'.
Both “Morning Weather” and “I'm a Child” have some great instrumental movements that turn into guitar shredding monuments. Do you begin practices with songs and parts written or are they constructed through free-form jams?
Not only am I impressed that you listened to the album, I just peed a little because you typed and put in quotations two of the song titles. If you're a lady, I would kiss you right now. Wait, are you a lady?
Why won't you talk to me?
We kind of take the approach that I write all the songs and tell everyone what to do all the time, and if they don't listen to me I karate kick them in the face. But I guess, yeah, the band has been kind of jamming out lately at the end of songs when we decide to just play two chords for awhile.
I really do love being in this band. We are the most mellow and fun people on the planet. You should come meet us or me or whatever. Are you free Friday? Saturday?
Opener rock and wailer “Pull the Mask” has a real 'god damn right' swagger that lasts through the down-the-gullet closer of “Parlor”. To what do you all attribute your western edges and whiskey soaked-gospel attitudes?
My dad had a gun collection and would sometimes collect rare Indian Head belt buckles. I never saw either, but he did drink a lot of whiskey. So, I guess, yeah, goddamn right.
What is happening these days in the Silver Lake scenes? What is the state of the Silver Lake underground?
The other day I went for an aimless power walk in Silverlake. I'm still not sure why. I may have smoked meth out of my pipe. In my haste to get out of my perfectly clean and situated duplex, I realized I had forgotten to strap on my ironic fanny pack before I went to the coffee shop that no one goes to yet. I listened to NPR for 9 hours straight. I like to rub the tip of my penis and tweet simultaneously every time Robert Siegel slurs a word.
And as the sun set over Micheltorena, all anyone could talk about that day was the new KG Bird EP, Morning Weather.