Kiss Kiss display a remarkable talent for blending experimental pop and avant-garde indie-rock. It’s an explosion of sound! Today, we catch up with singer and guitarist Josh Benash.
Modern Mystery: Which do you enjoy more, recording in the studio or playing live?
Josh: I love both. In the studio I really enjoy piecing together sounds, experimenting with timbre and instrumentation, live I enjoy releasing pent up energy in a giant gesture of communal catharsis. Both are so very different its hard to choose. So I am going to say both, disregarding the question and the purpose of an answer.
Your live set is “INTENSE” on stage. When you guys record trax in the studio, do you try and replicate that?
Josh: Yes. We are very energy conscious in the studio. Our music itself is intense and heavy. If we went into the studio and half assed it that lack of energy would translate. So when performing in the studio we treat it, and more accurately, feel it, like we are playing it live.
Unlike alot of other bands who mimic other music, you guys have such a cool sound. How did you find it?
Josh: Honestly our sound was an accident. A lot of bands try to be different and it comes off as disingenuous. We really never viewed ourselves as being different until we were constantly told so. I think what did it was the vast amount of music we all listen too, from Modern Classical to Country, to Noise Rock, Motown, and various world musics. We all have been absorbing so music that the pool of influence we take from is just very large.
Josh, on stage you sing, play guitars and play keyboards. What is the most fun for you?
Josh: I love to sing, and I prefer to play guitar despite the fact that I am on keyboards for 80% of every set. With guitar I feel more mobile and able to fuck things up. I’ve always liked to ride our pyrotechnics through the audience and jump off right before it obliterates the back wall.
You’re band has “roots” to the music scene at SUNY Purchase in NY. What’s your thoughts on Dan Deacon and other alumni musicans that have come out of there?
Josh: Man I feel envious. Dan and I had a master class together for years. I know so many people from my years at SUNY that have blown up. Granted I love them all and they are all doing great things, but damn it so are we!
You guys have been on tour and also been to SXSW… What are some bands that you guys have shared bills with recently we should know about? Who’s blowing up?
Josh: Well our favorite tours have been with bands like Murder By Death, The Dear Hunter, 3, Doctor Manhattan, Kristeenyoung, Gay Blades and Capillary Action. We also got to open for The Pogues, Ra Ra Riot, The Ataris, and many more. Whose blowing who? I’m not sure.
How long have you guys known each other? Do you guys hang out with each other when you’re not tour or recording?
Josh: Jared and I have been playing together for 10 years now. Which is insane to think about. Mike has been with us for 5, Rebecca 4, and James 6 months. We do hang out, although after months in a bus together a short break and time with girlfriends and boyfriends is vital.
You guys have such a fun Youtube channel where you vlog about tour stuff…do you plan on keep on making tour videos’?
Josh: Yeah, I’m working on one right now where I swallow a sword and then Mike Swallows me.
Speaking of video’s, your friend Lindsey just made a great NEW video for your song “All They Draw”… did you guys come up with the concept or did you let her have fun with it?
Josh: That was all her. She came to me with the idea after I wrote the absolutely retarded script for Innocent Part 1. I loved her vision and as a film maker we all completely trusted her, and she did a fantastic job. Really Really great video.
What are some of the things that influences your music and writing?…doesn’t have to be music.
Josh: I’d say the apprehension and discontentment we all have of our day jobs. That and heart ache, anger, feeling shit on and the cosmic desire to constantly create. You know, the usual.
Any news or tour plans for your fans…?
Josh: Well we just finished a national tour, we did a massive 8 weeker from coast to coast. So right now its back to work, replenishing funds and what not, we hope to start making a new album, and if a good tour pops up we are on it like a fly on doody. Thanks for the interview guys!
XOXO – Josh
by Joe Madonna