When you have a band that can talk about the rise of the far right in the UK, the fire-fighters strike, the relationship between Bush and Blair and the downfall of education in the space of one interview you're onto a good thing. When they tell you they want to compete with the actual Pop Idols and Popstars for chart domination you then realize that Kinesis go above and beyond the indie underachievers which have come our way over the year. More than anything though, Kinesis are a band you can truly believe in and that is why Designer Magazine had crowned them the Best New Band of 2002. Read our Full Interview with Tom and his Review Of The Year 2002 below.
Q: We spoke to Conor back in July and then in September
after the In The City showcase you signed to Independiente - the middle
ground between the indies and the majors. Were there any conflicting ideas
with the band with signing to a multinational company like Sony, but at
the same time wishing to reach out further than the constraints an indie
label would allow you?
A: I think as a band we'd prefer to sign to an indie label and do it all that way, but at the same time we've got that ambition where in a way you have to have a big label behind you to reach out. So we think that by signing to a label like Independiente who have had Number 1 hits with artists such as Travis and So Solid it will be better because more people will actually hear what were saying.
Q: I think the general consensus of music in the year
2002 is that there have been some great tunes, but there are no bands that
are actually talking about the important issues. What's been your impression
of the scene this year?
A: It's all a kind of mono-culture. No bands are willing to put themselves on a plain and have the balls and the bottle to say something important...say something that might be controversial. It seems like everybody is trying to play it really safe and that's ok to a certain extent, but the great bands always push themselves and are always pushing their audiences as well.
Bands like Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster and Ikara
Cult are all good bands, but they've got to take that extra step where
they become more than just underground heroes. I think what were trying
to actually compete with some of the actual pop artists because you've
got to take the view that pop music is just created in order to sell records
without anything behind it. Were trying to compete with that, saying what
we wanna say, and hopefully we can do that because that's our ambition
and hopefully we can meet our ambitions and actually compete with them.
Q: You're ending the year in the studio recording you're
debut album proper. What shape is that taking at the moment and will you
be re-recording any of the tracks from the mini album?
A: That mini album is four school kids saving up money themselves so they can go into the studio and luckily getting a distribution deal after setting up their own record label. In a way I don't really want to use some of the tracks for the album because that's gone now and were proud of it.
"Everything Destroys Itself", "Billboard Beauty", "And
They Obey..." are going to be on the album, so if we started including
anymore from the mini album the old fans would have heard 5 or 6 songs.
I think we've still got to think about them. But lyrically I think we are
progressing and I think it's more diverse than people would imagine. It's
not all political, but at the same time hopefully it will be political
enough because I think political is actually needed right now.
Kinesis - Review Of The Year 2002
Q: As a band you have an average age of 18 so the Fire-fighters
strike is the first time you'd have really experienced a major strike in
your lifetime. Obviously as well as the Anti Capitalist Protests there's
a real feeling of discontent. Are you pleased to see people protesting
and standing up for their own rights?
A: I think it's definitely good that they are standing up for their rights, but in a utopian ultimate society they'd do it because the society is good enough and they're doing it for a good cause. I think they've got every right to strike, but when they're asking for a 40% pay rise they're obviously not expecting to get that.
But I think the way the government has treated them is representative of how they've treated the majority of the public sector, such as the NHS, and to me it seems that what they're doing is slowly running the public sector down and the private sector is gradually taking over. It's getting more and more like America where private business companies are getting more and more influence where they shouldn't have influence. Profit shouldn't dictate how to cure people. It shouldn't be about money. Things have to be done for a good reason so that society is good - not for individual greed.
I think the government have treated them badly and the
way they try and sew the media up so that the media spews out what the
government wants them to spew out has been pretty transparent in the fire-fighters
strike. But I don't know if it has been to most people. I think that is
one of the major problems, the media, because the way people see it comes
directly from the media and if the media says one thing then most people
will think one thing. I think that's the main problem with communication.
Obviously it's not good when someone dies, but someone died in a fire and
it was front-page "Greedy Fire-fighters Watches As Child Dies". Firstly,
would they have died anyway, and it's just neglecting all the other issues
around it and just appealing to peoples emotions to dislike the fire fighters
for what they're doing.
Q: As you said the media is force feeding us dumbed
down trash and sadly a lot of people actually believe what they read. What
can we do about this celebrity culture we live in?
A: I don't have any problems with people being celebrities. I don't think that is a problem in itself. I think the problem is when they become celebrities for doing something that is just worthless. People who are celebrities should be celebrities because they are great people and you look at the celebrities that are in our papers daily and they are not great people. They don't say anything and that is how it has to be so that people don't get inspired to do something.
You should be a celebrity because you're a great person
and you've done great things and you've said great things and inspired
people. What have people who have been in Big Brother ever done? They're
hardly great and inspiring people.
Q: The issue of Education has already been at the front
of the agenda, but over the past 5 years or so it's become an issue with
fees and now they're even talking about top up fees. I guess that if you
weren't in the band now, University would be a consideration and if you
knew you were going to leave with debts of £20,000 it would put a
different spin on things. What's your view on this messed up situation?
A: Working class people have less chance of going to Uni and that's just a fact - no matter how much the government goes this and that - it's a fact!!! How can a Labour Government be trying to introduce something that? People like Kier Hardie and Tony Benn would be rolling in their graves at thoughts like that.
You can't really put a price on education, but then again
the student culture is not one of learning or it's not one wanting to learn
in general. If you going to Uni you should go because you're passionate
about learning something, not because you think there's nothing else to
do. And I think a lot of middle class kids who go to Uni have to take responsibility
for that and they have to actually realize that going to Uni is not something
you can take for granted and is actually a privilege.
Q: I think the war brings in a lot of issues that it
is too hard to pin it down to one simple question. There's the issues of
Bush and America's dominance throughout the world, oil and the monetary
issues and the rise of racist attacks and the nationalist parties as a
result of the September 11th Tragedies. So I think the only way we can
look at in this case if from you're perspective of a young person in a
Northern town where just a few miles down the road the BNP are trying to
spread their propaganda. What's been your personal experiences in Bolton?
A: It's a hard one because I don't think that the liberal view is correct - the liberal view sees a rose-y picture of Britain. My personal experience of where I'm from in Rochdale / Bolton is that there are a lot of white people who are actually racist to some extent and I think that's the main problem. I think the white population in particular, their minds are so closed to everything around them that they get fed something by the BNP and they kind of just accept it. There's no depth or thinking to it, they just accept it.
But my experience of Pakistani people in Rochdale or Bolton,
but we as in the white culture can learn stuff from them just as they can
learn stuff from us. But I think the white people have to take that first
step of making that effort with the Asian community, because imagine if
you're an Asian Muslin Women you're just going to go outside and be fearful
- you're going to see white people and be scared. So I think the white
people have to embrace them because at the end of the day we invaded their
country and ruled over them for no apparent reason than greed. I think
we have to take some responsibility for the past as well.
Q: And I guess to sum up what we've been talking through
Kinesis' Review of the Year 2002 is that people don't talk about the important
issues anymore. Why?
A: I think part of it is what they're fed media wise. The Thatcher Generation had something that was obvious to hate, whereas our generation they've used much more subtle means of control. People might not like Tony Blair, but they're not going to go on Poll Tax Riot because of it.
And I think with our band it's a more personal mentality. It's not like we had a meeting and said lets be political. You see things and you're either a type person who is affected by that or you're the type of person who ignores it and it doesn't affect them. Seeing some act of racism or some divide between rich and poor would affect me seeing such a conflict - that's what inspires us and it comes out in the lyrics.
Kinesis release "About They Obey..." on Feb 24th
The band tour with Miss Black America throughout February
For more info
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